A peaceful trip to the toilet… Alone
A meal I don’t need to share with 2 other people
A day without someone crying in my face for chocolate (including the wife)
To wake up without an alarm or a crying kid
And to not feel like a bad parent 50% of the time
To be honest I’d even take just one of these.
OK, OK, I’m better off asking for a date with Scarlett Johansson because, well, I have kids now and that’s parent life. This makes all of my requests unrealistic. These are but a few of the things I forfeited the day my kids entered the world. Things that in the long run don’t really matter but things that help me to feel more human. See, I used to long for a big pile of gifts, not of great value but just like you see in the movies. A tree sat atop a pile of perfectly wrapped presents. For all I cared, they could all be worth 50p each but the quantity was the important part for me. However, nowadays at the risk of sounding cheesy I just want the kids to be happy.
Each item on my Christmas list is about making my kids happy. I firmly believe that a happy dad makes for a happy child. Recent studies confirm this but more importantly, I see this when I’m with my kids.
Harassed daddy is not a fun daddy. Harassed daddy does not want to play that matching game with you for the 27th time today. So maybe if he can get 5 minutes to drop a load in peace he might be a little more willing to play that game… again!
You’ve been fed, a lot, and you’ve thrown more of what I’ve made for you on the floor than you’ve eaten. So no I’m not best pleased you want to eat half my dinner now. I’m not being greedy it’s just that I too need sustenance to get me through. I also like my food much better than yours. Because mine has salt and pepper and eating your left overs and not getting time to eat lunch doesn’t fill me. So maybe a meal to myself once in a while would give me a little more energy to give piggy backs around the living room for 45 minutes at a time.
Chocolate I have declared as my new enemy. My son has recently been gripped by its viciously addictive charm and it being the Christmas period it’s everywhere. I feel as though I’m looking at what it’s like to work in addiction services. It controls his every decision. It is the only thing he wants to eat, ever and he becomes a different person when he gets denied. Don’t get me wrong I have used the line ‘if you stop doing ‘x’ then you can have chocolate later’. I know I’m part of the problem but if everyone in my house could go a day without Chocolate I think they might just manage to kick this habit.
To be fair I do get an occasional lie in. It always comes at a cost though. Usually some sort of bargaining with the wife over chores or child free time but it does happen. The difference it makes though is that it takes me back to a more simple time when you could just do something on a whim. When thoughts like ‘I think I’ll pop to the shops’ didn’t require a change bag, 45-60 minutes prep and the promise of a treat. Those were the days and they’re long gone, but a wee lie in can make all the difference.
OK, I probably don’t feel like a bad parent 50% of the time. It’s probably more than that. I mean come on, I’m the one who says no, I’m terrible at packing a nursery bag and I always the one to lose my sh#t first. I try not to compare to other parents but that’s what we do. We see what others are doing and we imitate and develop on those practices. I reckon though just 1 day of feeling like an awesome parent or just giving myself the credit for keeping them alive and out of A&E could make a big difference to how I interact with the kids. It would be a lot more fulfilling for sure.
This probably all sounds like a big old moan but it’s not, stick with me It’s what I hear from other parents I talk to. Mum’s and Dad’s alike. I mention these because these are the common complaints of parents I have spoke to whom I consider to be AWESOME parents and those who have AWESOME kids. I mention these because this is normal, doesn’t make them any easier to handle but I know I’m not alone in feeling like this. Nor should you be.
So this Christmas as you hide in the bathroom for 5 minutes from the kids, as you finish his plate of fish fingers and her bowl of pasta, as you hand over that 5th piece of chocolate of the day, as you swear under breath at 5:45am and when you think you”re the worst parent alive for no big reason at all… remember that you’re not alone. You got this. Remember why you do it. Kids are amazing, not always easy but absolutely amazing. If we blink our time with them will be gone and they’ll be all grown up before we know it.
So I might not get anything off my Christmas list, though I’m still holding out for Scarlett to reply to my tweet, but what I will get is to see smiles on the kids faces and a belly full of their leftovers.
If any of this has been helpful please let me know by sharing it with others or leaving a comment. Also, If you need a chat over Christmas just fire me a message.
Thanks for reading.