28 May 2014

What not to say to a new mother

Dear lady in the gynecologist's waiting room


You were there with your teenage daughter and I understand you might have more experience than me with raising children but I am not a first time mum even though I had a very small baby in my arms.
You might have been annoyed at my 6-week-old crying, even though it really did not last long and was not deafening (trust me, he can get much more upset).
Your style of parenting is probably very far from mine as you were already making comments to your daughter when I put him down on the sofa next to me and he cooed away for a good 10 minutes while we waited. Even though I didn't understand I could tell the comments were not oh look at the cute baby. Your facial expression and tone said enough.
Then came the killer sentence the second I got up to settle him down.

Have you got no dummy/pacifier?

I understood that one perfectly. I could tell by your look it implied so much more: you are doing it so wrong, get one and it will stop him from crying.
I replied a straight, strong and firm no implying I didn't want to discuss this further and making no apology for myself or my baby.
I understand many people give dummies these days but I am not a big fan of them. I think children look rather silly with dummies in the mouth at all times. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against using them as a sleeping aid. However, sucking on one for prolonged preriod of times has negative effects on speech and language development. Having worked with such kids, I know how easily these problems could have been avoided. Researchers have also shown a correlation with ear infections: the more baby sucks, the more infections s/he has.
I would, personally much rather attend to my baby's needs: a cuddle, a feed, a distraction rather than let him suck on one of those damned things each time he cries a little. My first born never had one. She cried a lot as a baby and on the few occasions we coulddn't handle it anymore and gave her one, she threw it out (to our secret delight). She later found her thumb and we were happy with that.

Dear lady, I am not trying to justify myself here and was certainly not going to do it then. But your question got me really annoyed.
Who are you to imply I am doing things wrong? This is what this comes down to. You do not know me or my baby. We were there for less than 15 minutes. Yes, I may not be the best mum. Yes, you may be right and he would have stopped crying 3 seconds faster that way. But I did not ask you why your teenage daughter was wearing far too much make-up or why you let her tattoo her arm.
We are all different and we choose to raise our children differently. Diversity works here too.

Dear lady, just like your "friend" who told me not to let my daughter play with water when she was 1 or the one who told me to put a hat on her when she was a tiny baby, I chose to ignore your comments/questions.
I will never tell you how to raise your child even if I disapprove of the way you do it. It is all a matter of personal opinion, so please keep it to yourself next time!

Respectfully
A

6 comments:

  1. Amen sista!!! OK No judging here trust me! Been there as well....no dummy or pacifier for my child ever. As much as so many people insisted I give him one!!! LOL I'm so sorry for this but I'm glad you got it off your chest!! That helps a lot! ;) Hugs!!!!

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  2. you go mommy! its about time parents realize that we each have our choices and what works for one doesn't necessarily mean works for another.

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  3. Go for it girl! Yes - tell those people who are sitting on their thrones and passing judgements on other people to get lost.

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  4. You are quite right about the judging thing... I believe motherhood is one of the hardest challenges about how to handle other people's expectations, ideas, "advises" and so on. I don't if my suggestion would work for you but I normally listen and say "Thank you, I will look in to it" even if I don't mean it. However I know as well that sometimes I would like to punch them...

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  5. There will always be someone who will gleefully point out just how wrong you are in your parenting. Regardless of what you are or aren't doing, I might say. :-)
    But I think this is all because becoming a parent is in fact translated as "open invitation for ar*eholes to give unwanted opinions and pass silly judgements on one's behaviour".
    Also, I may be wrong, but a lot of parents of teenagers have completely forgotten what small children do and how they are in real life. Those are the parents that are the most judgmental. Thankfully, memory comes back, along with manners and friendly attitude, when people retire from active duty. Elderly people are just the nicest, I find.

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  6. I have 2 teens and 2 little ones...sad thing is that people NEVER stop telling you that you're doing it all wrong or just not right.
    Good for you not making it a big thing :)

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