Being a new parent is hard work. There are long shifts, dirty nappies and our new mini-masters haven’t even got the gumption to say “thanks”. If you meet a recent mother or father in the street please don’t add to their woes by proffering any of the following:
5. “Ooh, what a lovely boy/girl” (unless you’re sure you’re correct)
You have a 50-50 chance of getting this bob on. Great odds, right? Unfortunately it also means you have a 50-50 chance of mortally offending the sleep-deprived husk of a man in front of you. Think about what you’re saying; either his princess, the apple of his eye isn’t the picture of cute femininity he imagined or his strapping young son and heir is more Emma Willis than Bruce Willis.
We like to confuse you as well; if I’ve been tasked with dressing my daughter then the chances are that she’ll be wearing a dinosaur babygrow with a pirate tank top and yet I’ll be 100% uppity should you call her a “handsome little fella” or somesuch. That’s my prerogative.
**UPDATE** I have produced an infographic which should stop this happening ever again, just click on this link to see how not to offend new parents.
4. “When’s number two on the way?”
Seriously? Have you ever tried pulling out your best ‘come hither’ moves with baby sick down your cardie? Plus if you’re a new parent and you’re in bed and not sleeping then you’re a bigger risk taker than Evel Knievel. You never know when you’ll next get the chance.
Speaking of which…
3. “My cousin’s daughter slept through the night from birth”
I don’t believe you. You massive liar. And even if I did believe you I’d refuse to believe you. Liar. Stop lying.
See this Bewildered Dad blog post for more sleep related pain.
2. “You don’t want to do it like that”
It’s a fairly safe assumption that the new parent to whom you’ve uttered this dreaded phrase spends more time with their offspring than you do (if not then social services might like to be informed). In this case then perhaps it’s worth considering they also know more about their own child and what makes them tick than you do.
In a crowded café, juggling two mocha lattes whilst a baby screams at the top of its voice despite Mummy or Daddy having tried all their best holds, were you to dare tell them what they are doing is wrong you could find yourself wearing the aforementioned beverages. Fortunately for you they’d be easy enough to track down because the barista will have written their name on the cups.
1. “Ooh! Can I just wake your sleeping baby up?”
Do you want to see a grown man who has just spent two hours pushing a pram around to eventually send his squawking daughter off to the land of nod weep?
An awake baby is often a crying baby; a sleeping baby is never a crying baby. It’s simple baby maths so why would you stride right up and start prodding her face? Why do that?
I’m talking to you, woman from the Post Office.
I use DHL now.