Good parent = bad person?

March 19, 2012

For a little while I’ve been wondering if becoming a parent has changed me as a person, and I don’t mean in a good way. We are a pretty selfish species anyway, yet does having offspring compound the problem? I try to be a nice person, to be polite and considerate but somehow after having children – especially now I have three – it’s harder. They are so entirely my main priority that everything else fades into the background.Of course there are some good things which have changed as a result of having children. I’m a lot more sociable, mainly because I’m so excited to see another adult I can’t stop talking. I think I’m probably a better teacher because I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the classroom doors. I’m also less judgmental. I now realise you don’t always know what it’s like for someone behind the scenes. But in general some things have deteriorated.

Pram rage
Just recently I’ve found a huge overwhelming rage overtaking me when I’m out with the double pram. It mainly comes on at the school gates when I am ever so slightly on the late side (actually I could add punctuality to my list thinking about it. I am never on time now!) and trying to go against the tide of smug parents who arrived ten minutes before the bell went. Shops are also a nightmare. I am not the only person with a double pram, surely, so why are the aisles in shops not wider and why do shopkeepers insist on stocking the aisles with piles or expensive items which I will inevitably knock down? I feel the steam coming out of my ears just thinking about it.

I have fantasized about getting flames fitted to the side of the pram, it’s already a hulking monster, it really wouldn’t spoil the look. If not them I’m sure I could get a snow plough fitted which would just plough through the small children who dawdle in my way and knock through the Jenga style aisle displays. Ha! That’d show them.

All double prams should come with this sign
Picture Credit

This month alone I have missed the birthdays of three children belonging to good friends (sorry guys). I was also pretty slack with Mother’s day, although a card is now in the post. Ok I have never been perfect and often send cards on the day instead of the actual birthday but I was definitely better. I think this is partly down to being at home. Most of the time I have no idea what the date is and I have generally lost my diary so can’t check if an important date is coming up. Which brings me onto…

My focus is completely on the girls when we’re out. It’s hard enough keeping track of them when we’re in public let alone all our belongings. I leave a trail of items behind us wherever we go. I have lost keys, wallets, phones, credit cards and diaries more times than I like to mention. I get anxious at the supermarket check-out because I’ve opened my wallet so many times to find it empty. I have always thought I have an unnamed disease which means I cannot remember where I put things but now I’m sure its reached epidemic proportions.

Driving Skills
Having three children in the car, all rather noisy in their own way, is pretty distracting. I love talking to the girls but in the car it gets a bit stressful. I spend a lot of time trying to explain to a four year old why mummy can’t explain how houses are built as she has to concentrate, and what concentrate means, and why that police car has put on his flashing lights. I dream of having one of those taxis which has a screen. Oh the bliss of driving on your own.

I do have a certain kind of patience which means I can watch someone make the same mistake three times and not want to bite my arm off. It’s kind of useful in a teacher. You can explain the same thing thirty times and there will still be someone who doesn’t get it. That hasn’t changed but my patience for anyone else has definitely evaporated. I used to always see the good in people but I get irritated much quicker and have far less tolerance for other people’s nonsense.

Of course in the early days there was also the ability to form a coherent sentence, but as this is mainly down to complete exhaustion, well most of the time.

So do you think having children has made you a better or a worse person?

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