It is incredibly hard for people to understand what being a parent and raising kids is like until they have children of their own. While well-meaning, your non-parent friends can come off as unintentionally hilarious and just a bit ridiculous with some of their suggestions. Like telling you to ‘just bring the baby’ to the rock concert/camping trip/bar they’re desperate to go to.
Redditor u/lolyhpe started up a very energetic and bubbly thread about all the silly things that childless people tell parents. And it all shows just how unaware many non-parents are of how much having a kid impacts your life. The well-meaning silliness is off the charts in this list, and we hope that it makes you smile, dear Pandas.
Scroll down for the best ‘just bring the baby’ moments, upvote your favorite ones, and tell us all about your experience with your non-parent friends in the comments.
Bored Panda reached out to redditor u/lolhype, the creator of the insightful thread, and she was kind enough to share her thoughts about parenting with us. She told us that once you have children, it really is like the start of a new era.
"It is a total shift in every possible respect; your priorities, your worldview, and your day-to-day life. Everything you do happens through the lens of what’s best for your child. Furthermore, the goalposts are constantly shifting—my son is seven months old and his needs and challenges have changed completely drastically every few weeks since he was born," she opened up to Bored Panda.
According to the mom, crossing over into the parenting world will challenge your beliefs and assumptions about the world. "You’ll start to see so many things in a new light, from which spaces are not designed with strollers in mind to how political issues could threaten your child’s future." Scroll down for the full interview.
#1I’m 36 weeks pregnant with my second and had lunch out with a friend today who said to me ‘it’ll be great, once you’re on maternity leave you’ll be able to go out all the time for lunches and drinks’ …. …. I don’t think the concept of having a baby is quite understood there!!!
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#2"Sounds like you need a coffee!" When I was explaining how hard work is when I'm so exhausted I don't always understand what people are saying to me. Tried to explain the difference between long term sleep deprivation and like, one bad night's sleep. "OK that sounds bad, make it two coffees!" She has baby twins now...
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#3My friend constantly compares my having a toddler and newborn to her having a ten year old black lab. Not even kind of the same thing.
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According to mom u/lolhype, she hasn't noticed in her social circle that anyone feels pressured to have kids just because their peers do. "It has not been my experience that people have children because they feel pressured by other friends or family members. It’s a deeply personal decision that alters the course of your life forever, and it absolutely isn’t the right choice for everyone," she said.
"I love my son and being his mom, but I have always tried to be realistic in my expectations—I knew it wasn’t going to be glamorous."
#4My friend works nights so when she’s off she wants to meet up during the day, she drinks and I don’t which is totally fine but when I say what time nap time is she always says “just skip it” I’m like “are you insane?”
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#5"You can sleep when the baby sleeps!’
And before my son was born I wholeheartedly believed this, I now realise that while this works for some parents for others (like me) this is a mythical idea something in the realm of reality of unicorns
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#6"Just find a baby sitter for this thing I just invited you to that starts in an hour"
Uh dude ... thats not how any of this works :D
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Bored Panda was interested to hear the redditor's take on what a couple that's sitting on the fence about whether or not to have a baby should do. In her opinion, it's the perfect opportunity to evaluate their lives and goals.
"I think fence-sitting is a really healthy place to be because it means you’re ready to examine what your life might be like with or without children. Nothing can truly prepare you for the experience of becoming a parent but taking your time in making the decision is definitely the best way to reach the right conclusion," she said.
#7Here is a great one that I am guilty of having used pre-kid:
“My kid will never/ I will never something something my kid”
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#8“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”
My wife replies, “and clean when the baby cleans. Cook when the baby cooks.”
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#9"Don't stop your hobbies! Just bring the kids along!" Usually said by a married man who's wife runs everything for him so he can just do this thing without the kids messing it up.
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"If you feel okay about the sacrifices (sleep, free time, flexibility) and you’re driven by a deep desire to shape a human being, you will do just fine. Personally, I found it easy to anticipate the kinda sucky things about being a parent because everyone warns you about them," redditor u/lolhype told us.
"However, nothing prepared me for the amount of love I have for my baby and how fascinated I am by everything he does. I kind of assumed I would feel the same way I do when I hold someone else’s baby—it couldn’t be more different. The feeling I get when my son nestles into me is incomparable to anything I’ve felt before."
