If I read one more blog post chosen especially for me by the profiling Gods on social media about how difficult/depressing/soul-destroying being a parent of small children is, I swear to Jesus, I'll do something drastic...like come off Facebook or something!
I'm talking about posts like '12 reasons why parents need wine' or 'Why I locked myself in the toilet for 6 hours'.
Thank heavens those profiling Gods are indeed so accurate though. For I can only hope and pray that they don't target that stuff at people who haven't yet had kids...otherwise mankind may well be messed up for good!
So, in retaliation to this worrying trend, I have decided to post something positive about parenting. A total rail against current opinion I am aware, but honestly, it's not as bad as they're making out it is, is it?
Yes, the hours are long (the often overused phrase 'they worked around the clock', comes to mind), the pay is rubbish (I genuinely haven't been out of debt since four weeks before the birth of my first child due to a 'spree' in Mothercare, and very much doubt I ever will be), and promotion is literally unheard of.
But you will NEVER meet anyone as interesting as your own child (unless perhaps, you are Clarice Starling and you're about to have your first chat with Hannibal), and you won't find any job as rewarding as creating a human, and no one ever talks about that!
It's as if we're afraid to sound as if we're enjoying it, in case people think we're showing off! And we hate to come across as being conceited, don't we?
But being a parent is a wonderful thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not for one single second trying to suggest it's easy...far, far, far from it! But, ah man, those moments, when we stop stressing about how much sleep we can secure before they call for us at the crack of dawn, or how dirty the bathrooms are, are just breathtaking.
Like tonight, Daddy put the two-year-old to bed, because the five-year-old was so full of excitement from a sunny day spent exploring a new place that she took an age to calm down enough to fall asleep. That childish wonder in itself is exactly what I'm talking about.
But it was when the two-year-old woke and called out for daddy that my day was truly made. Creeping in beside her in the black- dark room, I kept silent. She put her arms out, knew someone was there, and lay down, ready to fall back to sleep. But after a beat, she sat upright once again, reached her hand out to touch my face and said happily, 'Hello Mammy'.
Then, lying down once more, she pressed her tiny nose to mine, wrapped her tiny arm around my shoulder and rubbed me gently with her tiny hand. And fell asleep.
And this, just in case you had been wondering, or indeed worrying, makes all the other crap null and void, and means that parenting is in fact, mostly a very wonderful thing.
So please, don't believe the hype.