Since I’ve become a mum I’ve realised that the world of parenting is full of cliche phrases and unsolicited advice. Don’t get me wrong, some of the cliches are 100% true and some of the advice is helpful, but I find a lot of it is repeated nonsense just to fill up dead air. I’ve definitely been guilty of saying these in the past but since having George I realise how eye-roll inducing they are as a parent.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps”
In the first couple of months of George’s life, this is probably the piece of advice I was given most often. Once your partner goes back to work, this is easier said than done, especially seeing as half the town and their mothers all want to come round to see the baby anyway! How am I meant to sleep with you all in my house? Also, there’s still things to be done so when would I find time for this? There’s now a mountain of laundry, bottles to be washed, mess everywhere, Saying sleep when the baby sleeps is a useless piece of advice.
“Have they learnt to [INSERT MILESTONE HERE] yet?”
I’m a big worrier and always have been; since George has been born, it’s only made it more apparent to me. Now, if people ask once about whether he’scrawling or got any teeth I don’t mind, but every time I see some people they’ll ask as if they’re checking in on me and this panics me that George isn’t developing as fast as he should. I know I shouldn’t compare and he’ll do it in his own time, but I can’t help but feel bad that he hasn’t learnt these skills yet. I imagine I’m not alone in this, so if your friend or family member has just had a baby, then just think before you speak – we’re all trying our hardest.
“It gets easier”
Bullshit. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and surely it’s only going to get harder. There’s always something we need to think about, choices we need to make for our babies even when they’re not babies anymore. From the moment they are born we’re responsible for the people they become, whether they’re kind to others, whether they are respectful, it’s all down to us! Plus, mum guilt and parent pressure is a real thing, don’t try and tell me it gets easier because it won’t – surely it shouldn’t be easy either.
“Enjoy it, they’re only little once”
Really, no way?! Ugh. Yes, I know there’s going to be a time when George won’t want a cuddle to go to sleep or laugh at my silly voices but by then he also (hopefully) won’t throw his food all over the floor or pull my hair from my scalp simply because he can. When he’s a teenager, telling me he hates me and treating our house like a hotel then I might wish he was smaller but that doesn’t make it any easier right now.
“They’re the spitting image of their dad!”
This was by far the worst thing people could say to me, especially after I had just given birth. I hated pregnancy and made it through, gave birth to a 9lb 7oz baby and all the joys that come with it. Yes, he does look like his dad, I know that but after just pushing him out, that’s the last thing I wanted to hear. If you say it to a mum once, you don’t need to say it a further 100 times – trust me, she remembers you’ve said it!
Have you had any of these cliches said to you? Are they any I haven’t mentioned which really annoy you? Let me know in the comments.