#10This hits home for me. After three girls it's so easy for other people to say, "Oh you should really try again for that boy!"
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#11When I was nine months pregnant with my first I was so miserable and uncomfortable. I actually said out loud to a friend who already had kids that I couldn’t wait for my baby to be born already “so I can get some sleep.” My friend- being the angel that she is just nodded and smiled.
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#12I’ve been invited to two weddings recently. Both told me to bring my toddler. My completely feral, 0% socialized because of the pandemic, toddler. To a wedding. With a formal ceremony and a formal sit down dinner. No. No thank you.
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Raising kids is no joke. Relationship and dating expert Dan Bacon, a proud father of two, spoke to Bored Panda a while back about finding the right balance between being a strict and fun parent. He stressed that patience is vital, and that parents should realize that children always push boundaries to see what they can get away with.
“In order to be good, functioning citizens of a society, children do need to be shown what is good and what is bad. However, you have to remember that a child is a clean slate and is effectively innocent,” the expert told us.
“The child will often say and do things that could make you angry if you don’t understand that he/she is simply testing to see what is okay or not, or what the limits are. Without testing, the child will just sit there, be quiet and do nothing, which isn’t going to happen,” Dan said.
#13It’s truly unreal the extent to which people without kids don’t get it. My brother-in-law would get on us at the last family vacation for eating breakfast so early….when we did it because the kids were up and can’t exactly feed themselves. They’re expecting now and part of me can’t wait for them to get whacked by reality.
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#14My married SILs said this to me before they had kids.
"You shouldn't have schedules for them. It's really OCD."
A year after they had their babies: "how do you get them to do what you want/ go to bed?"
Sleep schedules. Keeping track of their naps.
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#15My boss (who is actually a parent) said to me that if I had any training sessions I didn’t want to miss while I’m as on maternity leave (which are at least several long usually) I could “bring him with me as long as he’s a good baby”. Because we all know how predictable babies are
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“The child wants to explore the world around it and see what he/she can and cannot do. The child will also regularly forget what is right or wrong at times, or remember that something is wrong, but do it again anyway to see if you have a different response this time.”
He continued: “By doing it again, the child often shows you that it doesn’t need to follow a particular rule because the rule was too strict, or unnecessary, which then results in you changing and allowing the child to do it from then on.”
Dan pointed out that parents should be realistic about instilling positive habits in their children by thinking about how long it takes for them to do the same thing.
#16I was ranting about the lack of sleep because of the 6 month regression and my friend said "that's so weird, my dog has been waking up to pee at night too! I wonder if he's having a regression"
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#17"We bought a little something for the kiddo!"
Please...please no more. Our little apartment couldn't fit all of the toys dumped on her. Now, our full size house can't fit all of the toys dumped on her. She doesn't need more stuffed animals. She doesn't need more coloring books. She doesn't need more crayons or markers or blocks. She definitely never needed any stickers, and I will start ending relationships over the continued introduction of kinetic sand into my home (yes, it's better and cleaner than Play-Doh...until it isn't).
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#18I was the first of my friend group to have kids.
I remember them all heading off camping to a huge 3day music festival - minimal electricity, shower or toilet facilities. Like - not even port-a-loos.
I was 3days post partum and they couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t come and just bring the baby along.
They only stopped asking when I said We’d go - but someone would have to take responsibility for disposing of my giant maternity pads….
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“You need to be patient as the child grows up and figures out how to behave and approach life in a way that suits you and himself/herself. One way to think about expecting a child to change or follow your orders is to remember how long it can take you to change a certain behavior as an adult,” he said.
“Sometimes it can take weeks or months for you to stop a habit, change a behavior or take on a new behavior that people are asking of you, so you shouldn’t expect a child to change everything overnight and be completely obedient to every new rule you come up with," Dan noted.
"You have to love patiently, otherwise being a parent will make you feel stressed all the way through the child’s life.”
