Stupid Things People Say – The Parenting Edition

In the past I’ve spoken about stupid things people say – first to those suffering with infertility, and then during pregnancy. Eden is coming up for four months, so I thought it was time to round up on some of the silly things that people have said since Eden was born.

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“So, when are you having another?”

Are you joking?! People started asking this even before Eden was born and it infuriated me, but what bothers me more is when you say “I don’t think we will” and people try and convince you that you should. Especially when you’re cradling a newborn at the time and still a bit traumatised from said newborn coming out of your foof/the sunroof. And following on from that…

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“Are you going to try for a boy next?”

I find this annoying because it’s like people assuming that you’re not happy with the child you have, or that it’s somehow superior to have one of each. A friend of mine has two boys and then got pregnant with a girl and everyone went NUTS. She really wasn’t that bothered – just wanted another baby – but the way people went on was like she had the child of God in there! Also, how does one “try for a…?”

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“Does she need feeding/changing/burping/cuddling?”

Usually offered by little old ladies on buses or similar. Only offered once you’ve already done all of the above and your darling offspring is still singing away. I know they’re just trying to help but it often makes me want to reply “no idea! I just like hearing her cry. Please be quiet so that I may enjoy it!” Assume that we’ve tried all of this before offering “the stranger’s guide to parenting”.

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“Oh, just leave her to cry. You’re spoiling her!”

I know cry it out and such are very controversial topics and I think each family should make their own decision regarding these things. Consequently, if I want to pick up my baby as soon as she makes the slightest noise, that’s my choice. It’s not “spoiling” her and she won’t necessarily “become dependant”. I can’t think of anything worse than just leaving her to cry.

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“When I had kids we didn’t do that and my kids were just fine…”

People say this about bizarre things. Having bumpers, sterilising, car seats… all kinds of things. I usually ignore them, but sometimes I trot out “well maybe yours were fine but others weren’t, so I’ll stick with what I’m doing tah.”

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“Oh… Formula. Did breastfeeding not work out?”

With all due respect, none of your business. This is why women feel bad about their feeding choices. It’s that “oh.” Just don’t comment on how a family feed their kids. Don’t open that can of worms.

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 “Is she sleeping through yet?”

I am not kidding, we have literally had this said to us since she was about a week old! And then people pull faces when we say no. This is especially irritating when it is followed with “my cousin’s uncle’s brother’s baby slept through from the moment they were out of the womb.” Not.. helping…

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“You look tired”

Gee thanks. You look great too.

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“Anything about baby weight.”

Do not open that can of worms. I just had a baby. Leave my mummy tummy alone. Right now I’m too busy keeping this small sprog alive to care about my saggy abdomen. Although DO say “you look great!” Even if I look like Shrek and have dried milk on my top and hair like I’ve been electrocuted, just tell me I look great. I’ll appreciate it.

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“Sleep when she sleeps”

I do a great job of sleeping at home when Eden does, but I can’t have a nap in Starbucks when she decides to. It’s not always as easy as “sleep when she sleeps”. I know this one particularly grates on a lot of new parents. I can’t just drop and give you forty winks in a shopping centre because Eden has decided that is the best time for a snooze. Maybe shopping centres are missing a trick in not supplying infant and parent snooze zones?

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“Oh, she doesn’t do much, does she?”

You caught her on a bad day. Usually she’s performing operas. Seriously, though. Let the parents of a baby worry about what milestones they’re hitting. And it’s normal for a one week old to not do much…

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“Oh, let her try a bit of my sandwich! She can suck on a crust, right?”

No. No she can’t. And don’t you dare say “oh but whhhyyyyyy not?” As with most things, that’s up to us.

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“How was labour? Was it horrible? Did you tear?”

The first bit of this questions doesn’t bother me at all. Ask that question and you’re leaving options open. A lady who wants to tell you everything can go ahead and do that, but similarly a lady who doesn’t want to can just say “it was ok” or similar. But please don’t ask if it was horrible. Please don’t ask if I tore. I don’t want to chat with you about my vagina, thanks. Especially if I don’t know you…

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“Oh my God! You don’t let the dogs in the room with her, do you?”

Yup. And they adore her. It’s almost like an assumption that we aren’t responsible dog owners. Yes, we let the dogs in the room with her, but we are there too. She’s not left alone with them. And don’t get me started on the “oh, you still have the dogs?” people…

What are the stupid things people have said to you now that you have little ones? Share in the comments.

This Mum's Life

 

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28 Responses to Stupid Things People Say – The Parenting Edition

  1. Oh this is all so true..

    Silly things people say to me , too often

    ‘Dream feeding is what you need to do, I did it with mine and they slept through’. Really one dream feed made your four week old child sleep for 8 hours ? And do you not think I’ve tried this!!!!

    ‘Oh why is she waking you up through the night’. BECAUSE SHES A BABY!!!!

    Every time the baby cries ‘ oh she’s got wind’ proceed to pick her up and start burping her ‘oh get it out baby ‘. Right or perhaps she just wants attention

    ‘Enjoy this time it only gets worse when they start moving’

    ‘Wait for the sleep regression stage’

    ‘Once you think you’ve got it sorted then they start teething’

    ‘You’ve got this for the next 18years’

    • I think people often forget that all babies and all parents are different. Dream feeding VERY rarely works for us. She gets so excited that she wakes up… haha. Meh. We’re all doing a fab job 🙂

    • Ugh, the genre of “the next stage is so much worse” comments are so frustrating. When my little guy was an infant, I really needed to hear that it got better.

