Sometimes, when you’re bleary-eyed through lack of sleep, and your hand-wash-only cashmere cardigan is so encrusted with something gelatinous only a boil wash will fix it, it’s hard to focus on the positives. Let’s face it: kids wreck your figure, your bank balance and your freedom.
But it’s not all bad. Here are my top five reasons why having children is the best thing in the world:
1) You can take a rain-check from boring functions.
Whether you need to leave a dull party early, skip a second-cousin-once-removed’s bar mitzvah, or give the office drinks a miss, children give you a ready-made excuse to duck out. As I’m astonishingly antisocial, I use this a lot. A PTA meeting, you say? Ah, such a shame, the children just won’t settle with a sitter…
2) It’s much cheaper to get drunk.
I can’t vouch for the men, but women with kids get sloshed far faster than their pre-motherhood peers. I’m not sure whether it’s the nine-month teetotalism, or defences weakened by lack of sleep, but even that girl who used to down yards of ale in the SU Bar will find herself under the table after the slightest whiff of Bacardi once she’s had children. This makes nights out both cheaper and faster, which is handy when you’re paying a babysitter by the hour.
3) There are more hours in the day
I know that doesn’t sound right, but it’s absolutely true. Remember those heady weekends B.C. (Before Children)? You’d surface around midday, then loaf about in your PJs till four. Now you’re up and at ’em by six am! Think what you can get done with all that extra time! Of course, the fact that you’re asleep in their leftover fish fingers by 6pm is a bit of an issue.
Even before my pelvic floor was besieged by two sets of trampolining twins I have always liked the reassurance of knowing there’s a loo nearby. Having three children who can switch from ‘no, I don’t need a wee,’ to ‘but Mummy, I’m DESPERATE!’ in less than a minute means frequent trips to the loo, and no chance of passing a motorway service station without a ‘just in case’ wee. For the children, you understand.
5) Ready-made slaves
Can’t be bothered to fetch your own slippers? Fancy a snack but it’s oh-so-comfortable on the sofa? Send for a miniature slave. Parenthood is basically one long round of legalised slavery, and entirely justified on the grounds you are teaching them about responsibility, teamwork, and helping others. Although if my six-year-old gets the measures wrong in my G&T one more time…
So you see, the above reasons alone are enough to cancel out the night feeds, the toddler tantrums, the exorbitant holiday costs, the overdraft, the curtailed career, and the route-map of stretch marks.