Saturday, 5 March 2011

Parenthood: pure delight at minimal cost

For some reason, I seem to be surrounded these days by people who have young children or are thinking of producing some.

In my usual spirit of dedication to public service, I feel it’s time to add to my previous store of invaluable advice on the art of parenting by addressing some of the frequently asked questions that come up in discussions of this thorny subject.
  1. Will having a child change my life fundamentally?
    There’s no reason why the impact should be at all significant if you have already moved all breakable objects to at least one metre above floor level, are indifferent to how much sleep you get at night, aren’t interested in going out or even relaxing in the evenings, don’t care how stained your clothes get and have decided to break with any childless friends who might be upset if their precious crockery gets damaged.
  1. Does the difficult period last a long time?
    Not at all. 25 years can flash by. You’d be surprised.
  1. Is it expensive to bring up children?
    Far from it. Compared to things that we take for granted like a manned space programme, it barely registers. Why, there are football players who are paid more than it costs to raise a child.
  1. Will the presence of children means an end to all tranquillity? No reason to think so, if you can just learn to be tranquil when surrounded by hordes of children – and three kids make an impressive horde – who are rushing up and down your stairs, watching your TV and eating your food. Birthday parties are the real test of your Zen qualities. Indeed, once your kids are into their adolescence your adherence to Buddhist principles may be such that you will be fully ready to abandon your attachment to the wheel of being and, indeed, help several other people to abandon theirs.
  1. Is it true that kids are always ill and always complaining?
    This is a particularly vile slander. I know many children who are well and pleasantly disposed for several days a year.

  1. Is it rewarding?
    Of course it is. All you have to do is survive long enough to see them produce kids of their own, make all the same mistakes as they criticised you for and be subject to the same responses as they made you suffer.
Nothing to it, you see. Can't see what holds anyone back.


Anonymous said...

Arggg I think I shouldn't have read the article.It made me lose the (very little) desire that I had of having children, and therefore it has increased your chances of being's a catastrophe!! ;)

Lots of love


Anonymous said...

upss I wanted write decrease instead of english is worse and worse!

David Beeson said...

There's something appealing, though, about having someone around you don't even have to ask yourself whether you like or not, or why - you just do because you're who you are and they're who they are - unconditional love - it has an attraction that compensates for an awful lot of inconvenience...