One of my best friends has just had a baby. I am not being very supportive as I find myself telling her what and what not to do which is the WORST thing you can do to a New Mum. But I can't help myself. I like to think I am some kind of New Mum Whisperer. I will not be surprised if she stabs me with a (sterilised) knife.
Now New Mums are sweet & lovely in their innocence but, boy, they are frustrating especially when I think I know better. I have been laughing because she is sterilising everything, feeding at every cry and panicking about leaving the babe for more than two seconds. She doesn't have a clue and although I have three children and still don't know what I am doing, she turns to me for advice and, well, I like to give it. Needless to say, a year down the line, I doubt she will be talking to me. But this doesn't stop me.
Once upon a time, I was a New Mum and it was HORRIBLE when people used to tell me what to do. And yet here I am doing it to my friend. Her baby, in the future, will seek its revenge.
Oh but how I like to secretly think that I am a New Mum Whisperer. That both friends and strangers look to for help and advice. When I see a New Mum out with a newborn, I immediately become the all singing/all dancing WonderMum around my children so that the New Mum thinks "Gosh, I hope I'm like that". It's all a lie, of course, because if the New Mum actually spoke to me she would be giving her baby up for adoption pretty damn quick.
One thing I do know is that all parenting gurus are idiots. There is no such thing as a textbook baby. I will admit to quite liking Tracey Hogg because she is Northern, but by far the best advisor is Cesar Millan who is TV's Dog Whisperer. He has the ability to train any dog to behave and I reckon some of his wisdom makes sense for raising children.
No one would suggest using his harsher methods on children, although I would like to try them, but what's best about Millan is that he can retain authority without speaking. The Husband thinks he can also do this, with stern faces and looks, but Millan has the advantage in that dogs can't laugh. I, on the other hand, am rubbish at being quietly in control. Quite often I am weary and willing to do anything for a bit of peace & quiet so the kids sense this and obviously take advantage. But Millan never falters and the dogs are happy and well-behaved. Cesar Millan could no doubt train my children much better than Gina Ford. I can only hope that one day my kids will do stuff I ask them without barking.
I will leave it a couple of weeks until I stop my New Mum Whisperer act on my friend. Or maybe I'll hang on until the weaning stage as obviously I'm an expert at that. (This coming from the mother who fed her baby a rice cake at four months and nearly choked him).
But best I wait until my friend is at breaking point and then I will let her know the truth. Yet I'm sure by then she will have performed an act of her own on me, which I doubt will involve whispering.
Great post! It's amazing how many mums suddenly become "experts" when their friend or someone they know has a new born! I remember being on tenterhooks after having Amy but now I could never give out advice because even in just eleven years, times have changed so much.ReplyDelete
I promised myself I wouldn't be one of those mums, full of GREAT advice. Becoming an aunt for the first time soon put an end to that. A lot of the advice we give is an attempt to prevent somebody going through the stress you had to go through. It was becoming a second time mum which put a spanner in the works for me. I was CLUELESS, but nobody offered any tips!ReplyDelete
I love giving new moms advice, it makes me feel like I know what I'm doing! I always wait for someone to ask for it though. We'll see how that goes when my best friend has her first in September!ReplyDelete