With all the new students starting Uni at the moment, and ads for Fresher’s Week around town, it made me think back to when I started University.
I was 19 and it was my first time being away from home. I moved into halls, sharing a flat with 5 other people and it was madness. Great fun, but absolutely crazy.
I remember most of it fondly although living with 5 other people had its moments, in fact, I was just thinking that living with kids is actually not that different from living in student accommodation.
Here’s why living with kids is just like living in student accommodation…
For 3 years of Uni, I lived in complete pigsties. The sink was permanently full of washing up, I don’t think the bath was ever cleaned, and the hoover definitely never left its cupboard. I’m not sure how I lived like that as am now a bit of a neat freak. However, if it wasn’t for me my house would probably be in the same condition as a student house as there’s about the same level of contribution to housework – but with more toys and less empty beer cans. An hour after cleaning the house from top to bottom you can guarantee there’ll be toys everywhere, sofa cushions scattered across the lounge, trails of crumbs and empty toilet roll tubes – which leads me on to….
There’s never any toilet roll
My family have about the same ability to change a toilet roll as my ex-housemates. I used to keep a hidden stash of toilet roll in my wardrobe as there was never any left in our communal bathrooms, maybe I should do the same now.
At Uni it was music blaring out at all hours, or drunk housemates singing and shouting. Now it’s constant screaming, Disney Jnr on full blast, shouts of “Mummmyyyy” and me or the husband shouting “BE QUIET”.
I lost count of the number of times we woke up in the morning to see a sign stuck to the toilet door telling whoever was sick all over the bathroom floor to clean it up! Obviously, it was always alcohol induced and could have been any one of us. Now the vomiting is normally down to a stomach bug, but why do kids always throw up in the middle of the night?
Being woken up in the night
In student halls, we regularly ended up standing in the carpark in our pyjamas because some idiot had set off the fire alarm, or were woken up by a drunk housemate banging on the door because they’d lost their keys. When you have kids you also get woken up in the early hours, but this time it’s usually crying because they’ve had a bad dream/wet the bed/had a nosebleed/lost a sock.
Someone eats all the food
I lived with the same group of housemates for a couple of years, including one guy who always ate everyone’s food. It used to drive me mad, so much so that when he found me on Facebook a while back he reminded me that he was “the one who used to steal your bread and cheese”. Between my child and my husband I’m regularly opening up the fridge to get something to eat only to find that it’s already been devoured.
5 hours sleep
I used to crawl into bed at around 3 or 4 in the morning, and still manage to get up and be in my classes for 9 am. God, I wish I was 19 again! These days I still get about 5 hours of sleep, but I’m definitely not so bright & breezy when I get into the office every morning.
The need for alcohol
You can’t go on a night out as a student without a lot of alcohol. Parenting’s not that different – if you have to get through dinner, bath and bedtimes then you’d better have a good supply of wine waiting for you in the fridge!
Basically, my life hasn’t changed much since I was 19 – just different people in the house driving me mad 😉