You’re doing it wrong.

Thank you Aunty Margaret. I am quite aware that I am holding my three month old daughter a lot. Yes I know you think that’s terrible and I am spoiling her and making a rod for my own back and she’ll never learn but I actually love my daughter and enjoy holding her so maybe you should try holding your tongue and getting the heck out of my business.

To set the scene we were at a family 50th birthday party at someone else’s house with every chair or bit of floor space taken. It was loud, there were kids running about everywhere and it wasn’t even the place you’d want your three month old to be in for long, let alone to put her down somewhere. I don’t know about you but situations like that are stressful enough for me without the addition of an elderly relative who feels the need to tell you how to parent. Where is it you would have me put her? On the floor? In the pram outside the door on this chilly November evening? She can’t even sit up for crying out loud! When she can I will put her on the floor to play like I did with my son who by the way is a well rounded human being and wasn’t at all damaged by my holding of him when he was this big.

My husband tells me it’s just ‘her way’ and ‘she means no harm’ and that ‘she’s just making conversation’. Well why not try asking me something about my week or how I am instead of walking in the room and pointing your shaky little finger at me telling me what a bad mother I am. This is my second time at this mothering lark (not that that matters) but I think I’m quite happy with my method now. I cannot stand how people think it’s okay to tell you how to parent and be so presumptuous that they think you want or need their flawed and frankly outdated advice. Next time, Aunty Margaret, you can keep your opinions to yourself. Yes I know you’re in your eighties, frail and near the end and on one hand it seems mean of me to be this cross at you but at the same time being that age you should really know better. Mothers do things in their own ways. They don’t want to be told they are doing things wrong and if you haven’t anything nice to say then please, Aunty M, don’t say anything at all.