  2. AmyApplesnail says:

    My nephew is 5 days old today and while staying with my sister-in-law this week I heard every single one of those come out of someone’s mouth. The one about “we didn’t do that with our kids 30 years ago, so you’re just being paranoid and a slave to marketing campaigns by doing it now” was hear about 10 times.

  3. I can so relate to these. When I was going through fertility issues I would lose my shit if someone said something insensitive. These days it’s like water off a duck’s back. I’ve got a girl and boy with nearly 5 years between them – I’ve had a couple of people say ‘oh that’s a big age gap isn’t it?’. I usually reply, ‘yes it is but we lost a baby when our daughter was two’. I don’t want to make someone uncomfortable but it’s the honest answer. Usually there are no further comments. By the way beautiful name, I have an Eden too! 🙂 #bigpinklink

  4. I’m not looking forward to this. With baby J just five weeks away, I am afraid I will not be able to bite my tongue as well as I can know. I fear sleep deprivation will render my word filter useless.

  5. Love this! My little boy is four months and I have been asked all of this (bar the dog as we don’t have pets). Also, ‘is he good?’ .. My friend started replying ‘well he robbed a bank last week but, in general, yes he is good’ which I thought was brilliant! They can’t be bad or naughty, they are tiny, dependent little munchkins! Haha and the sleeping through the night thing is absurd. I just lie ‘he sleeps really well’. Fab post! #bigpinklink

  6. Ooo we are going through IVF this year too 😉 So my biggest gripe is the “he does that (usually fidgeting around while we are waiting for something) because he gets away with it”. Nope he does that because I don’t have a problem with him doing it! He’s a toddler! Fab list #bigpinklink

  7. Oh man, these are all so familiar. If only word would get out that none of these things are okay, and that saying stuff like this only heightens the stress of new parenthood.

    We often get asked “Who does the… (changing/bathing/getting up in the night)?”, and it irks me. I think it’s because it seems like an attempt at figuring out how we divide labour as a two-mom family, and that it likely wouldn’t be asked otherwise.

  8. LOL. Someone wanted to feed her their sandwich???!!

  9. AndiePants says:

    Do people really give their dogs away when they have babies? Yikes! Our 3 dogs LOVE our baby and his first real word was “dog” so, I think he likes them too!

    • I know someone who has her two dogs out to sleep because she was having a baby. Then had the cheek to be like “we love you both so much!” When the only reason they were being pts was because of the baby… Who wasn’t even born yet… Irresponsible

  10. ErSchmidt says:

    My favourite (not) one is “Oh, what do you mean she doesn’t have a father?” Well, I mean that she has a mother (Me) and that’s it. I raise her, 100%, with no one else to help me. So no, she doesn’t have a father. She has a 2nd genetic parent, but she doesn’t have a father. Some pepole just can’t understand that!

    • Yeah we have had that a couple of times about the donor. “What’s the dad like?” But thankfully once you correct them and say “donor” they use that terminology. With us I don’t think it comes from a bad place, but rather from a place of semi-ignorance.
      I wish people would realise that father is so much more than sperm

  11. Yes! “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is one of my top three things you shouldn’t say to a new parent.

    The equally annoying counterpoint to “just let them cry” is “just cosleep,” especially when it’s treated as the magic solution to all sleeping problems. We tried cosleeping—no one slept. Like everything, it works for some babies and not others.

  12. pinkpearbear says:

    Seriously, people have questioned whether you still have your dogs?! People who aren’t dog people just don’t get it!!! I think that every mother everywhere will have encountered the majority of these questions. Why on earth people feel the need to chip in when it comes to parenting I’ll never know!! Thanks for linking! #bigpinklink

  13. Its bizarre what people think its ok to ask and say after you have a baby. I was told by one visitor ‘oh but you’ll HAVE to have another one, she’ll need a brother or sister’ – only days after my daughter was born. As you say, slightly traumatised, very sore and ultra sensitive me really didn’t want to be told that. The other classic ‘is she good?’ – honestly, how exactly can a baby be bad!? Great post.

  14. Charlotte says:

    They are annoying, all these statements, no question. But to come to people’s defence, I think they are often well meaning. OK, there are some Harry Enfield types out there who have to tell you how (not) to do everything (You don’t want to do that!’) 🙂 But I think a lot of people – especially other women – just want to connect with you when you have a baby. And like a lot of us humans they can be clumsy and insensitive at times. I think if you can recognise that someone is just trying to be nice, try to cut them some slack. And ignore the others. Cos they’re jerks. The one I hate the most is the highly insensitive ‘Enjoy these precious years, you never get them back’. Shut up. Just shut up. I’ve spent most of the 18 months of my second son’s life battling every day with PND. My husband has been almost at the end of his tether too having to take on alot extra on top of working full time. Please don’t tell me that. I need to hear how easy it’s going to be when they’re 10 or whatever!!!!!

    • Oh totally. I think the majority of these things are said with all the love in the world, but some of them are just so dumb! I like to highlight how they make me feel so that maybe people will think twice about saying them sometimes. I’m never mean when people say them, though. 🙂

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