Jim Coulson says that parenting has a PR problem. He wonders if the solution is giving away a free iPad with every new birth?
What’s Alastair Campbell up to nowadays? If he fancied it, the former Labour Party king of spin could find himself a lucrative new job with potentially the biggest brand in the entire world – parenthood. It’s not exactly toxic at the moment, but it’s a fairly tough sell to anyone who is wavering about whether to join in the fun.
I’m not saying this because I don’t enjoy being a dad – quite the opposite – it is bloody tough, but literally my greatest achievement (although it’s not like there is anything approaching a photo finish for that title). The problem is that the rewards are really difficult to sell to anyone who isn’t already on board. To a non-parent, a cute giggle isn’t adequate recompense for sporting bags the size of laundry sacks underneath your eyes.
I find myself horrifying my childless colleagues at work merely by imparting information that to me now seems unremarkable. Who’d have thought my witty anecdote about fishing a poo from the bath would illicit such a chorus of dry heaving around the office? It’s worth confirming at this juncture that my two-year-old Elsa was the culprit rather than any other member of the household.
The thing is that, unless you are that feckless man child whose retch-filled nappy changing video went viral recently, as soon as you become a parent you are remarkably blasé about this kind of thing.
I am constantly being told I am unwittingly not selling parenthood very well and that set me thinking about what sort of PR you would need to apply to change that. I need your help here (particularly yours Mr. Campbell, if you are reading), but I’ve made a start.
Problem 1 – You have to deal with constant tantrums.
Solution 1 – An excellent opportunity to hone your conflict resolution skills, meaning eventually a parent could come up with the solution to the issues in the Middle East.
Problem 2 – You are permanently broke.
Solution 2 – It inspires you to be resourceful and creative.
Problem 3 – Early wake-ups.
Solution 3 – You have more of the day available in which to do stuff.
This really isn’t my forte. If you have any more suggestions on how to spin parenthood to the childless, I’d love to read them in the Comments section below.
I was actually asked about the best things about being a parent and I truthfully replied that it could be your child’s smile, it might be their unbridled laughter when you tickle their feet or possibly the hug you get when you return home after a long day at work. The look of abject disdain I received in response suggests we might have to scrap the whole PR idea and just promise to give away a free iPad with every birth or something.
Previously published by Bewildered Dad