Family

What not to say to a mum whose kids aren't sleeping

This Kiwi mum shares some of the things she's been told - and wishes she hadn't been.

My kids don't sleep. I've tried everything including sleep aids, fancy gadgets, sleep consultants, sleep books, the works. But nothing has worked so far!

I've made my peace with it (mostly), but that doesn't stop everyone, from my Mum, mother-in-law, cousin, aunty, friends with kids, friends without kids, the lady at the supermarket, my sister's boyfriend's dog, my husband's uncle's cat and everyone in between, giving me "helpful" but unwarranted advice and support.

These are just some of the things that I've been told, that I wish people would stop saying!

Babies don't sleep. This is a normal part of motherhood! What are you trying to say? That I'm just being a whinger and need to harden up and get used to not sleeping ever again? Because my oldest baby is nearly 2-and-a-half and he STILL doesn't sleep. Which means I haven't had a decent night's sleep in nearly 2-and-a-half years!!!

Be grateful you have a healthy child What does this even mean? Of course I'm grateful that I have healthy children. I thank my lucky stars everyday that my children are healthy. That doesn't mean that I can't wish and hope that they sleep better! Why don't you be grateful that I haven't punched you in the face!?!

My child slept through the night from 3 months old Well aren't you the world's greatest Mum. Here... have a fucking medal! You deserve it, you self-righteous wanker! I'm sure your kids sleep habits are purely a result of your excellent mothering and not just dumb luck!

You need to put them in a strict routine They are in a routine, the only issue is... they choose not to follow it!

You need to let them cry Have you met my kids? They are strong-willed (a.k.a. stubborn A-holes) and will quite literally cry all night long. Believe me, I've got first hand experience. I'm surprised our neighbours haven't called noise control. Or the police. Or maybe they have and we haven't heard them knocking on the door over the boys' deathly screams.

You can't let him cry Umm?? Like... ever? What if he wants to be held but I really need to poo? Not sure I can wipe my bum and hold a baby at the same time...

Have you tried...? Go on... please tell me what I need to try? Standing on one foot with the other foot elevated to 45 degrees while holding the baby in my left hand and rubbing my toddler's head with the right and chanting, "Om...?" Yep. Tried it. Didn't work. Next!!

Why don't you...? Why don't you stop right there, before I throw this useless (and expensive) 'Baby Shusher' at you? Believe me, I've been hit in the head with this thing a few times now (thanks Meester) and it hurts! Don't believe me? Go on... finish that sentence... I dare you!

This first appeared on the New Zealand blog, Us Two And Our Two. You can follow them on Facebook here.