If you’ve had one of those days/weeks/years, focus on some positives you might not have considered…

Children have an uncanny knack of ruining every trip to the zoo, every barbecue on the beach, every cinema outing and just generally squeezing the fun out of every single family activity (whilst simultaneously squeezing the life out of you).

It really can be hard to figure out why you bother at times. But in these moments of severe despair, when even The Big Man himself answers your plight with a shrug of his shoulders, you have to lock yourself in the bathroom, count slowly to ten, take a few deep breaths (and a few swigs of gin/wine/mouthwash) and remind yourself why having kids is actually the best thing you have ever done. Honestly, it is….

1. You have a legitimate reason to eat fishfinger sandwiches

You often have to conform to what is deemed socially acceptable when you become a grown-up. Your student days of eating Pot Noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner are (sadly) confined to the dark and distant past, along with your flat tummy and pert boobs. You are expected to cook stuff from scratch now you’re an adult, or at least eat things which are in line with the latest health food fad. But having kids is the perfect excuse for reverting back a couple of decades and partaking in a little bit of what you fancy. Your kids beg you for fishfinger sandwiches every night, you say? Well, why waste time cooking separate meals for kids and adults? If you can’t beat ’em, you should most definitely join ’em.

2. You can relive your childhood

Remember those days you spent hours dressing and undressing your Barbies, playing with your Big Yellow Teapot, or creating a whole new world with your Sylvanian Families? Now you can do it all again (although a quick Google search has just revealed a rather unsavoury price tag for the teapot now it’s all retro….). We were mad collectors of all things Sylvanian when we were younger – boasting a hospital, florist, gypsy caravan and windmill to name but a few – but sadly swapped our prized possessions for Take That posters, crop tops and those weird dummy things you used to wear round your neck in the nineties (WTF?!) when we became too cool for playing with toys. But motherhood means our eyes are now firmly back on the prize: the crème de la crème of the Sylvanian Families world – the Grand Hotel. And guess what? It has a working light inside it! Yes, that’s right, an actual functioning light. Life complete.

3. You can avoid people you don’t like

Small children are the perfect accessory for getting out of social events and to avoid speaking to certain people. If you don’t want to attend a party, leaving do, wedding reception, or anything else for that matter, you simply “can’t get a babysitter”. Or if you pass that irritating ex-colleague in the street, it’s just bad timing that your potty-training little one needs to pee right at that very instant. Every single time that you see them. Without fail. Might have to rethink when they hit their teens…

4. You get a much-needed injection of old-fashioned fun

Even if your little angel chooses to whinge their way around the adventure playground, moaning about being starving/too tired/too cold/too hot, it doesn’t mean you have to forfeit your right to enjoy yourself (if you can temporarily palm them off on someone else). Make the most of the opportunity to have a shot of the flying fox or jump around like no-one’s watching on the ‘jelly belly’ trampoline, or get butterflies in your tummy going down the giant slide. After all, you’ve paid a small fortune for a family ticket, it’s only right that at least one member of the family should enjoy themselves.

5. You can talk to hot men without looking like you’re trying to chat them up

Having a kid by your side opens up many, many social doors. The act of merely walking around with a child in tow gives you carte blanche to talk to anyone you like – a bit like having a cute puppy. So whatever you do, you must not feel embarrassed about using this new super power to your advantage. Life as a mum can be monotonous and seemingly thankless at times, so you can be excused for taking pleasure wherever you can get it – and a little bit of eye candy goes a long way to brightening up a day plagued by poo, spew and Waybuloo. So don’t be afraid to use the antics of your child to spark up conversation with the hot dad pushing his own little bundle of joy on the swing beside you, or to shamelessly flirt with the Italian waiter as you both laugh over your child’s bolognese-covered face. It’s all about the simple pleasures, ladies…..