To find some parents are very patronising to expectant parents?(143 Posts)
I am currently 31 weeks pregnant. And myself and my OH have decided that it's probably best if we don't speak. If myself or my OH dare to say one of us feels tired, we get told "Oh if you feel tired now, wait until baby comes!"
If one of us says we've had a busy week/no time for something - "Oh if you think you're busy now, wait until baby comes!"
If one of us says we fancy going out for meal/shopping/cinema/frolic outside we get "Oh I hope you know you won't be able to do anything when baby comes!"
Or even if we don't say anything at all, actually "You're going to have a big shock when baby comes. You won't be able to carry on the same as you are now!" Accompanied by knowing looks and a laugh.
I just needed to rant. Please tell me there are others who have felt like this! I know they mean well and I know that nothing prepares you for your first child, but give me and my OH some credit. I don't mind people saying things in context, for example some good advice we had early on is to spend at much time as possible doing the things we love now (and not to feel guilty about the expense), and that I should take my maternity leave a week or two before due date so I can have some time to relax.
AIBU to find it patronising? Especially coming from the same people again and again? How am I meant to react?
If you think it's bad now wait until the baby comes...
Sorry but the advice etc gets worse, just ignore nod and say I expect your right. I say this so much every week and she's only 5 months!
And when (inevitably, because NOTHING PREPARES YOU FOR HAVING CHILDREN) you have your brood and meet a charmingly excited expectant first time parent try to resist saying it yourself!
Good luck with the baby! Very exciting!
It never ends.
I told my mom to back off at the weekend and she looked like I had smacked her in the face. ( she wanted me to take the shoes I brought DD back and buy her some Clarks shoes)
I agree, it is really annoying, but what Kathy says is right, it will get a lot worse when baby comes. For some reason people, even strangers, seem to see babies as public property and think they have the right to criticise your parenting. Ignore, ignore, ignore .
FWIW I slept terribly towards the end of my pregnancy and felt much better after baby was born and I was able to sleep better (he is a decent sleeper but has never even slept through the night yet).
Kathy your post made me laugh! lol
Yeah, I guess you similar 'advice' from now until baby is... well, probably forever. My pregnancy has been like that from my mother at least, anyway. She once told me I shouldn't work night shifts because "babies only grow when you sleep during the night so your baby will be underweight if you work nights all the time"
It's annoying but very good prep for when the baby is here and people then think it's their place to tell you how to parent your child and being judged on every decision.
I'm 34 weeks with twins and have been driven mad by all these sorts of comments! Nearly always by people who haven't had twins (in fact, it's the twin mums who have been the most positive). I just smile and nod, nobody can tell you how you're going to feel or how you're life is going to change, everyone is different.
People definitely see babies a public property to comment on - whether or not they have had babies or not!
YANBU - everyone thinks they're being very clever when they tell you how awful it's all going to be. Ignore the advice you don't like and follow the advice you do - is my advice. It doesn't change. It morphs from how to feed your baby to how to teach them to ride their bike (stabilisers versus balance bikes) to what to let them wear to the school disco to whether to let them eat at McDonalds. Nothing changes. You are a parent, so you must be wrong.
Your friends are kindly helping you get in shape for when the baby comes and the advice comes from everywhere. Buy them flowers and cake.
Seriously, I was talking to my mum about something about DS10 yesterday and I got 'you think that's bad, wait till he's a teenager'...
We are all probably a bit guilty of it. It's just one of those things.
Some expectant parents are also a bit smug and annoying. That's life.
Sometimes it's justified though.
My friend was never a better parent than when she was pregnant with her first. I used to get all sorts of advice on how to parent my then two year old, and lots of comments about how her child would never do X because she and her husband were going to do Y.
I admit to laughing hollowly on occasion and advising her 'just wait until the baby comes...'
Then she got a magical, sleeping baby that did nothing but sleep, eat and stare at the world in wonder. DS2 came along at the same time and was my second colicky sleep refuser. Bitch. grin
namechangeparents - That's the part that irritates me the most and makes me want to scream. That they always think they're being clever or the first person to say. The worst is one of my ILs. We get on very well and it would never be worth actually falling out about, but I really, really, really, want to scream! A comment like in my OP is made then there's a laugh that ends the conversation and a kind of intense stare to judge my reaction.
