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.