We all know, as mothers, fathers and people with common sense that life with a newborn is extremely difficult. You have sleepless nights, endless feeding as well as questioning your own sanity at the worst of times. You have those days when you wonder if you are doing the right thing or if you are damaging your child because you feel like you’re falling apart. These feelings don’t just happen at a newborn stage, they can lurk up on you when you least expect it. You have a sleepless night with a teething or a sick baby or toddler and you’re questioning your ability to parent again. So, I speak to you, the person who is a parent and who has been there, don’t forget those days when you struggled and when you felt like you were doing everything wrong. I speak to you, the person with no children to understand the hardship and the struggle and to understand that you do not know what it’s like to have children and nobody could prepare you until you have your own.
There’s a word that gets said quite a lot around me, my friends and others which I think needs to stop among all of us. It’s so easy to say it but it’s difficult to stop saying it. Please do not use the word “should”. It will upset a struggling parent dearly. If a friend of yours says that her child just won’t sleep at night, the last thing that she needs to hear is “you should try this or you should try that”. Don’t you think she may have tried everything and exhausting all of her options already? The best thing to do is to ask her what she has tried so far and then tell her about other options but never tell her she should do something.
A lot of mothers, myself included struggled so much and questioned everything they did when they had a newborn. It’s soul destroying to hear someone say that they should do something. Tread carefully with your words, sometimes it hurts more than they will let on.
Reality Mammy xxx