It might take you 47 minutes, rather than seconds, to leave the house these days and you might sometimes feel like a frumpy, frazzled mess, but we have good news: now that you’re a mum, you’re the most efficient you’ve ever been. Having kids forces you to focus on the things that really matter: you are now the no-frills, best value, most effective version of yourself. But sadly this means there are a few old habits that are now surplus to requirements…

Reading books

When you went on maternity leave, your naïve, optimistic self compiled a list of book recommendations; modern must-reads that you visualised yourself devouring while your angelic babe snoozed on your chest. In reality? When the baby’s napping, you spend your time tapping: whether you’re reading parenting forums, bidding for bargain baby clothes, mindlessly playing games involving colourful pieces of fruit or eyeing up potential mum mates on Mush, there are now only two things in your life that can be described as unputdownable: your baby, and your phone. Zadie Smith can wait.

Taking your make-up off properly

First things first, you’re wearing make-up? It’s definitely make-up and not pear puree or wax crayon?Congratulations! The trouble is, on the days when you do find time to smear on a bit of slap, there’s absolutely no chance that, when bedtime comes, you’ll have time for your old cleanse, tone and moisturise routine. Praise the lord for baby wipes in every room of the house.

Keeping up with current events

OK, so the really big stuff still penetrates our consciousness (mainly because one thing we DO find time for is social media) but gone are the days when we could spend hours poring over, and discussing, news and gossip. Don’t ask us what’s number one in the charts, don’t ask us to name more than three global leaders and please please please don’t make us try and tell apart any Kardashian-Jenners. We’ll catch up when the kids start school, OK?

Tights, fiddly buttons, shoelaces…

It’s during pregnancy that your wardrobe becomes 95% stretchable, breathable fabrics, and it’s very difficult to let go of this habit after the baby comes. At first, you’re dressing for comfort. But soon, you realise those leggings and baggy tops are more practical too – when you have 23 seconds to go to the loo, you don’t want to be fiddling around with tights or unnecessary buttons. Plus, whenever you take your baby to any groups, you’ll be expected to remove your shoes while holding your squirming baby, therefore it’s flip-flops in summer and slouchy boots in winter.

Coordinating bags and coats

On a similar note, remember when you’d idly mull over which bag and coat combo to take to work in order to look stylish, professional and well-prepared? These days, you have one warm, practical, multiple-pocketed coat and one huge, stuffed, filthy bag, both of which you take everywhere without pausing to wonder if they match – you’re far too busy trying to find your baby’s arm down the sleeve of their infuriating new snowsuit.

Sorting the laundry out properly

Back in our single, pre-baby days, when we had a hectic social life, we’d complain that we never had time to do laundry. It’s only when you have a baby – who, by the way, will grow up into an even filthier child – that you realise how wrong you were. There’s no such thing as dark loads and white loads and delicate loads anymore – these days we just shove the whole lot in and hope that somebody remembers to take it out of the machine before it starts to stink. And once it’s dry, does it get put away? Never. Why would we bother doing that when we’re only going to wear it again? Oh and apparently there’s also this thing called an iron? Nope, no idea.

Three course meals

“Starter or pudding?” is no longer a question which exists in your universe. In the event that you get out for a meal, instead it’s “which main course will come the fastest and be easiest to eat with one hand when there’s a squawking infant on my lap?”.