The 7 Stupidest Questions I’ve Heard About My Baby

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newborn-sleeping-in-crib

My wife and I had a baby in early May. We named her Aspen, and she is a sweet and wonderful little baby girl. But let’s face it, having a baby is exhausting. It makes you sleepy and moody and sometimes, it makes you hate life and everyone around you.

To top it all off, people like to ask obviously stupid questions about the baby. They are always well intentioned, and outwardly, I always answer them graciously. But after a long night of being up with the baby, there is a sinister side of me that wants to lay into these people…

1. “You look exhausted. Are you going to try and get some sleep tonight?” Eat my shit! You know what, yeah… I do look exhausted. That’s because I was up until 3AM last night trying to resist the urge to tape the binky to my newborn’s face. The rest of the night is a blur of light snoozing, poop, and wet wipes. I will not even try to get some sleep tonight. I will not try to get some sleep for the next year, because it isn’t going to happen. Shut your stupid face with your quiet bedrooms and only one butt to wipe in the night… your own.

2. “What’s that white stuff on your shirt?” Puke. It’s always puke. Tomorrow, there will be puke on my clothes again. If the stain is something other than white, it’s probably piss or shit. Deal with it.

3. “Does the baby cry much?” Really? It’s a baby. Yes. She cries. All the time she cries. She cries when she’s hungry. She cries when she isn’t hungry. She cries because she doesn’t have the strength and coordination to lift her head off the floor. Most of the time, I don’t understand why she cries. Sometimes, I cry.

4. “Are you making sure to help your wife?” You know what, it’s the craziest thing. Now that she’s had the baby, I just don’t care about her anymore. Her job is done. Why treat her like something of value? She had a 7lb baby ripped from a gaping wound in her stomach (C-section), and ever since she’s been home from the hospital, I’ve been having her spend long hours in the kitchen making me sandwiches.

The answer to your question is, yes! I have been very caring to my wife. In fact, I witnessed what the doctors did to her in order to make this little miracle happen. It was brutal. I almost passed out. And once it was all done, I realized that she’s the strongest person I know.

5. “Do you think this will be your last kid?” Don’t ask me a question like that. Look at my bloodshot eyes. I’m in the throws of hell right now. Your question is like asking me two weeks after getting food poisoning when I plan to eat at Taco Bell again. Ask me that question in a year.

6. “I know it’s not exactly the same, but I got this new puppy, and it’s been keeping me up all night whimpering. I totally feel you!” (I know this isn’t technically a question.) No. Your new dog is not the same as my newborn baby. You can put your dog in another room, shut the door, and call it a night. No one will think less of you. You can leave it in the yard with some food and a water dish, and it will feed itself. Your dog can walk, eat, and lift its own head without assistance. When it comes to physical development, your puppy is a good year ahead of my newborn. It won’t always be this way, but for now, congratulations!

7. “Does the baby look more like you or your wife?” Right now, the baby looks like a shriveled up Papa Smurf with black eyes and wrinkly hands. In three months, she will look like a toothless Alfred Hitchcock. I have no idea who she will look like at this point. But what I do know is that she coos a lot, and it’s sweet, and when I hold her, even though I’m tired, I can’t help but love her.

Related post: 10 Things Never to Say to a Pregnant Woman

Comments

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  1. 1

    Alicia says

    This is so true! Just had a baby couple weeks ago and people have already asked half of this list. Not to mention this is my SECOND kid and I’m still getting gems like “Are you sleeping when the baby sleeps?” from well meaning people. Also DH got asked “what’s that on your shirt?”

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    • 2

      Katie P says

      GOD I effing hate that “sleep when the baby sleeps” crap. EVERYONE says it like it’s some huge secret gem of advice. And when you’re on your second or subsequent child, it’s totally irrelevant. Sorry, can’t sleep when the baby sleeps. When she finally falls asleep at 7:15 a.m. and my toddler wakes up for the day, as much as I would love to pass out until 11 a.m. with my baby, NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

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      • 3

        says

        Isn’t that so true?! I heard it ALL THE TIME. We have 5 kids, and when the 4th was born, my oldest was 3. That’s right, 3,2,1, and newborn. Not to mention I have an 18yr old stepson who lived with us. Nap when the baby naps…. in NO univese was that happening. Long gone were the days of quietly cuddling a newborn baby all day long. At that point my babies were like tiny monkeys who either had to cling on for dear life or fend for themselves (kidding…sort of) People are ridiculous.

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      • 4

        Karin says

        Sleep when the baby sleeps? I could do a little of that when my little girl was under a month, but we started having feeding problems and she was feeding what seemed to be all the time, trying to get enough milk before we started supplementing. When she slept, that was my chance to stand up and stretch, maybe take a much needed shower, and then to do all the chores that were piling up on me.

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    • 5

      says

      i slept when the baby slept for my first one. nobody told me that it wouldn’t be possible to do that with the second one. and by the third one… no sorry, i can’t sleep when the baby sleeps because i’m too busy trying to eat/shower/pee/clean or do all the other things i can’t do when more than one of them is awake at a time. (i must admit i am blessed with one of those “good” babies that really does never cry, and sleeps for more than 12 hours at a stretch at night.)

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      • 6

        Alicia says

        I got lucky as well. My first would cry a lot and be a very temperamental baby, my second (a boy) is the complete opposite. Very mellow and sleeps pretty well. With 7 yrs apart between dd7 and ds technically I CAN nap and do, but I just fucking HATE hearing it! Especially from those who realize it IS my SECOND kid!

