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4 Types of People Who will Drive You Crazy after You Had a Baby

Mark, Not Too Impressed With Baby Cereals

Mark, Not Too Impressed With Baby Cereals

Peo­ple like to say babies bring out the best in every­one. It is true that peo­ple love babies—well, espe­cially when they are quiet and smil­ing in their stroller. I am always amazed at how much atten­tion Mark is get­ting when we go out together and the sup­port I got from peo­ple around me is pretty amazing.

Yet, there are four types of peo­ple who are likely to drive you crazy after you had a baby…

The Baby Police

I met the “preg­nancy police” when I was, well, preg­nant. If you haven’t had the plea­sure, pic­ture well-meaning but tact­less and mis­in­formed strangers who feel they sim­ply have to share their wis­dom with you, even if you didn’t ask for any­thing. Actu­ally, espe­cially if you didn’t ask for anything.

The lat­est encounter: When Mark was only a cou­ple of weeks old, we went to Chap­ters (a Cana­dian book­store, aka my favourite place on earth). Mark was sleep­ing in the sling when a lady walked across the store towards us. She took a peek at Mark and pro­claimed: “Oh, he looks hun­gry!”. “Er… he ate before we left home,” I some­how felt the need to explain. “No, he looks hun­gry. Come on mommy, time to breast­feed!” She actu­ally stood there for a cou­ple of min­utes, star­ing at us, as if I was going to breast­feed Mark right here, in the mid­dle of the store, sim­ply because she had decided that my kid was hun­gry. Luck­ily for her, I was still in the post­par­tum “dazed and con­fused” stage. A few weeks later and I would have bit­ten her pudgy hands pet­ting Mark.

The Sanc­ti­mom­mies

In a way, the sanc­ti­mommy belong to the same breed as the baby police, except that she is above all a mother her­self. And a very opin­ion­ated one, with­out any sense of humility—she is doing one hell of a good job, as she claims humour­lessly. She breast­fed on-demand for three years (“for­mula is poi­son!”), didn’t have a sin­gle night of sleep since her kid was born because she checks up on him every half hour (“some­one could snatch him off his bed!”), she makes her own toys out of 100% baby safe mate­r­ial (“can’t trust these Chi­nese toy fac­to­ries!”) and she is already teach­ing her two-month-old basic how to play the piano. Yes, she is annoy­ing because no mat­ter how hard you try, you will never be good enough. She is the mas­ter of child rearing.

The lat­est encounter: Sanc­ti­mom­mies love to impart their pre­cious wis­dom online, espe­cially on social net­works such as Face­book or on forums such as Urban Baby (a seri­ously crazy com­mu­nity). She may look less than per­fect in real life though, which is prob­a­bly why she mostly pro­vides advice when safe behind a com­puter screen.

Your In-Laws

Pre­sum­ably, your in-laws are happy to have a grand-kid. And they will demand to see him, which also mean see­ing your in-laws more often until said kid is old enough to stay with them alone. In-laws are… well, in-laws, peo­ple you are not related to but with whom you have to be polite and civil for the sake of every­one around.

The lat­est encounter: Oh boy, where do I start…! My in-laws are lovely peo­ple, they mean well but they are clue­less. Which is prob­a­bly why they some­how think they are right. Their motto? “If it’s not bro­ken, fix it any­way”. Which means that when Mark is happy, they are going to do some­thing that will make him cry—wrapping him in lay­ers of cloth­ing, try­ing to feed him when he is not hun­gry, hold­ing him when he just want to be put down, etc. I keep on explain­ing them why it doesn’t work and how to make Mark happy but they don’t lis­ten. What can I do?!

Retail Sales Clerks at Baby Stores

New par­ents are so easy to guilt-trip it’s not even funny. This is prob­a­bly why every clerk in every baby store has been trained to upsale using phrases like “for your baby’s safety [we rec­om­mend that $100 Ralph Lau­ren sweater]), “for your lit­tle one, it is impor­tant that [you buy the most expen­sive baby bot­tle avail­able]” or “for health rea­sons, we do not rec­om­mend you use the generic brand of dia­pers [you cheap bastards!]”.

The lat­est encounter: I stopped ask­ing for advice in baby stores because clerks invari­ably try to sell you the most expen­sive options and will con­vince you that you absolutely need what­ever mis­cel­la­neous gad­get. I am sorry, but babies do not need wipes warmer (even in Canada), fancy dia­per dis­posal sys­tems or other gim­micks.

So, par­ents, ever met these folks?

14 comments

  1. Thank you for giv­ing me another rea­son for not hav­ing kids: see­ing the in-laws more often ;)

  2. You’ve nailed it about the in-laws. It was easy to be polite when there was no kid… Now they give us a bunch of out-dated advice (based on 30-something years ago child rear­ing) or equally annoy­ing tips over­heard on local TV (tar­geted at local audi­ence, not Canada). I’m still not at the “you had your chance to raise a child, now let me raise mine” point, but it sure is boil­ing up. :) Sorry for the rant. Never in 100 years could I imag­ined I would have to defend my way of parenting…

    • I think we are also fac­ing the same cul­tural chal­lenges, and that doesn’t help! It’s funny though my in-laws reacted some­what weirdly at first when Mark was born but now we have a weekly visit…

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