Ways to NOT be Helpful, pt. 2.

I thought it was about time I continued my little series on ways people have been unhelpful during various parts of my pregnancy and parenting experience so far. Everyone and their cat loves a newborn, almost as much as they love making suggestions and comments on how you should be parenting/coping so far, so Part 2 is going to be all about ways to NOT be helpful to new parents.

1) Use the phrase ‘sleep while they sleep’.

We’ve all heard this at least 10000 times. It’s a favourite amongst extended family, midwives, health visitors and strangers alike. To begin with you think ‘yeah that’s reasonable’, but after about week 2 you realise, this suggestion is useless. If I sleep when the baby sleeps then when will I wash, eat, maintain the already questionable standards of cleanliness of my house, be a human etc. etc. The list is endless!

2) Guess the newborn’s gender.

If it isn’t obvious and you don’t know, DO NOT GUESS. It is possible to speak without using gender specific pronouns – remember that. If you’re wrong the poor parent you’re speaking to is going to be wounded, to them their baby is the most beautiful thing in the world and they will not understand if you think they are the opposite gender, however genuine their correction may seem.

3) Laugh when I say I haven’t slept in a month.

Whether you’re laughing it off because I look like I’m about to cry or you think I’m joking, this is not a helpful response. After a month of no sleep I can barely remember what laughing is like, never mind understand that you might be using it to comfort me. If you want to comfort me offer to babysit while I pass out.

4) Say things like ‘it’ll fly by’ ‘just you wait’ etc.

When G was tiny I think I heard these phrases or something similar at least 20 times a day, if not more. At the time I’d smile and think nothing of it, but looking back I refuse to ever let these phrases enter my small talk repertoire. The most unhelpful thing about these comments are that they’re true, just don’t remind me!

5) Tell me your Grandson/niece’s/neighbours daughter’s sleep routine.

It will undoubtedly be better. It always is. Don’t make my sleep-deprived mind question my parenting skills any more than it always is, I appreciate that whatever baby you’re talking to is a Superbaby that sleeps 12 hours a day and feeds only when it’s convenient for it’s parents but if you could just keep that to yourself it would be great.

Have you ever experienced any of these unhelpful suggestions/comments? Do you have any you would add to the list? Shout out to all your Mamas of newborns out there – you’re doing great!

Pink Pear Bear
Cuddle Fairy

5 thoughts on “Ways to NOT be Helpful, pt. 2.

  1. Haha, yep, very familiar! After being put on the ward when I had given birth, the carer there said to me “first baby?” (no, second) then “little boy?” (no, girl…) it was a good start! Also the midwife a few days later said I must make sure I was getting plenty of sleep when baby was – I was just about to nap when she called round! x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These sound familiar to me too! Along with “don’t you look well” when all you want to do is curl up, or “I’ll hold the baby whilst you make the tea”, nope, pretty sure it’s supposed to be the other way round!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I’ve had all this! The worst thing is the ‘it flies by’ everyone knows that and all it does is add to my already heavy ‘mum guilt’ about ever wanting a break from them etc. Sleep deprivation is the worst of the worst and it can turn a happy, rational person into an angry, tearful crazy person. Thanks for making it and linking up, I’m so glad your little lovey is feeling better. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to cringe when reading this because a) Yes all of these things are SO annoying when you’re a new mum, but b) I probably say them all the time now I’m a smug ‘pro’ mum of two kids! #guiltyascharged 😉
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I heard all of the same things!! It must just be things people say by default. It is true that the time will fly – but that’s in hindsight. When you are in those sleepless nights, the time drags on!! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #bloggerclubuk x

    Liked by 1 person

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