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Did You Have To Say That?

We’ve all been there. Utterly sleep deprived and walking around like a zombie fuelled on caffeine and cake. Well I’m not sure it’s all of us really – I convinced myself I wasn’t the only one to get through those months. You drag yourself to a coffee morning or baby group and smile nervously at some of the mums, as you’re well aware this is the only human interaction you’ll get today. And then one of them mentions something under their breath that makes you think “really? did she really just say that?” It turns you into a Tiger Mum, fiercely protective of your little one, and if you’d only had a couple more hours sleep, you’d (probably) be much quicker at thinking of something appropriate to say.

hiding

Unfortunately during this time, we’re all a little bit sensitive and I’ve always thought that a little more care over what you say to others – you know, that filter that we sometimes turn off after a glass of wine – goes a long way. So here’s a few phrases that you should only say to a new mum at your peril…

-Your little one is tiny! She’s so much smaller than X over there.

-You little one is huge! She’s so much bigger than X over there.

-You’re breastfeeding him again? Maybe that’s why he’s so big.

-That’s hilarious – she always cries when she’s with other children.

-Maybe you should just give her water, then she should sleep through the night.

-Is she not walking yet? My girl was walking months ago.

-You let her watch TV? I’ve heard children who watch TV before the age of 5 are mentally scarred for life.

-She’s doesn’t like Calpol? I’ve never known a baby to not like Calpol.

-She’s such an easy baby, it must be a piece of cake.

-It’s only going to get worse and worse from here.

My personal favourite when Emma was younger was people telling me what an easy baby, it used to drive me mad as I’m not sure it was so easy during the witching hour every night! Because really, it’s not easy for any of us. I know it sounds cliche, but every baby and family are different, so why not show a little bit of empathy and just support each other. A friend of mine told me the other day that she felt so alone and judged at these comments, but equally never wanted to say anything in our mummy group because she didn’t know whether she was over-reacting. This made me so very sad. We should be building each other up, rather than knocking each other down with the odd barbed comment.

The irony is that now we are more settled into a routine, the sleep deprivation is starting the ease off, and everything is easier. Sleep really is that magic ingredient we all need… But until the broken nights come to an end, let’s just remind ourselves how amazing we all are.

 

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55 Comments

  1. July 11, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    This is so true. I tend to smile and nod and take my lead from what the mum is saying. Recently people have been advising that I start Moo on baby rice to help her to sleep longer at night. A. I have strong views on the stuff…! and B. She sleeps perfectly well, thank you. Argh. Good post – a perfect candidate for #effitfriday when I host this week 😉 xx

  2. July 12, 2016 / 5:34 am

    SO true!! Great article! The final comment is the one that really gets me and people use it so often! You’re so right. We should all support one another. X #DreamTeam

  3. July 12, 2016 / 6:30 am

    Oh I love this! These comments are infuriating – I’ve had them said to me and I’ve heard others say them to friends and it really can be so upsetting, When you’re sleep deprived, everything is a million times worse and we should only be supporting each other not criticising each other. I get the exact same thing; he’s such an easy baby! Not at 3am, 4am, 5am he bloody isn’t!!! You’re so right; lets support each other and let each other know we are not going through it all alone xxx #dreamteam

  4. July 12, 2016 / 6:49 am

    Oh been there! So hard. I was and still am with Youngest, getting told how big they are “wow, she is so tall! So much bigger than everyone else. How old did you say she was again? Really! Wow! SO BIG!” Yep, thanks for that. Last week I was asked if we were on holiday in Jersey because shouldn’t Youngest be in school when I explained she hasn’t even started pre-school, she looked shocked! #dreamteam ps yayyy for cohosting!

