There are so many things that people want to tell you - and advise you - both early on when they find out you are pregnant and also when you are a new parent. I decided that it could make a great post for my blog to write about them.
Of course, we all know that pregnancy and motherhood are journeys that are super personal, and only you can choose which road you wish to travel. The whole point of my Parenting YOUR Way series, has been to showcase what a wide variety of options there is - and how even when we choose the same path, the outcome can be different for each of us.
That being said, it is always fun to listen to what people have to say... especially when it is as obscure and amazing as some of what you are about to read. Here are a few of my favourite (with quotes from fellow mummy bloggers!)
"You're not to lift anything or climb stairs..."
Said in the knowledge that I was 42 weeks pregnant - with a 1 year old - in a 4 storey house!
- Ashleigh from 3GirlsMummy
I have found that often the people who give the craziest advice are those who know our situation, and still feel the need to say something silly. Ashleigh's quote is a prime example... You can almost guarantee that it will be a piece of advice from someone who is either a parent to one or not a parent at all! I am suffering with SPD and other problems, and despite the crazy amount of pain it will put me through, even I will sometimes pick up my two year old.
My advice: Try not to be sarcastic in your reply (as hard as that may be in your hormonal; pregnant state!) If you can't be nice, just smile!
"Make the most of your blog, you'll have to give it up when you have the baby."
- Lyndsay from Fizzy Peaches
This one made me giggle. For just over a month after I started blogging I was working part time at GAME whilst my daughter was in nursery; running my handmade crochet business, Mama Naii's Crochet; raising my 2 year old daughter; cooking up Little L; and keeping house. Then I added in blogging.
My advice: Don't let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. Do what you feel you can, and trust you know what is best for you and your family.
"You look tired - you should try going to bed earlier!"
My husband and I laughed so hard, every time we thought about it. Was a real tension lifter as our daughter has CMPA and reflux. The best part? It was my mum! She has had four children and should know better.
- Katy from Katykicker
This is a start reminder that even your nearest and dearest - with all the best intentions - can come out with some pretty unbelievable stuff.
My advice: Do what Katy did - laugh it off. Laughter is always the best medicine.
"Don't even bother breastfeeding - this is your third. You won't have time"
My youngest is now 10 weeks old and still breastfeeding perfectly!
- Ashleigh from 3GirlsMummy
This one really made me giggle. Your decision to breastfeed will be made based on your experience with the child you are giving birth too, and not affected by any external factors such as other children!
My advice: Do not worry about whether you can, or cannot breastfeed. Some people choose not to from the beginning. Some people try, and are unable to. Whatever your decision, make sure that what you choose to do is your own choice and is what is best for you and your family.
"You'll want to get rid of the dogs once the baby is here. Babies and dogs don't mix!"
- Laura from Mama, Eden & Me
Every parent who has animals in their home will be conscious of the fact that they need to make sure their little one is safe, whether they are a baby, toddler or child. There are a lot of families who have pets in their home and with proper supervision they won't cause a problem. We have two cats, and they will quickly make their escape if they don't fancy being around my nutty, noisy two year old.
My advice: Just ignore the silly comments. You will make sure that your baby is in a safe environment, as all parents do.
"Don't ever co-sleep with your baby..."
Haha! Worse advice ever. That was after my first baby; now on my third and still co-sleeping. It's the only way I have gotten any sleep in 7 years!
- Alice from Seaside Housewife
Whether to co-sleep or bed-share is a very personal choice. With R, we co-slept with her in a moses basket until she was three months of age. We rarely bed-share unless she is unwell or has had night terrors. With Little L we have already bought a Chicco Next to me, so will be bed-sharing from the start.
My advice: Know your stuff. Research the different sleeping options, know what is available and what the professional advice is around those options, and choose what works for you. Don't be worried if it doesn't all go as you planned either. If you asked me three years ago if I would be sharing my bed with my husband and two year old at almost 31 weeks pregnant my answer would almost certainly have been, "no!"
"Sleep whenever the baby sleeps..."
Oh yeah, I guess the magic fairies come and take care of the washing and the dishes etc.?
