I have noticed a LOT of annoying behavior lately. Maybe it’s the influx of social media…coupled with the influx of sites like Etsy and Pinterest…topped off with my first year as a new mom.
Yeah, maybe. Let’s go with that.
In any instance, I felt it my duty (or just my right of free speech) to illustrate what should be common-sense guidelines that CLEARLY are not.
1. Keep the details private. I don’t care how you choose to feed your baby. Hell, chew your own food and spit it in your baby’s mouth like a friggin bird but ladies, let’s keep private. Ahem, allow me to clarify. I DON’T WANT TO SEE PICTURES OF YOU BREASTFEEDING ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE. Correction, NO-ONE wants to see that. If they DO want to see it, then sickkkkkk. But, let’s not jump to conclusions here. This isn’t just about the pictures. It’s about the details, too. I don’t want to hear about how you can’t get your baby to latch, your nipples are dying, or how your 2-year-old walked up to you and pulled your tits out on their own. The phrase “too much information” was created for a reason. A very definite and necessary reason. This would be one of them.
2. Let new moms figure it out themselves. I’m not saying throw them to the wolves blindfolded with meat strapped around their necks….but let’s just go out on a limb and assume they know that they won’t be getting much sleep with a newborn. I mean, it’s not rocket science. On that note, let’s add these to the list of assumptions: babies are expensive, your body will change, and your life will never be the same. Thank you, Sherlock Holmes, you are no longer needed.
3. Only offer solicited advice. It’s wonderful that cry-it-out worked for you. It’s cool that you chose to co-sleep. It’s fantastic that your C-Section went off without a hitch. It’s incredible that you had your child potty-trained by 18 months. Now, I’m only going to say this once – all babies are different. Sure, that sounds like it falls in there with #2, but if I thought all of these were no-brainers, I wouldn’t be writing this, now would I? Unless you are asked for help, just keep your trap shut (yes, I admit that I am still working on this too). People have enough to think about and consider when deciding certain things for their family, no one needs you shoving your choices/techniques down their throat.
4. Accept that people make different decisions than you. This is really more of a follow-up to #3, but I think it’s important enough to garner its own number. Just because you gave a convincing diatribe about the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom, and I decided to go back to work, doesn’t mean I think you’re a bad person OR that you make bad decisions. What is best for one family, is not always the same thing that is best for your family. This applies to virtually EVERY debate out there…when to introduce solid foods, whether to breastfeed, what types of diapers to use, how to soothe teething, how to get your baby to sleep through the night….it’s endless. EVERY aspect of parenting has numerous techniques and solutions for a reason….and I already said I would only say it once.
5. Being crafty and/or a good cook does NOT make you a better mom. Yes, I got ideas for Easton’s 1st birthday from Pinterest. Yes, I made some decorations and food myself to tie the whole theme together. But that’s just ME, for as long as I have been alive, I have been baking up concoctions with my friends and painting clay pots to look like turkeys, santas, you name it. I work behind a desk for an investment firm and need a release for my creative energy. I know I’m not alone in this. What kills me is that I have seen what this “Pinterest-revolution” has done to women and mothers. It has become a pathetic competition to show who can come up with the most original snacks to bring to the soccer game, who has the best theme for the baby shower they hosted, or who has a designer nursery. If you can (and want to) do those things, great! But if you constantly talk about things Martha Stewart would pat you on the back for, you’re just going to come across like you’re trying too hard and make other moms feel like they’re not doing enough. In a white chocolate-dipped, raw sugar-encrusted nutshell, your high & mighty attitude is just annoying.
6. Realize there is a world out there that does not involve your baby(ies). This one is hard for me. Because MY world revolves around my family. However, I know that as much fun as it is to talk incessantly about Easton’s newest facial expressions, I also know that it gets old. Quick. There’s no faster way to become annoying than by calling your friends to talk about your baby. Plan a girl’s night, a fun lunch, ask about work, the weather, men, anything. I can tell you firsthand how easy it is to let friendships slip away, and how HARD it is to rebuild them.
7. Don’t be a one-upper. ALL parents are proud of their children, maybe not all the time, but they are. And you should be! But, if a friend shares an exciting new milestone in their life, or their child’s life an appropriate response is “oh, that’s so wonderful!” An inappropriate response is “Oh, well Little Jimmy was walking six months before that, and he can already do back flips!”
8. Be a parent. You are responsible for a raising a future adult. Instill all of the qualities in them that you’d like to find in the people around you and for the love of all things Holy, DISCIPLINE them. God did not give you that precious little life so you could have a new best friend. Get a dog if you want that. I’m not saying not to be friends with your children, so don’t jump there. But being their friend should be something that develops from a level of trust, respect and admiration. Not because you want to be the “cool” mom and turned a blind eye.
While these may not be annoying to everyone, I also may have left some things off….it’s really more of a general guide. Feel free to share your thoughts, or any other tips on how to NOT be an annoying mom, I’d love to (and probably NEED to) hear them!