Go placidly amid the white noise and bodily waste, and remember what temporary peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without wearing suspenders be on good terms with most parents.
Speak your truth quietly and internally; even when sensationalist headlines and paranoid articles claim you’re part of the mythical conspiracy that hides it from other parents. And avoid listening to others too much, especially the dull and the ignorant; because unfortunately they like to overshare their story.
Avoid loud, aggressive, smug, overbearing, self-sanctified and over-earnest parents, they are vexatious to the spirit and mind-numbingly boring. If you compare yourself with others, you may become a pain or bitter, like me; for always there will be greater and lesser parents than yourself. According to them anyway, though they’d never admit it directly.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your ridiculously futile plans like having an uninterrupted lie-in. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; even if it is a ‘menial’ job that you would one day like to graduate from into a ‘proper’ career accompanied by an entitlement to hang on to it, it is a real and valid aspiration in the unchanging fortunes of inequality.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of treat or trickery and you’ll probably run out of sweets by tea-time if you didn’t get enough or have eaten them all. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of unnecessary heroism. Like baby-led weaning and cup-cake baking.
Be yourself. Especially on-line, do not feign affection or over photoshop your pictures. We’ll know. Neither be cynical about parental love; for in the face of all this acidity and the ever-changing commandments, it is as perennial as the grass stains on the arse of your children’s best clothes.
Take mildly the counsel of your peers, reluctantly surrendering to the universal ‘truth’. Whatever one they happen to be talking about this week.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. Such as your child breaking free to terrorise everyone through the aisles in Tesco. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings like leaving her there. Many potential blog posts are born of fatigue and loneliness. Sometimes boredom. And occasionally the need to avoid the fridge, and the urge to hear the sound of my own voice.
Beyond a lack of physical discipline, be gentle with yourself. Yours is a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to expect the ‘village’ to present itself sometime soon to dig in and help look after it. Preferably on Friday nights.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt one of those universal truths is unfolding as it should: Justin from CBeebies really is disturbingly creepy.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Her to be (the childminder), and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep pace with your sole determination to write it all down. With all its sham, drudgery, vanities and fantasies, it is still a beautiful world wide web. Don’t be cheerless. Strive to be reasonably happy. Ah gwan. It’ll not kill you.