This article was originally posted in Selfish Mother.
There is a lot said about the negatives of parenting toddlers these days. The tantrums and endless questions. The relentless mess and threat of accidents. A complete lack of privacy and the constant anxiety that you’re not ‘doing it right’.
But whilst there are many downsides, there are some pretty awesome benefits…
Your productivity will go through the roof when you have a toddler. You have to do everything that you used to do for yourself but twice as fast with double the volume of shit to do. All that and with the added bonus of a tiny dictator following you around trying to throw you off your game at every opportunity.
It makes you think “What the hell did I do with all that time before?”
Toddler are the ultimate social lubricant. Their natural curiosity forces you into situations where you have to make small talk with strangers on the daily. To be fair to them, they definitely do make things easier. There are very few people who won’t interact with a toddler when they make contact.
They also do a million ridiculous things a day so you’ll never be short of a story or two. There is, however, a fine line between using your kids for small talk and boring people to death with your kid-related craic. No one gives a shit about your kid’s nits, Susan. Reel it in.
Toddlers don’t give a fuck about their own personal safety. If you set them free outside of a confined safe space they will instinctively head towards danger. You will spend the whole time chasing them around, trying to stop them from doing a runner.
As the parent of a ‘bolter’ who will peg it towards harm at any given opportunity, I’m only too aware of the massive increase in my daily steps when I make the mistake of releasing her from her pushchair.
You’ll be so busy you won’t have time to eat between 5am-7pm and then your diet will consist of the leftovers from your kids plate because you can’t be arsed to cook.
On the downside (if you can call it that), your gin/wine and chocolate/crisp consumption will go up. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take in my calories via this method anyway.
The perfect excuse
All kids are germ machines but toddlers are sippy cup-swapping, dummy-sharing, mud-eating, handsy little beasts who spread bugs like wildfire. No one wants a poorly kid around so the mere suggestion that they may be coming down with something is usually enough to get out of doing anything you don’t want to do.