4 Jun 2013

Blowing the lid on parenthood

I'm actually just a nice person just struggling through life, just like everyone else.  In fact, I'm no ungrateful madam, I appreciate that I have much more than many others.  I am indeed privileged, by my  'class', by my colour, even where I was born.  In the lottery of life, I pulled out 4 of the winning 6 numbers.  Pretty good.

The trouble is by simply just 'being' I seem to be making a dogs dinner out of most things.  I'm in serious danger of being arrested, ostracised by my own family, shunned at the school gates, fired from my job, black listed on eBay, divorced by my husband and worst of all - kicked out of weight watchers.

It wasn't meant to be like this, at least this isn't how I ever thought I would be.  I thought having children would only enrich my life.  I thought I would be able to shape them, teach them or at the very least dress them.  I thought they would worship and adore me and want to be like me.  I'd be like a mother duck with my cute little ducklings waddling along behind me.

No one really tells you the truth about parenting.  It's like a Secret Club.  It's so appealing to try'n get into the club, but when you do you you are greeted by the knowing look from other parents, the look that says 'Welcome you fool, how long will it be until that smile is wiped off your face and you realise that the only thing holding this club together is our joint despair'.

Parenthood is like being in a London Underground station during the Blitz, except instead of fleeing from the danger of bouncing bombs,  you've carried them down there with you in your thousand pound Bugaboo and now you can't get back up the steps.  Your 3 little doodlebugs are whining away in your ears whilst up on street level the childless ones go about their business in blissful ignorance. They are heading off to work having woken up at 8.30 and leisurely showering before wandering out the door.  Not a clue that they are £800-£1000 a month better off for not having to pay for childcare. After work they'll perhaps go to the cinema, or browse in a few shops before heading home to please themselves with another 4 hours of peace and quiet.

But oh the fools, during these wonderful minutes of self pleasing and silence, their mind wanders and they begin to feel lost - if only they had a child to nurture, a little version of themselves who they could play their favourite Beatles tracks to, or take them to see the latest Pixar movie, which is secretly for your own enjoyment.  They begin to fantasize the perfect dream of parenthood.  How nice it would be to buy that cute little mini-me outfit for them, to turn the office into a white washed nursery with just the odd little wooden toy on display.  They'd do things differently, their kids would behave perfectly, just like them.  How could they not?  They certainly wouldn't be like their brother or sister's kids, who get spoilt with so many toys, most of which is plastic tat which has over taken their home. The clueless helpless childless ones imagine feeding their children on organic home grown vegetables, no packets of quavers passed to the backseat of the stinking cess pit of a car for them. Tut.

An oh how that thought grows and creeps like a vine filling every crevice until at last, here they are in the Secret Club.   Now it's time to give them that knowing look....