To my baby: I’m sorry

My dear sweet baby,

I’m so terribly sorry. It has come to my attention, over the course of writing this blog, that I have failed you. You see, I have had emails, and blog comments, and comments on Facebook, and tweets, and they have all shown me the error of my ways.

There is just so much I must apologise for.

I am sorry for swaddling you. I now know that swaddling restricts not just your limbs as you sleep, but also your creativity and ability to drive a manual car. I am desperately sorry.

I am sorry, that studies now show that you are 82 times more likely to be attacked by a swarm of angry bees at the age of 28 because I gave you too much tummy time.

I am sorry that I also didn’t give you enough tummy time and you’re going to grow up to be a Phil Collins fan who is totally incapable of walking. It has been pointed out to me by an “expert” that you should be walking by now. And you’re not. This must be my fault because you had tap water with fluoride in it. Or it’s the tummy time. Or maybe the bumbo.

That evil bumbo!

I’m sorry that I gave you a dummy, as a recent study has found that children who were given dummies have a 97% chance of turning into that person at a party who tells you a really, really, really super long story that goes nowhere and then at the end says “I guess you had to be there”.

I’m sorry that I used white noise to get you to sleep, “Jim” sent me an email “just because I think you should know”. It turns out the team at FakeScienceToday have found that children who sleep with white noise develop an auditory dependency that inhibits their ability to ride a bike without training wheels. I just wanted you to sleep. But Captain Von Clickbait says that mums who use any kind of sleep aid are basically destroying their children and should be charged with neglect.

I’m sorry I didn’t leave you to cry for hours on end even though the sleep training consultants say that’s what you should do. I wasn’t respecting your need to cry yourself to sleep. And now look at you, you haven’t slept in 12 years and you have a beard down to your waist and you drink decaf soy chai lattes.

Beards aren’t even in fashion anymore.

I am sorry I used pamol. Those mums in the REAL NATURAL MUMS Facebook group were so right, pamol is a gateway drug to crack cocaine. But at least we have a hobby together now right?

I am sorry for letting you dress yourself, I have emasculated you according to a father of seven from Lubbock (I Googled that place and it’s in the States). Now you’re never going to have a wife which is apparently very important because how else will you eat if your wife doesn’t cook for you according to father of seven in Lubbock.

I’m sorry I put you in a jolly jumper twice in order to take cute/semi-humilating photos of you. I have been sent a blog post by an anti jolly jumper lobby advocate and she says you’re going to grow up to be a “social media guru”.

I’ve failed you.

I’m sorry I didn’t cut out sugar from your diet. I should have actually read the 8000 word essay I was sent from a parent in Invercargill schooling me on the dangers of sugar. Look at you now, you’re that person who talks about sugar for hours at a time. You’re incapable of reading social cues and realising that nobody actually gives a shit.

Oh I am sorry!

I’m sorry for using a baby carrier, it’s true, your legs are useless now, we had to get them removed, and it’s so hard to carry you now that you’re 47 and weigh 120kgs. But I brought this on myself so I will accept it.

I’m sorry I used the buggy instead of the baby carrier – putting you in a front facing pram is clearly the reason why you live with 15 cats and keep getting told off by the Council for hoarding.

I’m sorry I breast fed you and formula fed you. It’s a terrible burden for you to now be both breast obsessed with ‘mommy issues’ AND bottle obsessed with ‘mommy issues’. We have no bond while having too much of a bond. And you’ve been poisoned by Big Formula while also being brainwashed by lactivists. It’s all my fault.

What can I say? I tried to do my best but I should have spent less time parenting and more time reading studies.

I should have stopped listening to you and started listening to what others said about how I should raise you.

I should have read more books instead of just reading you.

I should have kept up with the Joneses (I would never have guessed that university exams would eventually just be one question: What brand of baby muslin did your mother wrap you in on the way home from the hospital?)

I shouldn’t have thought that just because I know you best I would know what is best for you.

After all, people who have actually convinced parents they’re fucking up their kids lives by loving them too much – they’re the ones we should listen to right?

Instincts be damned. I should have definitely trusted an email from a stranger over what I know is true in my heart.

Oh well, it’s too late for shoulds. I guess we will just have to make sure we tell every mum we meet that they’ll be sorry one day too…

Love your very sorry Mama.


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27 Comments on “To my baby: I’m sorry

  1. I’m sorry people write stupid shit to you. I have been reading you since I was pregnant and now she’s 3 months old. Please don’t stop writing! Ignore those shit sacks with “opinions”. Xxx

  2. Will you set up a forwarding address for the parent support group we’re all going to need? So little time, so many screwed up children.

  3. Oh my goodness I had no ideas that all the decisions I made with love and best interests at heart were going to completely screw my children up. Thank you for making me see the error of my ways! Ha ha once again you have told it exactly like it is, please don’t ever stop writing. LOVE reading your posts šŸ™‚

  4. My sister has told me my 7 month old son will need therapy one day because I’m traumatizing him by putting him in cloth diapers. She’s serious. Yes, my sister! Makes for fun family gatherings. Thanks for the chuckles.

    • That’s a new argument against cloth diapers. Tell her that your son won’t be the only traumatized one out there. In fact, I suspect he’ll have many options for friends that have been treated similarly.

      Oh my.

    • ….How did people even survive before disposable plastic diapers were invented?