  5. July 12, 2016 / 7:29 am

    Ha, I recently wrote something very similar, although I was a bit more sweary! I blame a lack of sleep. I absolutely agree with you about building each other up. I hate it when parenting becomes competitive. Why does it have to be this way? Also, why should we be berating others for their parenting choices? Worry about your own household innit! #dreamteam

  6. July 12, 2016 / 7:36 am

    well said! We are all amazing and every thing is relative. People still do it now with older children – what set is your son in? What did he get in his exams? ! I’m more content just focusing on mine – much less stressful! xx

    • July 12, 2016 / 8:08 am

      back from #DreamTeam – so exciting to see you cohosting this!

  7. July 12, 2016 / 7:49 am

    Ugh, I don’t miss all of these comments when you have a baby, all to come again soon. The thing I hated was people telling me I held Archie to much and was spoiling him – he was a flipping newborn! IT clearly affected him in no way whatsoever as now he’s a thriving 2.5 year old. #dreamteam

  8. July 12, 2016 / 7:51 am

    It does confuse me why parents say that to other parents… It makes you feel judged which isn’t fair! But most importantly you will travel the same path, it just might be at different times and stages, so why are you seeing it as a competition? Xxx congrats on being a host for the #DreamTeam linky

  9. July 12, 2016 / 8:01 am

    These kind of comments drive me mad. I used to get them & worse all the time before my son was diagnosed with Autism, oh you just need to socialise him more, he’ll grow out of it, all kids are like that etc. Not helpful when you’re going through the heartache & stress of appointments & therapies x #DreamTeam

  10. July 12, 2016 / 8:10 am

    Parenting has always seemed to be a contest to some. The first thing a family member said on the phone after hearing about my daughter was, “Oh. [Son’s name] was bigger!”. It really gets to me at times, but I know I shouldn’t allow it to. #DreamTeam

  11. July 12, 2016 / 8:59 am

    I hate it when others compare baby and kids. Each one is different so does it really matter what age they are when they first start cutting their teeth? #DreamTeam

  12. July 12, 2016 / 9:24 am

    Sleep is absolutely the key – it makes all the difference to life as far as I’m concerned! What you say is so true – we need to cut each other some slack. As Helen says in her comment: the judging just goes on and on. That’s why I’ve never been a playground mum. I can remember feeling so lonely at baby groups. Once I left one in tears. I really do sympathise. Alison x #DreamTeam

  13. July 12, 2016 / 9:48 am

    I found everyone was an expert, but I was happy for it to all go over my head. As it turned out my boy is very different and so ignoring most of the “advice” I got was probably no bad thing. I remember telling the Children’s Centre I ignored most advice and they told me that wasn’t the right thing to do. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ! #dreamteam

  14. The Tale of Mummyhood
    July 12, 2016 / 9:52 am

    Ah the one i hated the most was ‘is she hungry?’ like I’m letting the child starve! I think people mean well but those first few moths can be so raw. I think the filter should be on over time until every mother has had a decent nights sleep!

    #DreamTeam

  15. July 12, 2016 / 10:01 am

    I totally agree- from the time of having a bump people compare and criticise like you were asking for their opinion and no filter!! It is the same as they get older and mothers with even older children think they can tell you how to think- head held high, smile and ignore 😉
    Lou at http://www.peppermintcove.com #DreamTeam

  16. July 12, 2016 / 10:32 am

    Such a lovely post. It reminds me of one of my mums sayings, if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all. I think some people believe it’s small talk at baby groups to say these things. Ignore them… #DreamTeam

  17. July 12, 2016 / 10:42 am

    and it just goes on and on I find! b is 3 now and I still get comparisons and comments about whatever people like to comment on! pinch of salt and all 😉 #DreamTeam

  18. July 12, 2016 / 10:54 am

    So very true. I have often been stung by the odd “well meaning” comment, and I’m sure that they aren’t meant to be unkind, but at such a vulnerable and anxious time in life they really can knock your block off! I think we all need to stop and take a second to think before ploughing in feet first sometimes. Very wise words x Thank you for hosting #DreamTeam

