If parenting achievements were gaming achievements

A man holding a train ticket and a baby with a video game achievement graphic superimposed.

If there’s one pre-children hobby I miss, it’s playing video games. I used to play them all the time but, inevitably, don’t have as much opportunity these days. When the chance does arise, I’m normally too tired.

One of the things that I love about them is the achievements that can be unlocked. There’s something immensely satisfying about the little notification popping up on the screen to break the good news.

Yes, I know that I’m being rewarded for pressing buttons in a certain order or doing the same thing a number of times. And yes, I know it’s basically the same as kids getting a sticker at the dentist, but I don’t care. I still like it.

I’ve made a fair few noteworthy achievements in the real world of late though and this got me thinking. Frustrated gamers like me should be rewarded for their parenting achievements.

For example, I had to change Amelie’s nappy on a train the other day. It was one of those rare trains that was actually going somewhere at the time. It was also one of the most horrendous nappies I’ve ever encountered.

To my mind, this was a boss battle. A true test of dexterity against an unpredictable adversary. I’m delighted to report that Amelie didn’t fall off the changing table. What’s more, the toilet was still fit for other passengers to use afterwards. That has to be worth 50 points at least.

Similarly, I took all three children on a crowded bus on my own the other day. There were no empty seats but we managed to get to our destination – which was three miles away – without anyone falling over. That must be worth around 25.

A common achievement in video games is finding lost items. Again, I’ve replicated this in the real world. I’ve managed to locate every single one of Amelie’s dummies. Any parent knows that this is no mean feat!

Of course, there are some that remain elusive. Since the summer holidays, we haven’t managed to get a full night’s sleep without at least one child acting up. I also still haven’t managed to sit through Peppa Pig without thinking of bacon, but both of those achievements are quite tricky.

I don’t like giving up though and I’m determined to earn both of these parenting achievements before the year is out. I’ve got more chance of doing so than getting to play FIFA 17 after all.

Which parenting achievements have you unlocked lately? If you’ve got a blog or website, feel free to grab one of my badges!


  1. Heather

    My youngest is 3 and a half now but when both were babies I used to consider what I called “The ninja nappy change” a big achievement. This is where you stick your head round the bedroom door and discover baby has done a poo before going to sleep, then clean up that bum and get the pjs back on and baby back into bed without waking them up!

  2. Pingback: Diary of the Dad is ten! | Family life | Diary of the Dad

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