#19Basically the moment my sister-in-law was pregnant, my older brother decided that he knew all about child-rearing and wanted to give me all kinds of advice about my 2 yo. They were going to babysit while we went to a wedding and he said they were going to grill hot dogs and go swimming. LO had been in a pool ONE TIME for the one lesson I had been able to schedule and never eaten hot dogs. When I explained to my brother that hot dogs are the #1 choking hazard food for kids under 5 and I could bring chicken nuggets/whatever so he didn't have to buy anything, and that I didn't feel comfortable with him going swimming without us there, he called me a helicopter parent and that I was "ruining" my son. A week later they had a party to announce their pregnancy and he introduced me to my sister-in-law's family as "my sister, AKA my nephew's very overprotective mom." Nice.
They did not babysit for us.
Their son is now about 4 months and has barely left the house. Who's overprotective now?
#20“Have you tried 'most common solution'”
No, Brenda. Somehow that incredibly common option that we’ve used for all our other fussy babies never occurred to us. That’s so incredibly helpful you should write a book!
#21My family that lives like 1.5 to 2 hours away tells me to bring the baby over to see them. Meanwhile they have never come to see the baby. ... sure... you can't manage to drive this far as an adult but you want me to bring the baby?
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#22I visited one of my friends when I was still childless. She was like a week postpartum and still struggling a lot with breastfeeding. Baby wanted to eat. I was like: “I don’t mind! Just feed her! I’ll just watch!” She was probably too polite to kick me out.
I’m so sorry. I had no idea.
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#23I had a conversation like this with an older relative who has had two kids of her own some 25-30 years ago. She told me my 1,5 and 3 year old would be fine to skip nap time or just nap later so we could all go to a resraurant together. I told her I'm not sure how much fun it would be for everyone to have to share a table with two overtired and cranky toddlers and that I will be paying this patricular bill later on my own for sure. She moved the reservation for later that day so the kids can nap but I still don't understand how a mother can be so dismissive of nap time!
#24"Just let them cry it out! Just tune it out!"
No matter where you fall on the 'cry it out' argument, listening to ANY baby cry for more than a few minutes is like nails on a chalkboard. It's not something you just 'tune out', any more than you 'tune out' an air raid siren.
#25I love when people ask me to bring my toddler to their non-child proofed houses. “Oh just bring her! It’ll be fun!” And I’m like “do you like your stuff? You want your sofa to stay white? Do you want your vases and display decor to stay intact? Because I can promise you it will be destroyed in less than 5 mins. Also, hope you like Baby Shark greatest hits collection because she wants it on the TV on repeat.” People who haven’t had toddlers in their lives crack me up. They mean well, they’re just too optimistic.
#26‘Throw that baby in a backpack and come on down [to outdoor music concert starting at 7p]!’
‘Baby’ was like 15 months old or something at the time so nope.
#27That it would be simple and easier for everyone to rent a holiday home overseas (as opposed to hotels in this country) with my extended family for a reunion. Because apparently transatlantic flights with children are simple and easy.
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#28My bio dad and stepmom would always invite us all over for dinner, always at 7/730. I told them constantly that we will always turn down dinner because I’m not pushing back my infant’s bedtime. Sometimes they’d even invite us over day of, with very little prep time. Please make it more obvious that you guys didn’t have kids lol (my bio dad divorced my mom when I was a baby and I know his ass was no help when I was an infant).
#29“She’s asleep, just leave her at home while you pop out.” Like, absolutely no! The idea of leaving the house and leaving her alone scares the crap out of me. (She’s only 4 months old for goodness sake)
#30I was telling a friend I was finding it impossible to get back into working out with my 3 month old and she told me to just do it while the baby naps….just said okay and laughed because I cannot even explain how unrealistic that is.
#31One of my friends used to ask me to game with him online on the PC sometimes. I would always say I can't as I'm looking after the baby. Qué the response "Just have him on your lap and play"
.... Hmmm.. yeah... Because a 6 month old baby is going to sit comfortably on my lap for a few hours while I play the pc.
#32I have a friend who insists my 6 month old infant & her future daughter will get married ?? not even considering the fact that a lot can happen between now & then…
She’s not even pregnant yet….
