Today I have woken up feeling angry because of something I read on the internet yesterday. The internet is a marvellous place to go if you want to snap out of your perfectly happy mood and get really really pissed off instead.
The thing that I read basically said that, if you are a parent, you should shut the fuck up whinging and basically marvel and appreciate every single fucking second of the marvellous gift which has been bestowed upon you.
Well excuse me while I dare to have an emotion about having children other than joy, wonder or grateful thanks.
The thing is, parenting can be amazing and incredible and the most brilliant thing in your entire life ever.
It can also be miserable, stressful, and really rather fucking soul destroying.
And while some people who have not been able to have children (and this is utterly shit, I am not going to deny that for a moment, and my heart goes out to absolutely everyone for whom that is the case) might prefer if we all sat there counting our (many) blessings and waxing lyrical on just how amazing every single second of our day is now that we have a child in it…the fact is that life just isn’t like that. And every time we pretend that it is, we leave some other parent out there feeling like they have failed.
I have held down a series of incredibly intense and pretty high powered jobs, and parenting is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most difficult gig there is. Fact. I mean, what other job is there out there where you have to spend your day negotiating with miniature screaming despots, while cleaning up all of their bodily fluids, to a soundtrack of CBeebies, while attempting to ensure your house isn’t condemned for crimes to hygiene, all on a maximum of 2 hours (broken) sleep? There isn’t one, because those kind of working conditions – oh, and did I mention the ‘no pay’ bit? – would result in successful employment tribunals all over the shop. Parenting leaches every scrap of energy from you. You would leave if you could, but of course you can’t, because of that most sophisticated manipulation of all, which is the earth shattering, all encompassing love which you feel for your children. That love which means that, even after a day of shouting and crying and screaming and slamming and fighting and biting you would still walk across hot coals and fight sabre tooth tigers for them. Now that is an emotional head fuck.
Having children has made my life insane. Insanely good? Sometimes. Insanely insane? Also sometimes. I am grateful beyond belief that I have them in my lives, and I love them to a degree which I can’t properly articulate in words. They also push my buttons like no one else can, drive me to gin and despair, and sometimes just make me want to hide under the bed and cry until it’s all gone away. In short, they elicit every possible emotion it is possible to feel, and then some.
So no, random person on the internet, I will not stop ‘whinging’. Yes, I am incredibly lucky and incredibly privileged to have these two unhinged lunatics in my life. Yes, I give thanks every day that they are mine. Yes, I love them with a love so intense that it dwarfs every other human relationship by comparison. Yes, they drive me up the fucking wall, yes, I sometimes want to run away and never come back, and yes, I will occasionally complain about the endless fucking grind of parenting. I am human. They are children. And while I wouldn’t change any of it for the world, being a mum (or dad) is not always the rose tinted loveliness that social media might like us to believe it is. It is hard, hard work. And, when someone has shat on my favourite handbag (true story), or written their name all over my newly painted walls (also true story), I reserve the right to whinge.