We’ve all heard the arguments about how having a child gives you someone to love and nurture, to carry on the family name, and bring joy to your life, blah blah blah. This is all very lovely and sweet and fabulous, but we think there are some overlooked benefits that are also pretty awesome.
1) You Have An Excuse For Any Occasion
Got an invite to a get together with irritating work colleagues or family members and you really don’t want to go? Congratulations, the arrival of mini-you means you now have an excuse to get out of any social event. “Sorry, I can’t come; haven’t got a babysitter.” Even better, if you do find yourself somewhere you really don’t want to be: “Sorry, I have to leave; little-me needs a nap.”
2) You Now Have The Most Convenient Parking Space
No need to struggle across Asda’s vast car park with a trolley full of food, nappies, and wine. Your child gives you a free pass to park in the designated Parent and Child spots that are closer to the shop door and wider so you’ve got more room to get all that wine into your car! And, you will feel smug as you see your childless brothers and sisters push an out of control trolley through driving rain to their car on the other side of the horizon.
3) You Get To Priority Board On Planes
Did you get a 99p flight on Ryanair? Parents with children get priority boarding. Take that, First Class British Airways travellers. They may get the legroom, the complimentary Champagne, and the premium in-flight entertainment packages, but you get the satisfaction of getting on a plane first.
4) You Have Someone To Point The Guilty Finger At
We’ve all had moments when perhaps we ate a few too many beans or eggs. You get the picture. Your friend crumples up their nose and sniffs the air. “What’s that smell?” You point accusingly at mini-you. “Oh, it must be time for a nappy change!” And, when they’re old enough to claim it wasn’t them, no one will believe them. Sorry, kid.
5) You Get To Re-Live Your Childhood Adventures
Everybody loves the zoo, and now you have the perfect excuse to get a yearly pass. Relive your favourite childhood moments visiting the little balls of fluff, dive into the ball pit at the soft play centre, or take a ride on the swing in the playground. You’re just teaching mini-you how it’s done, after all.
6) You’ll Never Need To Set An Alarm Again
Are you one of those people who can’t get out of bed without hitting the snooze button five times? Does a power cut mean that you don’t get to work on time because your alarm failed to go off? You will never oversleep again thanks to mini-you. The little terror will be up at the crack of dawn no matter what the day is. Of course, you will still be late, only now it will be because mini-you needed the potty / lost his shoes / threw her breakfast on the floor. But at least it won’t be your fault.
7) You Discover New Skills You Didn’t Think You Had
Something strange happens when we become parents. There’s probably some clever science somewhere waiting to be explored about it. Out of necessity you will develop skills you never knew you had. If your previous culinary skills extended to pressing some buttons on a microwave then you will be amazed at the abilities you develop following the birth of your child. You will suddenly find yourself creating a Sunday roast or a delicious beef stew. OK, so you’re still not Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver, but at least you now know how to turn the oven on.
8) You Have A New Live-In Maid Service
Toddlers love helping. We think it’s a survival thing because we’re not sure how long they would last in the world if we only ever saw the whiny temper tantrum throwing side of them. So, if you’re feeling lazy and the remote control is on the other side of the room your little bundle of joy will take great pleasure in fetching it for you. And, as they get bigger and stronger you can start giving them more to do (you might have to start bribing them with pocket money, but it will be worth it) and soon housework will be a thing of the past.
9) You Have Your Own Tech-Support-In-Training
Children are like sponges; they absorb everything. Which is why your little one may astound you with their ability to load up the Cbeebies app on the iPad without any support. Thankfully, this will become useful in later years when your child can set up your new computer / smart phone / robot for you with just a few clicks or swishes without you having to learn about a whole new operating system.
10) Someone Is Always Happy To See You
For the first few years at least, your child will always be happy to see you. So, even if you’ve had the worst possible day at work and feel like the world is conspiring against you, when you step through the door you will be greeted by a big beaming smile that will melt away your troubles in an instant. Sadly, it won’t last and they’ll soon be slamming doors in your face with the malice that only a hormonal teenager can achieve, but the image of that smile will stay with you for a lifetime.