Ah, the joys of parenting. There is a before and an after when you have children. That’s probably why so many parents want you to believe that children are the most wonderful experience. They dramatically change your life. Nothing will ever be the same. And, of course, when your parent friends seem so convincing, you tend to believe them. To a certain extent, they tell the truth. Having children changes you significantly. You find in yourself a depth of affection that you didn’t even know existed – except maybe when you had your first crush on Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider – and you know for sure that you love them more than beer, video and pizza. Maybe even more than yourself.
But that’s for the bright side of parenting! And because having children is not all glamorous, there’s a dark side to it. There’s a reverse parental syndrome that hits you when your kids are not as wonderful as you expected. This is a common phenomenon and one your parent friends forgot to tell you about!
Having a child is exhausting
Children make you question your sanity more often than not. Why are you crying, you ask. And your little one replies: because the sun went out, because the lady in the street has a green dress, because my chocolate pudding tastes of chocolate, because I wanted Santa to come for Easter. You look at them, wondering if they’re broken. Are those obsessions normal? Other parents can confirm Children’s obsessions are weird but part of growing up. But in the meantime they are exhausting. Between tantrums you can’t explain and their absolute refusal to let you sleep during the weekend, you might find short moments when you wish you didn’t have children.
She doesn’t want any further kid
For young parents especially, having a child can be a challenging experience. Imagine having a baby who doesn’t do their nights. Not just one night. All nights. It is exhausting. However, it’s likely to be even worse for the mother, as she also needs to recover from the birth. In other words, she might be the first to struggle and claim that she doesn’t want any more child. Ever! However, before you sit down at your laptop and enquire about vasectomy cost, you might want to put your psychologist hat on. Babies can push you to your limits. They are tiny creatures who need your attention all the time. On top of that, during the first months of their existence, they primarily do nothing more than eat, cr*p and sleep, which doesn’t feel exactly rewarding for parents. But hang in there, and things will get better.
Will they never leave?
Last, but not least, there are the Tanguys of the world. Tanguy, a French film by Etienne Chatiliez tells the story of a nearly 30-year-old student who refuses to leave home. His parents try everything to get rid of him, from making him sleep in a child’s bed to trying to humiliate him. There is in every parent a spark of fear at the idea of having a Tanguy.
Ah, children! You love them, and at the same time, some days, you really would love to enjoy a quiet, peaceful, and childless moment. Don’t worry; all parents have this duality of emotions! Take a deep breath and indulge in your reverse parental need. Leave the kids with their grandparents and have an evening just for you!