I often wonder if people have forgotten what it was like to be a new parent. Have they forgotten how truly fucking annoying it was to be bombarded with all the “take it from an experienced parent, you’re so naive and clueless I must tell you every negative possibility about having a child and exaggerate it whilst doing so” advice? Or do you naturally get to a status once your child gets to a certain age where you automatically qualify to dish out pretentious bullshit to other parents?
You know what I mean! I’m talking about the things people say with a knowing nod, a superior smile and are usually accompanied by a “we are in the know but they aren’t, aren’t they silly little people” eyebrow raise and then after we’re all expected to join in with your merry light-hearted banter laugh? You know, the one that’s supposed to say “hahaha, it’s all fun and games” but that actually says “I secretly hope your child is as evil as mine is and causes you no end of grief” yea? That one.
Usually spoken by the older generation- sorry to sound ageist here but it’s true- maybe once you hit a certain age or something the chemicals in your brain alter and you can’t stop yourself from handing out your advice?
Whatever the reason, I give anyone reading this my unequivocal permission to bitch slap me across the face, if I ever say any of the following to any new parents in my life…
6. Say goodbye to nights out for the next 18 years!”
Really? I was under the impression you could chain the child to the cot and leave her there so you could pop out for a few hours of alcohol fuelled fun whenever the need took your fancy? No? Shocking… But you have heard of baby sitters right?
5. “Don’t use Aptamil/SMA/Cow&Gate (delete as applicable) it’s bad for babies”
No it’s not. No one formula choice is bad. If there was a “bad” baby formula on the market I’m sure it would have been wheedled out by now. It’s the parents choice to decide what brand formula (if any) to give their child and not some random stranger with a grudge against Cow and Gate. Thank you. I have literally had someone slate EVERY type of formula to me at one time or another.
4. “When I had mine I *insert crappy outdated unwanted advice*…”
Good for you, but with all due respect I couldn’t care less, I do it my way and that’s the right way for my child as far as I’m concerned.
3. “Should you be doing it like that?”
Fuck off. Seriously fuck off.
2. “Ohhhh you won’t get time to *insert enjoyable activity* ever again!”
What utter bull. There will be time to do plenty of enjoyable things again like baths, watching films, reading a book, going out, even laying in! Just not for a while (in some cases a very long while!), but guess what? We new parents know this! We except this as part of the deal when having a new baby. We know we’re in for sleepless nights. We know the baby takes priority over relaxing. We know. And we accept.
1. “You just wait!! You think it’s hard now! Wait until they’re crawling/walking/talking/a toddler/answering back/going to school/a child/going through puberty/a teenager/5,14, 6, 21, 7, 11,15, 3/any-older-version-of-your-child-now”
Yes yes yes… A crawling baby is hard work, a toddler is hard work, a teenager is hard work, an OAP is hard work, brain surgery is hard work, listening to this conversation without smacking you in the face is hard work, it’s all hard work…
Seriously… If I ever say any of the above to any new mummies in the future, please slap me, and tell me to read this.