We all know that becoming a parent changes things. Being solely responsible for the safety, security and upbringing of a tiny human has an impact on your outlook, your interests and your bank account. For me, becoming a dad wasn’t the “shit, my life is over” feeling that can often be bandied around, but it has certainly changed things.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that my life now versus that of three years ago belongs to a different person. At the time of writing, it’s 3.50pm on a Monday. I’m at home, sat on the sofa with the laptop having just put the dishwasher on. Toddler L is next to me watching The Gruffalo (again), whilst attempting to press the keys on the asdf22’1SWUp0 keyboard.
If we rewind to 2013, chances are I was sat in an office attempting to create some kind of PowerPoint-based client deliverable with unrealistic deadlines whilst fire fighting multiple other issues at the same time. I don’t miss being a corporate whore, that’s for sure.
Not every change is for the better though. Let’s take being a parent at Christmas. It is unquestionably more magical and special when you have kids. It’s awesome reliving it through them as you remember the wonder that comes with the whole festive period. As such, having a kid has certainly made me more excited for the big day. However, it comes with a few negatives too – a kid means that the festive period will never be the same again. Here’s four things which I miss out on as a parent at Christmas:
Having Time To Rest
Christmas is a time for chilling out, right? You can just plonk yourself on the sofa, watch some festive TV whilst enjoying a period of gluttony. Wrong! This was the case pre-child, but once you become a parent, Christmas will never be the same again. Much like every other day of the year, a toddler doesn’t give you a break. Even though it’s Christmas, you’re still expected to be their bitch. You’ll be at their beck and call – food, nappy changes, playing, dealing with tantrums etc, all whilst telling them to leave the decorations alone. Unlike Ferris Bueller, they just don’t understand the concept of a ‘day off’.
We put the Xmas tree up this evening. I’d love to say that it was a magical, fun experience with the toddler, but I’d be lying. It was instead bloody stressful and came which shouts of “not there”, “don’t touch” and “leave it FFS”. I’m now counting down the days until we can take it down so that I can return to normal levels of annoyance. Merry Xmas…
Office Christmas Party
As a stay-at-home parent, I no longer have the luxury of going to an office Christmas party. Although they can be a bit cringe and pretty shit, at least those without kids and those parents that work, can let their hair down for the night. Me? I don’t get any of that. I’m left to wallow in my loneliness, expected to reminisce about line managers, co-workers and subordinates, whilst staring enviously at those merrily getting on the train in their formal wear. Hell, even my kid gets a Christmas party and I don’t. Putting my tux on and getting drunk with the dog isn’t the same.
Toddler L is having a Christmas Party at nursery today. It’s pretty depressing when your kid has a more active social life than you do.
— The DADventurer (@The_dadventurer) December 7, 2016
Enjoying A Drink (Or Two…Or Three…)
For my family, Christmas has never been a time to get wasted. I see other families with bottle after bottle of Prosecco, but that’s just not us. However, we do enjoy the odd drink throughout the day, be it a glass of champers, mulled wine or a snowball – side note, are snowballs drunk at any other time of the year other than Christmas day? Anyway, it’s not that I’m against drinking around Toddler L, but I try to limit this where possible. I just don’t really like the idea of being drunk around her – probably because I’ll be even more embarrassing. As such, alcohol usually takes a backseat until she’s gone to bed. After that, it’s shot after shot after shot…
Opening Your Own Presents
I remember a time when my presents – birthday, Christmas, anniversary etc – used to be mine. There’d be the shaking beforehand to guess what’s inside, the anticipation of opening it up and then the appreciation and excitement (fake or real) when you see the gift. Now though, life with a toddler means I very rarely get to open my own stuff in peace. It’s not that she claims them as hers or cries if I don’t let her have them, but she’s always there “helping”. This usually means things like her choosing what I open, when I open it and how I open it. Unwrapping presents just aren’t as fun when you have to do it under the rule of a tiny dictator.
So those are four things I miss out on as a parent at Christmas. Do any of these sound familiar? Anything else you’d add to the list? Let me know below!