For the last month or so I have been feeling quite bored with parenting. The affection still comes naturally and easily to me, fortunately. But I’m bored with the playing, the organising, the planning, the reading, the sorting, the cajoling, the talking, the problem-solving, the reminding, the patience, the forced enthusiasm, and also with the dreadful slowness of it and then with all the rushing, too. And it’s not just the work I feel bored with, even the fun bits are boring me a little at the moment. I admit I have been feeling guilty about it, but I have consoled myself with a couple of thoughts.
Firstly, most of the men in my office have openly expressed nothing but boredom with parenting the entire time I have known them and they’re not worrying a jot about it. My guilt is likely, in part, a product of gender stereotypes about parenting. Secondly, I’m quite good at faking interest for a while. Thirdly, seven years at a task is a long time for anybody to be enthralled with a job and I am probably due for some boredom. Finally, as my friend reminded me and I am always reminding my children, boredom leads to creativity. This will end up being a good thing for me as a parent. I hope.