  19. July 12, 2016 / 11:24 am

    I got the small baby comment a lot, which I hated, because I was constantly worried about the Popple’s weight. I don’t think people meant to be judgmental, but it drove me crazy. You’re right – every baby is different and you don’t know what it’s like for different families, so we should think before we say something that might be hurtful. #DreamTeam

  20. July 12, 2016 / 12:32 pm

    Well said! I don’t know anyone who finds parenting easy – there’s always a new challenge. So lets stop knocking each other down and encourage each other on this journey. I got so fed up of people saying “ooh just wait until she’s crawling” which then became “just wait until she’s walking” which then became “just wait until she’s talking back”. I’m not sure what these comments were meant to achieve, but what it actually did was belittle the struggles I was facing at that exact stage, and make me fearful of the stages to come. However, in actual experience I have found that all stages have their perks and difficulties. When they’re crawling, they’re into everything, but they’re also wearing themselves out so sleeping better. When they’re walking, they’re harder to keep track of, but they also don’t need carrying all the time (hurray my arms are free!). When they’re talking, they can disagree with you, but they also can tell you what’s bothering them and tell you they love you. #DreamTeam

  21. July 12, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    People can be idiots can’t they? Love this! #DreamTeam

  22. July 12, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Its so true! I think sometimes other mums think they are maybe saying something helpful eg; he/she is such an easy baby, when the reality is that maybe it doesnt quite feel like that for the mum of that baby. You just dont know what another parent is finding easy or difficult so unless you are really close to someone and can comment knowing how theyll receive it, sometimes its better to just not because as a parent, especially a new one it is hard not to take comments like these personally! Emily #DreamTeam

  23. July 12, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    Yessss! Agree with all of the above/experiences all of the above! And- you only realise the true value of sleep AFTER you have had children! Thanks for telling me about this fab linky! #DreamTeam

  24. July 12, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    This is so true! We are ‘lucky’ enough to have a close friend who struggles to engage her filter quite often and often comes out with things that if we weren’t close friends would result in a rage-like confrontation. Back handed compliments are my personal irk.
    Potty Adventures
    #dreamteam

  25. July 12, 2016 / 5:08 pm

    I think people make comments like those to make themselves feel better about their own inadequacies! I guess if you can find fault with someone else then it covers up the fact that you’re probably feeling like a failure yourself! But absolutely, if parents could be a bit nicer to each other it would make life a lot easier! #DreamTeam

  26. July 12, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    Oh WHY does everyone do this? We went to an ‘Early Days’ group run by a children centre, it was an informal course for new mums and they kept saying things like ‘this is the easy bit, wait until they start crawling’ to a room full of sleep deprived, frazzled new mothers. Unbelievable. I always got told I fed him lots and that he’s really big, but I am pretty good at ignoring people who say things I don’t like haha. Lovely post darling, if we could get some kinder people like you about that would be ideal! #DreamTeam

  27. July 12, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    Yep, nothing annoys more than the “helpful” (NOT) comments that mums seem to make to each other. Why can’t people just be nice? #DreamTeam

  28. July 12, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    So true, I could write a book with all the phrases I have heard over the years. I will never understand why other women, mums especially, don’t think before they blurt out these phrases, surely nobody actually likes hearing them, so why say it? #DreamTeam

  29. July 12, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    Sleep is such a key thing, if you are feeling tired you are always going to take things to heart more. And perhaps say the wrong thing too. Today I heard a mum saying to another one… oh you have just had a baby, that’s why you look so tired :-O Mum with new baby brushed it off like water off a duck’s back. But really, why would anyone even say that in the first place. Thank you for co-hosting the #DreamTeam with me. xx

  30. July 12, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Very true. You’ve got to live the person that knows your child best even though they’ve never met them before.

