Feb 17, 2015
Real mummy blogger Mel looks at advice offered to new parents and sorts the helpful from the plain weird!
Having a baby seems to be seen by some as an open invitation to provide their advice to you – not always tactfully.
This advice seems to fall into a few categories:
- Real Mum Life Hacks – this usually come from your friends because #MumsKnow and they don’t want you to suffer, struggle or be at the mercy of category two….
- Judgemental: advice as cover for thinly veiled criticism of something you have been seen to do…. “Did you know that if you were to….” – usually comes from smug mothers who have read far too many books or dare we say…..mothers-in-law!
- Off-the-wall: this advice is so crazy weird that you struggle to know which facial expression is appropriate to give when you hear it.
- Best ever: this advice is proper wisdom and usually comes from your oldest relative or even little old ladies in the doctor’s surgery – they have reached a ripe old age when they know what is important and funnily enough vacuuming three times a day isn’t
- Random: makes you think, some of these we are still thinking about!
We asked a group of mums to share their advice from across the #generations and naturally didn’t tell them we were going to categorise it but here goes – there are some true gems!
Real Mum Life Hacks
“Always have a bowl of hot soapy water in the kitchen”, Bev (Mum of 1)
“Always have a patio big enough that your children can play outside whatever the weather! I have many lovely memories watching my girls splash about on the patio in the rain/snow whilst I remained nice and warm in the lounge watching. Sadly my mum had already died before my girls were born but my dear friend Peggy (survived 2 very boisterous boys) offered this advice which I’m pleased to pass on”, Heather (Mum of 2)
“You can’t always be popular as parents-be strong, stay true and respect will be earned – you don’t need to be their best friend they’ve got those in abundance.” Evie (Mum of 3)
“I was told “you’ll need to drop your standards” with regards to keeping the house clean and tidy. And of course you have to because there just isn’t time to get everything (or anything) done in the early days of having a baby. …ignore the grime and mess and sit and gaze at your baby instead! Much more important anyhow.” Amelia (New Mum)
“Don’t warm the food when you’re weaning, in fact never warm food (but DO cook it!) this way, when you’re out and about and they need to eat they will, as sometimes there is nowhere to warm food.” Jo (Mum of 2)
“Keep the nappy off when potty training, don’t do it when the book says, do it when it’s warm so they can be outside!” Jo (Mum of 2)
“Don’t do everything the same every day because otherwise the baby becomes completely routine dependent and has a meltdown when it changes e.g. especially on first holidays just when you need a break!” Mimi (Mum of 3)
“One useful thing I was told and did with both boys was, if breastfeeding, give one small feed from a bottle as the evening feed so if you are ill there isn’t a panic.” Sam (Mum of 2)
We didn’t let anybody in this category join in our research: our advice on this type would be “Avoid, avoid”!
“I was told by my husband’s grandmother not to talk while breastfeeding as it would put bubbles in my milk and give the baby wind?!!” Helen (Mum of 2)
“Let the baby cry and don’t pander just leave the baby to cry, in fact just cry together because after 20 mins of doing that you will be crying, but it will pay off, honest!” Jo (Mum of 2)
“Don’t put girls in trousers they will walk quicker, because they can’t crawl in a dress or skirt.” Jo (Mum of 2)
“Never wake a sleeping baby” from Katharine (Mum of 1 via her Mum)
“My mum offered the following advice to me as a new parent “You’ll be overloaded with advice from all directions, quietly listen, smile, say thank you then go ahead and do what you think is best, you’re the baby’s parents, have confidence that you will know best” Jane – (Granny of 2)
“My favourite piece of advice came from a close friend who was a dad. He said very simply ‘just enjoy your baby’” Helen (Mum of 2)
“My Mum just gave two bits of advice 1. Don’t always cuddle your baby to sleep as they need to know how to fall back to sleep if they wake up, give them a cuddle and then put them down. 2. Don’t let your baby sleep in your bed” Lola (Mum of 1)
“Ignore any advice anyone gives you as it all conflicts and just do your own thing! Best advice I was ever given, just can’t remember from whom, someone with wisdom, anyway, might even have been the health visitor!!!” Debbie (Mum of 3)
“Pyjamas don’t matter” Sylvia (Mum of 1)
Please share your advice in the comments below or on our FB or Twitter pages (hyperlinked) with the #MumsKnow hashtag – we would love to hear from you & there may even be some giveaways for your real gems!