Once you’ve had a baby, it seems like everyone else in the world who’s had a baby before you is suddenly brimming over with lots of, errr, helpful tips and advice. And yes, we know they all mean well but, sometimes, what they say can actually kinda make us feel worse, rather than better.
1. Sleep when the baby sleeps
Oh Lordy. Now, without exception (but tell us if we’re wrong), we reckon this is probably one of THE phrases you’ll hear the most in the early days of being a mum. It’s one of those well-worn sayings that’s been passed down the generations without anyone actually standing up and saying, “Er, that’s never gonna happen!”
For a start, have you seen how little a newborn baby sleeps? Just about enough time for us to get into our jimjams and draw the curtains, we reckon. You’d be yo-yoing up and down all blinking day.
And that’s before you take into account the ZILLION things you need to do when your baby’s asleep – like finally have a shower or brush your bird’s-nest hair…
It’s not that we don’t want to sleep when the baby sleeps (sleep is the thing we crave most in the world right now); it’s just not that simple, is it?
2. Aw, enjoy it – this is the easy bit….
Great. You’re grappling with the life-changing, sleep-shattering bombshell that is a newborn and then someone thinks it might be a good idea to terrify you about how much TOUGHER it’s going to get once your baby’s crawling or cruising or walking or hanging round the bus stop as a stroppy teen. Helpful? Not so much.
3. Oh, our baby didn’t do that
Oooh, this just sounds a bit smug, doesn’t it? If their baby slept through the night from day 1, fed beautifully (from the breast, of course) and never had a spot of reflux, well, that’s all very lovely but, if we’re going through a tough patch, we don’t really want to know that others had it so easy, thanks.
4. Could you get a nanny?
Err, well, no, not really. It would be a lovely option but we’re only just about managing the mortgage and bills and everything else right now. Plus, we don’t have the space – although if she came down from the clouds and was happy to be fed on spoonfuls of sugar, we’d probably squeeze her in somewhere…
5. Don’t worry about the mess
Oh, well, saying that kind of means you’ve noticed (and pointed out to me, thanks) that my house isn’t totally, perfectly spick and span with EVERYTHING in place. Maybe it will get tidier if I have time. Maybe I won’t have time. But I wasn’t even thinking about it till you mentioned it, so cheers for that.
6. Just wait till you’ve got number 2
Um, well, I’ve literally JUST had number 1, so that’s really not top of my mind, is it? I’m sure 2 children is harder but having just the 1 is not a total picnic for me right now.
Besides, if you think I’m ever going through labour and giving birth again…
7. You do look knackered
OK, so I suppose you’re trying to show some empathy for the fact I’ve barely had 4 hours sleep in the last week. But basically you’re telling me I look REALLY rough. Sob. Where’s my dry shampoo?