Feed, change, bathe, rock, clean, repeat… There are times when the parenting treadmill can feel like a relentless test of mental endurance. And that’s leaving Baby Shark out of the equation.
That’s because “parenting” is often another word for next-level drudgery. You know that already, of course. But just in case you’re in denial – and sanity demands that you are – then here are some corroborating facts.
Before your child is four years old you’ll change their nappy 3738 times. Your kid will push away their uneaten food 288 times. You’ll have to douse the flames of 1092 tantrums (“No, you can’t wear your dirty underwear as a hat”).
These stats come from a OnePoll.com survey of 2000 British parents. The findings reveal that fatherhood requires you to reconcile yourself with a particular kind of monotony. There’s no chance of escape either – according to the poll’s number-crunchers you’ll be interrupted on the toilet 192 times.
In further not very feel-good news, it turns our that before your child’s fourth birthday, you will watch 2704 episodes of kids’ TV (thank God for Bluey) and whip out the iPad 288 times to give yourself some peace.
How to put a positive spin on this? Well, for starters, it’s not all bad news. You’ll enjoy a combined total of over 3000 kisses and cuddles while your kids will say “I love you” 1248 times.
If you’re still struggling with the Groundhog Day nature of the parental grind console yourself with the thought that it may be good for your soul. Repetition, after all, is central to almost every form of devotional life from Benedictine prayer to Buddhist mantras. Spiritual practice is built upon endless routine until some flicker of the divine shimmers through the mundane. Repetition encourages the dissolution of the ego and a form of selflessness to take hold.
Not buying that? Well, at least you don’t have triplets*.
The Numbers Game: This is Your Life Until Your Child Turns Four
1. Children’s TV episodes watched: 2,704
2. Times the iPad come out to give you some peace: 288
3. White lies told: 240
4. Battles had: 384
5. Battles won: 169
6. Interruptions when you are on the toilet: 192
7. Nights spent sleeping by the cot to get your child to sleep: 192
8. Nappy changes: 3,738
9. Nights of lost sleep: 728
10. Tantrums: 1,092
11. Colds and bugs: 28
12. Times trying to make them laugh: 2,920
13. Kisses: 1,456
14. Cuddles: 1,664
15. Kids say ‘I Love You’: 1,248
16. Times you will hide yourself away to have a snack
without being disturbed: 144
17. Times children push food away: 288
18. Lies told about their food: 144
19. Children’s films watched: 240
20. Children’s TV episodes watched: 2,704
21. Times the iPad come out to give you some peace: 288
22. White lies told: 240
23. Battles had: 384
24. Battles won: 169
25. Interruptions when you are on the toilet: 192
26. Nights spent sleeping by the cot to get your child to sleep: 192
*If you do, in fact, have triplets we feel for you. Really.