Comments A New Mother Hates To Hear

"Oh this must be your first" ( chuckle chuckle)

I hated hearing this comment from other people when I was out with my little girl, but it made me realize I should just accept it as a compliment, even though I knew other people didn't mean it to be. What they're really saying is "Look how attentive and careful ( a little too careful) you are with your baby. Everything you do shows you care (a little too much)". Why? Because if she was my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th child I'd just throw her a bone to gnaw on at feeding time, strap her to the back of the car, ignore her, and hope for the best?

The problem is with the people who make this comment and birth order theories are my proof. Birth order theories suggest middle and subsequent children are more unhappy and get into more trouble. In contrast, only and first children become more successful and responsible.

So I say to the people who ignorantly make the comment; "This must be your first", maybe it's beneficial to treat all your children like the first. You wouldn't be asking the question later, "Where did I go wrong" when your middle and youngest are getting into serious trouble. If you can't devote the same attention and treatment to your other chldren, maybe you had too many.

"When are you going to have another one?"

Well, because the trauma of the first birth will be fresh in my mind until I'm old and senile, I don't have the urge to do this again anytime soon. I'm already financially and physically drained so maybe having another is a great idea.

The people who make this comment are the misery loves company people. These people wear a fake smile, dye their full head of white hair at age 25, are too busy with their children to get the botox they really need, and insist your first child will be lonely without a sibling.

This comment may get somewhere with someone who isn't an only child, but from my experience as an only child, I can tell you I never once said to myself, 'Gee I wish I could fight for the use of my toys, share my parents attention and allocated first car and college money. I wasn't lonely because I had playmates/friends and at the end of the day, just as I was geting sick of them, they went home. It was a pretty sweet deal.

"My son (or daughter) was potty trained at 9 months old"

Mother-n-laws are famous for this comment. Then I reply with as much sugar coated sarcasm as I can muster, "Wow that's amazing! At 9 months your baby was able to walk over to the toilet with a preconceived notion they needed to potty, then pull down their pants, relieve themselves in the potty, wipe their plumbing clean, button up their pants, and I suppose after that they resumed playing scrabble with you while talking about current events in the world."

Anybody who makes this comment needs a wake-up call. Fact is, every child is different. But 9 months? Really, give me something I can at least summon up enough gullability to believe.

"They're tougher than you think"

 This statement is probably where the infamous joke about dropping babies on their head came from. They aren't that tough, but you people can say that to console yourself after you dropped your kid on their head. I'm pretty sure they shouldn't be compared to watches who 'take a lick and keep on ticking'.

Every time my daughter has had an accident or fallen, the damage is worse than I would have imagined. Babies are fragile and yes, they do break, and a kitten is probably tougher. Let me quote a toddler book I once read, 'a parent's job is to keep their baby/toddler from killing themselves'. They're mini dare devils and I don't know many happy endings for full grown dare devils.

"Let your baby cry it out"

 There is a lot of controversy and arguments for the two opposing sides of this. On a serious note, this should be something the mother decides for herself. I tried letting my baby cry it out once, and she pooped herself. I've cried myself to sleep as an adult and it's not an enjoyable experience, but imagine a baby being so distraught that they poop themselves.

This theory is ususally endorsed by men who don't relaize women have an intense biological instinct to respond to their crying babies. Instead I 've come up with a new theory; Let your man sulk it out. Let him whine about how he's not getting enough attention or sex. He is the one who needs to grow up.

The cry it out theory is based on teaching your baby coping mechanisms. I guess they'll be going out into the real world at 6 months old, and they don't have 18+ years to learn coping skills. If you dig hard enough, I bet you'll find out the theory originated somwhere with Sigmund Freud. I can hear him saying "Teach them coping skills early so later in life their defense mechanisms will be perfected."

