The Usual Suspects… of the Mums Forum

Parenting is probably the most judgmental field around. The idea of being a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ mum, although frowned upon, is in every new parents mind, and whether we have one newborn baby, or seven kids aged 0-20, we all have our opinions. In person, we try and limit what we brag about, moan about, and definitely how much we judge other parents. Online however? No such qualms exist. The Internet is absolutely full of mums who just cant wait to have their say, as if there aren’t literally thousands of women reading what you’re writing and invariably mouthing expletives at their screen in frustration at your idiocy.

I give you, The Usual Suspects.

Mum who doesn’t know how good she has it
This mum is like nails on a chalkboard to most parents, new or otherwise. She has a really good baby, a really easy time of it, and yet insists she is doing terribly. Yes, it’s all relative, and we all have our hard days, but worries like “No matter what I do, my daughter wont sit in her bouncy chair for longer than 45 minutes” or “My baby is 9 days old and never sleeps for longer than four hours at a time” are going to get you slapped.
Ditto with parents who complain about how difficult taking their kids on long haul flights multiple times a year is. Oh, I’m so sorry you’re going on holiday… Again.

My unhelpful answer: I hope God sends you twins next time. 

Panicky Mum
Can I give my 1yo raisins? Can I put any sunscreen on my daughter? What kind of towels are best for my baby’s skin? Should I wake my twins up, they’ve been sleeping for four hours? Can I eat chocolate while I’m breastfeeding? My baby ate 4ox and normally eats 4.5oz, what should I do?

My unhelpful answer: Do whatever you want. it doesn’t matter. And take some Prozac. 

Negligent Mum
My son has had this rash for three days. It started like this… -shows photo- and this morning I woke up and it’s like this. -shows additional photo- Has anyone experienced anything like this before?

My unhelpful answer: YES. Doctors have. I guarantee they’ve seen lots of rashes. You might even say it’s their JOB. The next one of these I see is getting a visit from social services you awful awful parent. 

By the Book Mum
This mother is generally a first time mum, although not always, and has been fooled by books and faux friends into thinking her baby is able to be programmed according to a schedule laid out kindly for her in pre-read literature. She is puzzled as to why at the six week mark, her newborn didn’t immediately start sleeping through the night. Why at six months, her son doesn’t love pureed cauliflower and lentil mush, made exactly how it was outlined on page 28.  Why after exactly two hours of playtime, her baby doesn’t seem sleepy.

“My baby is 6 weeks old, and doesn’t seem to be able to sleep through the night. He generally sleeps 4 hours, and then 3 hours, and then anywhere from 3 hours to 6 hours. I’m so tired, and if I try not feeding him, he just screams! How can I routine him?”

My unhelpful answer: Babies cry. Newborns need feeding often. Routine is not a verb. 

Fake Bragger
Disguised as a question, but really a blatant showing off fest, they normally start like this. 
“Is it normal that my 2 month old is making loads of noises already? This morning I swear she said mama! What’s that about?”
“I’m just wondering if it’s okay that my 7 month old took his first steps today… like is it safe for his ankles as he’s soooo teeny?”
“Has anyone experienced a week old baby sleeping for eight hours? My baby has done it two nights in a row now, and is putting on weight really well, and the midwife said it’s fine, but do you think I should be concerned at all?”

My unhelpful answer:  Shut up. NO ONE CARES. 

Negative poster
This one might in fact be my Mother in law. To every question, and every response, she basically answers “That’s really dangerous.” Sounds easy at first, but it’s actually a challenge finding negative answers to some posts. 

  • Baby in his own room? Nope, death by neglect.
  • Baby in my room? No way, attachment issues.
  • Which formula? You should be breastfeeding.
  • Should I stop BF now? Yes, do you have separation issues?
  • Can my kid have crisps? No, she’ll become obese.
  • Should I give her carrots? No-she’ll choke. 
  • Experience with trampolines? Broken bones. 
  • Experience with bikes? Car accidents. 
  • Experience with cuddly toys? Suffocation.

My unhelpful answer: I’m surprised you were brave enough to turn on the computer. Especially Facebook, don’t you know, someone is hacking into your account and identity thieving you RIGHT NOW.

The Seller
Not interested in giving or receiving advice, this lady truly subscribes to the idiom of one woman’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Except it generally isn’t. “For sale, 24 bottles and teats.” “10 cloth nappies, nearly new.”  What?! How can you think anyone wants those? More annoying still, “for sale, various toddler toys, all need a good clean but in good condition.” So clean them! Surely that would make it a more desirable sale?

My general rule: If a charity shop wont take it, we probably don’t want to spend a tenner and drive to Frogmore for it either. 

Noticed any other Usual Suspects to add to my list?

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It took a lot of training but….

I have finally taught my 2yo to do the dishes! 🙂 I knew he would come in handy some day.

Testing the temperature of the water….

Good! Washing up…

Of course, I do seem to spend double the time the washing up would have taken drying off the rest of the kitchen and clearing up broken bits of plate…. And the ‘washed up’ utensils don’t actually seem that clean… But there’s a reason they call them baby steps right?

Reassure me parents of the world, it’s only a matter of time before I can spend my days reclining on the couch while my toddler takes the place of a costly eastern European cleaner correct? (He already has the English language skills down pat.)

Look, do you want it done quick, or do you want it done right?

 

Eek, a spider! Will someone call my husband?

Not to stamp all over feminism or anything, but…

The following crises have occured in the past 36 hours since my husband left for his business trip.

Problem #1: We ran out of toilet paper and I have no idea where it is kept.
Solution: I had a really good search, and got R involved also, emptying cupboards and the like, but luckily on moving a pile of clothes in the bathroom, I discovered that C had anticipated the problem and left a spare. Phew. I was about ten mins away from going out to buy more. Fortunately I know where we keep the local Tesco’s.

Problem #2: The changing table has collapsed.
Clarification: Not so much the changing part, which is seemingly fine, (famous last words) but more the drawers part, which have collapsed in onto each other, meaning they all open simultaneously and precariously. I can therefore not access vests, nappy cream, any medicines and most of R’s socks and trousers.
Solution:
Thus far I have survived on what is in the changing bag, and R has gone to sleep tonight without a vest. It’s warm, I’m not concerned. I will however, need a new solution by the morning when he has no socks or vest to leave the house in. Hrm..

Problem #3: I got a phone call that normally C would deal with.
Clarification: Er.. I hate dealing with things.
Solution: I’m not proud of the fact that my first impulse was to call C in Holland and cry. I’m even less proud that I acted upon it. A compromise was found where I texted a reply and have now turned my phone on silent and hidden it. Why are texts so much less scary than phone calls? However, dealt with by myself. A win in my book.

Problem #4: I’m alone looking after my son.
Clarification: Once again, hats off to single parents (or parents whose spouse travels a lot…) -I dont know how you do it. Just the knowledge that no one is going to come and save you from the frustration of endless whining and looking after, is enough to make even the smallest difficulties a million times worse. My son is such a good boy, and yet 3 days with him by myself? Likely to make me break something.
Solution: Baby Einstein, and OH so many packets of raisins.

So far so good then, I’m practically an independent female.

Oh who am I kidding? Only 1680 minutes until the hubby is back again…

And just to appease all you feminists out there who think I’m taking ‘the cause’ back 50 years.. here’s some billboard grafitti which I found hilarious. (Yes, even though I’m married.)