Thursday, 7 January 2016

You weren't supposed to blow the bloody wheels off

How hard can it be? That was the last blog post I wrote - in August. 2014. Clearly I had no idea what I was in for. Reading back on the blog, it all seemed so frivolous, so carefree and unconstrained to time. It was life before kids, me time, wife time, all the time in the world. Then it all nosedived. To be fair though, at first it was a stall when the first child arrived, but we sputtered for a bit, recovered and then the second one hit and that was it. Death spiral to the ground and all was black. 

Perhaps the worst thing about being a parent is that you don't really get to complain about it in the open. You can complain of course, about how little sleep you get. That is a given and is as much as part of social interactions as is what the weather is up to kind of small talk. People without kids usually try their best and always ask how little sleep you are getting. Before my life changed, I used to think of it as living with a permanent hangover. Which wouldn't be so bad because clearly something good had to have happened to have caused the hangover. Usually hangovers, or the type of hangover is proportional to the effort and enjoyment given to attain a hangover. Now, I rarely talk to people without kids. I despise them for their lack of continual suffering. 

Talking then, to people whose kids are older than yours is interesting. Although its not obvious, they delight in your misfortune because they have suffered through it. It is schadenfreude for parents. If its one thing I have learnt, other people's misery makes you happy. It doesn't make you a bad person, just a tired parent. It is why I love talking to people with newborns. It makes my day. 

Similarly, one's own parents and parents in-law should also be avoided. You'll never do as good a job as they did, all without the help, ran a tidy house and all this after giving birth in a barn in the snow or something equally ridiculous that you can't live up to. Your children will always be underfed, undressed and living in a hovel in their eyes. 

You get to complain about your work and people immediately empathise. Complain about your kids and you are the turd in the room. If you are with your parents or in-laws you already are the offending item and you may as well be honest. Not that I am complaining, my life is infinitely better than it was, despite that many of my meals are mashed leftovers that the kids would not eat or being followed into the loo and with avid interest in what number is daddy producing. 

My wife tells me I am good at this dad thing, but I am not. I am a drooling mess most mornings and am unredeemable until I have had coffee. I have yet to take the kids and the dogs for a run on the beach while we all wear white flannel shirts and rolled up jeans. Just buckling the thrashing kids into their car seats has seen their vocabulary veer off colourfully into unwanted territory. Weet-a-bix is often used as a hair product when I oversee breakfast. 

Large Military Map

Things though finally seem to be settling down. Its time to stick the head above the parapet and try venture out into what was once familiar territory. The plan now is to get back on my feet and out the door. Small steps and a bit of a restoration here and there and hopefully a quickish marathon somewhere in the next few months. 

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