So I settle down to the weekend newspapers, feet up for the first time this week, glass of wine in hand…the headline on The Times Weekend section catches my eye – “Are you a Parentoholic?”. At this point, I have one of my more “dim” moments – perhaps as I approach 40, a “senior moment” – and I think to myself that this must be an article about some odd medical/clinical condition which means you are addicted to parenting. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my children completely, but I am not some earth mothering, Gina Fording, frankly nauseating example of perfect parenting – far from it!
I open up the paper and it immediately becomes apparent that no, this is not an article about extreme parenting but yet another thinly-veiled attack on middle class, verging on alcoholic, parents, which is the hot issue of the moment for the media. My eyes settle on one of those cosy little “if you have mainly As…” quizzes which I loved so much when I was about 13 in the likes of “Just 17” or “Mizz” which I would use to determine whether the spotty nerd next door was actually my true love based on my personality type. However, this quiz was of an altogether much more sinister type – it was a lose/lose quiz which started from the assumption that you were an alcoholic parent and it was just a matter of to what degree.
Look, I’m not trying to make light of what many consider to be a serious issue but I will say one thing. After a 14 hour day (yes, 14 hour) which starts with one or other child screaming in my ear and ends in much the same vein with a smorgasbord of school runs, cooking, laundry, cleaning, bathing and Peppa Pig viewing thrown in the middle, I do believe it is my prerogative to have a glass of wine at the end of my working day. For me this glass of wine does not represent a decline into alcoholism but more the fact that I am an adult and this precious two hours at the end of the day are in fact my adult time.
Anyway, I am sure this rant is yet more evidence of my approaching 40 angst, but I am going to go now as my husband has just poured me a lovely, large glass of white Burgundy…