Why are some parents so smug?
Carrie finds seemingly perfect parents with their perfect advice ever so annoying.
Before getting married, I was well familiar with the brand of people commonly labelled as Smug Marrieds (Smuggles for short): those who think themselves superior to singles because... well, I’m not sure why. So when I joined the ranks of the coupled ups I thought I’d be free from the scrutinising eye of the Smuggles. Not so. Once settled into married life, Smug Marrieds become Smug Parents. Fact.

Their ‘helpful advice’ just transforms from: ‘Oh shame, no wonder you aren’t married! It’s because you’re not clubbing / churching / online dating. I also find what helps to bag a millionaire / musician / movie star look-a-like is to have a boob job / steer away from plastic surgery / go for botox.’

To something like: ‘Oh shame, no wonder your baby doesn’t sleep through! It’s because you’re not swaddling him / massaging him / playing him Bach. I also find what helps little Johnny / Abby / Smuggle Junior is a warm bath / cold bath / no bath.’

Jealousy makes me nasty

The truth, if it isn’t already painfully obvious, is that I’m a little jealous of their babies who sleep through and graduate at the top of their Kinder Musiek groups and sleep though and are already on grade 7 level of Kumon Maths and sleep through. But after consulting an expert in this field (my grandmother, she had 6 kids), I have concluded that being a Perfect Parent gets you so far. Genetics is responsible for the rest.

So how do I respond to Smug Parent sleeping advice? With as much grace as I can muster. ‘Really? A bottle of warm milk before bed is the answer? Wow. You must be the first person to ever think of that. You should right a book. Seriously. You’re like a baby whisperer or something.’ But what I’m thinking is entirely different.

I’m thinking: Just you wait. Keep procreating. You can’t always get it right, surely? Maybe next time round, the dice (sperm) will fall (implant) in my favour and I’ll get the sleeper. And you? You’ll get the nocturnal / screamer / projectile puker. Eh, I can always hope.

Why do you think some parents are so smug?


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