She’s a mystery woman, no one really knows anything about her other than she has one of the most popular YouTube channels in existence. Last month she ranked no.3 worldwide amassing over 225 million views in June alone.
She’s like the pied piper of YouTube. No one really knows how their kids even found her. But they did, and they were sucked in by the strangely enticing videos of her unwrapping kinder eggs, unboxing Disney toys and giving play-doh demos.
She has lovely manicured nails, but like Dr. Claw you never see her face.
She’s your best friend at 5.30am in the morning or when you have brought the kids to the pub in a desperate attempt to demonstrate that you still have some sort of semblance of a thing called a life.
She is your hero on a bad day.
”Becoming a parent has defined me; I am the happiest i have ever been.”
This is the sort of stuff people say out loud in public. This is the sort of stuff you hear in interviews or read about in glossy magazines – but is it actually true?
What if you don’t feel that way? What if you were happier before?
I watched a really interesting TED talk the other day which was about encouraging honesty in parenting and dispelling some of the most popular myths – one of which was that people often wax lyrical about how happy they are since they became parents.
They looked at four (yes four!) independent studies tracking individuals happiness over the course of their marriage and you can see the findings below. The green line is the average result.
TED – Let’s talk parenting Taboos by Rufus Griscom & Alisa Volkman
(An ode to subsequent children)
You’re an Instagram baby, he was DSLR;
There are times when you’re not properly strapped in the car.
We binned all the books that suggested routines,
And we ditched the organic and fed you baked beans.
You’re wearing your brother’s shoes, I’m not sure if they fit,
And your white cotton vests are stained with his sh*t.
I may take twice as long to respond when you cry,
But I’m much less inclined to worry you’ll die.
We don’t eat out that much as a family, to be honest it’s never been much fun. The food is way too colourful (ergo suspicious), it takes too long to arrive resulting in the unpopular activity of extended sitting and if you down your babychino in one and lob the cup over your shoulder unashamedly, well it turns out some places are not quite so ‘baby friendly’ after all. In short I can think of better ways to spend 50 quid.
Now compare this experience to that of McDonalds – the food is consumed voluntarily and without fuss, delivered to you within seconds, all wrapped up in an exciting looking box and with a piece of plastic tat for good measure. Is it a no brainer? Do you scurry your brood in, head hung in shame or would you not let your kids within 100 ft of the golden arches?
When I was a kid Maccie D’s was part of childhood. It was the post panto tradition every Christmas eve, it was the crème de la crème of birthday parties with the coveted kitchen tour. I fondly remember scoring stacks of no purchase necessary game cards and standing in the street with my sisters, fervently scratching the panels in the hope of revealing ‘free regular fries’.
We used to wolf down the chicken teeth and giblets along with the nuggets no bother and moo at our mad cow brain burgers. Mechanical separation – say what? Pig fat milkshakes – Yum!
Yet times have changed and despite a massive positive shift in the processes and quality of the food there those who would have you believe that every time someone buys their kid a happy meal Jamie Oliver finds a kitten and stamps on its head repeatedly until it is dead; which seems confusingly contrary to his general ethical stance on stuff but hey ho.
I confess – we go. I just make a massive show of licking the babies chips clean of salt before he eats them. Better people think me unhinged than an irresponsible parent. And i can hardly wax lyrical about the benefits of healthy eating soon as the only vegetables i would consume up to the age of 25 were potatoes and the tomatoes in ketchup. Look at me, I’m not dead (yet).
Worth a visit for one of my favourite photos ever