Do you think if, at an upcoming family gather where I am 90% certain someone will say something, I would be justified in wearing a T shirt that said "I've heard parenting is hard. Yes I am excited about the baby. It is a boy. I know birth hurts."
NotSayingImBatman - Oh yes I would deserve it if I was like that. When my niece was young and my SIL would say she was teething etc I would say something like "maybe try X because my mum said it helped me when I was a baby" but that is the extent of me as a non-parent offering advice. I hoped (and still hope!) that it came across as me offering something from experience (even if it wasn't mine) rather than the kind of "I know better" way. Maybe others might not see it that way though. I think it's unfair to say non-parents have nothing at all valuable to say as many of us have child-caring experience.
I do have a friend who is pregnant and posts on Facebook examples of 'bad parents' and says she will NEVER do this or that she read something and 'why doesn't she just follow this advice on the internet that I read?' which I think crosses a line.
It never ends. It's always 'Just wait' :
Wait until he crawls, wait until he walks, wait until he talks, wait until he sleeps in his own bed, wait until he's 17 and learning to drive etc etc.
Just smile serenely.
It's even worse when your relatives are HCPs, FIL tried to talk to me about expressing in the middle of a restaurant while I was pregnant. Aaargh.
-- it's fun telling him when his advice isn't actually following the most recent guidelines though--
FWIW I'm finding a lot easier having a baby than being pregnant
Every time I have said (or thought) this to an expectant parent they have ended up with a beautifully easy and compliant child, nothing like my own little horror of a firstborn. So maybe it works as a magical charm.
Yanbu - I'm almost 32 weeks and getting the same. I think I'm getting it far more than DH though. It's so bloody annoying. That and the constant 'you're massive' comments and grabbing my stomach
Can you tell I'm pissed off today
StrawberryQuik can you clarify what HCP and FWIW means?
I have had a male colleague who has a 6 month old baby ask me if I plan to bf, even though I said yes we then had a very uncomfortable conversation in a public place about how it is best for baby, how it isn't that difficult after the first week or so, how he supports his wife, etc. Don't get me wrong it wasn't the fact that he was male or and he wasn't patronising at all - it was just totally not a good place! So I sympathise.
Oh yes the breastfeeding comments my friends husband asked me if I was worried I would end up with 'saggy tits' after breastfeeding. He was drunk and likely doesn't remember but I do.
corythatwas - Ooh I hope so! If that's true then my baby is going to sleep through the night from day 1, never have colic, and grow up to be a child genius and we can give up work before we're 40!
KayTee87 I have the opposite problem. Despite being a 'not slim' size 16/18 people don't realise I am pregnant and my midwife had to send me for a growth scan as my bump was measuring too small. I recently had a health check appointment at work and she noticed on my record I had had my whooping cough jab. She started to ask me how my baby was. I responded by saying I was still 31 weeks and she said "Oh you don't look pregnant!"
Yes. My baby resembles a roll of fat. I know.
Health care professional
For what it's worth
I've a young family now and I remember this so well. I make a real point of saying how lovely kids are and how much parenting can be awesome.
The only time I say any of the stuff you mention OP is if said expectant person is saying stuff like "oh, we'll have a sleep routine" or "I'll still do X twice a week" etc as a response to me having a chat about how knackered I am or how I missed something. It does work both ways.
Really, we all just need to be kinder and more positive to each other.
Good luck with the baby. It'll be awesome.
Oh yes- the comments from peers in many ways seemed worse to me that parental types (and people of their generation). Peers who had their children first seemed to think they had invented the process of having children. I hope I am not like that now. (One of my friends still talks about how others have "copied" her by having children- it is an odd competitive thing).
Yes op NOTHING PREPARES YOU for when you become a parent and get constant comments and 'advice', but this is a nice introduction. Just block it all out because no one can possibly know how you will feel or what your experiences will be as a parent. I personally found pregnancy a million times harder and more tiring than having a baby.
I still get tons of advice thrown at me about how I should be caring for my baby and this is my 2nd dc. The advice is usually wrong too. It just makes me laugh.
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