Saturday, 27 August 2016

Know it all New Parents!

I have been blessed recently with the fact that a couple of my lifelong friends have had babies. Up until now I have been the only one out of the “old gang” who had children so obviously I was thrilled that some more sprogs were about.
However, now that the little cherubs are here the parents are really starting to annoy me!

When the boys mum and I were expecting William we honestly had no idea what we were doing; he was unexpected and unplanned so it came as a little shock.
Despite our various different work experiences and qualifications we had no idea about children aged 0-24 months and pretty much fumbled our way through.

We didn’t read anything online about “How to XYZ” or the latest book that said “You HAVE to do ABC” we parented and did so in our best possible way. If we struggled with something or didn’t understand what to do the two of us relied on what the Health Visitor suggested and any advice our parents offered if and when we asked.  Life pretty much went on like this, we would get to the next “stage” and then from that muddle our way through.
Not once did we have a view that made us so adamant that we would force our new found parenting views on other parents.

So why is it necessary for my friends, who have been parents for just a few months, to tell me what I should be doing?
Recently the boys and I were watching the film Bicentennial Man; it was a childhood favourite of mine and when it came on the family channel I jumped at the chance to show them!

With us sitting comfortably I did what hundreds of people do and tagged my Facebook status to “We are watching”. As expected I had likes and comments on the post and many of my parent blogging friends kindly commented how they were either watching it or that it was one of their favourites too.
Then, like a lurking pervert in a bush, out jumps my new parent friend with a comment:

“Oh I don’t think I will let X watch that at their age. The content is really not appropriate in places and far to slow and long for them to sit through”

What? Seriously? You honestly feel after a few months that you have the right to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be allowing my sons to watch? I might have to agree if we were watching a graphic 15 but it is down as a U according to the BBFC (I had to check after the comment)
Then a few days later another new parent friend said:

“Oh, we really didn’t like the way that you did XXX. We have spoken about it and when X gets to that stage we will definitely do it X way; we recently read about it”

Oh, really? Good Luck!
Everything I thought I "knew" about being a parent, which I believed I learnt with William, changed when we had James. James was adamant that he would throw caution to the wind and be different! Then we were back to square one and starting all over again.

When my friends were expecting they did both ask for my advice and each time I said I had none. 

I didn’t want to be the parent who was saying do this and do that because the one thing I have learnt is that every child is different; it is why I have never done a serious “10 things” post for new parents because who am I to tell anyone what I think will definitely work when I am still fumbling through?

Children do not fit every manual and parenting book out there. In truth you need to expect the unexpected because you think one thing and then the complete opposite, times by a hundred and add something random and that will be what happens.
You can read all the books in the world but nothing is like the reality and you only learn by experience, so please understand and appreciate that many parents are making it up as they go along.

I have survived 7.6 years as a parent and I use the word survived because even now the boys still throw the odd curve ball at me. 

So whilst I am over here surviving a world of parenting, single parenting and disabled parenting and keeping myself a float can all the know it all new parents please put the latest idealised opinion down and just show respect that every child and every parent is different. 

We are all in the same boat and no one really masters everything so please don't judge what I do or have done. 
Why is it even necessary to do this? 

I am sure this isn’t a new thing but am I the only one who finds it rude? 

No child realistically fits every pre-birth view on what you would like happen do they?

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