HAVING kids is exhausting and stressful but comes with the ultimate reward: making sweeping judgements about other parents.
Before I had my first baby I imagined life would be an endless rosy glow when it was born. How naïve I was. I quickly realised that, while sometimes cute, it was mainly a constant stream of vomit, shit and screaming.
If parenting was going to be years on end of tedium and difficulty, what was the point?
I found the answer when I discovered the visceral pleasure of making harshly critical judgements of other parents. But, like a junkie on a crack bender, I always need more of it to maintain the same high. My kids are seven and nine now, and I’m an absolute nightmare to be around.
If I see a mother feeding her kids Dairylea Lunchables while mine open a Tupperware of carrot sticks I give her a ‘look’. It makes me feel as good and wise as Florence Nightingale, but with nice clothes from Boden.
Dummies, bottle feeding, breast feeding, names, swearing, drinking alcohol, sweets, iPads, chicken nuggets, stay at home dads, working mums – I’ve judged it all, I know it all and it feels good.
Yes, I realise that parenting is hard and we’re all in the same boat. It’s just that actually I’m in my own boat and it’s obviously better.