Sunday 19 May 2019

Fiona Ness: 'Yes Spencer, parenting is a walk in the park if you have money and no real job'

Vogue and Spencer. Photo: PA
Vogue Williams pictured at the launch of Lily O’Brien’s 'Share Wisely' launching event
Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews
Spencer Matthews and Vogue Williams attend the Pride of Britain Awards 2018 at The Grosvenor House Hotel on October 29, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Vogue Williams attends the Pride of Britain Awards 2018 at The Grosvenor House Hotel on October 29, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Vogue Williams and husband Spencer Matthews. Picture: Instagram
Vogue Williams. Picture: Instagram
Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews with their dog Winston (centre) (RSPCA)
Spencer Matthews and Vogue Williams seen attending British Takeaway Awards at The Savoy on November 12, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Ricky Vigil M/GC Images)
Vogue Williams and husband Spencer Matthews. Picture: Instagram
Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews with their new baby on the cover of Hello! (Hello magazine)
Vogue Williams. Picture: Instagram
Vogue Williams & Spencer Matthews and Nicky Byrne attend The Marketing Society Annual Christmas Lunch and Research Excellence Awards 2017
Fiona Ness

Fiona Ness

Someone pass me the baby wipes. Perhaps it’s because it has been 10 years since I’ve had a full night’s sleep, but I am fighting the urge to wipe the beatific, new parent glow from the faces of Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews.

In a recent interview Matthews, God bless him, said parenthood isn't as tough as everyone says – albeit crediting that to his wife Vogue’s organisation skills, which allow their home to run smoothly. Vogue concurs: post-baby, it only takes her ten minutes to do her makeup - with one hand!

Follow Vogue on Instagram, and you can see just how organised she is. Too busy to go to the hairdressers? No problem – they can come to her! Too busy to head to the gym? No problem – she has weights at home! Not since Melania Trump decorated the White House with grammatically incorrect slogan-bearing pencils has womanhood  been blessed with such exemplary prepping.

There’s nothing here that speaks to the high wire balancing act the rest of us mere mortal parents tread each day. Nothing here that explains how Vogue gets the dinner on the table in a cramped rented apartment while taking an important work call as third child dumps the contents of second child’s potty on top of first child’s head. Extracting herself from that situation without getting the rotavirus – or sacked - now that would be organised.

Pillory me for rich-shaming (is that a thing yet?) the happy couple if you must, but there is something about this ‘parenting is a walk in the park, people!’ narrative that grates, because it comes from a couple who haven’t the humility to recognise why.

And that ‘why’ is cash. Isn’t everything easier when you have cash, and no need to 9-to-5 it to put food on the table? Matthews is the reality-tv-star son of Laird and Lady Glen Affric. Vogue is a model, TV presenter and DJ who gets paid for showing off her life in glossy magazines. And I’m happy for that little bit of sparkle they sprinkle on my life as they go about their business, but I shan’t go so far as to imbibe parenting advice from a man wearing velvet slippers.

“If your child is screaming his head off, he's either too hot, too cold, tired or hungry. People make it sound like rocket science and it's not," Williams told Hello! Magazine.

With their baby all of three months old, Matthews would be better to hold his wheesht. For all of the parents out there struggling to comfort babies with chronic reflux, or sensory processing difficulties, or lactose intolerance, or autism, or bronchiolitis or any one of the hundreds of childhood conditions that can’t be soothed away – with our without cash - rocket science sounds easy. Experience teaches us that it doesn’t, and a little bit of ‘we know we’re lucky’ from these newbies wouldn’t have gone astray.

Spencer Matthews and Vogue Williams attend the Pride of Britain Awards 2018 at The Grosvenor House Hotel on October 29, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Spencer Matthews and Vogue Williams attend the Pride of Britain Awards 2018 at The Grosvenor House Hotel on October 29, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

With a new E4 reality series, Spencer and Vogue Adult(ish), primed to follow the couple as they adjust to the realities of new parenthood, maybe that humility is coming.

Until then, hold the baby wipes. A bit of spit on a hankie will do just fine.

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