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Being a parent has it’s moments…

From the minute I announced I had a lentil growing inside me, people started to come forth with all sorts of questions. If you’re with child, you’ll know exactly what I mean. I expect you’re already sick of being asked…

‘is this your first?’

‘do you plan to breastfeed?’

‘did you plan it?’

‘will you come back to work?’

and other obtuse and unnecessary questions.

After this comes the unprompted advice. And there’s plenty. Now, don’t get me wrong, some of it is actually rather useful. My boss, for instance, is pretty much on my wavelength and carefully screened her advice to give me the bits I needed to know – you’ll hate NCT but it’s a rite of passage she said, breastfeeding is so much harder than anyone tells you, keep an open mind she advised. She was so right.

But others weren’t so kind. Ex-boyfriends, strangers even old women on the street gave their five pence worth.

Now I’m through the other side, I can look back and understand, laugh at and even poo-poo some of the advice I was given.

So to share my enlightenment with you, here’s what you’ll hear, and my take on it…

People say:  

Sign up to NCT, it’s great for making friends…

I say:

NCT has its uses and I’m glad I went, but if you’re anything like me (eg, not an Earth Mother), you may find some views archaic. And sure, some people make friends, but it’s a lottery. Lets hope your numbers come up, or you’ll find yourself dodging Costa Coffee to avoid them!

People say:

Don’t go crazy buying stuff for your baby, you won’t need half of it.

I say:

Buy, buy, buy like there’s no tomorrow! I bought everything I wanted, and then some, and I used 95% of it. If it makes you happy and you’ll get even one day’s use out if it, then it’s worth it. Because today’s fun is tomorrow’s ebay fodder. You’ll always find a way of getting your money back if you don’t use it.

People say:

Buy second hand stuff, don’t waste your money

I say:

… or you could buy it new and sell it on secondhand? Put it this way, the girls in my NCT group bought a second hand breast pump (still a little icked out by that). Anyway it cost them £60 secondhand. Meanwhile, I bought mine new for £120, used it for a month and then sold it on eBay for £70. Go figure…

People say:

Before baby comes, cook batches of food and freeze it


I say:

While it’s not bad advice, I got really sick of hearing this. If I was to believe others, I’d be cooking and stockpiling like the apocalypse was coming. Not for me, thanks. Instead, I downloaded the Ocado app and ordered fresh (and frozen) food to my door every week. So much easier.

People say:

Breastfeeding isn’t so bad, you just have to persevere.

I say:

In what other situation when something hurts would you tell that person to persist? Hey, you can’t hike to the top of that mountain because you’ve got blisters – KEEP WALKING, the view is worth it. I don’t think so… listen to your heart

People say:

Take all the time off work you can, you never get this time back.

I say:

It’s true, and they do transform from little crying balls to little meat machines in no time. Enjoy this special time, but don’t take my word for it!


  • Alexe

    I LOVE this post. Also pretty sick of hearing the gruesome birth stories and looks of sympathy when I announce I’m only 2 months away from due date. Your advice is definitely one I will be taking on board!

  • Keep solid, you know yourself better than any advice from strangers, including me 🙂