As a new parent, some secrets just shouldn’t be shared with your non-parent pals.
We were out one night with friends, when one of them – aghast – told us of meeting a couple with two young children. The couple couldn't stop talking about how happy they were to be away from their kids. My friend was disgusted at their apparently inappropriate and gushing delight in having an evening to themselves. It is perhaps unnecessary to point out that my friend does not have children.
I listened to the story, nodded at all the right places, while privately feeling sympathy for the couple. It made me realise that there are quite a few parenting stories that only other parents are able to truly understand.
These are the sorts of stories that may seem ordinary to parents, but that shock and disgust non-parents; may put them off having children altogether or even worse – make them think less of you, meaning they won't invite you out and away from your children again. I started thinking of a list of topics to avoid tackling with non-parents. Top of my list are:1. Breast pumps
Most men (and some women) find the idea of expressing breast milk by using an electronic pump to be absolutely gross and disgusting. Only once they see the beauty of it – that a) mom is able to express some milk so one can leave the house and baby can be fed in a bottle or b) you can get some sleep while granny gives the night feed; do they manage to get their head around the idea. But they still don't like it. 2. Bleeding nipples
The topic of bleeding, cracked nipples kept me up at night while I was pregnant, in total and absolute fear. Once I was there, it really wasn't so bad, as many other moms know. The lotions, the creams, the sun etc. all help and eventually you tough it out. But only other parents really understand that although it sounds really terrible, you get over it and it really is worth it in the end. 3. Poop stories
Whether it is the big ol' chunk
that fell from your child's nappy and onto the floor where the dog ate it or the "gift" your potty training child proudly brought to you at a braai… these are the stories that you should absolutely keep to yourself and share only with those you deem close friends or are related to by blood. Trust me. If you want them house sitting your dog when you go on holiday again, that is… 4. Your sex life
It is perhaps one of the biggest reasons men don't want children – they fear the nookie will go away
. Don't confirm their worst fears by sharing your horrible sex drought stories with non-parenting friends. They won't hear the "I'm too tired for it anyway" or "Who cares about sex when CSI is on"… all they hear is how you lose interest in sex once you have children. 5. Any acts of violence
No matter how small and insignificant that slap
really was – think carefully who you want to share your feelings of guilt with after you lost your cool with your cheeky child. Another parent is more likely to be sympathetic and may even confess slipping up in some similar way as well.
All parents have war stories and not only love sharing their tales of battle – they often need to as well. Laughing about the craziness that goes on at home is not only a good way of gaining perspective, but it can be a lot of fun as well – as long as you do it with other parents, of course.What would you never tell a non-parent? Or as a non-parent, what don’t you want to hear about?
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