When you’re learning to navigate the turbulent waters of new parenthood, you’ll undoubtedly encounter a lot of folks offering what they think are time-tested words of wisdom. Sure, these (usually childless) people mean well, but when caring for your first newborn, these bits of advice often do nothing more than exacerbate your already tense mood, causing incalculable emotional damage. So, here’s a handy list of ways to defend yourself from some of the most common types of encounters.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”
Harm: That newborn needs your attention most of the time, which leaves little time for things like cleaning, cooking, laundry, and your personal weeping time.
Defense: Silence them by delivering a solid punch to their throat. Remember to maintain a wide stance to maximize your forward momentum.
“You should get some extra help.”
Harm: Your checkbook already cries each time you open it, and digging up the money for a sitter, let alone a nanny, lies just below “Install a helipad on the roof” on the list of things you can afford right now.
Defense: Stomp down on their left foot. Then, using your index and middle fingers, poke the offender in both eyes. This combination will leave them immobile and blinded.
“Cook all your meals on Sunday and freeze them for the week.”
Harm: Getting your act together to actually cook just one meal seems a Herculean task. The kitchen might as well be on the dark side of Kepler-62-e.
Defense: Pivot so you’re facing away from the person. Step back with your right foot, placing it between their feet. While doing this, thrust your right elbow backward, aiming for their stomach. If delivered correctly, this should cause them to evacuate their Sunday-cooked meal, so try to step out of the way.
“Let your partner take over for a while to give you a break.”
Harm: The person who says this to you assumes that’s not already happening. When a baby comes home from the hospital, everyone in that home takes on responsibilities, even the family dog.
Defense: Take three running steps toward the person, then jump swinging your legs up in front of you. Put your ankles together and aim for the solar plexus.
“Breastfeeding in public is obscene.”
Harm: In addition to the unrealistic level of prudishness exhibited by those who complain about public breastfeeding, they’re suggesting mothers withhold nourishment from their baby. You know who else did that? Hitler.
Defense: Grab the offender by the hair and throw them into a sack of angry badgers.