Okay, remember all that stuff I said the other day about joy? Let’s hit pause on that for a moment, cause I’m gonna hit you with another honest one:
Sometime around 1 o’clock this morning, The Struggle Bus ran off the road, overcorrected, and smashed me flat.
One thing that new parents almost always get is some moron telling them to “say goodbye to sleep.” It’s not that this isn’t completely true. It’s NOT that…believe me, I look back on pictures of me from before kids, heck even when I had just one kid, and I am so much better looking in the face. Specifically, the undereye area. So no, I’m not getting a lot of sleep. Most days, I do fine with that.
No, what absolutely just grinds my gears all to bits is the attitude with which that phrase is said. I’m sorry, but could experienced parents maybe be less asshole, more encouraging? You guys know the reason that people without kids are often irritated by us is because of that patronizing, intentionally antagonistic crap, right? No? Well aren’t we just so self-aware. One thing about me: I cannot stand an antagonistic personality. My mom and dad chalk this up to the fact that when my brother and I would fight and pick at each other, as punishment they would make us sit in the middle of the kitchen floor while holding hands. You learn real quick to just make it a bit easier on one another, stop causing unnecessary annoyance.
And yet, here we are in a world full of 30 year olds who really enjoy talking to other 30 yr. olds as if they are clueless about the obvious fact that babies don’t sleep so well sometimes.
Everyone has their version of a solution for a problem that, in all honesty, is often unavoidable and really just related to babies dealing with the overwhelming nature of the new world they’re living in.
“Is it something you’re eating?”
“Have you tried the Ferber method?”
“You need to read THIS book!” Seriously…you know who you are, and you need to stop this. Just stop.
“Well what did you think, that having a baby was easy?” YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND I WISH YOU A THOUSAND STUBBED TOENAILS. Jerk.
It’s hard for me to be loving to people when they do this. It’s really, really hard. Because for one thing, I make it a standard practice to just try to be there for my friends who are becoming first time parents. I’m not perfect of course, but let’s just say I don’t get my rocks off by being a self-righteous, belittling asshole just cause I’ve magically popped a few kids out. It doesn’t help parents complete the mission we’re all supposed to be on (to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids) when an older, more experienced parent (or even just a less experienced but more arrogant parent) talks down to someone who is currently adjusting to one of the hardest jobs they’ll ever have.
It’s really hard for me to not put down my kindness and pick up the big ol’ verbal bat I’ve been hauling around since I was about six years old and just start beating people senseless. I don’t get why people need to do that. Maybe it’s an overcompensation thing. Maybe it’s an underdeveloped or immature sense of humor. Maybe it’s just that they’re gigantic jerks who can’t read a situation to save their life.
Whatever the case is, this is my warning. I will give you the shirt off my back. I will bake you fresh bread and a homemade meal. I will sit and listen to your problems just to hear them and say I’m there – even if I can’t offer advice (which often times, I honestly can’t). But if I catch you being a dick to a new parent who is running on minimal sleep and coffee, you will find your way to my shit list so fast. So. Fast.
Just stop being assholes to tired parents, world. They’re busy raising the kids who will one day fight your wars, manage your financial portfolios, and change the sheets in your assisted living centers. So you might wanna spend a little more time on encouragement and a little less time being uber-douche bags about sleep, feeding, and other things.
Just a pro tip.