Things You Never Want to Hear as a Parentby Adam Riches
There are certain things that grunt you gears in life. Everyone has their own little triggers, but when you’re a sleep-deprived parent, you can be slightly more susceptible to getting rubbed up the wrong way.
A lot of the time, these things wouldn’t bother you in the slightest, but having a baby can amplify emotions and you really don’t need input in certain ways!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but there are certain things you NEVER want to hear from other people as a parent.
This one is literally the most frustrating for me. Anybody telling me what’s wrong with my child really annoys me, especially when they go for a generic reason. Is there anything more annoying...?! Do you not think feeding him would have been one of my first thoughts?! Obviously, so pipe down.
“You look tired”
When you’re totally aware of how shit you look because you know how little rest you’ve had, the last thing you need is reminding how worn out you look. It’s like that little reminder that although you feel awful, you look it too. Nothing like a boost in self-confidence!
“Oh are you babysitting tonight?”
As a dad, you sometimes get this little gem thrown at you. It’s so annoying. I never “babysit” my kids, they’re my kids so I’m just being a parent. If my wife goes out, it’s not like I’m suddenly on the clock or getting paid to look after the kids. It’s also a bit of an insult given the connotations of the term “babysitting”. I’m not a high school teenager who you’ve found to mind your kids...although any snacks and pay-per-view are always a bonus.
“Have you tried...”
Yes. I fucking have. The advice comes from all directions when you’ve got a baby. Annoyingly you often get the most when you don’t ask for it and you get the least when you need it most. I find people always want to give input on simple things, but when it comes to complex stuff, people aren’t seen (or heard) for dust.
“When I/we did this...”
No two kids are the same and guess what, newsflash, just because you’ve been a parent doesn’t make you an expert on ALL children in the world. It was hardest when we had our first, everyone thought they knew exactly what to do and because we hadn’t done it before, they felt a sense of experience. Interestingly with our second, people don’t bother as much.
“Are you doing that right?”
I question myself a lot with numerous aspects of life, it’s part of my internal dialogue...but that doesn’t mean I want/need anybody explicitly pulling me up on what I’m doing. Being a parent makes you feel judged more than most things and the last thing you need is the feeling somebody's watching with a clipboard rating your performance.
“Pass them here”
Maybe we’re weird but the whole idea of holding a baby is quite a personal thing, especially in this climate what with there being a deadly pandemic wreaking havoc on the world. I wish people would wait to be offered a cuddle, it’s way less awkward than trying to ignore outstretched arms!
I guess being a parent tests your patience in a lot of different ways and it’s all about staying calm, even when you’re boiling over!