What is it with parents?

All of my posts have been very serious so far as I have tried to get across exactly how I was feeling and really convey my mood but this next one is a little bit tongue in cheek and I am in a good frame of mind as I type this.

I have noticed a strange trend that surrounds pregnancy and the whole process of having a baby that I had never witnessed before so I want to examine it now, but please take it in good humour as it is intended and don’t lynch me afterward.

I want to discuss a side to families, parents in fact, that I observed during my partner’s pregnancy. To be blunt, I would love to know why existing parents are so evil to expectant ones? That’s right, evil! There, I said it!

Now as you read this, possibly now a little bit shocked that I dared to say such a thing, you may be thinking this clearly doesn’t relate to you, you have given nothing but support and the benefit of your wisdom to those who have embarked on the path of parenthood and I’m sure that, to a degree, you are spot on!

But be honest, with yourself if not me, have you ever used the words, “you have it all to look forward to!”, or, “oh get sleep now whilst you can!”? If you have, then believe me when I say you have shown a little of your darkness inside and it’s enough to scare the living daylights out of newly expecting parents. I know, I’ve been there very recently and it’s still coming!

Whilst I’m on the subject, I’ve never really understood this concept of storing up sleep, is it even possible? Can I go for three days without sleep as long as I’ve already slept for three days before?

Now, I have never hidden away from the fact that I didn’t see children being part of my life, you only have to read my previous posts to see that, so I presumed it was just me reeling from the little digs, the sly little quips and the manic smiles of experienced parents who are clearly enjoying the fact that you are to suffer in the same way they have, as if by us suffering sleep deprivation makes up for the horrid time they had and makes them feel a little better.

But it seems it’s not just me, I spoke to numerous first time parents at antenatal classes, friends who are expecting etc. who had been scared witless by the tales of woe from parents of toddlers discussing the terrible twos and people that had given blow by blow accounts of everything that went wrong in labour!

It starts as soon as you announce a baby is on its way. I use social media on a regular basis and when it was time to let the world in on our news I used Facebook. Telling parents and closest friends face to face, but choosing a bulk announcement on the site to let everyone else around us know. I posted the news and sat back and waited. The flood of congratulations and well wishes came in and it was slightly overwhelming that people around us cared so much, clearly people were very excited for us and it bought a much more frenzied response than I anticipated. However, every 10 messages or so they were punctuated with all sorts of messages of doom and gloom such as “it’s all down hill from here’ and ‘your lives will never be the same!’

Then you proudly announce that your baby, your bundle of joy is here and it continues! There seemed to be a small army of experienced parents ready to tell you what you had let yourself in for and take a grim pleasure in doing so.

I know that some of it will be harmless banter and I am all for giving people a bit of a ribbing, and some is genuine advice, but some of it seems to be a thinly veiled desire to watch the new parent squirm.

I have only ever seen this when it comes to parenting, and I am pleased about that, imagine if someone who had had the same medical operation as you decided to laughingly describe every last detail of the procedure with a manic look on their face and telling you that you won’t sit down for a week! You wouldn’t take too kindly to this approach but when it comes to being told how our fate is sealed by our offspring we lap it up!

Even when the baby is here and your suffering has begun people will often bring their toddler into your presence whilst they are misbehaving just to show you that the worst is yet to come! If you say you have sleepless nights they will show you their baby teething! It’s like baby top trumps out there!

So come on parents, and I include myself in this now, when someone tells you their good news simply congratulate them, tell them how wonderful having a child is and then offer your support with anything they need, when they need it, rather than terrifying the life out of them, I know I would have appreciated it and I’m sure they will to.

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