Someone recently said to me “I’m so over work; I can’t wait to have kids and let other people look after me”. Once I’d picked my jaw off the floor, and wiped the piteous look of “oh love, how misguided you are” from my face I felt pretty annoyed. The truth is, if someone had asked me 6 months ago I would have chosen full time work over full time parenthood any day of the week. Looking after kids 24/7 was so much harder than any job i’d had. Even the ones i’d really hated. I read somewhere once that the constant whines for attention from a child work in similar ways to chinese water torture. Ok so this is probably a bit over the top. However I don’t think i’d be exaggerating to describe the worst days as “emotionally traumatic”.
Try and get friends who’ve never experienced it to understand. Impossible. To be fair, what do you expect when every time they ring and ask what you’re doing the reply comes back “I’m in the coffee shop” or “I’m at indoor play”? You can hear the pause as they try to reconcile the nightmarish existence you’ve told them about with their present mental image of you frolicking around the ball pit laughing maniacally.
The truth is, full time parenthood challenges you to your very being. For almost every second of a 12 hour “working” day you have to put your own needs on hold while you pamper to the demands of the most unreasonable and demanding of customers. All this while staying calm and fair. Xist I’ve had days where i’ve put off going the loo for 4 hours because my toddler just would not be put down.
So, Ms Tacoma, what do we do all day? Constantly fall short of our own expectations. And it is thoroughly exhausting. No wonder we don’t want to pick up the phone and talk to “friends” like you.