Every once in a while I read a post written deep within this parenting niche and it really resonates. When a post is open, honest and true and touches upon experiences which are obviously so commonly recognised it feels bonding, it feels inclusive and supportive – there’s a real sense of all being in this thing together.
No one ever said that being a mother and a wife was going to be all plain sailing and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea in life, but why, I ask you, why, do some people, who have chosen a different path, feel the need to stick their oar in with a smug comment, essentially boasting that their life choices are better than yours?
When I look at people who have chosen to stick with one child I sometimes think, ‘you’ve got it so easy’, but when I look at someone with three children, my first thought is not ‘ha ha! Look at the merry-go-round you’ve opted for, you fool!’. No, I look up and wonder what I’m missing, how much more fun a family of five might have in years to come (not that I would, in any way, want to have another child myself mind you!). I would certainly never in a million years dump a smug mother-of-two comment onto a post which had opened up about how tough a mother of three was finding the challenge some days.
What these smug ‘single, child-free by choice and living it up’ commentators don’t admit to is that no-one gets away with a life which is a series of ups and no downs. Like the economy, life, by it’s very nature, is all about the peaks and troughs.
I get the feeling that single people who trawl the parenting niche must be there for a reason. Personally, I suspect that they are searching for affirmation of their own life choices and ready to leap on a post which is brave enough to explore some of the less shiny happy moments of the parenting experience.
One recent example, on a brilliant blog I follow (Sisterhood and All That), states “ No kids and no husband means I can lie in bed all day if I want without anyone messing up my kitchen counters. Bliss. Feel free to take this opportunity to tell me what I’m missing out on and how you wouldn’t swap it for the world. Go on. You know you want to…it will make you go all warm and gooey inside” which is essentially the written equivalent of a sharp angry poke in the eye attempting to negate any potential comebacks which might seek to point out that actually, getting married and having children isn’t just a series of screaming, hair-pulling, anxiety inducing misery. (Steph, I apologise if this was genuinely written in jest by your sister or something!).
But you know, whoever you are, just keep searching out the negative bits and we’ll keep dishing ‘em up, but remember to shut your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and sing ‘la la la’ if you happen to stumble across anything that looks anything like this: