Having children is brilliant, on the whole. It’s life-changing, emotional, life-affirming, joyful, magical, blah blah blah blah.
But as time goes on I realise more and more how much us parents have a pretty raw deal when it comes to a lot of things.
This has been on my mind this weekend in particular because the clocks go back. Hooray, cheer students across the country. An extra hour in bed on top of the 20 hours a day we already have.
Us parents are not amused. Perhaps we could hold up a collective middle finger at 6am (or 5am as it will be).
Here’s all the times us parents get a crappy deal:
1. When the clocks go back
That extra hour in bed used to feel so good. Now we have children and we’re up for the day at anytime from 4am onwards.
Small children do not understand the concept of a lie-in.
They also have zero sympathy for your desire to have one.
Yes we can stick the children in front of an annoying cartoon, but it’s just not the same as having zero responsibilities. They still have a list of demands even when staring open-mouthed watching Paw Patrol.
2. At weekends
Hooray it’s Friday! Oh wait, I’m a parent, weekends are meaningless. So instead of going out for a delicious meal followed by cocktails, I’ll be going to bed early because my teething baby has been waking at midnight, 2am and so on this week.
When you’re a parent weekends are the same as any other day of the week if you’re on maternity leave or a stay at home parent.
If you work in an office in the week, Monday is probably the new Friday for you. At least you get to dress up and enjoy some grown-up conversation while eating your lunch without two chirping little tots begging for scraps.
3. Christmas Day
It used to be the day to get totally sloshed and sit with your feet up while your mum raced around serving everyone.
Now you’re the mum and you’re the host it’s your turn to be the festive slave. Plus your kids are hyped up on the mania of presents and chocolate so they’re about three times more hard work than usual.
Woohoo, it’s margarita time! But no, it isn’t. Who wants to care for young, screaming, energetic, messy kids on a hangover in hot weather? Not me.
Once upon a time weddings used to be that magical day when you sat back and watched true love in all of its glory while getting drunk in the afternoon.
Now it’s about keeping your screeching children quiet during the ceremony, particularly the moving speech about the dearly departed aunt Mildred who couldn’t be with us today.
Then there’s the meal. Whereas before you sipped on wine while catching up with friends, now you desperately try to keep your kids sat down in between hushing them as they declare how much they hate the food.
It also ruins your outfit. Pre-child wedding guest you could take a tiny clutch to match your outfit, but post-child wedding guest you has to lug a rucksack bigger than the wedding cake.