I never thought I’d do a list for a blog but thanks to another blogger and new friend on Twitter (@TDadFather) I thought of all the things that have been said to me by people who are just either nosy, ignorant, stupid or all three.
This isn’t meant to offend. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of these too before I had a child and since my dearest and oldest friend has just had a beautiful baby, it led me to remember lonely trips out whilst on maternity with only a sleeping baby for company. These were the days before my mum and sister literally took me out nearly every day or I just ended up at one of theirs so I could have a hot cup of tea and a sandwich in peace- they had the baby, everything was fine.
‘Ohh look at her, she’s just so adorable!!’
Yeah HE is. Thanks. We had a red buggy and clearly a lot of the older generation associate the colour red with girls. Which is rubbish. We bought a red buggy because A) I loved it, I feel in love with it at John Lewis when I was about 15 weeks pregnant, so we decided we’d get a red buggy no matter what and B) It felt gender neutral so if we had another one in quick succession, we’d have a buggy for them to use and therefore wouldn’t have to spend more money changing it. Unluckily, I didn’t take into account the amount of people who wouldn’t see my son dressed in blue from head to toe, with a blue blanket round him; they’d see red , literally, and automatically assume I’ve had a girl.
This happens to lots of people, my niece was called a boy so much in her first few weeks my sister in law resorted to headbands to ensure people didn’t get it wrong (and they made her look ridiculously cute), friends have said even after they’ve corrected the person, they’ve carried on calling them the wrong gender.
If you’re unsure please use ‘they’re’ when referring to a baby you meet in Tesco. You don’t know how your words may affect a sleep-deprived, possibly depressed and hormonal mother who only wanted to go to Tesco as it was better than staring at the same four walls.
‘Why would you go back to work full time?’
I wanted to work full time for my sanity, I’m a better mum for working full time. I’m not made to be a stay at home mum and those parents who do stay at home have my total respect and admiration! We decided that if my lovely mum and sister could have the baby for two days a week, we could afford 3 days of nursery full time and it was worth me going to work. This isn’t for everyone, I get that. He has a great time at nursery and with Grandma, he wouldn’t be anywhere near where he is developmentally if he’d been left with me at home for 2 days a week! He’s happy, I’m happy and that makes my partner happy. I already feel so guilty for going to work full time, I don’t need your judgement for doing it. I miss him every time I’m not with him, but this is the best way for us as a family.
‘When are you having another?’
I’m not. Simple as. I’m not going into reasons, it’s nobodies business. We have very good reasons as to why, for us, it’s not right to have any more children. It’s nothing biological – as far as I’m aware I could still have children. It’s personal preference. I don’t think I’ll change my mind and as I’m a stubborn cow, people continually telling me I should have more, just pushes me towards definitely not doing so.
‘You’re having a weekend away, who’ll look after your son?’
Erm, his dad. As he’s also a parent and does a bloody fantastic job at looking after our little angel when I’m not there. This is only asked if I’m away with my sister on our yearly trip to London. If me and him go away, the toddler goes to Nanna and Grandad’s for a few days which he loves, it gives us a break, it gives my mum a break and it gives them some awesome time with our son that they otherwise wouldn’t have. If it’s just me going away, it’s like the world has ended – how dare I leave him to fend for himself. My partner is more than capable of looking after him, if I didn’t trust him – I wouldn’t have had a baby with him.
‘Are you still with the father?’
Now, I completely understand this one, I have no wedding ring on my finger (as we’re not married) and when we first became pregnant, I had a different last name to my partner. I get that this isn’t a massive thing, I changed my name so we all matched and it was a couple of grand cheaper than getting married (I’ve done it all before anyway) and it suited us at the time. Anyway, this was said to me by a midwife who was covering my normal midwife’s shift as she was sick, I shouldn’t have felt indignant but I did, and I’m certainly not saying that it’s a bad thing to get pregnant and split up with the father. It was the judgement dripping from her as she said it as if I was just another silly little girl who’d got knocked up and then split up with the guy who got me pregnant. I felt quite proud of myself for not jumping down her throat; I calmly said yes, I was, we’d been together for over 2 years and we were very happy to be bringing this baby into the world together (or some such bollocks). She then looked at my notes, where I’d told my midwife my plans to change my name, and humphed. I luckily never saw her again, but mentioned it to my normal midwife who agreed it wasn’t a nice thing or something relevant to my appointment.
This has also reminded me of an incident in Tesco recently – can you see a pattern here? The toddler keeps calling our house ‘Daddy’s house’ – well technically it is, but it’s also my house and the toddler’s house. He said it very loudly one afternoon when I was alone with him on a shopping trip. ‘Mummy, Daddy’s house now?’ I replied quickly but not quick enough to stop two women behind me declare loudly how sad it is to see split families and he knows that daddy is in a different house at such a young age. My cheeks were burning, as I stated a little too loudly to this poor toddler ‘we’re going home in a minute to mummy and daddy’s house as we all LIVE TOGETHER’ I love my son, but bloody hell does he unwittingly create embarrassing situations for me.
Well after my own little therapy session, that’s it. A nice little list of things that annoyed me (and sometimes still do) about being a parent. It’s great though, truly lovely and awesome and I wouldn’t swap it for anything in the world. Please don’t be offended by these or by my responses, it’s my thoughts and opinions and to be honest; not everyone feels the way I do about these!