Wednesday, 29 August 2012

If I wanted advice... (or I must be a crap parent)

Deary me.  I must BE a crap parent.  I must LOOK like a crap parent.  I must ACT like a crap parent.  People must look at me and see someone who has absolutely NO IDEA how to look after a baby.  Yes, that must be it.  Otherwise, why would so many people feel the need to tell me how to raise my child?  Why would they tell me I should be doing X, Y and Z?

Do I dangle my baby over balconies in the style of Michael Jackson? NO!  Does my baby go hungry? NO!  Do I let my baby play with electrical appliances or sharp objects? NO!  Do I take her swimming in shark infested water? NO!  Do I feed her McDonalds and pot noodles washed down with cans of Coke? NO!  By all accounts my baby is happy and healthy.  She is 8 months, can crawl, pull up on furniture, say mamma and dadda (and I'm sure I heard a "hi" the other day), she has 6 teeth and one on the way.  In my opinion she is doing fine.  Obviously the "advice givers" know different.  Hence the advice...

Example One:

Does baby like yoghurt?

Yes I give her greek yoghurt with fresh fruit every day.

Oh? *insert judgemental look* Don't you think Petit Filous would be better?  It is made for babies.

(I'm sorry but how is giving my baby yoghurt and fresh fruit  a bad thing?  Worse than giving fruit flavoured yoghurt?  Slap on the back of the hands for me...BAD MUMMY!)

Example Two:

Those clothes are far too big for her.  Why not put her in something that fits? All that extra material is probably making her uncomfortable and might chafe her delicate skin...

She is between sizes right now.   *Again "the look"*

This is always said when Holly is transitioning between sizes.  Would these people rather I dressed her in clothes that were far too tight?  Surely that would chafe and hurt more than something which is marginally too big?  Silly Mummy!   I'm obviously supposed to be super mum and make her some made to measure clothing to wear so this never happens.  Should I be making her a new outfit every time she grows a centimetre?  I'm not sure...perhaps I better ask for advice?

Example Three:

You should take her out a walk every day...

Erm...we do.  We always have.

Oh that's good.  I'm glad you took my advice.

Erm...NO!  We always did that anyway.  Stop trying to make out that anything we do that you deem to be acceptable  is in any way your idea!  I suppose it must be though, since everything else we do is so wrong and bad.  We couldn't possibly have a single good idea on how to raise our child, could we?

Example Four:

Why don't you have foam corners on all your furniture?  Holly could hurt herself on this/that!  What do you mean you only have cupboard locks on some cupboards?  You should have them on every cupboard and drawer!  Aren't you worried that she'll hurt herself... *accusatory tone*

You  do realise that you physically cannot baby proof everything!  We have a baby gait for the stairs, plug covers and cupboard locks for the cupboards and drawers holding dangerous items.  Why lock a cupboard that holds tupperware tubs and some spatulas?  Isn't that just overkill?  Even if we do or do not have foam corners on the furniture Holly will fall and hurt herself somewhere, at some point.  Fact.  In addition, other places we take her will not be "baby proofed" (including your home, smarty pants advice giver).  Will you baby proof your entire home just so we can visit?  Didn't think so.  Oh well.  On your safety advice we'd better not visit you just incase Holly injures herself in your terribly unsafe home. Tsk Tsk...

So those are just a few examples of what we've had so far.  I could go on, but you get the point.  You'll have had it yourself I bet.  I probably take it all far too seriously/personally, but that's me.  I know these people are trying to help, but guess doesn't help!  So please, do us all a favour you lovely givers of unnecessary advice.  Here is my friendly advice to you.  Please feel free to give us advice... when we ask for it!  Until then...keep it shut!


Actually Mummy... said...

Love this! I'm seeing a few posts like this at the moment, and it makes me want to write one. I was never brave enough to say it to anyone's face at the time - blogs are ace for that. I'm giving this a shoutout on Newbie Tuesday at Britmums later

Marilynn said...

Thank you so much! I have to say it is probably the part of parenting I dislike the most so I felt the need to vent my frustrations! I think it is a steep enough learning curve for new parents, especially when you might be a bit doubtful and not yet comfortable in your parenting skills. To then have people constantly preach to you can be just soul destroying. I know it used to make me feel awful. It took a while for me to get used to. I just think it is so funny that mostly people are happy to keep their opinions to themselves regarding everything else in life but for some reason when it comes to children they feel they are suddenly experts & have free reign to say whatever they like! You can tell I enjoy a good rant can't you?!


The Milkshake Mummy said...

Couldn't agree with you more lovely, It really gets on my nerves when people feel they can comment on every aspect of your parenting. I find myself over justifing every single thing I do or choice I make for my baby and think I end up just coming across as defensive. We need to get some t-shirts made up with the slogan - 'My mummy doesn't need your advice!' I tend to find its family I get a lot of it from and it really drives me nuts. Second time round though, I don't get anywhere near as much advice which is a god send. xxxxx

Emily Foran said...

OMG I've not actually read to the bottom yet but Petit Filous is only made for babies in the way that it's so stuffed full of sugar that they become addicted!! Plus it's not recommended until 12mth - that's not to say that I don't feed my children it but it's not perfect baby food - so wrong!!
Back to reading, post rant...
Love the 'will you baby proof your home' comment.
I have an unwanted advice/comments rant brewing - maybe that'll be next weeks theme ;) xx

Marilynn said...

Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it! You should definitely do a your own on unwanted advice thing. It feels so good to get it off your chest. I actually held back a bit in this post, could have gone on and on!! XXX

Marilynn said...

That is a good point about becoming defensive. I've definitely found myself doing that. Actually snapped at people a little bit before as I was getting really wound up. It is funny isn't it, you have a child and everyone else starts talking to you like a child as well! I want one of those slogan t-shirts, good idea! XXX

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