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

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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?

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

14 Comments

  1. I haven’t got any children, but I know exactly what you mean and I feel like those know it all mothers don’t actually know it all, they just pretend 😉 you probably know far more in your honest, open way!! Probably far more open minded to things and Mark will no doubt be way more happy and laid back!! Keep putting the cute pics up – need my daily baby pic fix!!

    • Promise, I’ll fuel your baby pics addiction! 😆 I think we, mothers, are all a bit clueless to a certain extend, some hide it better than other though.

  2. Hi Zhu,
    OMG… You could really write a book by the time Mark starts Kindergarden.
    You are safe with me… I have no Mommy advice to dish out!!

    Take care xo

  3. Il est vraiment à croquer ton petit bout!!! I’m not even “planning” on having a baby, but still it’s interesting how people, especially women, react… they can’t just ignore you (as usual) when you have a little baby with you…

  4. 5. The crazy blogger you never actually met but who wants to come to Ottawa just to kiss your chubby baby because he is sooo incredibly cute.
    AKA, me 🙂
    (And THANK YOU for the link to STFU, Parents, priceless!)

  5. I’ve come to the conclusion that people spend way too much time worrying about other people’s lives… I’ve no idea about babies, but Mark looks happy on pictures, so you must be doing a good job ;).
    BTW, I absolutely love chapters !!!

    • Another Chapters lover… yay!

      You are right, some people have waaayyy too much free time, and use it badly to dispense unwanted advice!

  6. 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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