When I became a brand spanking new mum just over a year ago, there were a few things that hit me quite hard in the face. Sleepless nights, poo, endless feeding times and exhaustion were just some of them. One other quite big thing was the advice of others. Or rather, baby related comments. It was like walking through a door from a place where people reserve judgement, nod politely at your opinion and talk about neutral things like the weather to a place where the world and his dog are “baby experts”. Every has an opinion and heck they will give it to you. Whether you’ve asked for it or not! Everyone from your immediate family to your inlaws friend’s neighbours. And chances are, if you are or were anything like me (completely clueless), it is the perfect way to send a first time mum running for the hills. Whilst, of course, running for the hills thinking you are a mad / bad / overprotective / underprotective mum.
The good news is that you do start to wise up quite quickly and as you and your baby gets older you will learn to transition from crazed tears of anxiety (from yourself) to an uber cool mother that can learn to grit her teeth, smile and offer a cup of tea all at the same time. Mostly.
It goes something like this….
In the begininning:
What People Say: “Oh don’t you think he should be drinking more than that? He looks very underweight?”
What you think: Wha? OMG. Underweight? I’m a terrible mother, I don’t even know my OWN baby! How will I look after him? Surely I should have known he needs more milk??? Waaaaaaaah!
What you say: I’m going to ring the midwife right now.
And then a bit later to stunned OH: I Hate yooooou. You don’t support me enough!
Later Still to the perplexed OH: I’m sorry…I’m just so tired!
When Baby is a bit older…
What People Say: “Don’t you have him in a routine yet? He should be sleeping through the night by now”
What you think: Wha? OMG! He should be sleeping through by now? I knew it!! There’s something wrong with him isn’t there? Is it me?
What you say: I’m going to ring the midwife right now….(whilst simultaneously trying to rock a wide awake baby back to sleep for the 5th time).
What you say to the perplexed OH: “He’s not sleeping, it’s all my fault…Waaah. Oh, and yours tooooo!”
As the fog clears a bit more when Baby is a bit older:
What People Say: “Dont give him a dummy / He should be eating a full plate full by now / He should be drinking a pint of milk in one go”.
What you think: Oh shut up!!
What you say: “The midwife said he’s fine”.
Even later still when Baby starts rolling over, crawling around etc…
What People Say: “Shouldn’t he be walking / talking / running by now?”
What you think: (In the style of the 1970’s Batman series) Waaallllopp!! Kerranggg! Splaaaat (flicks V’s)”
What you say: “He’s absolutely perfect. [Smile] Would you like a cup of tea?”
Later: “*Sigh*, Some people are just rude. Ooooh cake!”