Drowning in smug
I remember when Bridget Jones’ Diary first came out. Like Bridget, I was single and, like many other singletons, I thought she was some sort of prophet or messiah with her truthful words about looking for love in all the wrong places.
Bridget coined the term “smug marrieds.” We all knew them. They were the ones who said things like, “When are you going to find a man and settle down?” like it was the easiest thing in the world to track down your soul mate. Half price at Tescos!
Now that I’m about to have a baby, I’ve come across the new version of the Smug Married: the Smug Parent. They are the ones who will mostly say things like:
“Your life is OVER [insert evil laughter].”
“Say goodbye to sleep [insert evil laughter].”
“You better go to the cinema now because you’ll never go again [insert evil laughter].”
Whenever people ask us about how we’re feeling about the upcoming birth and baby, James and I always give the rote answer: “Oooh, it’s all a bit scary.” Not because we do feel particularly petrified about what’s coming, but because we know it’s the answer they want to hear.
Well, no more. From now on, we are going to say, “Actually, we’re really excited about both the birth and having the baby. We’ve been practicing getting by on 4-hours of sleep and we take turns crying like a baby so we can get used to it. We also do time trials on changing the nappy on a doll we bought at ASDA.” Maybe that will shut them up.
I’m hoping that when Abdul is born, we won’t turn into Smug Parents. In fact, I’m going to purposefully come up with positive things to say to expectant parents, instead of acting like I can see there is an ax-wielding lunatic standing just over their right shoulder. Because here’s the thing: we know it’s going to be hard. We know we’re going to have less sleep. We know it’s going to difficult to go out for quality time with each other. We’re not stupid. I’ve read books and they’re all pretty clear on the fact that babies equal work.
So, if you already have a baby, next time you come face-to-face with an excited, expectant parent, please, say something like, “It’s going to be fantastic. You’ll love being a parent” instead of predicting doom and gloom.