If you are a parent, you will appreciate his thoughts, I promise. We’ve all been through those difficult stages when bringing our kids up and, honestly, it actually does seem sometimes like you are completely alone – even when there is a husband or wife to help you out. That’s possibly because you are so utterly exhausted from the repeated sleepless nights that you don’t even recognise that there are other human beings around.
Having kids is brilliant. But it’s also hella hard:
I have to confess that sometimes the sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips and/or dark chocolate.
There are people who say this to me:
“You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!”
I usually smile and give some sort of guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold those people under water. Just for a minute or so. Just until they panic a little.
He’s not the only one, is he? We’ve all been there. I had to move the chips and dark chocolate to a cupboard I couldn’t physically hide in, because they were playing havoc with my diet. That’s if there was any left after my (occasionally) gibbering wreck of a wife got to the pantry before I did.
For the record, I have yet to drown anyone though.
Yet still, somehow, the kids survive, despite these moments. And they thrive. Because you’re doing ok.
And you know what? As Steve points out, (worryingly) this is actually normal and you should remember that:
You’re not a terrible parent.You’re an actual parent with limits. You cannot do it all.
We all need to admit that one of the casualties specific to our information saturated culture is that we have sky-scraper standards for parenting, where we feel like we’re failing horribly if we feed our children chicken nuggets and we let them watch TV in the morning.
We’d do well to remember that the remarkable kid playing the violin in front of an enraptured Royal Albert Hall at age 3 is on the news because she’s remarkable. And while we all want our kids to do remarkable things, the 3 year old wouldn’t be on the tele if every kid was able to do that. Because it wouldn’t be remarkable.
Our kids are getting older now – Scoop turns 5 next month – and it’s finally beginning to dawn on us that we’ve done pretty well in bringing them up. It’s not always been smooth going – it’s still not always smooth going – but as they learn to take more responsibility for their own lives, we’re seeing that we’ve done ok.
The light at the end of the tunnel is clearly visible and it’s burning brightly.
Only thing is, now I can see it, I actually don’t want to go there any time soon.