The Fear Factor
I am beginning to understand what it is that makes parents want to have another child. I mean we can all fall into the trap of having one, our imaginations having cruelly led us to believe that our days would be full of cupcake baking, leisurely siestas and lashings and lashings of hugs and kisses from the little mite. But once the reality has kicked in and the rose tinted glasses have been given a little wipe with a good hard dose of sleep deprived reality, why do we keep going back for more?
Some parents I’m sure will try to have you believe that it’s to do with the incredible experience of giving life and shaping that life, witnessing this little person grow before your eyes and providing unconditional love and support along the way. Whatever! Some will try and suggest that perhaps giving your first child a brother or sister is the best gift of all, better even than a balance bike. Okay Pinnochio so why is your nose the size of a French Baguette right now? Others might try feebly to argue that giving birth is what we’re all here for, what we’re made for and that there is some sort of primal urge to reproduce. Then why are your pants on fire you big fat liar?
Do you want to know the real reason? It’s the fear of going back to work, paid work that is. Can you remember what it was like? Getting up every day and trudging in like a prisoner on death row. Only you couldn’t openly express your reluctance to be there for fear of being subjected to another team building day or a not so rousing speech from someone up above, not God but your boss. After getting down to the important business of making a cup of tea, racking your brains for something that some people might construe as mildly amusing for your Status Update, asked what your long suffering colleagues had for dinner the night before, you look at your watch and shudder at the thought of another seven and a half hours of “work”.
The thought of having to go back to work fills me with fear. Would I still be as skilled at looking deeply engaged in meetings whilst privately pondering what superpower I would have if such things existed, I know it’s clichéd but I would probably plump for flying. Could I still muster up enough good will to force a smile as the man whose armpit I am getting acquainted with on the tram treads on my toe for the fifth time? Would my ability to cover notepads from cover to cover in highly intricate scribbles still be up to the same high standards they were, I personally doubt it. Would I still be able to disguise my numerous trips for refuge at the coffee shop as an extended toilet visit despite the fact that I smell like I’m wearing L’eau de Latte Pour Homme.
You see you get into the workforce a young, eager to please whipper snapper, hungry to prove yourself in the dog eat dog world of business (or in my case dressing up as Sammy the Seal for kids parties at an aquarium). And then at the end of your first day you realise that you still have 49 years 364 days to go until you can put your wrinkly feet up and the panic sets in. Did someone say Stay at Home Parenting? Where do I sign? No pay? That’s fine. One child? You must be joking, I want the incredible experience of giving life and shaping that life, witnessing this little person grow before my eyes and providing unconditional love and support along the way multiple times. Not to mention giving The Boy a brother or sister surely it’s the best gift of all? I also seem to come with an ingrained primal urge to reproduce, I can’t really help myself.