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    • 7

      tracy says

      DH’s response to that question should be ‘ejaculate.’ and i bet it will be the last time the other person asks him (or anyone else) about a stain =)

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    • 9

      Thea says

      That’s because there are some bad babies. My niece was one. She screamed a banshee-like, glass shattering scream for the first four months of her life. ALL THE TIME. Combination of colic and fluid in her ears but it was hell on earth for my sister and her husband. They tried CIO once and she screamed for two hours. They didn’t do that again.

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      • 10

        Mary says

        I had one like that in my daycare. She screamed pretty much non-stop for a YEAR. She wasn’t a “bad” baby, and honestly I, to this day, have no clue what was wrong with the kid. My mom, a veteran of 8 kids of her own, got to the point she wouldn’t help me with her.

        Eventually I had to tell the parents I just couldn’t do it anymore. The grandmother took over. I have no idea how she managed, but I saw the little girl a few years ago with her parents, and she’s finally shut up. Looks like a fairly sweet toddler, so I hope she’s finally settled down into normal childhood patterns.

        Honestly, I felt bad for her, and for the parents, but I’ve never felt like such a failure. I don’t think there are “bad” babies, but there sure as heck are difficult ones!

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        • 11

          Steph says

          Yeah. I much prefer phrasing it as “easy” or “challenging.” I was fortunate to have a mostly-easy baby, except for some absolutely hellish sleep regressions. During those times, when people asked if I had a good/easy baby, I just sort of glared at them. ;-)

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      • 13

        Jenna says

        When people ask you if you have a “good” or “bad” baby, you do realieze that they aren’t being literal? They are just asking you a question, whether your baby is easy or not. You are thinking far too much, and demonizing something says when there was no ill-intent in the first place.

        I’ve had three kids, and there is a DIFFERENCE. My middle child was my most difficult (why is that a better word then bad?) and my youngest is by far the easiest. If someone asked me a question, I would be honest and tell them how they are… even if a child is “difficult” it doesn’t mean that you love them less, or would trade them for anything in the world. The negativity is what you inflict on it. My middle child happens to be the most fun… never a dull moment!

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    • 14

      Robin says

      Yeah, I hated that one. My son would win the gold medal for being difficult, but that’s not something I care to share with every person ready to ask overly personal questions. I adore him despite the fact that he continues to be very difficult and I am still not ready to tell all to anyone who is curious.

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  2. 15

    Lala says

    I LOVED this, esp your answer to if you are helping your wife! lol I dont know why, but people’s questions to parents with a new baby strangely have a viewpoint from the “good ol days.” Its all just a variant of ‘Is the baby completely easy and quiet so you can live your life unchanged and so each of you can fulfill your seperate roles?’ If the answer is no, its like “oooohhhh well hopefully it will get better.” lol
    BTW, my moms reasoning for why things did seem easier as a mom back then from which this impossible level we are still judged by, her answer was “well i drank a little vodka with lunch and didnt really mind anything.” lol

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    • 16

      Pookiemuffin says

      #4 – Those people are probably just reminding a dad to help out. Hubs was absolutely wonderful with our kids (and still is!). However, when we had our daughter, a guy at work would boast about how his wife did all the work and he never changed a diaper. Yes, there are men that pretty much abandon their wives to take care of the kids and only want her for sex and food. Chances are the people asking this question are letting you know that you need to be stepping up and that it is no longer acceptable to only go to work and make money to be a good husband and father.

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      • 17

        kim says

        My husband was a “stay at home” dad when we had our second child. He didn’t do anything to help out. He told me that my maternity leave was his vacation and he didn’t get out of bed before noon once for the next 3 months. He would ask me what I was making for lunch or dinner and expected “stuff” in the bedroom. I filed for divorce 3 months after having the baby. No matter what anyone said he wasn’t going to change his ways. To this day he still thinks things weren’t that bad!!

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      • 20

        Robin M. says

        My kids father didn’t help me. Not before their birth, not after. God forbid you asked him to change a poopy diaper! He totally ruined all my dreams of what bearing someone’s child should be. My second was far more “awake” than my first and usually was crying. But, she weaned, bottle broke, and potty trained like a champ, so I will take the win. Not having the help was difficult, but I am closer to my kids because of it and he is now my ex.

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    • 21

      Steph says

      I think that’s still not as bad as when people ask if dads are “babysitting” their own kids. No, my husband is not babysitting our daughter, he is being a parent. :-P

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      • 22

        Alicia says

        Even worse that this list left out is, “Are you looking for work?” DH gets asked this frequently and it irks me to no end bc it’s none of their business! And so what if he chooses to be a sahd? Does that make him less of man? No, it doesn’t.

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        • 23

          says

          Yes! My I had a sahd in the Sixties, thirty years before it became a trend. He was the best and I loved that he made breakfast, brushed my hair, packed my lunch and welcomed me home after school. It was never “babysitting!”

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  3. 29

    says

    I was asked some really personal questions from one of my male bosses like “Did you get stretch marks? My wife did and they were awful.” I’m pretty sure his wife was thrilled that I had that information.

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  4. 31

    says

    Love this article!! Also want to add that it boggles my mind when people ask me if we are going to speak French to our kids… We are both French and only speak French at home so YES!!! It’s not like we’ll start speaking Spanish to the kid!

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    • 32

      Ypsi says

      I would think you were making that up, except that friends of mine adopted a baby girl from Guatemala and one of the first things someone asked them after they brought her home to the US was, “How will you understand her when she starts talking?” because they assumed she would speak only Spanish (despite being raised in the US with English-speaking parents).

      The stupid is pretty thick out there.

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