I was commissioned to write a piece for the Telegraph which explored the world of what new parents ‘boast’ about, prompted by some fairly innocuous remarks from Meghan Markle.
It threw me back to those early paranoid, doubting, tired and occasionally joyful months with a newborn and then with a toddler. How we were all trying to make sense of the chaos and change in our different ways. Some of us extended ingrained habits of self-deprecation to our child and exaggerated the disasters, the exploding nappies, the parental ineptitude. Others chose to speak more positively about both their progeny and their abilities to cope, which harshly could be dubbed ‘bragging’ but more realistically were looking on the bright side.
At the time I think I took both approaches too literally. Whatever a parent might say, be it rude or proud, we all love our children, think they’re uniquely amazing and doubt our own abilities. We’re all trying our best yet making mistakes. The comparisons continue but I’ve become far better at shrugging them off, which is just as well as the first set of GSCEs approach. There will always be other children more gifted, talented and academic. But there will be none that you love so much as your own.
That’s what I was trying to say in the piece although apparently someone on Twitter commented that it was mean. And I was trying so hard not to be mean (she should see me unleashed). I’m interested to know how it came across to more general readers.