I nearly said one of the more annoying sentences you’ll hear in polite conversation

We parents can be annoying, writes Colm O'Regan

I very nearly said it. It was on the tip of my tongue but I just about held back. And I was glad. It’s only to be used sparingly. The sentence is: “well… you see if you had children yourself you’d understand.” If you don’t have children it’s potentially one of the more annoying sentences you’ll hear in polite conversation. Especially if it’s accompanied by a sort of a tilt of the head and a Daenerys Targaryen fake smile.

I’ll say it now. We parents can be annoying. We go on and on about our children to people who don’t have children. And people don’t have children for lots of reasons. They may not want children, they may not be able to afford to have children right now because they are living in a bijou townhouse close to the city centre with 37 other Brazilians, they may desperately want to have children and be going through painful, expensive IVF or traumatic miscarriages right at the moment you are opening YOUR BIG MOUTH AND PUTTING YOUR FOOT IN IT.

Maybe others see the human race as a parasitical pest that needs to extinct itself before the planet catches fire. (I think about the climate change footprint of my kids. But I am satisfied that both of them will follow through on their commitments to become environmental scientists who can work out a way of turning left over rice-crispies into carbon sequestration devices so we’re all good.)

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