Have you enjoyed the comedy series “Blessed” written and directed by Ben Elton and starring Ardal O'Hanlan and Mel Giedroyc as Gary and Sue Chandler, who are struggling with bringing up their babies, contrast to their depressingly perfect neighbours Bill and Mary who are plyed by Robert Webb and Sally Bretton.

Or have you, like Alex Freeman, found it a little too close to home? Says Alex;

Never on British television has there been such an accurate depiction of the reality of life with young children. We squirmed along with them as they bottled out of controlled crying; we peered through our hands as they gave in to tantrums in the supermarket; we wanted to throw things at the television when a restaurant refused to serve anything straightforward that they could give to the children.

We can all, I am sure, relate to their exhaustion. I laughed out loud when they paid for a hotel room, just to get some sleep. Sue’s gradual decline into despair mirrored many women’s struggles to cope after the birth of a child, especially a second child when there is a toddler in the house.

We loved to hate the endless array of friends whose lives appeared unaltered by the arrival of children: those people who seem to have everything worked out. And, of course, we sympathised as Sue tried to follow the advice of a book. All over the UK, I am sure, parents wanted to tell her to put the book on the bonfire, and do whatever it takes to cope.

Enjoyed is a term I would not use for this series, but, like watching a car crash, I couldn’t take my eyes away. I was transfixed. I couldn’t wait for the next instalment. I wonder if any non-parents watched and decided against having children as a result. Perhaps it could be shown in family planning clinics, to dissuade the faint hearted?

text © Alexandra Freeman 2005

About the Author: Alex Freeman is a freelance writer specialising in parenting and family topics and can be contacted via eParenting.

Series star Mel Giedroyc is the author of From Here to Maternity, a fictionalised diary of her first pregnancy. Plus she is an enthusiastic crafter - here are her Homemade Christmas Decoration Ideas.

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