Jerry Flannery on how having kids makes you appreciate the small things in life
“Oh my God I was out and I had lunch. It was so amazing.”
Becoming a parent, as mothers and fathers everywhere will readily testify, is a life-changing experience and one that affects all aspects of life, down to the tiniest of details.
While chatting about his recent departure from Munster, his insecurities as a coach and his competitive drive amongst other topics, fatherhood was something Jerry Flannery touched on with Dion Fanning in this week’s episode of Ireland Unfiltered.
The father of two young children, Flannery discussed the effect having kids has had on his own life and relayed a couple of amusing anecdotes that will no doubt strike a chord with men who have become Dads in the recent past.
“You hear everyone say it puts things in perspective,” Flannery said.
“Everyone still gets stressed about work. It’s like all the stages of life, it’s something else that comes up and it’s really enjoyable.
“Before I had kids, I’d earn money to go on nice holidays or to do things like that and after a while it just feels a little bit selfish. You start getting a bit bored of it. I’ve been to New York 20 times, I’ve done this. The magic of doing things for the first time, it’s not gone, but it’s harder to chase.
“But then it’s like, I was trying to describe to one of my friends, when I first had kids it’s like everything in your life becomes so much shitter that small things then become unbelievable.
"Because you can’t go out, because you can’t do anything because you’re always tired, that if you actually go out and have a nice lunch it’s like ‘Oh my God I was out and I had lunch. It was so amazing’.
“You’re so much more appreciative of it. And that’s probably a stage and then as the kids get a little bit older, more and more layers that keep opening. They become their own little people.”
Recalling a recent experience when his partner brought the kids over to England and left him home alone for the weekend, Flannery also revealed that having time to yourself that you’re not used to as a father isn’t actually all it’s cracked up to be.
“My partner was going over to England and I was like ‘You should bring the kids’ because I was starting up here with JOE and I didn’t want to be trying to go up to Dublin and then try and get back to get the kids back out of creche. So she took the kids with her and I said ‘Ah, that’s great now. Take that stress away’.
“They flew out late enough Friday night, then Saturday I was like ‘Oh, this is what it must feel like to be divorced. There’s nobody here in the house. It’s pretty quiet’.
“And then when your other mates have kids as well, you kind of feel like ‘Ah, I’ll call over to him’ but then I’ll just be sitting around his house while he’s just kind of… so it kind of made me just think sometimes it’s good to know what the worst-case scenario is when you’re fighting with your missus.
“Don’t fight too much, don’t think it’s important enough to win this argument because when there’s no one in the house it’s pretty boring.”