Expat Dad: Being tired is best

Expat Dad: Our regular ‘parent in Shanghai’ columnist, freely offering what Dads love to give – advice, warnings, guidance and general lessons in life!

Time is a great healer, but so is simply being shattered, knackered, pooped, worn out. Time and experience helps parenting because after the first child, you’ve already worn out many of your “I’m a nervous wreck, just one step away from insanity” brain cells. By the time the second one arrives, you have already reached a lifestyle whereby you can stay sane by realizing that you are , in fact, insane.

A parent needs to come to this realization at some point, as it is the only rational way of trying to rationalize the intense paranoia that our minds create. Hear some bad news about some child in another continent that was hospitalized with the E. Coli bacteria? Then welcome to a sleepless night worrying about what your precious one is going to eat at home, at school, about the water they drink, the air they breathe.

Being tired also leads to a blissful state, of sometimes simply not giving a shit. For your first child, especially in the first year, you have all these principles. Your child is only going to wear 200% organic cotton jim-jams, made by Latvian nuns using only the featheriest down of Tuscan lambs. If you ever – EVER – state a rule that is ‘for my child’, then the entire world must fall in line and any breach of obeying will be seen as a deliberate and choreographed insult to you and your progeny.

Either for your second, or when your first is about 3, the I-don’t-give-a-shit-because-I-haven’t-slept-in-3-years ism kicks in, like a beautiful drug flowing through your rattled veins. You no longer have ‘discussions’ with your partner about parenting, you no longer seek to stamp out your will. Say you come home and are trying to put the little mentalist to bed, but he or she is still bouncing around and not listening to anything you say. Then your partner says “oh she’s fine, just let her carry on”.

‘Early parent’ says “are you contradicting me in front of our child?!”

‘Tired parent’ – barely able to comprehend human speech after 9pm – thinks “I’m sleepy. I think I’ll have a beer and collapse onto the sofa and drift into a numbing stupor”

So thank your child; thank them for destroying you and your partner’s energy, your plight and most of all: your will to simply a give a shit.

Don’t argue over petty principles.

Just enjoy your alcohol-induced stupor and try to get in a quick one with your partner before you fall asleep.

 

For more parenting tales, find Expat Dad in the Tag Cloud to the right

 

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Categories: Expat Life

Author:developingcityblog

Foreigner in Shanghai

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