Friday, March 31, 2017

Five Phrases New Parents are Tired of Hearing

As a new parent, it seems like everyone is ready to give you advice (even when you didn't ask for it) and the same worn out phrases. It really seems like I hear the same things over and over again when I talk about sleep deprivation, having no time, or the headache that can come from too much crying. I've actually hit the point where I can almost predict what people are going to say to me and often times, it's one of five phrases.
 
 
Below you'll find the five phrases that I've heard over and over again since Baby Fox was born. In fact, some of them started during pregnancy. While some of these phrases hold a lot of truth, they do get old after a while.
 
"It gets better."
I'm sure it does get better but that doesn't really help me in the here and now. Instead of telling me it gets better, why not tell me to be strong and that I'm doing a better job than I think. You could also point out the positives of the now rather than redirecting me to the future.

 
"Nap when the baby naps."
This is great advice but it's not always doable. I also have to eat, shower, and who knows what else when the baby sleeps. Most of the time, I find myself making a list of what needs done and picking the one with the most priority. There may be a sink full of dishes right now because taking a shower to clean the spit up out of my hair was a higher priority.

 
"Women have done it for years."
Yes they have. And I'm sure they've struggled and found parts of motherhood hard. After all, isn't life sometimes hard? Why not let me vent my frustrations instead of making me feel like less because of them? A little support and sympathy can go a long way when you're overwhelmed.

 
"Have you tried XYZ?"
This is great IF someone asks for your advice. Otherwise, a worn out parent might not want to hear it. Sometimes advice only makes you feel worse about how you're currently handling the situation. Sometimes I'm simply sharing how life is going (very little sleep last night) and not looking for advice about it (Have you tried swaddling him?). If I ask for advice (which I have been known to do a lot), then by all means share away!

 
"We've all been there before."
Maybe you've had kids. Maybe you've been sleep deprived. But you haven't been here before. You haven't been in my exact shoes. Everyone is faced with different obstacles and circumstances so it's really hard to compare one experience to another. Instead of saying you've been there before, I welcome you to share a story with me. Try "Want to hear one of the struggles I faced?" instead of claiming you've dealt with the exact same thing. No kid or parent is the same, so let's not compare them unnecessarily.


These are just a few of the phrases that seem to be on repeat right now. I'm sure I could add to the list if I thought long enough, but as a new parent, my mind is a bit too fuzzy for that much thought. I'd love to hear your list of phrases you heard too much as a new parent! Feel free to share them (or your parenting stories) in the comments below!

 

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