    • That is ridiculous!!! Although that being said, my parents used cloth diapers AND I’ve been in therapy. Clearly the only possible explanation…

      • I don’t use cloth nappies coz I’m lazy and I hate washing. But the funniest “study” I’ve seen said that babies who wear cloth nappies walk less than babies who wear disposables ? The “study” was paid for by a disposable nappy company but I’m sure that had nothing to do with its findings right? Hahahahaha

  5. And that my dear is why parenting in the era of the internet sucks. No matter what you do there is someone who not only thinks that they know better than you but will take great pleasure in not only telling you what you are doing is wrong but that it will ruin your kid for life. Disturbingly I bet most of them either do not actually have kids or their kids are psychopathic little monsters.

  6. Oh God! Suddenly it all makes sense. The swaddling! The dummies! The BABY CARRIER! All of that MUST be why my children are… Well… Happy, secure little humans who know they are safe and loved. I never knew I was fucking them up so badly.

    Seriously… What kind of an assclown points out everything a mother is doing “wrong” without even being asked? Screw these people!

  7. This is perfect. I only realized fairly recently that whatever parenting decision you make, some people will judge you for it. Sounds so simple but I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to please/justify my choices to others so it came as a bit of an epiphany. Thank you for highlighting the absurdity of it all.

    I didn’t even use a muslin on the way home from the hospital. I’m not sure how you’re meant to. I should probably just hand both my babies over to be raised by strangers on the internet right now, yes?

  8. Haaaaaaaa I had to read this whole post out loud to my husband because I snorted with laughter so much that he got annoyed and wanted to know what was so funny, and it was all so funny…But I’m sorry that people tell you moronic things all day long. I’m glad you don’t listen. Arohanui xo Helen

  9. Hi Emily,
    Interesting write up. I came here through mumsnet. My advice is, don’t listen to others. Keep on writing.

  10. Have you noticed that it’s only the idiots who open up their mouths to share the stupidity that’s happening in their heads?

  11. I haven’t even had kids yet and have been told I will traumatize them because I don’t have the same last name as my husband. The mistakes start early!!

    • Never give in. No one likes a free thinker. I had the same issue. I was told my son would be bullied at school if he had a double-barrelled surname so I gave in. I’ve regretted it ever since and my son is now 38!

      • I’m sorry you too were bullied about it. The pressure is still there, 38 years later. My MIL is still flipping about our choice of two last names, but I have three siblings with double last names and they are fine. I thought it was becoming more and more acceptable but on the individual level, people give me grief. Fortunately, hubby and I are on the same page and we’re the ones with the naming rights! šŸ™‚

    • I’m with you! I knew even as a child that I would not change my name, and I didn’t. That went over poorly, but my MIL tried to rip us a new one when we informed her that her grandchild will have TWO last names. I don’t have the same last name as my mother or 3 of my brothers and it was never once a problem, but people are somehow convinced it is crucial. If the kid hates it, they can change it as an adult. In the meantime, we’re both contributing DNA and names.

  12. Haha brilliant! Thanks for the insights and the laughs! I practice elimination communication (I know- a wanky name but it basically is what our ancestors all did without a second thought!) so pretty much from day dot you put your baby on the potty- well one of my mates thought that was the weirdest thing they had ever heard of and that it was going to give my child an unhealthy fascination with their own excrement??? And that would probably lead to developing autism! Oops my bad! And I just wanted to get babe out of nappies ASAP so as not to be scraping poo out of her crevices for 3 years!

  13. Oh my! I woke my husband up while reading this and laughing. I also read this while my 2 year old plays alone in her baby-proofed bedroom (tsk, tsk, I know). I have done nearly, if not all, of the things mentioned in your post and have lived through the comments others have made about my “horrible choices.” I don’t think there’s a parent alive today who never heard they did this or that wrong. My girls are now 11, 9, and 2, and are some of the most well-behaved children around when we go out anywhere, they can be trusted to tell me the truth (sometimes as they see it, not in actuality, they are still learning after all), they have friends at school whom they argue with just as any girl will go through, the older two talk back after returning from their dad’s until I remind them I may be his ex wife but I’ll always be their mom and therefore that behaviour is unacceptable, they come to me or stepdad for help with homework or a problem with a friend, they laugh, joke, enjoy family time…etc. We have a mishmash of it all happening at home. I tend to ignore most studies tossed my way, most negative comments. I will raise my girls with love, hugs, and as much common sense as possible, and all the ones telling me “you should do it this way” can just bugger off. Absolutely loved your post, as usual!

  14. I laughed and I cried. So hard, that the librarian has told me to be a bit quieter for the sake of other patrons!

  15. I once had a lady tell me in the supermarket not to shorten my daughters name. Excuse me?
    I gave up caring what other mothers think awhile ago. I probably have screwed my kid up something chronic. She used a dummy till she was three, she still isn’t toilet trained at 3 1/2 because I can’t be bothered, she is an only child because she kind of ruined the new-born experience, she was bottle fed because I hated breast feeding, she is in fulltime care while I work (and currently typing this at work lol). She is happy and healthy but I probably did everything wrong. Oh well.

  16. Thank FUCK the internet didn’t exist when we were bringing up three sons. People actually had to say things to your face if they wanted to be dicks, and generally they actually didn’t. Maybe the twitch, and the wild look in me eye put them off…?
    Hope you’re finding it easy to ignore the twats. Love your work xx

  17. As a new mother of a three month old who has just discovered your blog, this made me cry. I’ve already made so many mistakes according to everyone. I can only imagine the emails and comments you get for sharing your life with the world. This also just makes me feel better. At least I’m not half as crazy as the people who write to you.