(Un)helpful Advice

via Daily Prompt: Criticize


I have friends with children who often come across overly-critical relatives/friends/random folk in shops,  who believe their advice is best.  I’m sure they often mean well, but many friends have felt like failures because they feel they aren’t doing the parenting thing right.  Here is a poem to reflect this scenario:


No bottles love, the breast is best!

When baby sleeps, you must have rest.

He’s only small, don’t let him cry.

You must ensure that nappy’s dry.

No wipes on him, his skin in new.

You can’t do that, I thought you knew.

Not walking yet, I’d check that out.

Oh naughty boy, he must not shout!

You need to clean, house is a mess

You must calm down, he’ll sense your stress

He bit again, need that to stop.

Look there he goes, another strop!

When back to work, you must be bored?

You’ve fancy stuff you can’t afford.

Her down the road, she’s never home.

Her mother’s got those kids alone.

You’re such hard work, what’s wrong with you?

I’m not allowed to say what’s true!

Not critical, just good advice!

You’ve hurt me now, you’re never nice!


I’m fortunate that I have an amazing mother who doesn’t get offended if I take or leave her advice. I often leave it 🙂



50 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Being a Mum (But It’s Maybe Best I Didn’t)


  1. That bulging bag you took to the hospital, full of classical/relaxing music, books to read, special pillows and scented oils will be a waste of time when you get induced and end up with an Epidural anyway.
  2. Your idea of not having medical students at the birth because you’re shy at showing your privates goes out the window – and you’re fine with 10 students peering up at you from down there.
  3. You might be sleep deprived and miserable after having your baby
  4. and cry A LOT (nobody told me this)!
  5. Those sweet little button vests? Those are torture devices for new parents. Ditto x 10 for sleep suits. Whatever happened to Velco?!
  6. Practise that car seat on a doll, then you won’t struggle to fasten a screaming baby into the seat for an hour before leaving the hospital.
  7. Babies move around A LOT when getting changed. Some training before baby arrives is recommended – preferably on a wriggling baby Octopus.
  8. Babies like to do their pooping and weeing in a nice fresh just put on nappy. FACT.
  9. and wait until just before you leave the house dressed in their best clothes to have a nappy explosion and the fancy outfit is no more.
  10. Your boobs will be so painful from breastfeeding that those cotton wool pads will stick to your nipples.
  11. You will second guess yourself and question just about everything you do in those first few weeks.
  12. You will regularly have nightmares that you’ve fallen asleep on the baby (and be so relieved to find baby in cot).
  13. You’re receive a gazillion (not a number I know) baby outfits. Please keep the labels on and take half back and replace for much bigger sizes. Your baby will never need all those clothes in the small sizes.
  14. You will buy the electric fancy breast pump then the manual one and neither will get any amount of milk out.
  15. You’ll feel like the biggest failure after quitting breast feeding when baby is 3 weeks and cry and cry and cry and cry.
  16. Then you’ll get over it and tell yourself “a stressed mummy makes an unhappy baby.”
  17. You’ll realise there is a strong army of mummy groups each fighting for breast/bottle and there can be very heated debates on the subject.
  18. You’ll be shocked when your midwife refuses to offer any advice on bottle feeding because it’s not recommended.
  19. Luckily you’ll have the internet forums for advice but you’ll think how dangerous it is that women aren’t being given medical advice on those matters.1929019_101672473250_6856711_n[1]
  20. And you’ll think you’re being judged.
  21. but from now until baby turns 30, you’ll think this. A few things you might think you’re being judged on: baby sleep routine and how you get them to sleep; where they sleep; when they eat solids; what they eat; how much they eat; what they drink; what they wear; when they’re toilet trained; when they walk and talk (yes, YOU’LL feel judged for those); tv viewing hours; thumb sucking; dummy sucking; working full time/part time/not working; single parenting/gay parenting/couple parenting. EVERY. SINGLE. THING.
  22. But then the more you get to know other mums, the more you’ll realise that everyone is feeling the same as you
  23. You’ll learn that there are different parenting styles and they’ll have names and theories behind them. There are websites and blogs and forums and clubs and groups all about that certain parenting style
  24. And you’ll think wtf? Can’t I just parent? Do I need to pick one?
  25. Those first 6 weeks will be a blur but then you’ll turn a corner and the smiles will happen (or wind, but you’ll be certain it’s a smile)
  26. When you go out without the baby you’ll feel like a part of you is missing
  27. You’ll think that there is nothing better than those smiles and babbles when baby sees you after sleeping. Is there?
  28. It’s perfectly normal to take 87 photographs of your baby every single day. I mean, why wouldn’t you take so many photos of this perfection?
  29. That even though you don’t get out much ‘with the girls’, there’s no need to drink everything you’re offered on the booze cruise, throw up in your favourite handbag, run it under a sink and go for a sit-down Chinese meal (I did that).
  30. You’ll realise that you’ve not bounced back into shape when the baby is 6 months and you’re still wearing maternity jeans
  31. So you’ll do the ‘slimfast plan’ which works a treat but then your body can’t process a Chinese Meal ever again
  32. You’ll feel like a failure (again) when the peeing and pooing leaks through all of those lovely cotton nappies and you go back to polluting the environment with the disposables
    Lovely Cotton Nappies for 3 Days
  33. You’ll finally understand that those 1st birthday celebrations ARE a big deal – you managed to keep the baby alive for a year yippee!
  34. You’ll not even feel shame when you meet the cool childless couple you know in Sainsburys and tell them you’re just having some fun chill out time in there.
  35. Leisurely Sundays afternoons reading the papers/in bed will never happen again when a child is around.
  36. You won’t need an alarm clock EVER AGAIN.
  37. You might spend hours in the bath/shower as it’s the only respite you get.
  38. Going shopping for clothes/make-up/house stuff or anything is NEVER FUN WITH A CHILD OF ANY AGE.
  39. Reheating your tea in the microwave 5 times a day is normal.
  40. Even though you can’t wait for that child free mini-break and you enjoy it, you have that underlying feeling of guilt and loss and can’t wait to get back to see baby again
  41. In fact, you feel guilty around 118 times a week. Guilt comes with parenting.
  42. That said, you’ll actively encourage your struggling mum friend to take that time out, forget the baby and enjoy themselves (because you know how it feels).
  43. You will mourn the passing of the morning nap.
  44. And then the afternoon nap.
  45. You might feel everything your child feels. Every happy moment, sadness, frustration – you may feel that. If you don’t feel it, then you’ll feel guilty about not feeling it (mum guilt again).481726_10151301968073251_352100377_n[1]
  46. You’ll realise that seeing the world through a childs’ eyes brings new clarity on the things that matter in life. The simple things really are the most precious.
  47. When they’re unsettled and you’ve not slept for 23 hours, you’ll be tired and fed up. Then you’ll stroke their soft hair and smell their head and those missed hours sleeping don’t matter so much. You can worry about that tomorrow.
  48. You’ll realise the word ‘maybe’ to a child means ‘yes’ and if you make plans with a child it’s almost impossible to change them.
  49. People want to know your family planning business. The phrase “Are you having another?” will amuse you at first, then it’ll make you feel uneasy then it’ll upset you and finally you’ll just shrug it off.
  50. You’ll realise that despite (and because of) all those these things, having this baby has been the best thing you’ve ever done.

I should mention that I loved (of of it) so much that I now work with children.  Just do your best and your children will flourish to the best of their abilities.  We’re all in the same boat.

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Similar post you may like: A Letter to The Younger Me


This is response to the daily word prompt Fifty.