A spotless house, Saturday morning lie-ins – and going to the toilet without being disturbed are the things parents miss most about life before children, it has emerged.
A study of 2,000 mums and dads found having a car journey in peace, watching TV and ‘romance’ have sadly fallen by the wayside since the pitter-patter of tiny feet arrived.
Being able to leaving the house at a moment’s notice, without having to worry about getting a babysitter and spending money without feeling guilty also made the list.
Date nights, being able to enjoy holidays outside of term-time and getting a full night’s sleep also ranked highly.
But despite universally agreeing giving up such things was worth it nine out of ten admitted the occasional lie in or a little more ‘me time’ would be nice.
It also emerged almost seven in 10 adults underestimated the impact their first child would have on their lives, and admitted compromises had to be made in many areas.
And despite having to make life adjustments, almost nine in 10 parents said having a child was the best thing they have ever done.
Caroline Gorrie, brand manager for the new Pampers Pure Protection, which commissioned the research, said: “It’s clear from the research that parents in the UK, whilst they are willing to let go of a lot, they never cut corners when it comes to their babies.
”The kids’ needs and comfort will always come first, usually at the parents’ expense.”
The study also found four in 10 parents miss the day they could spend money guilt-free, while a further 35 per cent would simply like a bath or shower on their own.
A staggering 87 per cent of mums and dads would like to revisit some aspects of their life pre-parenthood for a day or so – to watch grown-up TV during the day time, have an impromptu night out with friends or just browse the shows rather than rushing around to keep the little ones happy.
Other things parents miss most include being able swear whenever you want to, being able to finish a cup of tea before it goes cold, and sex.
While some would love to have the time for the odd spa day, sitting out in the sunshine or visiting the cinema.
And for women – pre-baby boobs and a toned stomach are sorely missed, as is the time to have nails and hair done properly.
But while two thirds of parents who took part in the OnePoll.com study admitted life was much easier before they had children – a resounding 71 per cent agree they are happier and more fulfilled now they have a family.
Almost seven in 10 adults were surprised by the impact their first child had on their lives, and sacrifices had to be made in many areas.
For some 44 per cent of respondents, romance and sex had to take a back seat once baby was born.
Caroline Gorrie added: “Parents also don’t cut corners when it comes to choosing nappies and wipes.
”We know from the research that parents don’t want to make a choice between performance or kind-to-skin ingredients when it comes to this category.”
* Pampers new Pure Protection range includes nappies and wipes. The nappies are made with premium cotton and plant-based materials that come from sugar cane, which means they are soft and gentle on baby’s skin. The organic cotton Aqua Pure wipes contain 99 per cent water and one per cent ‘gentle to skin’ ingredients.
TOP 50 THINGS PARENTS MISS MOST:
1. Saturday morning lie-ins
2. A clean and tidy house
3. Watching television in complete peace
4. Leaving the house at a moment’s notice, without having to worry about a babysitter
5. Spending money guilt free
6. Having a shower or bath without being disturbed
7. Date nights
8. Going to the toilet without being disturbed
9. Holidays out of term-time
10. Getting a full night’s sleep
11. Sitting in the sun on holiday without having to entertain a child
12. Browsing the shops rather than rushing around
13. Nights out with friends
15. Being able to pop to the shops when you want
16. A toned stomach
17. Adventurous or cultural holidays
19. Just sitting down to read a book during the day
21. Being able to relax in a pub beer garden
22. Cheap holidays
23. Not being asked ‘Why’ all the time
24. Having a car journey in peace
25. Suffering a hangover without having to look after a child at the same time
26. Watching grown-up TV during the daytime
27. Being able to finish a cup of tea before it goes cold
28. Snacking on treats without having to share them, or eat them in secret
29. Going to the cinema to watch anything other than an animation
30. Pre-baby boobs
31. Being able to travel light when you go away
32. Being able to have your hair / nails done guilt free
33. The days when you could watch your own film instead of watching the same kid’s film over and over
34. Not having to watch what you say or talk in code because of ‘little ears’
35. A clean car
36. Daytime drinking
37. Not having to always be wondering where the nearest toilet is, in case they need a wee
38. Not having to fork out on babysitters (if you even manage to go out)
39. Being able to swear whenever you want
40. Sitting down to read the newspaper with a morning coffee
41. Spa days
42. A good diet
43. Being able to go down the stairs without navigating a stair gate
44. Being able to do a wash without having to check the pockets of everything going in
45. Being able to listen to your music in the car instead of nursery rhymes
46. Being able to listen to music or the radio ‘normally’ instead of the same kid’s song on repeat
47. Having a small car instead of a people carrier
48. Having make up in your handbag instead of wet wipes
49. Being able to plug things in without having to always remove the plug adapters first
50. Not smelling a bit like baby sick all the time