  31. July 12, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    I remember having a few of these when my daughter was a baby, particularly about her not walking until she was about 14 months! #DreamTeam

  32. July 12, 2016 / 9:31 pm

    I remember so many of those comments that just get your back up instantly – they wouldn’t even register if you’d had enough sleep! x

  33. July 12, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    I totally agree we need to be supporting each other as Mums and not making snippy comments. I must admit though I must have been guilty of saying the odd careless thing here and there, not out of meanness but just because I honestly thought it was an innocent comment that wouldn’t be taken badly. I’m always the first to apologise if I’ve inadvertently put my foot in it though. It’s so hard when everyone is sleep deprived and hormonal, not thinking straight and extra sensitive xx

  34. July 13, 2016 / 7:08 am

    I completely agree people say the most random things! But sleep definitely is the answer it makes you much less tetchy about things like this. Sometimes it’s just easier to offer it all up at the start and then no one can say anything ie yes he is a big baby and yes he is quite chilled but he’s not always easy and will probably be a hideous teenager….
    #dreamteam x

  35. July 13, 2016 / 9:55 am

    Great post and I know something that has affected many of my mummy friends. Even yesterday I had a friend in tears over school gate judgement when picking up her 9 year. I’ve no idea why women in general and mummies aren’t empowering each other not making each other feel inferior #DreamTeam

  36. July 13, 2016 / 11:18 am

    Helloooooooo! Miss Co-host! How fabulous is that?!
    Gosh, haven’t we all had this at one time or another? Parenting is difficult enough without folks making you feel poopy! I have to say that I’ve noticed this even starts with the Health Visitors making you feel rubbish if your child isn’t in the right region of the ‘ARBITRARY’ growth chart or if you haven’t managed to breast feed. My poor sister was on a low ebb already when the health visitor was tutting about her daughter not hitting the weight target…Only for my sister to realise she’d put the dot in the wrong place on the graph after a week of fretting.

    I remember being told I mustn’t use nipple shields, even though my breasts were so engorged and bruised and nipples in shreds and couldnt get my daughter to latch on…I was determined not to give up breastfeeding so I ignored her advice but felt guilty about it!!! Sorry if that is TMI.

    Plus, I always used to find myself shuffling around apologetically when I dared to get a little jar of baby food out on a day out because I was too knackered to work the liquidizer and spoon the mush into little icecube trays and freeze.

    Deep breaths!

    You know, at the end of the day, don’t let folks knock your confidence because when you are a parent the best thing you can do for your kids is LOVE THEM, TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM and SHOW THEM YOU LOVE THEM…

    #DreamTeam

    • July 13, 2016 / 11:22 am

      Lol! Where did all that come from?! Obviously I needed to get that off my (now recovered) chest!

  37. July 13, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    Great post lovely. To be honest I feel the same as you I am always told that my little lady was an easy baby because she sleeps though the night!!! My husband and I worked so hard to get our little lady into a sleep routine! We had no sleep, no social life and looked pants – but we did it. Then to have a cheeky new mum say that my baby is easy annoyed me so much!!!! #DreamTeam

  38. July 13, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    So true Bridie. I hate coffee mornings and play groups anyway to be honest but especially because of these stupid comments women rattle out to each other and the competitive parenting that goes on. It only takes about 30 seconds (if youre lucky enough for someone to talk to you that is) for someone to ask how you are feeding your baby and that is the most irritating one of all for me. Great post! #TheBabyFormula x

  39. July 13, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    This is so true! Clem has always been a skinny little thing despite eating loads, and people would always comment on it. I swear they all thought I was lying. It wasn’t until we were at a play date with the other mums from our NCT class and they all saw her eat that they actually starting to believe me. She’s just very tall and active. Also she was (and still is) a terrible sleeper, and I always got the she’s such an easy baby. At night she definitely wasn’t!x #dreamteam

  40. July 13, 2016 / 11:44 pm

    It is such a sensitive time, I especially felt it with my first baby, the health nurse even offended me she was just so inconsiderate now that I look back. I was probably over sensitive with some things but others were just rude. Really awesome post! #dreamteamlinky

  41. July 14, 2016 / 12:30 am

    Yes! Comments like those are so unnecessary. We need to support each other. Lean on each other. We shouldn’t feel the need to compare, or compete, or judge each other for our personal choices. #DreamTeam

