I thought there were no shit children
– only shite parents.
I thought it was your fault.
I thought being a parent was easy peasy
and I would be amazing at it.
I couldn’t understand why anyone would moan.
I thought Stay at home parents had it the easiest.
I imagined you all there,
watching daytime TV.
I thought a child would eat exactly what they were given.
I said they’d eat once they were hungry.
they would have to suit me.
I would be no slave to no child!
I would not change one bit.
I would instil discipline,
My child would never make us a spectacle.
When I saw a child lying like a dead weight at a parent’s feet I thought they must be a bad mum, a useless dad.
I shook my head at noisy children in restaurants.
“Why would you bring a child here?” I’d mutter.
I wouldn’t smile.
You ruined my lunch.
I never understood why you’d moan about lack of sleep.
It can’t be that bad people!
You can sleep when you’re dead. My children would watch hardly any TV.
My children would only eat sugar free,
we would all be strictly Über healthy.
My children would say please and thank you.
My children would never scream, wail or cry.
My children would be so perfect
or bit – they had seen that sort of behaviour at home (hmmhmmm)
I thought they had been dragged up.
Only terrible parents bred terrible kids
who would lie on the floor and scream and not be simply reasonable.
Me? I would never lose my temper.
I would never lose my cool.
I wouldn’t need to drink.
I would be the bigger person.
I would be the best parent in the world.
the third one in a week that there is no let up, that they can’t cope,
that they are just not cut out for this
– I give them advice, though we know not what we do.
as another friend tells me they would happily swap their child today for a Big Mac.
as I sob on the phone to my own mum,
like I’m six,
pleading with her that
Shit, I was wrong folks,
and don’t for one second think we don’t love them,
that we don’t understand our luck,
that they don’t make us supremely happy, fulfilled.
Don’t think we take them for granted. We don’t!
We would die for our kids
If they don’t kill us first.
But it’s fucking hard
It’s not as any of us expected it would be,
and I was so, so wrong.
and Shit, I’m Sorry.