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Comments 9 comments

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

izettl - Great list. I still hear when are you going to have more. I think I will hear that until my kids are grown and gone. My MIL is notorious for pointing out what their kids did earlier than mine. Luckily for me I could careless.


misty23 profile image

misty23 7 years ago from Chesapeake,VA

I agree 100% some people just don't know when to shut up, I'm a mother of 3 girls but I still get "Advice" from my friend who doesn't have any children !! drives me crazy


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

triplet mom~ back in the good 'ol days mothers weren't known to have kids older than 30ish. Unfortunately nowadays for us modern mothers who have kids in their 40+'s we will never hear the end of 'when are you going to have more?' I'd like to say I'm 35 and too old, but that doesn't work. Maybe I'm 35 and FEEL too old.

misty23~ oh that would drive me nuts with advice from someone who doesn't even have kids. A mother of 3 especially doesn't need unwanted advice from anybody.


christryon profile image

christryon 6 years ago

I have a few more to add. As a newlywed my husband and I decided not to start our family right away. We always heard, "When are you going to start your family?" Isn't that a personal question that is really none of anybody's business but ours?

The second question on the list was, "Are you going to breast feed?" Again isn't that my business? I know that breast feeding is best. But what if it doesn't work out?

The last question that I was constantly asked was, "Aren't you going to try for a girl?" (We have 3 sons). We did try and it didn't work out. Besides, we have 3 healthy boys, isn't that more important than what gender they are?

Too many of these questions make a woman feel guilty if she is not able to accomplish the end result that is considered "normal." Every one is different. What works for one person may not work for another.

Excellent hub.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

:) !

To nosey questions I often think, "What possible use could that information be to you?" However, to actually say it out loud would reduce me to their level so I try to choose to rise above their ludicrousness with a southern smile and eyes bright with mystery.

Oh, btw, please be careful about stereotyping mother-in-laws...some of us actually love and respect our newest daughters!


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

R Talloni~ You're lucky with a good relationship with your daughter-in-law. I'm not entirely sure how things went astray with my mother-in-law. I thought I had always been decent so it makes me believe the sereotype a little.


Sapphireid profile image

Sapphireid 5 years ago from Palm Desert, CA

Hello Izettl, I have one to add: "When your child grows up, she is going to bring you so much trouble, you won't be able to handle her!" Said by: my children's aunt(s). I did come into the Torentulous teen years with my oldest daughter and the daughter that they were referencing to (Praise God) is far from their guess. But, I'm a proactive mother so, to their own disappointment they faltered in their guess of the outcome of my child(ren). Thank you Jesus!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

More than likely it is a misunderstanding. Talking with her might not be possible, but you might try. If you make an honest effort, and leave the door open for a future solution if she rejects your effort, or ignores it with a "What do you mean" response, you'll always know that you tried to solve it and you will rest better after you stand at her graveside.

I don't mean to indicate that I know anything about your situation, your mother-in-law may be struggling with truly impossible issues, but sometimes relationships that "should be" are "not" simply because of misunderstandings, assumptions, fear, disrespect--things rooted in a disregard for what God teaches us, but thankfully, things He can help us with.

But no matter what, don't believe stereotypes...rise above that common behavior and be an example about it to others, especially younger generations, for one day, if you're blessed, you may be a mother-in-law!


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest Author

sapphireid~ Great story and so true.

RTalloni~ I started a conversation with her about how my husband wanted to know more about his dad because he never met him. Over the years he just stopped asking her for the info and I thought maybe I could get some. I thought it was innocent enough. I am never one to believe stereotypes so it was shocking to me that my relationship with her has become the typical stereotype that is the stuff jokes about it are made of. I never thought I'd be in that situation. She just shuts down and won't talk about anthing with her kids even though they all have questions about different things. I came from a family where people openly communicate to be closer even if it means going through some pain, but being honest with each other is best. We're just two different people and I'm willing to be cordial but she no longer talks to us for almost a year now. The two of 4 kids she talks to are the ones she controls with her sensitivity to everything and eaily upset.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I believe it is a two-way street and I know in my heart that I've done what I can. My husband is bummed because his mother was nowhere around for Christmas and his birthday this last year. I've mentioned to her to not take our issues out on my husband but she is. As a mother, I don't understand her.

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