Kate Middleton is pregnant, but are her friends actually thrilled? Here's a cut-out-and-keep letter I give to all my friends who are expecting

Our writer deplores the platitudes and burdens of friends who'll be parents soon


I don’t know why we are all quite so surprised that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are having a baby. After all, they are merely following the standard breeders’ timetable. Nonetheless, we are all rightly rejoicing at the news that the prince managed to get one in.  But I wonder if the happy couple’s friends are quite so thrilled.

After all, the burden of parenthood spreads beyond the giddy mother and father. We, as their social circle, are expected to take part in a ritual performance of scripted platitudes, tiresome questions and burdensome responsibilities. So, here is the letter I hand to all of my friends when they have children. It’s helpful for them to know where I stand. Please, feel free to print it off and use it to your own benefit.


Dear friends,

Congratulations on bringing a wonderful and very sweet little baby into the world. I know that these precious early days will probably be the most emotional, exhausting and special of your entire lives. Your new baby will now form the very centre of your universe and rightly so. 

However, in my universe… it’s not even a moon. It’s like an asteroid that only shows up like a blur on really random graphs. You see, while your life is now almost entirely consumed by your child, my world is still very much about pubs, mates, TV, sex and biscuits.

I feel I should be honest. I don’t care what it weighed when it was born and I care even less how fat it is now. It’s of no interest to me which of you it resembles. In fact, judging by the lactation of photographs on Facebook, I would be competing NOT to look like your baby. Like all new-borns, it resembles a cross between William Hague and used chewing gum.

I know that our society has, in the last few decades, decided that all babies are special and that children are more important than people who have lived, loved, contributed and achieved but I really don’t think it’s likely your progeny will grow up to do anything more special or important than you have yourselves. Most likely, it will go to school, go to college, get a job, marry, procreate, assume bigotry and die just like the rest of us. If it does end up a film star or a famous scientist then I will be happy to chat to it at a later date, but for now the only thing it’s managing to create is a guff-storm of mindless, sentimental, lazy, repetitive, self-satisfied nonsense.

Central to my disinterest in your baby (let’s really nail this one down here) is the fact that it is positively not a ‘little miracle’. A miracle is defined as: a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment. Well… your baby was very probable, considering the fact that you have adhered to the suburban heterosexual timetable from the moment you were born. And it is certainly not extraordinary. 132 million babies are born every year. That’s three times more babies than Cadburys Creme Eggs. What you have done, though deeply moving for you both, is mundane… ordinary… routine and banal. Some flies hatched in my wellington boot last spring. I did not coo. 

Oh and please be assured that I do not now see you as VIPs and I feel no obligation whatsoever to pander to your laziness by making regular trips to your house because it’s ‘so difficult to travel nowadays’. If that is the case, why are you planning to take your screaming poo-machine on a long haul flight to Kuala Lumpur next April? Perhaps if I had a swimming pool and a place to dump your miracle while you sip cocktails you might consider getting off your fat arses and making some effort to maintain the friendships you treasured before you traded ejaculate. 

And if you never understood what love really was until you had a baby, can you also bear in mind that you also never knew what misery, fear, paranoia, desolation, claustrophobia, disappointment, harassment and bankruptcy were either?

You have not earned the right to patronise. You cannot expect everyone to indulge you. You have only done what pretty much every other human being on the planet has done or will do. Stop wearing your placenta like a crown and get on with it.

Ps. If I ever have children, consider this letter void.


React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Business Project Manager

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project Manager job vaca...

Business Analyst (Agile, SDLC, software)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Day In a Page

Read Next
80 per cent of Commonwealth countries discriminate against LGBTI people - will Salmond speak out?  

Alex Salmond must speak out against the Commonwealth's homophobic countries

Peter Tatchell

Commonwealth Games 2014: Speak out against homophobia, Mr Salmond

Peter Tatchell
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor