As a parent, there's a huge amount of pressure to be seen to be doing certain things with your offspring. Not only that, there's a lot of pressure to be seen to be enjoying doing these things.
Naturally, Team Average has succumbed to such pressures. Like lambs to the slaughter, we've attempted to re-enact the *simple* Pinterest suggestions and inspirational Facebook posts.
We've failed. Miserably. Perhaps you can identify with our average experience of popular family pursuits versus the sugar coated perceptions? If not, have a laugh at our expense anyway. I dare you.
The vision: Clad in a spotless Cath Kidston apron and resembling a Tana Ramsay-esque yummy mummy, you work in harmony with your offspring to lovingly prepare a delicious yet nutritious feast. You serve this warm (and a little triumphantly) from the oven as your partner arrives home.
The reality: Hubby appears home tired and grumpy to discover a kitchen resembling a snow storm, due to the lethal combination of over-exuberant child + industrial quantities of icing sugar. No utensil in the house remains unused. Nothing vaguely edible seems likely to appear forthwith from the oven.
The vision: You and your child fashion the modern-day equivalent of Blue Peter's Christmas advent crown project using handy bits and pieces from around the home. Your child scoops the class prize and you gain major playground kudos as the *modest yet talented* craft-loving family.
The reality: At 10pm the night prior to submission you realise that your bright idea is doomed. With offspring despatched to bed in tears, you send your partner to the nearest 24-hour Tesco for a craft kit. The two of you spend until midnight glowering at each other over the kitchen table, cursing the ineffective tube of white glue that features in all of said craft kits.
The vision: You are the epitome of the sporty, community-minded family. Even in rainy weather, you forego all temptation to plonk the kids in front of the telly. Instead, you plump for a fun-filled active afternoon at the local baths.
The reality: It's raining. A zillion other families have the same idea. You eventually access the packed shallow end to discover that one of the small people needs the toilet. As you shiver your way to the loos, you meet at least three people you know, all of whom have the advantage of being dry and fully clothed. Your actual time in the water consists of bobbing around to keep warm while wondering how much longer you have to last before you can clamber out for a hot chocolate.
In case you are wondering, Team Average does enjoy spending time together as a family.
Well, at least once a year.