All of this interview stuff got me thinking, unfortunately none of it was fit to publish as a blog post so I did what I always do in tight corners and asked my wife what I should write about. That, by the way, is not the best question to ask when the tight corner you are in is surrounded by panthers. So here we are, with a simple question to answer. What would you ask if you were interviewing prospective parents?
1) Can you give me an example of a time when you survived for a number of months on less than four hours a sleep a night whilst performing the most complex, stressful and important task of your life? Please note that you will be required to answer this question whilst we play the sound of a baby crying with the volume going up at regular intervals.
This is really the crucial question. Probably the only one that you need to ask. I can’t count the number of times my wife and I asked each other, in the first few months of being parents, why no one ever explained exactly how hard it was. The only answer of course is that you can’t explain it, there are just no words to adequately encompass the sheer mind numbing lack of sleep that you endure as a new parent. At least in our experience.
Just one follow up question to this:
1c) Why would you willingly put yourself through this more than once?
2) Did you plan to have any sort of life once you have had your child?
Any answer to this question which is not negative will be met with uproarious laughter. My wife and I were, again, completely in the dark about this. Obviously having a child changes your life, but where does all the time go? How can one miniature person fill up 24 hours in a day? We haven’t had an evening together without the child since she was born 18 months ago. Now for us this was not a major upheaval, we weren’t out that often as it was, but even so, 18 months is a long time to wait to find normality.
3) How do you feel about nothing in your house ever being:
A) where you want it
There are, unfortunately, no other options here. You will either have to put everything out of reach, and this can be anything between 6-8 feet off the floor, or just accept that it looks better in twenty pieces scattered across the lounge floor anyway. Seriously though, how is it that my daughter, who can’t be more than three feet tall is able to find and bring me things from the lounge that I can barely get to? I’ve never seen it, but I’m pretty sure she must have Go-Go-Gadget-Arms.
4)Will you forget any and all of this whenever your child wants a hug?
Because no matter how hard it gets or how little sleep you have had, if your child wants a cuddle all those things just get swept away.
What would you ask?