So you procreate and pop one out (or more) and what happens? The world goes into backseat parenting-madness mode that's what. Before you've even left the hospital, good-willing, mostly kind-hearted, sometimes tactless, everyone starts offering their own supposed pearls of wisdom, nuggets of advice, and editorial judgments on what you should/should not/ must not ever even contemplate doing when it comes to child-rearing. Bless.
Here's the thing, parents have a gut instinct, those visceral "I know my child" vibes and here's the second thing, each and every child is completely different and unique - an individual - so Mum and Dad know best.
Be it your first or your fifth child, often, we just don't want to hear your thoughts unless we ask. Thanks though.
Here's five pieces of unsolicited advice parents just don't want to hear.
1. Never rock your baby to sleep, once you do, you'll always have to.
Really? I mean my eldest kid is five now and I don't ever rock him to sleep. Seriously people, do what it takes to survive the nights for the days are long, and if that means gently rocking your kid, go ahead and rock my friend. Babies want love and security and just because it's dark, doesn't mean a child will magically sleep.
This crazy obsessive competition of whose baby sleeps through first is futile. Kiss, hug, co-sleep (safely). Do what feels right for you and your child.
2. Sleep when baby/kid sleeps/naps.
I know, I know I should but it's 11 a.m. and I've not even checked FB yet? Look when my child naps/sleeps, it's often the only time I get for me and by "me time", I mean cleaning, online food shopping, cooking, meeting deadlines and trying to keep up with the Kardashians. Sleep's for the weak, right?
3. You think this is bad, wait until the terrible twos/teenage years.
Aw, shucks, thanks for that. I. Cannot. Wait.
4. Are you pregnant again?
Really? This was said to me approximately five weeks after the birth of my first child. Do people not understand the concept of baby weight or did Victoria Beckham blow that one out the window when she left hospital (countless times) in Louboutins and skinny jeans two days after birth. Thanks, VB.
5. Often in response to the latter question: so when are you having another?
Um, let me get back to you on that one. This is all kinds of wrong, however old the first child is and equally to those without kids. What if I can't or am struggling to conceive or just want one child or no children? What then? Bit personal of a question now, isn't it? Maybe respond you'll share your ovulation chart and you can google hangout a discussion on it. Or maybe not.
Voila. There you have it, some of the most irritating things you can ask a parent. There are no doubt, many, many more. What's got your parenting goat recently?
Vicki Psarias writes at critically acclaimed parenting and lifestyle blog Honest Mum and its sister style blog Mummy's Got Style. She's also a multi-award winning filmmaker. You can view her work at vpsarias.co.uk.