We’ve all seen them. Often posted on Facebook, they tug at the heartstrings of any tired, hormonal new mum or mum-to-be, especially when accompanied by a picture of itty bitty baby feet or teensy weensy booties. Let’s face it though – yeah, they’re cute, and yes, they’re quite often true – but it’s not quite the whole truth, is it? Let’s take a look at what would happen if baby quotes were completely honest.
“Those same tiny feet leave the muddiest, paint-covered, treading-in-smushed-rusk footprints on our carpets”.
“…for all of ten seconds. Then I think “Thank fuck they’re finally asleep. I need a glass of wine” and skedaddle out of the bedroom before they can wake up”.
“… about 50% of the time. The rest of the time, it’s gas”.
“… said Dad, as he tried to explain to his wife why he hadn’t bought her the diamond necklace she’d requested for her birthday”.
“…a nine-month long, painful, uncomfortable “moment”. Okay, there is no way the person who wrote this quote has ever been pregnant.
… because I have always dreamed of passing on my violent streak to my offspring”.
“Yeah. What do you think you’re playing at, married couples? What do you know about love? You’ve never accidentally wiped baby shit in your own hair! SHIT IN YOUR HAIR! THAT’S LOVE, PEOPLE!”
“So don’t worry, Dads – you don’t need to change any nappies, or do any night feeds, or help with the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning or any of that nonsense. As long as you occasionally tell your child’s mother that you love her, you’re doing enough for your child”.
Don’t get me wrong for a second – babies are wonderful. They fill our lives with love, but they also fill our houses with singing plastic crap and their nappies with actual crap. Don’t sugarcoat it, or new mums will be wondering why their babies are pooping out – well, you know, poop, rather than rainbows or whatever these quotes are suggesting. Part of the fun of parenting is the tough bits, the gross bits, the funny bits, the bits where you’re sitting up until three in the morning wondering whether it’s too early for breakfast and too late for wine. If you pretend these don’t exist, you’re eliminating half of your child’s baby-hood from the get-go.
As for “You don’t know love until you’ve had a baby”… yuck. Yuck yuck yuck. It’s a different kind of love when you have a child, but I’m pretty sure I loved my boyfriend before we procreated, and I’m pretty sure I’ve always loved my family, and I’m pretty sure childless couples are totally secure in their love for each other. Parenting doesn’t make you superior, or make you ‘more capable’ of feeling love somehow. It just means you’ve had sex and had a baby. That makes you a parent, not the writer of the god-damn dictionary definition of love.