The journey to parenthood was tough for us but we are glad to announce that we just welcomed a baby boy into the family Being a first time dad, I get a barrage of comments, advice, word of wisdom (well intended or not, solicited or not). I must have looked dazed as it is clear that those who have been through this phase are always ready offer me their expert advice.
Here are some of the questions (or statements) I usually get:
1. “You looked like you didn’t sleep well”, “Are you getting much sleep?”
What are you expecting and what do you think? Even though nature don’t equip me with a pair of milk producing breast, no husband/father in the right frame will leave their frazzled wife to deal with that ever hungry baby by herself. So short of rolling my eyes at you when you attempt that question, please expect new parents to walk around and behaving like zombies from The Walking Dead show – at least for the first one-two months.
2. “Is your wife breast feeding?”, “Your baby still looks hungry”, “Does your wife have enough milk?”
Like it has anything to do with you. Unless you are some breast milk angel from heaven, I really don’t see how is that your business. Do you think any parent will want to starve their new born? And no, I do not want to discuss my wife breast with anyone. Thank you.
3. “How is your wife doing?”,”Your wife must be enjoying herself during this extended period of maternity leave”
She has never been better. She just had someone cut her open, sew her up and now she has to wake up every two hours to shove her breast into the mouth of our newborn. So yeah, she is doing really well and really enjoying her extended leave.
4. “I had a [fill in the blank] goldfish, pet spider, puppy etc, so now I know what having a baby is like.”
Really, so you are a expert too? Did you have to get up to nurse the puppy at 2 a.m., 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.? And I don’t think you try to change your puppy diaper only for him to shoot his explosive poo all over you followed by a steady stream of golden shower all over himself (and you). All these, accompanied by the silence of the night and the loud crying from your puppy? I suspect my baby deliberately wait till his pee wee is aimed directly at me, uncovered, before he release his load on me. I swear [fill in the blank] goldfish, pet spider, puppy don’t do that.
5. Usually said by a stranger when the baby is screaming and you are just trying stop your baby from disturbing others and keep your sanity: “You know your baby is probably tired/hungry/has a dirty diaper/etc.”
Listen, I didn’t ask for your advice and I probably know exactly what my baby needs. Unfortunately, I am barely holding it together, haven’t brushed my teeth, washed my face and honestly couldn’t care less what your opinion of the situation is. If you really want to give advice, go speak to a mirror.
6. “When are you having the next one?”
While serving in the army, I have learnt that making important decisions while exhausted, stressed or in the middle of a major life change is a huge no-no. We adore our pooping milk machine but what sort of answer will you be expecting when we are both exhausted, stressed AND in the middle of a major life change. Of course, we will are already trying for the next one!
7. “Is having a baby worth it?”
This baby is a miracle, and having him is one of the greatest moments of my life. We are almost a month in and the highlight of my day is to go home and hold him in my arms. Every dirty diaper and sleepless night is nothing compared to the joy of being a parent. We just hope that he will grow up a healthy, happy boy – just like his father.