"my biggest pet peeve is..."

. . . people giving their parenting opinions a little too freely,
and meanly.

Just to be clear, 
I do know that this is par for the course
when you become a new parent.
But it can be so frustrating in those early days 
to be told by a random lady in the supermarket, 
how her daughter managed to get her baby to sleep in the buggy 
by using a specific brand of dummy.
Or when complete strangers diagnose your baby with colic 
just by the sound of their cry.

I think the worst example of this is when people actually WANT to hear
that you are struggling and suffering with a miserable baby.

I remember joking early on that I've never known so many people 
to be interested in how much sleep I'm getting, 
or not getting, 
until I had a baby.
People working behind the tills in Boots,
people doing their shopping in the Sainsburys,
my husband's work colleagues;
my sleeping habits and those of my baby
were suddenly of great interest to all these people.

I was incredibly lucky to have a baby who slept his first full night at seven weeks
and was sleeping through consistently by eight weeks.
So when asked how I was sleeping,
I would proudly, but I'd like to think not smuggly, say
"Actually he's really good at nights
and he sleeps all the way through."

And that's when it would happen . . .

. . .that look would flash up across their faces. . .

. . .they would looked disappointed.

The look would quickly vanish and they would say in a nasty way,
"Well, it won't last.
Just you wait until he's teething."

Why could no body be happy for me?
Why did they want me to suffer?
Why couldn't they let me enjoy my good fortune?

Being a new mummy is hard enough as it is.
You're tired.
You're more than likely still in pain from childbirth.
Just being out of the house seems like quite an achievement at first.
And then people like to knock you a bit while you're down.

I dreaded teething,
because so many people had told me how it would turn my happy, sleeping baby
into a miserable, monster with insomnia.
Fortunately I got lucky on the teething front
as well as the sleeping front,
and so far all his teeth have come through without so much as a whimper.

Now the strangers get that same disappointed look
when I share this fact.
Before they gleefully tell me,
"You wait until his molars are cutting. . ."

Luckily I now have the confidence to smile and completely ignore them.

And don't even get me started on
random people telling me I should really be giving my exclusively breastfed baby
some formula "to top him up"
and give him some more vitamins and minerals.

You what?

To see the other responses 
to this weeks BritMums Blog Prompt of the Week
click below.


  1. ahhhh you put it so much more beautifully than I ever could there. I started to compose a reply to the question and decided if my friends read it they'd think it was about them and hate me! So It's saved for now....!

  2. Ahhh this post is so true! I had the same with the through the night sleeper and now with breastfeeding, Makes you want to tell them to bog off doesn't it!
    Beautifully written xx

  3. Sleeping through at 7 weeks! Wowzer! Just wait until his molars start cutting...joke :) Iyla was a terrible sleeper until a month ago so I have always been open to any help I can get but it would annoy me is I didnt need it. Just because people have had a kid, doesn't mean that they know everything about all kids! Every baby is different and anyone who's had a baby will know that it's a learning process that you get better at with time! They should mind their own business! X

  4. I completely agree with this word for word. It is so mean and nasty and I can't understand why people think it's ok to make comments about babies like that. I used to (and still get) things like "he doesn't eat /drink / sleep enough" and then comments like he looks pale or weak. I flipped my lid when they said weak and said (politely) that there was nothing wrong with him and it was just a very mean thing to say. I haven't heard a peep out of the person since! :)

  5. These types of people are most probably miserable buggers who've had nothing but grief themselves. They probably had tons of problems bringing up their own child because they thought they were "always right" and wouldn't listen to any advice so now, they feel it's their given right to dish out their experiences and expect all new mums to just follow suit. Best way is to ignore them. That's what I always did and still do.

    Some people are just so ignorant they beggar belief. Having a child with autism has been a massive eye-opener for me over the years when I've had to endure advice from people who wouldn't know a special needs child if he or she slapped them in the face with a notice board saying "I am autistic". I learned from early on to smile and ignore.

    CJ xx

  6. Sometimes, what prevents me from stabbing someone in the eye with their good advice is trying to remind myself of their intent. Admittedly - no matter how frustrating - their intent is not (usually) to piss me off. I get to this profound level of understanding on 'good days'. How many good days there actually are in a month might not bear scrutiny, though. ;)

  7. Everything you have said is so true. Simple as that x x

  8. Quite agree, smile and ignore. I hate random comments from people for whom it's none of their business.

  9. From the moment you become pregnant people feel like it is their right to comment on what you're eating/drinking, how big or small your bump is - if it's neat, they hope it's growing properly, if it's big are you sure it's not twings/gestational diabetes, from your birth plan (I had one at home and was called irresponsible/mad etc), to your feeding choice (I didn't breast feed, although did try both times which resulted in lots of crying by me and babies) but still people felt they had a right to comment, and I'm afraid it goes on and on and on, to what you feed your child, what you let them watch on TV, which pre school you pick, which primary school you pick, honestly, once you have a child, the opinions never stop coming. Thick skin is needed!!

  10. I agree with all of this completely! Especially with the sleeping because as you know I have a good sleeper and with the breastfeeding. It makes me want to go grrr just thinking about it! x

  11. What a great post and ever so true xx


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