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5 Ways To Avoid Being A Douche Toward A New Parent.

Have you ever been a new parent?

Wiped your child’s nose with your own sleeve?

Cleaned your house with baby wipes?

Made a coffee/tea and used breast milk/formula because you’ve run out of milk?

Done school pick up/drop off in your pyjamas?

Scooped poo out of the bath tub with your bare hands?

Gone to the toilet with your child on your lap?

Gone to the toilet with a child attached to your breast?

Eaten your own placenta?

Had a silent birth?

Screamed through the whole ordeal?

Had an epidural?

Adopted a child?

Cried after dropping freshly pumped breast milk?

Had a baby never sleep through the night?

Needed help conceiving?

Fallen pregnant first go?

Been surprised at having fallen pregnant?

Accidentally farted in public and blamed it on your child?

Pretended the child throwing a tantrum is not yours?

Offered your child money to just be quiet for five minutes?

Cut your child’s food up and mindlessly eaten it before you had a chance to give it to said child?

Ordered a babyccino?

Continued to watch a kid’s show long after your child has gone to bed?

Threatened violence on your partner for being too loud after you’ve just managed to get your child to sleep?

Put a freshly bathed baby to bed five minutes before a poo explosion?

Had post natal depression?

Had the loneliness of parenthood utterly consume you?

Been a single parent?

Joined a mother’s group?

Been a friend to someone in need?

If you’ve answered yes to even just one of these questions, then you are a part of a very select and lucky group called “being a parent”. Our beliefs and our methods all differ, but at the core we are all the same. How we cope with the enormity of the task at hand varies, though. We as collective parents, are all just trying to navigate our way through the epic task of raising our children to be decent humans.

We are all trying to do our very best at something that we’ve had no practice at. You can’t borrow a baby from a library for a couple of weeks and have a go. Once you bring a child into the world it’s a stacks on learn on the job reality.

Do you remember when you first walked out of the hospital with your new born? I remember looking around and waiting for someone to call out “STOP!!” as I was walking out with her. Like it was some sort of mistake. I couldn’t believe that I was in charge of this beautiful, tiny little human. 11 years later and I still look around some days to see if anyone notices that I have no idea what I’m doing.

It would be nice if we as seasoned parents, offered help to the newbies in order to ease them into the very different life they’re about to embark on.

5 Ways To Avoid Being A Douche Toward A New Parent:

1 – Don’t compare. New parents are already highly strung. The worst thing you can do is inform them that your little Johnny was already reciting Shakespeare by the time they were 2 and a half. Each child is different and they each reach their milestones in their own time. Instead of instilling fear in them that their child is not living up to par, remind them of this fact. Don’t be that guy. That guy is a douche.

2- Don’t Boast. The last thing a sleep deprived new parent needs to hear is that your child has slept through the night since the day you brought them home from the hospital. Well done. Congratulations. Perhaps your well rested brain should have known better than to make the already exasperated mum and dad feel even more hard done by. Offer to baby sit for an hour during the day so they can put their head down instead of being so insensitive.

3 – Encourage. Tell a new parent that they are doing a great job. Despite what they show on social media, they probably think they are pretty shit at this. When their child has cried non stop for no reason for 40 days and 40 nights, odds are they are feeling pretty defeated right about now. It would be helpful to remind them that babies can be arseholes sometimes, and it’s not a direct reflection of their parenting skills. Tell them to hang in there, buy them a picture of some kittens if need be. Be a positive force.

4 – Share an anecdote. Sometimes a new parent just doesn’t want your advice. They may be getting advice from “do gooders” every where they turn. Instead, share a funny anecdote. A short, amusing story that you’ve experienced since becoming a parent. This way you will help the new parent feel at ease without exuding superiority or giving unsolicited advice.

5 – Don’t judge. You may not agree with their parenting choices or views, but unless it poses any danger to the child, simply keep your opinions to yourself. People do what they feel is right for their family. Being outwardly judgmental will only cause unnecessary friction. Be supportive and if you don’t agree, go home and whinge to your own partner about it. It will help you get it off your chest and chances are your partner isn’t even listening anyway, so no harm done.

Some days being a parent will break you. You will feel totally defeated and unworthy and tired. So damn tired. You will have all the feels and take everything personally. You’ll convince yourself that you’re in over your head and be certain this gig isn’t for you.

Some days you will feel hashtag blessed and rejuvenated enough to try for another!

Being a parent is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. You’ll be holding your hands up and squealing with glee on one bend, yet copping someone else’s vomit in your face on others.

It’s an adrenaline fueled joyride, and a stuck on the side of the road with an empty tank debacle.

It’s awesome and it’s awful and it’s everything in between. If you’re lucky enough to experience this sort of love in your lifetime, then consider yourself a broke millionaire.

More than anything, good or bad, it’s worth every second of the ride.

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