don't fucking do it

Criticising Struggling Parents

Posted on Posted in Parenthood

During a TV interview in Vietnam, Prince William has said that he has sometimes struggled adapting to life as a husband and father.  He said that George can be a little rascal at times, but he’s thankful he has the love and support of Catherine.

The aftermath was simply astonishing.

An inordinate number of parents took to social media in order to criticise the Prince for daring to suggest he is struggling when he lives in such luxury.  People were speculating about all of the comforts he and Catherine have the privilege to enjoy, so lambasted him for being arrogant enough to claim that parenting was a struggle.

I say fuck them.  I didn’t realise there was a means tested scale on which you were, or were not, allowed to struggle when it came to parenting.

It’s people like them that made me feel I needed to lie about not immediately loving my kids when they were born.  It was people like them that made me hide my anxiety, fears, and struggles because I was scared of being ostracised or judged for showing emotional “weakness”.  It was people like them that made me feel like I was a shit parent for the first 4 years of my children’s lives because I found it hard to adjust and cope with life as a husband and father.

I earn almost £50k a year and can afford to do things that other parents can’t.  Does this mean that I’m exempt from being able to struggle both emotionally and physically with parenting?  What exactly is the threshold?  What exactly are you allowed to earn before you’re no longer permitted to struggle with the demands of parenting?

I say fuck them.  What’s worse is that about half a dozen of the people I’ve now unfollowed on social media write for projects that are designed to support fathers, support mothers, support parents in general.  I didn’t realise that Prince William didn’t qualify for their support purely because of his social status and earning capacity.  Most of them being from The Good Men Project.  To them I say shame on you for advocating such pious hypocrisy.

Today I think we’ve taken a societal step backwards, and am convinced that the so called good natured support to parents is nothing more than smoke and mirrors filled with caveats and pre-requisites.  I no longer feel that the support is genuine, nor assured, purely because the support comes with means tested limitations.

I say fuck them.

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6 thoughts on “Criticising Struggling Parents

  1. They just swop some hardships for others we can’t even imagine.

    Plus, if he’s admitting to struggling, he’s admitting to being involved and not just palming them off on nannies, which I’m sure is what the haters presume he does.

    Honestly, people will get offended over anything.

  2. I didn’t see any of this but then I never read tabloids and I’m sure they had a hand in it. I agree with you totally, OK money allows help with domestic chores and childcare but every single breath he takes is in the media, that alone must be so hard.

    1. Plus regardless of wealth, adapting to the emotional stresses of parenting is hard for everyone. Combine that with, as you say, public scrutiny and it must be impossible. Look at the reaction to him doing just a bit of dancing.

  3. Hmm, I didn’t hear anything about this furore, nor know anything about the support programmes/groups mentioned, but it seems utterly ludicrous to bring class or money to bear on what is a psychological or behavioural issue. Of course, no-one doubts that living on £10k is tougher than on £100k, but parenting is not dependent on income.

    Nor is adapting to such a huge life change, especially for men who are given very mixed messages by media and society about their adult roles. Jack the lad, adventurer, breadwinner, player, entrepreneur, Alpha, muscleman, DIY king, petrolhead, but rarely nurturer, loving father, except derogatively. Whilst women are portrayed as models/whores from a ridiculously young age, and once they become mothers they should become have-it-all jugglers. Both are encouraged back to work as soon as possible after birth, and the expectation is that life should be compartmentalised, at best. It’s no wonder many men struggle with becoming fathers. Well done to HRH, and you, for speaking out. Things will, hopefully, change as more men do. And hopefully your son will have it easier in years to come.

    1. Thank you for commenting and yes, I hope things change for my son and daughter in the future. I fear it won’t but then change is usually glacial. The biggest disappointment in this for me was the groups’ complete lack of compassion based on income. It seems only low income parents that struggle are currently worthy of their support.

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