Ahhhh this post! The past three years experiencing pregnancy – a newborn – an infant – and now a toddler, I feel like a semi-expert in so many things. And then again? I still feel so LOST on others! But one this is for sure. I can tell you what I didn’t need to hear and STILL don’t need to hear, especially from other mamas!
1. They grow up so fast, it’s going to fly by. Cherish every moment. Is it? No way…I had no idea! If I had a dime for every time someone told me this, I’d buy everyone in my Q&A Facebook group a Mark III. That’s a LOT OF DIMES HAHAHA! This starts out as seemingly kind advice, but I’ll tell you where it started becoming a problem for me to hear.
The DAY Cammy was born, we were so excited reading all the nice comments. But then the same one over and over occurred…”they grow up so fast, cherish it, take lots of pictures, she’ll be 20 before you know it, etc” — I’m sorry..did you just tell me my 4 hour old child is going to be 20 soon? OF COURSE we know it’s going to fly! But do new moms need to hear something like that? No! Then– the week we brought her home…more of it. More “it’s going to fly by” — and the anxiety set in horrible for me. Every day that passed with her, I dreaded her turning “a week old” and “2 weeks old” because it meant time was rushing and slipping away from us. It gave me horrrrrrible anxiety! Post partum women are so sensitive and they are probably some of the biggest recipients of negative comments and advice, so it’s hard to deal with. The fact of the matter is — the way I chose to deal with it was 1) never take that person seriously again because that cliché advice could have been a heartfelt “congrats” and some other nice things instead and 2) I decided to be PROUD of her growing up, SO excited for every new milestone and achievement — I decided to not ask time to “stop now” and all that jazz, but do I cry looking back at how she was JUST a teeny baby in my arms? Of course, but you’ll drive yourself crazy if you’re constantly wishing they weren’t growing up! If they are growing up and healthy..that means YOU mama have done a beautiful job keeping them safe and doing the most important job in the world!
2. They won’t miss you, they won’t even know you’re gone. Yes, yes they will. At least ours does! Babies do know when their parents are gone but instead try saying something like, “oh they’ll have so much fun and we’ll keep them super busy and occupied”. Babies may have fun without their parents but it’s not the best thing to tell a new parent that their child isn’t gonna even notice their absence, lol!
3. Just wait until…..this is the worst offender of all. Ready for it?:
“Just wait until they’re a toddler”
“Just wait until they’re asking for this and that”
“Just wait until they’re a teenager”
Oh my GOSH, the last one is the WORST!!!!! Seriously, from one mother to another, why in the world do you say things like this? The words “just wait until” drive me nuts as it is…but when you tell a new parent glowing with joy for their beautiful newborn or infant child to “cherish these moments” because “just wait until they’re a teenager”…to put it lightly, you’re kind of being a butthead whether you mean it or not! WE KNOW it’ll be like that one day, but don’t be a kill joy because of whatever you are going through or went through. And I’m not sure how to break this news…but Cammy is 1 1/2 and hasn’t done half of the horrible things people told me she’d be doing by now. Does she color on walls with crayons? Yes- I don’t care! Does she throw her back out and throw fits in public? Yes- I’m still not devastated from that either. Some people may have worse experiences with their children or a harder time but PLEASE don’t let their skewed advice ruin any chance of enjoying the most beautiful little angel in your arms now. Be the overly excited, corny, happy parents you want to be and keep that kind of company, for your sanity! 🙂
I don’t mean to sound naïve, but the truth is– we KNOW that you may be giving accurate, very negative, but slightly accurate advice but filter it a little for the sake of not stealing someone’s newfound joy as a parent. Having a new baby is so overwhelming physically and emotionally and if you truly remembered what is was like, you’ll know exactly what not to say and what we love to hear!