  42. July 14, 2016 / 9:34 am

    Oh I hear you!! My third didn’t sleep at night for the first 10 months- just screamed! He was the most contented baby during the day so all I got told was ‘he’s such an easy going baby’ ‘you’re so lucky he’s so calm and contented’, ‘you must get so much done, mine only naps for an hour in the day’. It drove me mad that they didn’t see the monster he became after 10pm!!! #ablogginggoodtime

  43. July 14, 2016 / 10:39 am

    I think that if you ask for advice then fine, but only kind and helpful comments are welcome! I thankfully never had any examples of this… unless I was just too sleep deprived to hear them! But I had a friend who had a little baby and the HV went on and on and on at her and then the other mums started too and she was distraught. I told her to stop being so ridiculous (she is a very close friend!!) and that as a natural size 4 herself it wasn’t surprising that she had a child at only 2% on the weight chart! She laughed and stopped worrying after that. #DreamTeam

  44. July 14, 2016 / 11:54 am

    On a same different situation, me and my husband is having problems and I want a separation. I dont have a lot of friends here and but I have few that I am confortable in telling my story. Its a real hard situation and I really want out but the usual advice that I would get is that I am the woman and I should make it work. Its been years really that I am trying to make it work but its really not working so how many more years before I wait before I should really ask for a separation? So since I told them my story they really do have the power to say something as I gave that to them but sometimes the things that they say doesnt really make sense. I think that in the end its you who knows that is going on in the relationship whether it be like mine which is husband-wife and yours which is mother-child.

    The things that they say made me just shut up and keep everything to myself. Luckily I have a blog that I can share those thoughts into and in here I have a power to not receive comments if I really want to.

    I really dont know where this comment is heading haha! But I know how you feel and this is such an honest post. Thanks for sharing. #dreamteam

  45. July 14, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Ah so true – new parents are generally pretty vulnerable people and some days the slightest comments I found would make me dwell and worry and all sorts. We should all stop and think before we speak, and never just say something to someone else to make ourselves feel better. A life lesson and practising it to other parents would be a tru;lay good start. I have a post that I really must must publish at some point, it’s been sitting in drafts unfinished for months and months about judgement and advice vs support and information…your post today has reminded me of it again!! #ablogginggoodtime

  46. July 15, 2016 / 6:15 am

    Mine are both going to be scarred for life in that case hahaha. People just need to keep quiet don’t they?! x

  47. July 15, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    Lovely post and so true! I am sorry, but I don’t tolerate stupid comments like these. I wouldn’t hurt any parent with such words, I wish people wouldn’t do it to myself too. We all love our own kids and do our best to be good parents. The last thing we need is someone criticising us or offending our children. It doesn’t take much to be kind to each other, does it? 🙂 #effitfriday

  48. July 15, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    Popping back to say I’m loving seeing this post do the rounds over the Huff! I still can’t believe the tripe that people peddle out when faced with a pregnant lady or new mum. Thank you for ranting with me on #effitfriday 🙂

  49. July 15, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    Ah it’s thought isn’t it and sometimes people’s co meets, even where well meant can be so insensitive and hurtful. Somebody said to me recently…my god she’s turned into a right chunk…talking about my daughter. I was mortified, angry, hurt, you name it she pushed just about every button there was to push. People really can be so thoughtless xx #ablogginggoodtime

  50. July 16, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    I agree we should definitely be building each other up more information stead of making little jabs at each other. Which is of course what I love about our lovely group of tribesters. #dreamteam

  51. July 20, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    I def think mums need a reminder of how amazing they are and some of the comments often put me in mind of mum shaming – accidental but nonetheless and in our sleep deprived states its the last thing we need really! You are awesome, I have my moments and everyone else is uber too. Great post!!

    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime #triballove

    • July 20, 2016 / 8:18 pm

      Thank you lovely – the sleep is such a killer and I agree, the mum shaming is just not on! Xx

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