I can’t say I’ve particularly enjoyed the past six months.
Maybe I’m not a baby person, or maybe the people who say that to me every time I say I’m not enjoying it (maybe I just have to be less honest and smile and nod?) have never had a ‘challenging’ baby who’s a little bit of a sleep-jerk. Maybe when they put their babies down for the night, at a reasonable hour and in their own beds, they feel that they’ve conquered mothering and laugh at us mere mortals with Tesco carrier bags under our eyes who don’t have time for things like makeup and personal hygiene.
I’ve certainly heard comments that have made me roll my eyes right out of my head on a regular basis.
No. In fact I suspect he likes to push old ladies over and steal their pension money. This is the mother of all stupid questions. What this question really means is ‘Does he sleep?’ which is equally as stupid. Just saying no (which feels really awkward, like an admittance of failure) usually gets you a sympathetic head tilt or one of these clever follow ups…
‘Have you tried just putting him down sleepy and leaving him*? We did that from day one and he soon learned that it was bedtime‘
From first time parents who don’t realise that what you do actually means shit and their sample size of one cannot be extrapolated to the entire infant population. I find myself silently wishing their second babies to be similar devil children and then being ashamed of myself. Almost.
‘Why don’t you give him a bottle so you can sleep?’
|Me? Up all night?
From people who’ve never had a bottle-refusing breastfed baby, obviously. And probably not one who, if you get it down him, will puke the contents of the bottle up and go floppy. Yay reflux.
‘Poor you, I couldn’t do it’
From seriously annoying people who have never HAD to do it. It’s not a bloody choice. If your baby doesn’t sleep, neither do you. Unless you’re Kate Middleton rich and have a night nanny. Goddamn my lack of millions.
‘Try to have a nap in the day’
‘It’s just a phase. It’s over so quickly, you should make the most of it’
‘Oh you just wait! Teething babies/tantrumming toddlers/teenagers are so much worse!’
Yea. Thanks for that. Appreciate the sympathy. Not patronising at all.
‘Gosh. My cousin’s kids didn’t sleep at all until they were five and she ended up in a mental institution.’
What SHOULD you say, then, to a mum who has a shit sleeper?