I've discovered where I went wrong with this entire parenting enterprise. It was, you see, a matter of bad timing.
I had my first at 22. This was too late to be a disgrace to the family, as my brother charmingly put it. It was too late for sympathetic social programs. It was too early for minivans and yoga pants. Three years later, I still don't own a minivan or yoga pants. And I am either ten years too old or ten years too young for the nearest suitable peer groups.
I thought it might all even out as I kept having children. But I've discovered that one's parenting peer group is really set with the oldest child. I think it's because having a first child together is a formative experience in a way that subsequent children are not. You can only get excited, really excited, about the colour of baby feces once in your life. When that window is closed, it's closed forever.
So here I am. And maybe in other parts of the country, women in their early twenties get married and have babies all the time. But where I live, child-bearing rarely comes before investment in the real estate market. And real estate is expensive.
I've always been a bit out of step, and now I've gone and had babies when I was supposed to be having lovers.
I must find a way to blame this on the housing bubble.