Once upon a time in the distant past that feels a million years ago but also almost like yesterday I was the mum of 3 children under 3 (3 under 2 and a half if I want to sound extra crazy)
The problem with having babies out in public is people feel obliged to hand out advice . To give their opinion on child rearing , specifically on how you should bring up your child . These are strangers I must stress who have no more emotional ties than happening to plonk their arse down next to you on the bus that day or sit on the next table to you in a cafe.
Not only was I there with ALL the babies , I was young when I had the big three and that made folk think their advice was even more necessary.
Advice when asked for is a wonderful thing because you can choose who you ask. You can decide who in your life may be wise , experienced and non judgemental enough to help you out.
Unsolicited advice though , especially to me rocking about like the Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe never went down well. So I just thought I’d update some of those pearls of wisdom that were given to me and maybe even reassure a few of you that it’ll all be ok (without giving unsolicited,preachy advice of course)
“he /she will NEVER give that dummy up”
Glorious first born never had a dummy. Back then I had more idealism that experience and thought them the work of the devil.
Then came child two , the hungriest baby that ever did live . A Velcro baby who just loved comfy cosy sooooo much. He bloody loved his dummy , more than he loved his family , life itself but probably not more than he loved porridge!!!
However advice givers , of which there were many , he is now 16 and oddly doesn’t have a dummy now . Nor do his younger siblings . They gave them up way before school without really too much heartache!!!
” You’ll have to potty train early with 3 little ones or you’ll be nappy changing forever”
I can see the thought behind the particular gem. 3 babies means lots of nappies and who wants to be dealing with other people’s bodily fluids for the rest of their lives ??? However potty training is a total pain in the arse. It took a few false attempts with glorious first born and I decided balls to early potty training , it’d be best waiting till they could talk and tell me they need to go !!! When I say talk I don’t mean “oh dearest mummy , be a lamb and get me to the lavatory would you , and fetch a wipe and none of those cheap ones , they make one’s bottom awfully sore”
I mean more grunting and pointing. So late potty training was our thing ….BUT at 17,16,15 and 10 everyone can toilet independently , and could before school. (The unsolicited advice givers are obsessed with how all kids ‘these days ‘ turn up to school with nappies and dummies )
“Don’t cuddle them to sleep. They’ll NEVER learn to self settle”
I loved the fact the babies fell asleep snuggled up with me . It was lovely and sweet . Well except eldest girl who didn’t really care for human interaction and much preferred independent life from being virtually new born.
These children were going to grow up damaged adults what with letting them fall asleep on me WHAT ABOUT WHEN THEY ARE MARRIED!!!! The people worrying about a six month old nodding off on his mummy would cry. Now I’m sure you are a childcare expert oh wise stranger , however I reckon if he still needs his mum to settle him to sleep when he’s 30 there’s gonna be no one wanting to marry him!!
No-one needs to fall asleep on my lap these days ,it’s all fine. Small girl does when I’m turning out her bedroom light occasionally ask “fancy a cuddle” which I’ll never resist but am always chucked out of her bed for being too big after roughly 2.5 seconds so I dont think she’s traumatised.
“Don’t over praise them”
This one is not so much random strangers giving unsolicited advice , but newspaper articles and magazines. We’re bringing up a generation of children who expect a well done for carrying out the simplest of tasks …so spoilt with parental praise they’ll never be fit for the work place…or adult life !
This in my opinion is utter balls!!
I’ll never not praise the kids. They know I think they are the best humans on the planet , but they’re not expecting the rest of the world to get on their knees and sing songs filled with praise to them and be memorised by their awesomeness. I however , always will (except the singing bit -the teens don’t like that)
“People shouldn’t bring children into this terrible world”
THIS comment was THE one , the one that I as a relatively placid person could easily lose my shit about. That a hormonal ,sleep deprived woman with a double buggy and a baby strapped to her chest could have a full blown breakdown about.
It still makes me angry now to think of it.
Yes the world is undoubtedly not in great shape right now . I’m not sure what kinda state it was in in the early 2000s when these guys were born because I wasn’t sleeping!!!
The world now is a negative scary place at the minute but I would never think to tell anyone not to bring babies into it ! The future has to be hope , or what ? We just shut up the planet and label it a bad job . I wrote just last week about how the teenagers and young people of the world fill me full of hope ,just here .
So I’ll stick with what was always my response to the old ladies telling me I shouldn’t have brought children into this awful world.
Maybe we need them to make it better.
So parents of the world who worry about dummies and picky eaters and toilet training and hitting milestones late and co sleeping and velcro babies . Who are bombarded with advice without asking for it ? Well….. I’m not going to give unsolicited advice here, not me , no way…..all I’ll say is this …
There are 4 older kids in this house and not a dummy , nappy or bottle to be seen!!
<a href=”https://lucyathome.co.uk” title=”Lucy At Home”><img src=”https://lucyathome.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/badge.png” alt=”Lucy At Home” style=”border: none;” /></a>
My Facebook page is here