We’ve always loved a holiday and experiencing life on different shores. Whenever we could and to wherever we could, we would get away. To remote corners of Scotland to sunny beaches of Spain and peaceful villages in the Caribbean (I sound like a twat here I know, but fuck it
we he worked hard for it). We were kid free and life was, well it was quite simply flipping marvellous.
We had time and we had freedom. We would enjoy our break and have endless conversations (yes we used to talk to each other about stuff that didn’t involve bowel movements and who’s turn it was to change a bum) about all the things we would achieve when we returned home because we were refreshed, as God intended us to be after a holiday. One thing we always said we’d do, was learn a different language. We would always say that it felt a bit rude not to be able to converse in the native tongue and prior to our next trip we would attempt to learn a language, with Spanish always being the favourite one to start with.
Then we had kids.
We never really got very far with this plan (so many plans ruined) and we remain typically British when abroad and just expect people to converse with us in English or by the use of animated hand gestures, with the odd local word thrown in. We have become completely complacent. Anyways we have nailed the essential Spanish phrases like, “Dos cervezas, por favor”? and if we were ever in Germany we’d be fine if we needed to change trains. So, who needs evening classes? To be honest attempting any sort of dialect with anyone foreign makes me feel like a right knob, I have no idea why I just feel like a twat. Probably because I sound like one.
However, since becoming a parent and being on holiday with kids, I feel that I no longer need to rely on being able to converse in the native tongue. There seems to be a common language; a language that exists between one parent and another where both are completely fluent. It’s as if we can telepathically converse, throwing in the odd local or English word and supporting facial expression and we completely get what the other is saying. Never have I felt so in tune with other people from all around the world.
We’re all just trying to find five minutes peace in a day, searching for that window where a cold beverage in the sun can be enjoyed with no interruptions. Just a couple of minutes to relax and reminisce of holidays past.
As you sit on a beach and exchange empathetic glances with each other you share the frustration. There are no words just a telepathic what the fuck.
Our embarrassment is unified. Neither of us can escape the shame. We share fuck my life eyes at each other because neither of us are exempt from public outbursts that our kids will have us endure.
Regardless of cultural and religious differences or disparities of needs, parenthood is the one thing that seems to unite us all and enables us to connect. Regardless of where our lives take us, throughout the different corners of the world, the journey through parenthood unites us. A journey that will take us through the joyful times and the blatantly crappy times. We will all encounter the same obstacles along the journey and regardless of whether we have a just a pound in our pocket or a thousand pounds in our pocket neither of us are exempt from the bastard terrible twos or the full blown tantrum in the supermercado. The shittiness that is feeling guilty does not discriminate against whether we are Christian or Muslim, African or Irish.
There was a time when I felt completely on my own in the world of parenting and I was in a constant state of ‘is it just me’ but I have since discovered that we are all battling through, doing our best and trying to make the most of it – the world over.