- Sarah from The Parenting Trials
This one always made me laugh in the early days when I had R. Sometimes I was able to, mostly there was too much else to do around the house. This time around I have the added bonus of a toddler to look after, so I know nap times will be even more scarce.
My advice: Do try and get sleep whenever you can, but do whatever works for you. Some days catching up on sleep is more important than doing the dishes. Other days, you may have a bit more energy - or just no option to sleep.
"Put a bonnet on the baby if you want them to sleep longer..."
- Filipa from Gourmet Mum
I don't even know what to say here... Just, what?
"Remember, when you have kids let them cut you. A little snip is better than a big tear"
This wasn't to me but to my colleague - a 22 year old who wasn't even pregnant!
- Laura from Mama, Eden & Me
Oh my, where to begin?!
My advice: Can I ask, on behalf of all female human beings out there, that you never give pregnancy, birth or motherhood advice to someone not currently on that path? You don't know what their situation is; whether they even want children or are able to have children and they don't want to think about the graphic details of birth before they have to face it!
"What if the dog eats the baby?"
Mind you I suppose Labradors do eat everything!
- Emily from Mama Lambert
This one seriously made me laugh. Like you, as a parent, will let your pets cause any harm to your children!
My advice: As I said on the previous dog comment, just ignore the silly comments. You will make sure that your baby is in a safe environment, as all parents do. Pets are great for children, and most of the time they are well behaved around them too.
"Use a toothbrush on your nipples to toughen them up..."
- Filipa from Gourmet Mum
Oh man. Can you imagine even considering this as an option?
My advice: Let you body do what it was designed to do. It will quickly adapt to the new situation if you decide to breastfeed your baby.
"The baby will suck all the goodness out of your brain..."
When my first baby was born the midwife told me I must eat lots of full fat dairy like cream and butter because of this.
- Amy from 2Boys1Mum
Seriously? I physically laughed out loud when I read this one. From a health care professional no less!
"Make the most of the sleep before the baby arrives..."
Not the best advice to give to a 38 weeks pregnant woman; who had forgotten what a full nights sleep was already!
- Laura from Mumma & Co
I get this one all the time, even now when I have a two year old at home with me. From insomnia to sickness; cramp to SPD; there is many reasons why I am not getting much sleep at the moment.
My advice: invest in a decent maternity pillow and try and get as much rest as you can. I have an Original Theraline amongst others, and even when I am not able to sleep I try and at least rest and keep away from moving around - even if it means avoiding the inevitable 'nesting' stage.
"Now you're pregnant, your toddler really has to stop breastfeeding, because you can't be pregnant and breastfeed, and definitely can't breastfeed two together."
Little do they know that tandem nursing is one of my motherhood dreams, and that I know mums who breastfeed whilst pregnant!
- Mo from Adventures of a Novice Mum
Your decision to breastfeed - and of course how long you decide to do it - is just that. Your decision.
My advice: Do what you want, and ignore the judgements. People will always judge you, so don't let it bother you.
"Well you won't make that mistake again will you?!"
I co-slept with my little boy until he was about 14 months. When I became pregnant with my second, a work colleague said this to me - complete with wagging of the finger! She didn't understand that it wasn't a mistake. it was what worked for us. With number two I will do the same... the same being, whatever works!
As with the previous comment about co-sleeping; it's not up to anyone except you what decision you make when it comes to how you get you and your little one to have as much sleep as possible.
"Feed your baby more and she'll sleep through."
She's on three meals a day plus five bottles. I'm pretty sure that food isn't her issue!
Some children will sleep through - as my girl did - from around 6 weeks of age. Others will not.
My advice: Whatever happens, know that there is no 'normal' when it comes to sleeping patterns, and no amount of advice - whether you choose to follow it or not - will be able to change how your child sleeps. Just go with the flow.
I hope some of these have given you a bit of a giggle, and even helped you on your journey through pregnancy and motherhood.
Don't worry, none of us are perfect - and we're all learning together - so just do what works for you and laugh with the rest of us at some of the bizarre things that people feel the need to advise us about.