#33I went to Jenny Craig when my oldest was just about a year. I explained that I frequently ate very late because eating with my toddler around was so stressful. She would constantly either need something from me or want to eat my whole meal (which, normally, I wouldn’t mind, but I was paying a lot of money to have preportioned from Jenny Craig, so giving some to my daughter would mean I wouldn’t get enough).
Her response: “Just lock her in her high chair.”
Well, yes, that would stop her from grabbing at me, but then she’ll start screaming within a couple of minutes because she’ll want to eat whatever I have.
“So let her scream.”
Are you kidding me?? I tell you that I have trouble with mealtimes because I’m stressed over a toddler and you think the solution is to sit there and try to eat with a toddler screaming at me?!
Another favorite of mine is “Just pump and dump!”
#34I will never let my child be in public with a dirty face!
2 years later ...
She's actually not screaming for once and that chocolate pudding isn't hurting a damn soul.
#35My baby was born the week our city shut down for Covid and my oldest was 4 at the time. We (my bosses and I) were trying to figure out if there was anything I could do from home (my job is face to face with patients). I said I didn’t think me providing telehealth appts would work bc of the kids. The fresh grad said “can’t she just put them both down for a nap at the same time and do a couple hours of appointments after lunch?”
#36"Well, can't you just get them potty-trained before you come then?" "Do you REALLY have to discipline them while you're here? Can't you just let it go for once?" "You know, food allergies are really just a myth. Just put your foot down."
#37Mom of twins here: that kids 18 months apart are ‘basically twins’
#38My childless cousin gave my daughter (who was just barely a year old) her milk in a regular cup, and then got annoyed when she spilled it.
#39"look at this cute outfit i bought for your kiddo!"
Please stop. I have too many cute things. They grow way faster than i have outfits. sometimes i would get a little excited if they made a mess of an outfit because then i could put them in another outfit.
However, if it's a cute boy outfit; then yes please. i need more boy clothes because they dont have much for boys. which is really sad. i need more suspenders, suits, and bow ties. maybe a really cool leather jacket would be nice.
#40My sister in law suggested that I just bring my 4 year old daughter with us to the escape room we were doing. I would rather just not go than try to wrangle a 4 year old in an escape room.
#41My job is providing me two spots at the daycare, for my beautiful babies. Unfortunately my boss is a d**k. Can you see the dilemma here?
Some (childless) colleagues are just « Come on just resign, you’ll deal with the daycare thingy afterwards… »
Errrm… how could i NOT think about this before? Errrm… because you don’t JUST drop two spots and cross fingers to get them somewhere else…
Fact: i applied for a bunch of others run-by-the-city 4 months ago, for spots in april-or-may-or-june, had the answer yesterday « no sorry, try again in june for spots in december kisses love you »
#42Oh my gosh! I felt this one deep in my bones!
I just got back into the workforce after having my second son who is now one. My husband unexpectedly deployed the day before my start date.
Apparently the CEO is in town and they have a dinner planned for Thursday, but I never received the invite because I’m new. Yesterday they said it was a “mandatory” event.
If we had any issues with childcare we could bring the kids. To a fancy Italian restaurant with 20 new colleagues and suits. With a 7 year old and a 1 year old boy from 6-9 on a school night. Ummm
#43“You should/shouldn’t let your kid do X.” I will decide what is acceptable behavior or not. The most common one is telling me I shouldn’t let my kid cry. He’s a kid. When I was a kid. I cried a lot. Many people told me not to cry. I didn’t stop being “sensitive,” I just stopped sharing and resented people for it. My son can cry. Don’t worry, I’ll leave the room. His emotions are valid.
It’s always advice like, as if it’s my first day with my son.
#44Part of what non parents don’t realize is that getting them to sleep in a new environment can be challenging. If they do sleep, it’s likely poor quality sleep from being overstimulated. I just had my sis in law pick me up for her bday, but they arrived 20 minutes early. Which would be fine if I didn’t have a little one lol, us parents use up all of our getting ready time. I was actually in the middle of cleaning bottles when she arrived lol. I love her though and she was sweet.
Another thing is they’ll act like it’s easy to pack them up and go, but we gotta plan for how many hours we’ll be out and bring extra for possible extended time out. That includes bottles with water in them, formula, wipes, diapers, clothes (and if you have a reflux baby like me that means lots of clothes) burp rags, mine is eating solids so solid food and spoons. Medicine just in case. Plus, for myself, the car seat is sooo damn heavy I can honestly barely lift it lol.
