I’m sure I have your attention with the headline, but sometimes, someone has to say it. I find myself growing weary of people carrying out facades on social media about how “perfect” their lives are with kids.
Stop lying to us and, more importantly, stop lying to yourselves.
I have decided to never trust a parent who posts a picture of the inside of their house and the walls are an immaculate white. LIARS!
Parenthood isn’t perfect. If anything it’s far from it. It’s a monumental haphazard that shows no mercy when mercy is needed the most. Parents are the mere peasants begging for their lives in the face of King Joffrey… and everyone knows what a dickhead he was. (Dickhead is such a euphemism here, I could have gone with such worse words.)
I look back on when we were child-free and I wonder, how did we squander all of our free time and disposable income? Oh, how we took for granted the simplicity of shitting in peace or being able to eat a snack without someone running in shouting, “I want one, I want one”. There are so many minuscule day-to-day normalities that aren’t normalities anymore because 98 per cent of your time is no longer yours. The other 2 per cent is when you’re trying to sleep.
Oh sleep, you vile ghost-of-my-past, you!
Before kids I never worried about life; since having them, I am a nervous wreck. A few years back we had a scare with my son Logan regarding his lymph nodes. I can usually keep it together very well; this, however, scared me more than anything. The fear of death became something of an obnoxious neighbour perching himself on top of the ol’ grey matter, humming the theme tune to Peppa Pig and refusing to budge. (Let’s be honest, the thought of someone humming the theme tune to Peppa Pig inside your mind is more than enough to book an appointment at a Dignitas Clinic.)
I battled with this belligerent old fool for nearly two years, spiralling into a dark hole where I became fixated on convincing myself I was dying. I became erratic and snappy and an overall arsehole. I spent over $3000 on private medical tests and what’s even worse, I wasted so much time at home with the family being miserable.
I eventually spoke with a doctor and she informed me that it is very common for a parent to fall into a mortality-depressive state after having a health scare with a child. If you feel this way, just know, you are not alone.
I look back on when we were child-free and I wonder, how did we squander all of our free time and disposable income?
Parenthood beats you up, physically and mentally. It doesn’t care if you’re having a good or bad day. It doesn’t care if you have money or not. It doesn’t care if you’re male or female. It’s there, whether you like it or not. It will knock you down so many times – but get back up, because you are a parent and you are awesome.
Also, because if you don’t get back up, then who’s going to wash the dishes?
Having said all of that, when I look at my kids, I couldn’t imagine a world where they didn’t exist. A world without them, wouldn’t be a world worth living in. With all of the strains of parenthood, something as simple as them randomly coming up to me and saying, “I love you daddy” makes all of the hardships fall away. To look at them and know that I am loved and they are happy makes it all worth it.
Truthfully it’ll be even more worth it when the eldest can finally bring us coffee in bed first thing in the morning.
What sucks about parenthood for you?
Brad Nagle is a London-based blogger and vlogger. This article was originally published on Dear Agony Dad, and has been republished with permission.