No one is going to contest the idea that having children is hard work.

 

We all know that parenting can be tough, and that the early years are especially physically gruelling.

 

But while we acknowledge the exhaustion and the struggle, pretty much everyone I know who has a baby or a pre-schooler will follow up any admission of tiredness with a declaration of how much they still love it, how they wouldn’t have it any other way. And pretty much every time, I’ll find myself thinking ‘really?’

 

It also seems to be pretty much universally acknowledged that, although the pre-school years are tough, the teenage years are worse. When my children were small and I found myself pushing a trolly round Tesco almost weeping, well-meaning people would often say, “You think it's hard now, just wait until they are slamming the door in your face!’

 

This used to bother me. A lot. Because if I was honest, I wasn’t enjoying those baby years. And if it was only going to get worse… Well, it didn’t bear thinking about.

 

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