Everything changes when you have children.
Even the most mundane of procedures. Take housework, for example.
Pre-kids, it's something you tolerate. A necessary evil. When the mood strikes (or when visitors are due), you knuckle down, get through it and get on with your life.
Post-kids, it doesn't work that way. Not only do you have less time for it, the results of your efforts last but a fleeting nanosecond. After which, all that hard work is undone. Job satisfaction = zero.
As for the process itself, it becomes considerably more - ahem - fraught.
Let's start with hoovering. Pre-kids, your trusty Dyson blithely services your floors on a regular and uncomplaining basis.
Post-kids, it contends with all manner of outrages - discarded loom bands, stray Hama beads and the dreaded Lego brick. (The noise on contact can make a grown woman cry.)
Our last appliance was killed by a more subtle intruder. All respect to the new destructive force on the block. People, I give you the kirby grip.
As for dusting (yes, you're meant to do that too), simply accessing the surfaces is a challenge in itself. By the time you've shifted all the detritus of family life, you're ready for a wee lie down. Forget flying into a frenzy with the feather duster.
As one chum confided: "I'd love to get a cleaner but I'd have to tidy up first." We hear ya sister.
So what's a hard-pressed parent to do? Assuming you'd like company within the next decade, consider some housework hacks...
Provided you can contain your guests downstairs, restrict your efforts to the ground floor.
Focus on hoovering only as far as the turn in the stairs. Ensure the downstairs cloakroom is gleaming like a pin. Shamelessly ignore the sorry state of affairs that is your en suite.
Stagger upstairs with all two hundred of your family members' assorted jackets. Lob said outerwear in a bedroom. Revel smugly as guests admire your minimalist coat rack.
One cautionary note: Beware the sociable pre-schooler who likes to invite people to *come up and see my bedroom*. Inquisitive guests won't be able to resist.
And you, my friend, will be rumbled.