Tuesday 17 March 2015

"Unhelpful" comments to make to a parent

There seems to be a theme to my blog posts, it's not intentional believe me but I sometimes wish people would think before they spoke. Since I've become a Mother, or even while I was pregnant, people seemed to think they could say what they want without any forethought into how it might make me feel. I think the same goes for every other Mother. Because we've decided to procreate we become subject to other people's thoughts and "well meaning" advice whether we ask for it or not. So, I've compiled a small list of unhelpful comments myself and no doubt others may have received at some point during our parenting journeys.

1. "You think it's hard now? Wait until you've got a toddler and a newborn!

This to me is one of the most unhelpful comments I've received following my membership to the Motherhood Club. Congratulations on being super Mum who is successfully parenting not only one child but two while I sit here barely managing to go to the loo or have a shower with just one. Please, is it really necessary to instil the fear of God into a new Mum that's still trying to learn the in's and outs of her first child without sending her into hysterics about the prospect of what her future may hold? Let her get through this first before you torment her.

2. "Don't wish away this time with your baby it goes so quickly and before you know it they're grown up"

This is a comment with good intentions but in reality it's not all that helpful to a Mum that is sleep deprived, hasn't had a shower in a week, reeks of baby vomit and whose ears are ringing with the sound of a screaming infant. I saw a quote the other day on Pinterest "the days are long but the years are short" I know this is true but at times when your ripping your hair out in frustration or exhaustion hearing comments like "you should be grateful" or "make the most of it" are bound to make any Mother want to slap you in the face. Being a Mother is hard work and those that make these comments clearly don't know or have forgotten just how hard it can be. A blog post I read the other day "I am grateful now fuck off" by Mama said, Boganette, pretty much sums this up perfectly!

3. "Is your child sleeping through yet?"

The topic of sleep is a contentious one, the amount of times I have spoken to someone and the first question that they ask me is this one - it's ridiculous. Why is it that we are so obsessed with sleep? Is it because the people that ask don't have children that sleep through? and they're trying to make themselves better? I find myself not really being able to answer this one. All I know is, ask a sleep deprived Mum this and see her reaction.

4. "Oh she's sleeping through?" scoff scoff "Make the most of it while it lasts"

Once again on the topic of sleep. We have been fortunate enough to have a reasonably good sleeper  - not all nights, let me make this clear - most nights. Upon offering this news to someone (who shall remain nameless), who asked might I add, how she was sleeping his reply was this unhelpful comment. Way to rain on our parade! We were relieved that we were starting to have reasonably good sleeps only to be told the future wasn't so bright. Why!?! Why the need to tell us this? Can't they let us live in our happy little bubble for a bit longer?

5. "Your life will never be the same again"

This is definitely true but I don't know why it's always used in such a negative light. Yes, my life has changed but it's changed, in my perspective, for the better. Having children is not the end of my life, it's the start of a different more exciting chapter in an already fulfilling life.

So, there you have it just a few unhelpful comments and why I'd suggest you refrain from saying them to any poor, unsuspecting parent. I know you may mean well, but seriously we don't need to hear it. The next time you go to say something along these line please think about it before you actually spit it out.

Note: I'm not trying to offend anyone by this post. I'm being honest. The aim of my blog is transparency therefore this post is no different. I welcome your comments whether you agree with me or not :-) 

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