our obsession with our offspring is at the cost of everything else
A message from Facebook: you have 29 messages, ten friend requests and two group invites.
It’s 6.30am and my phone has kindly woken me up to tell me this. My reaction? Pillow on head, noise like a hippo in distress. Gah! I Am Too Old For This!
I had another at my friend Suzanne’s house one evening last week. Suzanne likes to watch catch up TV while shopping on the iPad while tweeting pithy nuggets on her mobile phone.
From a distance, she looks like she’s playing synth in an 80s electro band. I have half a mind to
cheap ray ban outlet ask her to do it standing up, wearing a dark grey shirt, a skinny tie and a pair of Ray Bans.
‘You look about 14,’ I say.
‘Fab,’ says Suzanne. ‘LOL. I’m gonna tweet that!’
And she does. Suzanne, aged 46 going on 14. It seems to me that we’re all obsessed with the life of the child these days.
Just lately, we’ve come to fetishise childhood, basking in its technology and its glorious silliness at the expense of all else.
Our high streets are crammed with babies in super buggies, our coffee shops rammed with yowling toddlers, our noticeboards thick with baby massage classes, baby yoga, baby timpani. I expect little Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge is already quite something on the xylophone.
replica ray bans recently that this ‘descendant worship’ comes at a cost. While we’re all fixating on our offspring,
fake ray bans the ancestors lose out. Rory Stewart, Tory MP for Penrith, writes convincingly that ‘our ancestors have been addicted to honour, carved virtue and wealth, been hooked on conquest, on adventure, and on God.
But ours is the first civilisation to find its deepest fulfilment in our descendants. Our opium is our children.’ Sitting here, surrounded by cricket stumps, fairy cakes and PlayStation games, I’m inclined to agree. While we’re busy kidding about, the elderly are all too often shoved in a corner, with their wisdom and their experience and their dentures a generation on the shelf.
Back on the domestic front, I’m as guilty as the next mother of prioritising my children. My living room, I now see, looks exactly like the youth club I used to go to in 1978 albeit with marginally better dcor.
There’s a ping pong table, a bean bag, a table football, three bicycles, two netballs and a
fake ray bans Warhammer zone of figurines ready to do battle on the dining table. I was chatting to two mothers of teens the other day and they agreed that child rearing, the modern way, is a full time, full cost, full throttle endeavour, which gets more intense as the children get older.
‘It’s a bit like running a business,’ said one, ‘only with no pay packet at the end of it, but merely the hope of an A in French or a kid who can play a nice bit of Vivaldi on the violin.’
Effectively, she said, we work for our children, and the kids call the shots with their skate dude clothes and their Instagrammed world beeping away in the background.
Friends of mine have Excel spreadsheets stuck to the fridge detailing who goes where and when ‘Livvy to taekwondo, Max to tennis, Millie over to Rosie’s for French tutoring, Jessica off to venture scouts, mother around the twist’
So what of we women? The movers and shakers, the carers and makers? We come up short changed. As one columnist wrote recently, ‘We haven’t got time to change the world because we’re too busy making sure the kids are OK.’
That, or too busy trying to stay youthful, stay on it, stay wired, keep on top of the friend requests and all the trappings of a child oriented world which moves at the speed of light and has the attention span of a fruit fly.
Surely there’s an app that could sort it all out? A mum app! One that could plot and navigate the intricate web of family life, leaving us to change the world and still have time for a nice cup of coffee and some time alone with a nail file? I reckon I’m exactly the right age for that.Articles Connexes?