And then going home you have to round up all the items you took out. By the time you get home you’ve got a migraine but you gotta try to get baby to sleep while you’re out baby usually feels fussy and you can barely talk to others and enjoy yourself. It’s honestly not really worth it sometimes.
#45Obviously my in-laws aren't childless, but it's been a looooooooooooooong time for them. My in laws want us to come visit with the toddler more often (and I wish we could my FiL has cancer and he doesn't have much longer) BUT they make no effort to toddler proof and say that "someone should just follow him around and say no until he stops!" This kiddo is likely autistic and has almost no language skills- telling him no makes him laugh while he does it again. It is EXHAUSTING and basically impossible, so if they aren't going to make the effort to help us bring him over, we just aren't going to be able to do it very often. It sucks, but it is what it is at this point....
#46I have a 7-month-old son and I’m very fortunate that most of my friends either want kids or love them, so he’s very popular. However, now that I’m a parent myself, I find it some of the assumptions and things they say SO funny, especially since I had exactly the same logic before I had a kid of my own. Probably the most common one I hear is, in reference to a late-night gathering at someone’s home, “Just bring the baby! We’d love to see him!” It makes me giggle because I used to say stuff like this all the time and my mom friends were probably too exasperated to explain the concept of bedtime to me.
#47Scene: My MIL seeing me stressed and exhausted after a power struggle with my kid.
MIL: He won't be like this forever!
Me: Thank God. I don't love this.
MIL: Oh, loved every minute of it!
Daggers from eyes.
Like...just f**king empathize with me here.
#48I frequently get party invites with kids welcome on it and they usually start after my daughters bed time. It's not happening I value my sanity thank you.
#49My single friends have trivia night at a bar that allows smoking and lasts until about ten. They told me to bring my six year old with me with me.
If I have a sitter, sure. If not...I am not introducing a 6 year old to all of that.
#50Childless people seemed confused about over stimulation to me. Like why I asked for permission to use a bedroom and I carried a fussy baby to a dark room for rocking. My son would throw his nursing cover and screech if there was too much excitement going on as well as unlatching to lift his head and try to look around at the excitement. Feeding uncovered in a dimly lit, quiet room worked much better.
#51What are you saying? A baby is not a pet?
"Oh, don't worry. Your baby can just sleep in my bed until you go home."
#52I like that one as well, especially when it evolves into the final form; 'we've got a spare room, they can go to bed here when they get tired. Yes, that's how children work.
#53What I find MORE annoying is when PARENTS say "Just bring the baby." They should know better. My mom used to give me so much s**t about just bringing them along and how I was ridiculous trying to keep the house quieter at nap time. (Note, not graveyard quiet, just not vacuuming right outside of bedrooms and/or keeping loud items off.) Until, one day, I caved. I had 2 kids that were very much "you missed the 10 second window of easy naptime, now we will scream for an hour and act like whatever you are doing is hurting us down to our soul" kids. She was so sure she could get my 9mo to sleep so easy, I passed him right back over. After 15 mins of screaming she gave him back declaring, "he must want mama." After that, I didn't hear a word about "just bring the baby."
#54Them at 5pm: "Do you and the kids want to go get dinner?"
Us: "Sure! What time?"
Them: "We're just going to [do quick thing] and then we can meet you there. We'll let you know when we're leaving!"
Us: "Okay, great, that will give us time to get the diaper bag packed and change diapers and all that."
So we get the kids ready to walk out the door and then we wait. And wait. And wait. And two hours after we were ready to go, we finally get a text to meet. But now it's 7:30 and either a) my kids are starving, tired, and a hot mess or b) we gave up an hour ago and the kids have been fed and are getting ready for bed.
My in-laws are pretty good at this.
#55My sister-in-law had a baby right around Thanksgiving, several weeks early after a very high risk pregnancy that landed her in the hospital the last 4 weeks of her pregnancy on observation/bed rest. Her sister couldn't understand why she was "ruining Christmas" by not wanting to go camping over Christmas/New Year's. Keep in mind, the trip was being planned when the baby was anticipated to be born on Christmas Eve...
