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Column: Parenting and the Seven Deadly Sins

If your idea of having children is lovingly gazing at your partner while your baby coos in your arms, then you’re in for a little shock, writes Elizabeth MacDonnell.

Elizabeth MacDonnell

IS YOUR IDEA of having children filled with loving gazes at your partner while your precious baby coos gently in your arms? The reality of parenting will turn this, and many other pre-children ideas, on its head. But ultimately having children could be your salvation.

Parenting and the Seven Deadly Sins … what to expect:

Pride: No sooner will the words ‘oh my baby sleeps all night’ have left your mouth than you beautiful little cherub will teach you that pride does in fact come before a fall. They will reinforce this lesson by waking every night for two years.

Envy: Yes, you may look at people who have no children and feel a twinge of envy for their ‘carefree’ life, you may even look at older retired people and for a moment envy the unbelievable luxury of all that time to themselves … but one giant, massive snuggle from a tiny munchkin is all that’s needed to banish Envy.

Greed: Children have an amazing ability to show us what truly matters, to show us what we need as opposed to what we want. Worldly goods are no longer the goal – and children reinforce this message by systematically destroying any goods of value we already possess. And, due to the eye-watering expense of raising children, the opportunity to replace them has been removed. Greed be gone.

Sloth: That most awful affliction of lazing about, sleeping in, taking a break – children will ensure you will never have a sleep in again, they will peel you out of the bed at an unearthly hour using either a deafening cry or brute force, any notion that you might have a chance to sit during the day will be scuppered by well-timed exploding nappies, sudden hunger pangs, or a need for Mummy to ‘come see this NOW’. Sloth … not in this life!

Gluttony: Children’s method of saving you from gluttony vary with age but have the same desired results; babies will ensure that as soon as you lift a forkful of your much-longed-for food to your mouth, they will wake screaming from what was previously a peaceful sleep. As they grow, this changes to knocking your plate of the table, incessant whinging as you try eat, well-timed projectile vomiting – and their most effective method: taking and eating at least half of what’s on your plate.
Gluttony? In your dreams.

Lust: I laughed even as I typed the word. If you can, through the sleep-deprived fog that most parents live in, contemplate a night ( or even 20 minutes) of bedroom activity, some, or all, of the following will happen: baby will suddenly develop a dangerously high temperature (this may be accompanied by vomiting), toddler will lose his soother and scream for someone to find it, slightly older child will have a nightmare that requires you check every wardrobe and under the bed to make sure the monster is gone, eldest child will arrive unannounced in your room a scream at daddy to ‘stop squashing Mummy’. Lust, don’t even think about it!

Wrath: If any, or all, of the above leave you with feelings of uncontrollable rage then step into you darling child’s room when they are asleep (they do actually sleep sometimes), look at their beautiful sleep-flushed faces, listen to their gentle breathing and be absorbed by the miracle that is children.
Wrath … you never stood a chance.

And therein lies your salvation.
Elizabeth MacDonnell is an optometrist, wife and mother of four young children. She shares her life with numerous hens, ducks, geese and a herd of beloved Alpacas. Follow her adventure as her family carve out their version of the good life on Hushabye Farm.

Blog: http://www.lifeonhushabyefarm.blogspot.ie/ Twitter: @yummymummyby4

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Elizabeth MacDonnell

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