Expat Parenting Musings on Bintan

We’re having an amazing time on Bintan. Don and I aren’t really speaking to each other, but we’re still having an amazing time. The irritants are loving the kids’ club, and Angel has found some teen buddies via Yik Yak (what now, now??), so it’s all awesome. The pedis here are just incrediblé. You’d think a pedi is just a pedi… But come here (I won’t mention the name of the hotel spa because I refuse to ho myself), and you will find that Pedicure takes on a whole new meaning. Not just a meaning… an unending promise of a divine lifestyle via feets. All that, captured in a rapturous hour and a half of bliss, experienced as a wave of unforgettable communion with one’s soul and true self. Yes, babeses. Yes.

Apart from that, in my free time, I’ve been thinking about how annoying children are.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totes in heart with Max and Mills. But I was reclining hotly in the sun today, tossing ground-breaking ideas around my powerful brain, as I often do, and I found myself scrolling forward a hundred years from now. I thought about how women are already not that into staying at home to look after the little people. We carry them for nine months (almost ten in my case: Max was like, “No way I’m going out there”), have our bodies naturally ripped to shreds or unnaturally sliced to pieces, and then choose to breast-feed or not, co-sleep or not, baby-led wean or not, with a bunch of people telling us that what we’re doing is SOOOOO the wrong thing, regardamento-less of what we actually decide to do.

And I am starting to think that some time soon, when parents stop lying about how hard this parenting lark is, having children will become a job. Like it always has been for the default parent. I’m lucky enough to have full-time help, so there is no default parent in my case, thank eff. It sounds awful!

You may well doubt my words, but I predict that by the time our babies are fully grown, privileged peeps will start to realise the full extent of the major hell of having children. There will be the stalwarts who elect voluntationally to reproduce – they will be the exception – but beyond that, parenting will be a career which few will choose, and not everyone will be entitled to sign up for. And truesome, not everyone should be entitled to sign up for this job. Despite being an amazebobs mother myself, if I’d been tested for my commitment to child-rearing in advance, I am not totes certain that I would’ve passed. Even me!! Which is cool because some days I just want to board a plane for Vegas and have nothing else to worry about. I dunno, babeses. Maybe it’s just me.

It can’t just be me though because there’s some weird stuff going on with kids, parenting, and prevarication.

No one tells a first-time pregnant woman what it’s really going to be like, am I right? We all just smile, congratulate, and talk about the gooey stuff.

And once the kids are here on Earth, no one would ever ever EVER think they wish their kid hadn’t been born – let alonio say it ffs – except in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and that’s like one million % fiction. So no, that thought would never occur to ANY parent, no matter how delirious they are from their infant’s non-sleepage, or how tortured they feel by their teenager’s general demeanor.

So, of course, we wouldn’t wish the irritants gone once they’re here. I just wonder if there might be a huge vault of private struggle around raising kids that was never talked about in our parents’ generation (I have a vague recollection of hearing my mother blaming my father for me “being born at all”, but surely it was a dream); which those in my more open-minded peer group are now discussing. Well, I say discussing. I mean Googling. It’s all being written about on the Huff, so there’s really no need to enter into potentially embarrassing conversations about parenting in person, particularly with close friends. Best not to jeopardise close friendships by revealing too much about our children’s humiliating failures.

It’s all of this that leads me to the de facto conclusion that, pretty soon, young adults will just want to get on with their lives on Instagram or YouNow or Vine, or whatevs those things have evolved into; and they’ll be so busy with that stuff that they won’t want to have kids unless they’re paid for it. No point otherwise! Like how the increased availability of porn (not a good thing!) has resulted in a drastic reduction in teenage pregnancy (a good thing!). You and I, dear readers, are very young and in-the-now ourselves, but the mindset of these web-fluenced floozies we are raising is a separate quagmirification from whence we emerged.

I for one am not going to roll over and play dead. I’ll be hiring a team of teenage girls and boys as my social media informants when Milly hits 12. She’s four now, so in the meantime I’ll get on with my gruelling self-maintenance schedulepartying with my crew, and doing exactly what the hell I want to do, whenever I want to do it. Selfies and all other manifestations of what cousin Clara the psychologist calls “narcissism” are only stupid when kids do them. Just ask Frida Kahlo, Clara says. (No idea what she means.)

Bisous from Bintan XXX

A place to let the mind wander NAMASTE

A place to let the mind wander
NAMASTE

5 thoughts on “Expat Parenting Musings on Bintan

      • Hi Emma-Jane, about your postings lately, it’s cool of you to take everything as positively as you have without internalizing someone else’s mistake. I can’t imagine it’s easy, but grace looks good on you. I hope once the emotional dust settles you’re finding yourself in a better place than you were before.

        Haha, so I’ve never assembled an entourage before, but I’m sure there’s an “Idiots Guide to Entourages for Fabulous Expats,” out there somewhere, right?

        Like

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