How to survive small children: Lower your standards and don’t hate the father

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A great friend called to tell me she is pregnant. Her first baby is five months old. The children will be exactly a year apart. This was, she tells me happily, their plan.


I wanted to lie down on the floor and be sick for her. The thought of having two babies so small fills me with clenching horror.

One teeny vulnerable mite, permanently attached to you, while a hulking great one year old (by comparison) tears the joint apart and dives into the toilets.

“Wonderful! How exciting.”

Well no point in dwelling on it. So instead here is my seven-point plan to surviving very small kids.

Don’t hate the father. It’s appealingly easy to blame him for all of it: the sleeplessness, the mess, the permanent violation of your personal space, the trashing of your house and the lack of peace to shower. But if the kids divide and rule, they win. Stay on the same side and you have a fighting chance.

Lower your standards. Your house won’t be clean. You won’t be clean. Your plants will die. You won’t send Christmas cards. Let it go.


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