Pre-kid fairytales
What you probably thought, Before Kids
Scott Dunlop
I’d love to have a child. Go running across the field while he kicks the ball in the wrong direction. We’d laugh, and go for ice-creams, and he’d tell me all about his dreams to be a famous scientist or a cowboy. I’d love to hold my sleeping baby, or read stories to my daughter and she’d blissfully fall asleep before I intone “The End”.

I’d help them with their homework, and receive praise from teachers who would “wish all children could be as perfect”. I’d pass down the skills and knowledge I’ve picked up along the way, and they’d often give me spontaneous hugs and say how much they love me.

They’d grow up safe and healthy, always managing to avoid the illnesses and accidents which send other kids to the ER. We’d gather round the braai to tell each other jokes, and they’d only ever have fantastic, balanced friends.

One day, a long way off, they’d meet someone they love and settle down. Perhaps have children of their own, and call me up to say they were so grateful for the lessons they learned as children. They’d welcome me into their own homes, and make sure I wasn’t sent off to Shady Pines Retirement Units.

That sums up (roughly) the pre-parenting daydream.

The reality is, parenting too often resembles a conveyor belt of repetition and frustration, and we forget to look out for the good stuff. When we do see it, it tends to take us by surprise.

For everything else, we rely on friends and family and other parenting survivors to keep us sane. That’s where all of you come in! Thank you for reminding us that despite all of the challenges, parenting CAN be that magical, wonderful experience we daydreamed about before kids.

Is parenting anything like what you expected it to be? Why not send us your Before and After story to and you could win a R250 voucher.

Congratulations to last week's winner, Reshika Singh.

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