The more I thought about the last article I wrote about bad parenting advice, the more bad parenting advice I thought of. It’s a vicious cycle so let me get a few of these off my chest and then we’ll move on to more positive posts. Oh who am I kidding?
Sleep when the baby sleeps – First of all, not everyone is such a Serta’s Perfect Sleeper that the second their infant is down they can just turn off their brain and nap it out. At least not me. Of course my husband could grab a catnap in the middle of an orgy so I guess we’re all different. But the bigger reason that I find this advice to be bunk is if you’re sleeping when the baby’s sleeping and you’re awake when the baby’s awake, when the hell do you have a moment to do what you want to do? Once my oldest started sleeping through the night, my husband and I stayed up all night a few times watching a marathon of Paradise Hotel. Yeah, we were TiVoing that shit. Sure I was exhausted, but I was also entertained and extra bonded with my husband. And that’s what I remember as a good time.
Crib bumpers are dangerous – Here’s some advice that on the surface makes it seem like you are a reckless parent who’s just asking for your kid to suffocate if you don’t follow it. And I was just the sort of neurotic, hot mess of a new mom to fall for it. In fact, I took my bedding set off my registry because I knew I couldn’t use the crib bumpers or the blanket and since I didn’t know what the hell a valance was I figured I didn’t need any of it. My daughter slept in an empty crib and I felt smug and superior to all those negligent “bumper parents” until the night I heard blood curdling screaming, ran into my daughter’s room and found her arm stuck through the slats of her crib. It took me five minutes to dislodge it and five hours to calm down. The next night she had a fully pimped out crib. If it makes you really paranoid get the mesh ones but seriously, get them.
No TV before your kid is two – I’m sorry but this is only realistic if you live on an herb farm on a compound in Oregon where the only form of entertainment in a five mile radius is a yearly pioneer festival. What I’m saying is…come on! Let’s live in the real world. We all know those annoying people who will turn their infant around if they come in your house and the TV is on. Listen, a couple of minutes of Caillou Is a lot more damaging to my brain than to your precious two-month-old. Why don’t you worry about my development for a change? And all those reports that too much TV will cause ADD is absolutely ridiculous. I watched a ton of TV as a kid and…hey I smell cookies!
If You’re experiencing postpartum depression, or having a hard time adjusting to new motherhood you’re somehow “missing it.” – This “advice” should come with a mandatory prison term for the giver. Just because you’re not necessarily enjoying every minute of new motherhood does not mean you are missing anything. In fact, it may seem to last a hell of a lot longer than for the moms that breeze right through it with nary a Zoloft. Listen, most of the people who dole out these type of nuggets usually experienced motherhood at least forty years ago and have forgotten what it was like anyway. As long as you take tons of pictures, at some point you too will look back fondly having forgotten all about the sleepless nights, colic and postpartum depression. You know, when your kid is six. Or sixty.