• I'm sorry you haven't a clue
  • Author avatar
    Amelia Slocombe
  • babiesbabyblogfriendshipsfunnylifemotherhoodpregnancyrelationshipssmackingtruthwoman

I'm sorry you haven't a clue

Since becoming a mother, I have come to realise that one of the most annoying things you will EVER hear is a confident declaration by a childless friend or acquaintance that relates to the upbringing (particularly disciplining) of children.

What makes it worse for me on a personal level (and something which makes me secretly hang my head in shame) is that precisely three years ago, I used to make those comments myself, with the smug self-satisfaction that only comes from having no real experience whatsoever.

Here are my top five comments that make me want to shoot childless people. Or at least inflict a curse upon them so that they are guaranteed to one day have triplets:

1) "A smack never did me any harm."

I admit it. I used to get a smack on the bottom from my mum when I played up. And I am pretty sure it didn't do me any long-term psychological damage. And, in theory, I don't have a problem with parents choosing to smack their children (obviously in an appropriate manner and for the right reasons). But what childless people DON'T always realise is that nowadays, smacking a child has consequences. I'm not talking about prison or social services, I am merely talking about public opinion. No, you shouldn't care what other people think, but experiencing the wrath of other mothers who vehemently disagree with any sort of physical disciplining (and would be only too happy to tell you) is not very nice. Nor is it pleasant to be ostracised by other mums. So what childless types have to ultimately remember is, what was socially acceptable in 1975, is not necessarily acceptable anymore. Just ask Rolf Harris.

2) "God, don't you just hate parents who give their children iPads in restaurants? When I was little, I had to sit in my chair and keep quiet until it was time to go."

This one really winds me up because the parents I know who give their children iPads in restaurants do it AS A LAST RESORT i.e. at the point at which they have exhausted every conversation, piece of reading material and crayon in their ever expanding nappy bag. And they aren't doing it because they are LAZY, they are doing it so that YOU can enjoy YOUR meal in peace. Do you actually think the use of an iPad gives a parent a blissful one hour off sipping Chablis and nibbling on giant olives? Does it hell. You still have to deal with all the questions, fidgeting and complaints. Just slightly less often and hopefully at a lower decibel. Oh, and do you want to know why your parents didn't give you an iPad?! Because they weren't f-ing invented in 1983. Duh.

3) "Why doesn't she just bring her? My parents used to take me to parties all the time and I just went to sleep under the stairs."

I bet they did. They also put brandy in your milk.

4) "My child would have to learn to sleep through the night. I'd let her cry it out if I had to."

Now I am one of those parents who selfishly craves sleep. And who had to resort to quite drastic sleep training to force my very unwilling little boy to sleep through the night. But mark my words, however militant you are, it's not as easy as you think. To do it, you might have to listen to someone you love more than life itself wailing like they're going to die. For HOURS. And for nights on end. Would you drown a puppy? No? Then don't automatically assume you could let your baby cry it out.

5) "My child will eat whatever I cook whether he likes it or not and won't leave the table until he's finished."

I do understand that it's easy to succumb to the fickle and often unreasonable demands of a toddler when it comes to food. And that it's important not to let them win. But there is a distinction between being a mum who ends up cooking four dinners every night in a desperate attempt to get her child to eat something, and a stubborn determination to make your child eat a vindaloo. What many childless people don't realise is that there are ways and means of improving a child's appetite, and force feeding is not one of them. Just ask my friend Fiona, who still has a pathological hatred of broccoli.

I know for a fact that there are many other comments uttered by the childless few that drive us parents barmy, but these are my personal bug bears. I'm sure you have your own. We'd love to hear them!
  • Author avatar
    Amelia Slocombe
  • babiesbabyblogfriendshipsfunnylifemotherhoodpregnancyrelationshipssmackingtruthwoman

Comments on this post ( 0 )

Leave a comment