The Parenting Disclaimer (or, A Big But)

It is a sentence which has been spoken by every parent, and it goes a little something like this.

‘Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. I wouldn’t change them for the world. But…

As the arrival of our third child draws ever closer, the number of conversations between me and my wife which begin with this disclaimer seems to be on the rise. There are a plethora of endings that can be stuck onto the backside of this opening sentence, like…sticking a Lego brick onto another Lego brick. Or perhaps sticking something onto something else using Superglue, or another form of adhesive (it really depends on the material you’re sticking).

If we didn’t have kids we’d have loads of money.
If we didn’t have kids we’d have spare time.
If we didn’t have kids we could go to the pub right now, or perhaps for a nice walk. (To the pub.)
If we didn’t have kids we could go on holiday to the Bahamas, but that’d be too hot for my pasty white skin, so perhaps somewhere like Bangor would be more appropriate. But at least the Bahamas would be an option.

Sadly, these are luxuries we forfeited when we very first laid eyes on a pee-soaked stick and a little blue cross. And, in exchange for giving up most of our spare time and all of our money, we received two little terrors who eat us out of house and home but give us better memories than any trip to the Bahamas. And, in my softest moments, I look at them and think: who needs money anyway?

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