Opinion

Modern Man

There are times when I look at my childless friends with envy.

Like when they are discussing the endless parties they seem to go to (without a party bag or a musical chair in sight). Or when they casually drop into conversation that they are learning a language, building a guitar, or hand-stitching an outfit for one of their never-ending parties. I marvel at the amount of spare time that must be available to those who are "deliberately barren" or just haven't met the right set of genes to reproduce with yet.

After nearly 10 years of this parenting caper, I find that inevitably I, and most of my friends, have fallen into that most sought-after of demographics - "working families".

As a voting block it seems those in Canberra think we are a political force to be reckoned with, but after another day's work and another night getting kids fed, bathed and off to bed, I've barely got the energy to change the channel on the TV - let alone change the world.

But beyond the exhaustion there are, of course, times when having kids brings joy from the most unexpected of places and you wouldn't sell 'em on eBay even if you could.

Last Friday I agreed to take my eldest daughter and three of her friends to a Halloween disco at Repentance Creek Hall. This was my compromise for not letting her go 'trick or treating' and I went with about as much enthusiasm as I have for going to the dentist. I was being the dutiful dad and I thought I'd sit around until they were ready to go home, but after a bit of an awkward start, the DJ pulled out some sure-fire crowd pleasers and I was up dancing with my daughter and her friends, making a fool of myself and having a ball.

I was singing along with John Lennon to Twist and Shout, doing all the moves to the YMCA, the Time Warp, the Chicken Dance and the latest dance craze to sweep the world, Gangnam Style. You couldn't wipe the smile from my face with Psy's sweaty white socks.

Then on Sunday a friend set up a 40m slip and slide on a steep grassy hill. Having kids was my licence to be silly and go tearing down the plastic on a boogie board while my kids followed me down on an inflatable crocodile.

It was good clean family fun and I'm sure if any of my childless friends were there, they would have been looking on in envy.

Topics:  opinion


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

WATCH: Local artists ‘paint’ the Opera House with light

SONGLINES: Artwork by local artist Karla Dickens as it may look in the Sydney Opera House during the Vivid Sydney Festival 2016.

Rhoda Roberts and Karla Dickens' work will be seen by millions

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

Gamblers can beat betting

BEAT IT: Recovered gambling addict Blayne Marcantelli gives an emotional address at the Responsible Gambling Awareness screening of the movie, Broke, at Ballina Cinema.

Lismore Baker raises awareness for problem gambling.

Latest deals and offers

Aldi ready to threaten Coles and Woolworths stranglehold

Now discount grocery store Aldi has muscled in on the big boys, threatening Coles and Woolworth's stranglehold on shoppers.

WATCH: Local artists ‘paint’ the Opera House with light

SONGLINES: Artwork by local artist Karla Dickens as it may look in the Sydney Opera House during the Vivid Sydney Festival 2016.

Rhoda Roberts and Karla Dickens' work will be seen by millions

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

Gamblers can beat betting

BEAT IT: Recovered gambling addict Blayne Marcantelli gives an emotional address at the Responsible Gambling Awareness screening of the movie, Broke, at Ballina Cinema.

Lismore Baker raises awareness for problem gambling.

Elder’s art tells tales of past for today’s kids

INSPIRING: Uncle Digby Moran with Lismore Heights Public student Shannyah Hope at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Bundjalung Elder teaches heritage through art and stories.

NSW lags but North Coast booms on renewable energy

But Northern Rivers moving ahead at "cracking pace"

Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sara Storer join Gympie Muster bill

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at CMC Rocks in March 2016.

AWARD-winning singers star in third line-up announcement.

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest