Wednesday 29 March 2017

Finding your children boring isn't bad

Anne Marie Scanlon

WHEN I was pregnant with the young master, a journalist in the UK wrote an article about how boring motherhood was, and how dreary she found sports days, school productions, playing host to her children's chums and having to listen to them prattle on endlessly. Needless to say, nobody gave her a medal -- quite the reverse.

Instead of vilifying her, I thought people had missed the point -- that despite finding her children massively boring, she loved them enough to get on with things regardless. Of course, now I have a child of my own, my opinion has changed. Feck the medal, she should have a week's holiday (on her own, naturally) in the Maldives.

God forbid any woman should break ranks and say that motherhood is not all gummy smiles, chubby hands, small babies sleeping on hunky men's chests and other similar Hallmark moments. Yes, taking my son to the playground is fun -- for about 10 minutes. There is only so often you can watch your child -- no matter how beloved -- going up the steps and down the slide, up the steps and down the slide, up the steps and down the slide ... without wanting to hurl yourself under a passing lorry, just to relieve the tedium.

Women don't admit to this because to do so would be to invite the thing we all fear the most into our lives -- the "Bad Mother" label. So, instead of owning up, we all pretend we find every aspect of our children endlessly fascinating.

My four-year-old would rather stick pins in his eyes than sit through an episode of Coronation Street, and that's perfectly normal because children and adults are not meant to like the same things. It doesn't make either party wrong. Or bad.

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