Having been to more baby groups then I can remember, I have heard some real clangers that parents say to one another. I expect we are all guilty of being a little insensitive or saying the wrong thing at times, but here is a list of the things that no mum wants to hear.
· “My baby never cries” – why are you lying?
· “I always know what my baby wants when she cries. I honestly have never not known why, I’m lucky I guess” – A truly unhelpful and ridiculous statement
· “My baby slept through from 6 weeks and has done so ever since” – When the mum next to you has match sticks holding up her eye lids please don’t feel now is the time to
gloat share your experience. Tell your family, your child free friends or those who have forgotten the horror of night waking.
· “I have got such a good baby” – we all have ‘good’ babies ok, all babies are good. If they cry, have colic, don’t sleep, feed often, behave like babies, they are ALL GOOD.
· “I’m lucky my husband does everything in the night” – Hahaha, this is a joke one, I haven’t heard anyone say that. (I know this is not fair to expect if mum is breastfeeding, as not a lot dad can do, but we can dream)
· “I just found breastfeeding so easy, I’m not sure what the fuss is about” – Not so helpful for those who spent weeks crying because it hurt, struggling with latch, worrying about weight gain or just generally finding it hard to get to grips with.
· “Teething was never an issue for us, he just woke up one morning with 2 teeth” – For the other 90% of us, who have endured sleepless nights, the fractious days, the months of fussing before any teeth even appear; we really don’t want to hear this.
· “I really don’t know why people bother breastfeeding” – unhelpful for all the above.
· “Is your baby …. (Insert latest developmental milestone – rolling, sitting, crawling, walking)” – I expect we are all guilty of this, but let’s be honest, mostly this question is asked when your baby is doing one of the above and you want to tell your friends without sounding like you are showing off. This can’t be helped as we are just proud when our babies are doing something, but when your baby has reached that milestone 3 months early, it just makes everyone else worry about why their little Einstein isn’t keeping up. Or, if you know full well that the mother you are asking has just been worried because her baby isn’t doing something yet, then you are just making her feel worse.
· Smugness – I can’t think of one set example of this but just generally smug mums. As my friend beautifully put it “nothing to do with your parenting, my second baby showed me that, its luck of the draw”.