Yes, you heard me. I'm sure it's some kind of parenting cardinal sin for which I am being punished for with two kids that get up at the crack of dawn every damn day, but it's true, for my sins, I hate the park.
And I know it's good for them. Fresh air. Climbing. Running around. Exercise. Away from screens. Free. Letting them be kids. It's fun for them. Blah blah blah. The list of pros goes on and on. And that's why I do take them. But I don't have to enjoy it.
So here are my reasons why I hate the park...
It's freezing in the winter (no shelter)
It's boiling in the summer (no shade)
Slides are either too hot, muddy, or wet. Or they're a delightful combination of muddy and wet. This can only end with a whinging, wet kid on the way home and more laundry for me.
Swings are evil. Trying to ensure my kid doesn't fall off, run in front of one, or take another kid out whilst he's on one, is stressful. I need a lie down after supervising the swings.
Trying to keep an eye on both kids at the same time whilst they are tearing around makes my head spin. And it's really not good for my heart when I can't find one of them because I was too busy watching the other one playing swing kamikaze.
Kids get stuck. Normally up bloody high ladders. I'm 4 ft nothing and can't reach them. This is especially fun when you are eight months pregnant and your son is wailing at the top of the slide that he can't get down. And despite lots of coaxing he won't budge, so you and your enormous belly are going to have to go up. Good times.
Remember how when you were a kid it was really fun to spin around and around and get dizzy for no apparent reason. It's not so much fun when you are a grown up. In fact it makes me want to throw up. Really darling, do you really need Mummy to spin the roundabout again?
Big kids at the park. Big kids at the park really piss me off. They jump on the roundabout and spin it really fast while the little kids are on there and make no attempt to slow it down when the little kids are trying to get off. And little kids are dumb and don't wait for it to stop. Cue face-plant and tears.
There's always a big gaping hole at the top of a tower just ready and waiting for someone to fall off. And I can see my mini stunt man watching the big kids jumping from the top and thinking "that looks fun".
There's always someone judging. That one parent who gives you the side eye because you took your eyes off your kid to talk to another parent, or look at your phone. Or heaven forbid your child is not having the best day for taking it in turns, despite your countless explanations.
What really winds me up is parks make me judge people. And I hate doing that. But there's always one parent who ignores the fact their kid has been on the tyre swing for 15 minutes whilst my kid has stood as patiently as possible for a four-year-old waiting their turn. Or the parent who thinks it's okay for their kid to ride my son's scooter around the park, despite my son protesting because he thinks someone is taking his prized possession. I hate the park because the park makes me not a very nice person.
It always ends in tears. Normally both of them. One because they've got a wet, muddy bum and the other because they don't want to leave.
So there you have it. My confession. 12 reasons why I hate the park.
What's your parenting confession?
A version of this post was fist published on Life, love and Dirty Dishes.