When he was born around Thanksgiving the sister rejoiced! The camping trip must be on! Only to be let down by her sister and pesky nephew's medical needs coming first. ::sigh::
#56The two times I’ve been given a hard time for not bringing the baby out:
A work Christmas party, late at night, where like five people actively had the flu. Two of them would have for sure tried to kiss the baby. (Pre-pandemic life was wild, eh?)
A funeral for a colleague that was schedule for the entire duration of the baby’s nap time. Sorry for not guessing that it would have been “nice for everyone to see a baby”, and not wildly inconsiderate for a grieving family!
#57I used to get very stressed out when my in-laws would come visit us and want to take a day trip somewhere with no more than a few hours' notice. Packing everything I might need, hoping the baby doesn't get fussy in the car, hoping they don't get hungry because they're breastfed and I don't want to breastfeed in a moving car, etc. Really not cool for an anxiety-ridden new mom.
#58“No kids allowed at our wedding” RSVP: not attending. Not everyone can just drop their kids off at grandma’s for the weekend.
Closely followed by:
“We’re trying to find someone to watch everyone’s kids so you can come to our wedding” - hi, I’m not leaving my kid with a rando stranger snd a bunch of rando kids so I can get drunk on bud light at your wedding. You can’t kennel kids like your poodle, I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.
#59One of my friends was lecturing me on all the things I needed to do before the baby was born, he said “have you even started meal prepping the babies meals and freezing them yet”? I was like yeah Um babies have milk for the first 4 to 6 months so I’ve got some time..
#60We have a great friend who is always very well meaning and lovely. He even came and picked us up from the hospital after a gave birth when my in-laws let us down!
But he keeps inviting us over for the evening and saying how he and his gf would love the baby cuddles. I don't know how many different ways we can explain that we can't go out in the evenings with her and that we have to stick to the bedtime schedule!
#61I'm going to a wedding this week (it's like, a four day series of events) of some childless friends who once told me that in their culture, it's customary for events to start an hour after the stated start time.
Which means I will get to attend their events for about 45 minutes before I have to leave because of bedtime and/or naptime.
But, the hotel has a pool, and it's a big city with a great aquarium, I'm getting to see people I haven't in a while, and my MIL is coming on the third day of festivities to give me some help.
#62Makes me think about how I went w/ my sister and her new baby to our cousin's wedding shower. I left my 2 kids (5 and 1) with their dad so I could 1) help my sister as her baby is finicky and 2) get a break from the constant chasing around of my little hellspawns. Literally EVERYONE was like "Well you could have brought them. They would have had fun!" Sure, destroying everything in sight and trying to run me into an early grave from exhaustion. No thanks. Lol
#63I got asked by half the people at a baby shower once why I didn’t bring my (then 2-year old) son with me. I kept looking at them like they were insane because 1) he would have been bored and disruptive, and 2) for basically the first time in his whole life I was getting to do something WITHOUT him. Trust me, everyone was happier with him getting a few hours with my husband and me getting a few hours where I could feel like a human being again.
#64I used to always ask if baby was sleeping through the night. I had no idea how often you have to feed a baby and how long it is before they actually sleep overnight I think people knew I was clueless and not being a jerk but I feel so bad!
#65The other side is when people who have had kids (long time ago) are like 'who cares if baby doesn't sleep? It will be fine' like.... Yes. In five years it will be fine but tonight it most certainly won't. Like I know it's been a while but surely you remember, don't you?
#66My parents live about 2 hours away, and my stepmom, bless her soul, just can’t seem to get it through her head that I will never want to just “meet up for lunch sometime.” My kids are 5y, 2.5y, & 10mo and you want me to drive an hour with them, eat in a restaurant (ha!), then drive an hour home? Absolutely not.
#67One of things parenting has taught me is how much behaviors of older folks I assumed had been a choice or sign of maturity are actually habits they were forced to form when they were parents.
Like having a strict morning and night routine isn’t a choice so much as it’s the least worst option. Cleaning the house regularly is a necessity because it will otherwise automatically become a disaster with a kid. Etc, etc.