Parenting sin list

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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”.

*If you enjoyed reading this please do share it with your friends, and check out my Facebook Page  I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so pop by and say hi🙂

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The perfect baby

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If someone asked how life was going would you tell them that your life is perfect? That you have the perfect home or the perfect partner or the perfect job? I think it is unlikely. So why when you ask how someone’s baby is, do they sometimes reply their baby is “perfect”? And I don’t mean in that dewy eyed, new parent, every baby is perfect kind of way. I mean they actually believe their baby is ‘perfect’.

I bumped into a new dad I know at the weekend and inquired how his baby was doing. He replied that she is “perfect; she never cries, sleeps through the night and is the easiest baby”. Now I can’t help but wonder one of two things. Firstly does this constitute a ‘perfect’ baby? And secondly, if so, and my baby is pretty much the opposite, does this make my baby, and probably 80% of other babies, flawed?

What is perfect? If an adult was always compliant, never spoke and rarely showed emotions would we find this desirable? We may joke that this would be the perfect spouse, but the reality is that we would perhaps find this person a little odd? Or at the least a little dull? I’m not suggesting this baby is either, but I do find the whole thing rather strange. Babies cry to communicate.

It turns out my acquaintance is not the only person I have met with the ‘perfect baby’, baby groups are littered with them. The ones that “sleep through from when she was 6 days old and still does a year later”. The baby that “never fusses”, “he’s just so easy”, “you would barely know he is there”. The same can certainly not be said for mine. When I had my first baby this kind of comment would have left me feeling like I was a failure. I would cry and question why wasn’t she sleeping?, why did she want to eat every 2 hours round the clock? What was I doing wrong?

Now I have a slightly different take on it, if we never have the difficult times how do we appreciate the good ones? When said ‘perfect baby’ reaches toddlerhood and are the ones having a mega meltdown in Tesco’s as we sail past with our beautifully behaved children (who have been ladened with Pom Bears and biscuits to ease the shopping experience) we can have an internal smug moment. For we know all too well the world of meltdowns. We have experienced them from the moment our child entered the world. But for this 5 minutes it is not our child in that position, it is the parent who proudly announced they had the ‘perfect baby’, and for that we can be glad.

So next time when you harmlessly ask how someone’s baby is getting on and they say they have a perfect baby, take heart that while your baby may not be this definition of ‘perfect’, but your child has character and personality. We can appreciate the good times because we have had the bad, so in the long run perhaps it is us who have the ‘perfect baby’ after all?

*If you enjoyed reading this please do share it with your friends, and check out my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/rootsandwingsparenting/ I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so pop by and say hi:)

Rhyming with Wine
3 Little Buttons

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