Do you know what I’m sick of?
I hate that everyone’s hacking and coughing all over the place.
I hate how dry my skin feels.
I hate that I’ve forgotten what fresh air smells like.
And I hate the temper tantrums that ensue every bloody time I tell my toddler she has to put her coat on.
Why are winter coats such an issue for kids anyway? Do they really want to go outside in the freezing cold wearing nothing but a tee-shirt? And why does my daughter act like I’m dipping her hands in acid every time I try to put mitts on her?
Sorry, I went off on a little bit of a tangent there. Where was I? Oh ya. Winter.
I hate it.
The problem is, I had the not-so-brilliant idea of enrolling my daughter and I into a bunch of mom-and-me classes this year. I figured it would force me to do something other than sit at home and feel sorry for myself like I did every single day last year. And for the most part, it’s been wonderful. I love having a purpose every day, and I’ve started to meet some great people.
With the exception of the woman who insists on giving me unsolicited parenting advice every time I see her.
She drives me crazy.
And every time she tries to tell me how to parent my child, I’m reminded of all the bad parenting advice I’ve received since my daughter was born.
1. Have a glass of wine. Okay, so this is probably the best advice anyone could’ve given me when I was a new mother. But it probably wasn’t the best advice for a high-risk technician to be giving me at my 5-month anatomical scan when I was pregnant with my daughter. She obviously didn’t know I’m a “go hard, or go home” kind of gal.
2. Cocoa butter isn’t safe. A sales clerk once warned me against using cocoa butter for stretch marks because she thought the caffeine from the cocoa would seep through my skin and damage my unborn baby. I’m not kidding.
3. Don’t take your newborn outside. When I asked our pediatrician about going outside during our first visit with him, he scrunched up his nose and said we should only take our daughter out if we were wearing her in a baby carrier. But she wasn’t big enough for the Baby Bjorn yet (and I was way too tired to figure out how to use a baby wrap), and since I didn’t have the sense to ask him WHEN it would be safe to take her out without the baby carrier, I stayed indoors for 3 and a half weeks. It did wonders for my postpartum depression.
4. Bite back. When my mum’s best friend heard that my daughter started biting me while she was breastfeeding, she sent me an email telling me to bite her back. Apparently she bit her daughter on her arm when she did the same thing to her, and it worked like a charm.
5. Sleep when the baby sleeps. I know this is practical advice, but it has to be the most irritating thing you can say to a new mother.
6. Turn up the radio. When my grandma had her first baby, a nurse told her that it’s okay to put your baby in her crib, close the door, and crank the radio. I wonder if she ever tried it?
7. Put her to bed later. After enduring 11 months of sleep training hell, I don’t even know where to begin with this one.
8. Add some whiskey to her milk. And this is why my aunt has never been allowed to touch my child.
9. Never let your baby cry. While I was discussing sleep training with a nurse at my grandfather’s funeral, my cousin’s wife got all up in my grill and told me I should be holding my child to sleep all night, every night, like she did with her girls. I was so happy when my cousin divorced her.
10. It gets better. I think we’re all guilty of this one. You see a woman with a colicky baby at the mall, and the flashbacks to that horrible time in your life makes you yell, “IT GETS BETTER!” over her screaming child. The intent is always a good one, but unless you’re attaching a timeline to that statement, it’s probably better to give her arm a good squeeze of encouragement instead.
So tell me. What is the worst parenting advice YOU’VE ever been given?
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