Parenting is usually a topic everyone and their cat has an opinion about. A couple of nights ago Ross and I were debating whether to let Penelope sleep or wake her for her bottle so she would sleep all the way through. An argument could definitely be made for both sides. I innocently posted the question online, “If your 6-month-old baby falls asleep at 6.45pm and misses her bottle, would you wake her or let her sleep all the way through & miss it”. What a mistake that was. Now let me point out, that clearly at the end of the day, I was going to do what I felt was best as I know my baby better than anyone, I was just interested in what others thought. Let’s just say if I had a pound for every patronising reply I received I could hire a full-time nanny to make the decision for me. Some of my close blogging mums were lovely as usual, but there are always that small amount that feels the need to snidely imply that you clearly don’t have a clue what you’re doing.
Guess what? Sometimes I don’t. Just remember, there are no instructions; what works for your baby might not work for mine. Some mums just can’t comprehend that there is no such thing as a baby expert. Here are just a few other exasperating comments that every new mum has probably heard at one time or another…
“You really should try baby led weaning.”
The weaning police are at large. I have no problem with anyone going down this route, just don’t ram it down my throat every time we speak. This way works for your family? Great! I love the idea of Penny exploring different textures and tastes in this way, however, sometimes I’ll also puree a banana and feed her myself. I’m flexible and we’re both learning as we go.
“You shouldn’t let her suck her thumb.”
Oh silly me, of course, I have nothing better to do than constantly monitor my baby’s thumb movements. She is 6-months-old, she can suck her toes for all I care. I have a baby that self-soothes and personally I think that’s amazing. If you don’t like the way it looks, then simply don’t look. This is usually followed by, “MY baby didn’t even have a dummy.” Well, whoopee for you.
“When are you going back to work?”
Nine times out of ten, this question comes with a side of judgement. New mums are hormonal and obsessed with their baby, they do not want a reminder that the clock is ticking and that they will have to leave them soon. Let them enjoy the moment.
“Don’t let her nap or she won’t sleep through the night.”
Do you not remember that episode of Friends? There is no chance that I’m stopping Penny from napping when she’s tired; there are always repercussions!
“How are you finding losing the baby weight?”
Seriously. Don’t be a dick.
“You’ll find going back to work hard at first, but you’ll be okay.”
Aw wow, that’s great. Now, all my anxiety about leaving my baby since carrying her for the past 9 months has disappeared. Thanks a million.
“We’re in the area, can we pop round in five minutes?”
I haven’t had a bath, I haven’t had a coffee, the baby’s just been sick and the dog is trying to eat it. The phrase, ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’ is a little extreme as baby isolation is real, but some notice would be greatly appreciated.
“What do you do all day?”
Personally, I just sit on my pony whilst being fed grapes and fanned all day. What do you think I’m doing all day!?! How about the wiping, the changing, the burping, the soothing, the feeding and the housework on one continuous mind-numbing loop.
“She looks like her dad.”
How does the meme go? “I carried you for 9 months, I was in labour for 20 hours, I haven’t slept in 6 months AND you came out looking like your dad!” Never a truer word has been written but, let’s face it, baby’s basically look like angry potatoes for the first few months. When Penny first came out she looked like a Smurf. Seriously, a little warning that they come out blue would have been greatly appreciated at the time.
“What a lot of rubbish, we didn’t have that in our day.”
Usually used by members of the older generation i.e. the baby experts. If I even mutter the words ‘tummy time’ or ‘healthcare visitor’ I can practically see their eyes roll back into their skull. It’s usually followed by the words ‘aw bless’ or ‘you’ll learn’.
Top all that off with the ‘mummy police’ who like to question every possible purchase you make. Did you know there’s been a report that steriliser contains mould? Did you know that brand of bottle could give the baby colic? Did you know that teether was on Watchdog last night? Did you know that toy isn’t best for the baby’s development? Did you know that these wipes contain dangerous chemicals? Oh, do shut up. Unless I’m dangling the baby by her ankles, making her eat steak for dinner or leaving the cat in charge, I really don’t need you criticising each and every move I make.
What comments really get under your skin as new parents?