It was Monday night and I was sat on the sofa. Ray Donovan was playing on Netflix in the background, the husband was tapping on his phone next to me, and I was swigging from a mug of steaming ginger tea.
A pretty average night.
When suddenly a message pinged on my phone.
It was from a lady I had met a few times through mutual friends – and now she was selling a few baby things I was keen to buy. Since we’d last met, she had given birth to her first baby, so I tapped back: “How is mummyhood?”
“It’s good,” she typed. “He’s a brilliant sleeper! I never expected to sleep through the night this early! Feel very lucky! He’s just an amazing baby!”
I paused before I bashed back a reply.
I wanted to write back: “Don’t speak too soon! My second baby was like that, but he woke up at 6 months and didn’t sleep for the next few years!”
Or “That’s good news – but wait until he’s teething!”
Or “You’re very lucky! Enjoy it! It won’t last, hee hee!”
But I didn’t, of course.
It took a lot of self-restraint to bite my tongue, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Unless she had asked me for advice, I was in no place to hand it out. I was in no place to burst her bubble. I was in no place to warn her about the up’s and down’s of parenthood. After all, she would find out soon enough.
Those nights when a fever spikes and you wake every hour to check your baby.
Those nights when they have a growth spurt and feed for five hours straight, leaving you to emerge bleary eyed the next morning, wondering what exactly happened the night before.
Those nights when they are teething and wake you up to pained screaming, leaving you with a pounding heart and confused mind at least 4 times during the dark hours.
Those nights when they decide sleep is overrated and you find yourself with a toddler bouncing off the walls at 3am.
It will happen – but it is not my place to warn her.
So I bashed back: “Ah that’s brilliant, lucky you!” and took a swig of ginger tea.
And one day in the future, I’m sure she will do the same.
When someone tells her about their amazing sleeping baby, she will bite her tongue too.
Because you just do.
You have to.
After all, it’s part of parenthood to find it all out on our own.