I am sick and tired of parents talking about their babies all the time, even though I am a parent myself.

I get it. Pregnancy is probably the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Until childbirth that is. And at the end of this battle, there’s a squishy, red-faced person in your arms who looks a bit like you, your husband, your grandfather, and Shrek. How can you not think that this is a miracle? Of course you have to tell everyone about it! I’m all for women opening up about their birth stories and talking about their new motherhood over a non-alcoholic drink. I’ve done it too. When my daughter was born, I was ecstatic about everything she did, including the ‘mango-yellow’ (how charming) poop that she expelled with unimaginable frequency. I enjoyed talking to other new mothers about their experiences and was even piqued that my husband wasn’t documenting his fatherhood the way I was.

But…at some point…okay, I’m just going to say it…it got boring. I mean, all the stories were the same. Your child doesn’t sleep? Neither does mine! Do you have a mosquito problem at home? So do we! Since everyone and their aunt is now on the internet, these discussions were replicated online in mommy groups – which I signed up for in the flush of new motherhood – to make matters worse. Only, they were more irritating because of abbreviations like LO, TH, DD, DS etc. But that’s just a personal gripe.

The point is, it seemed to me that everyone was talking about the same thing over and over again without getting anywhere. I got tired of giving potty training advice, discussing the pros and cons of the pacifier, analysing why Steve Jobs never gave his kids gadgets and so on. It’s normal for a young parent to think about their child a lot but I reached a point when I started seeing the children of other parents around me a lot too – something like The Sixth Sense. I see children…brrr.

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My polite attempts at taking the conversation elsewhere were almost always unsuccessful. It went something like this:

Me: Hey, I watched this really nice movie yesterday.

Enthusiastic Parent: Oh I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie! We don’t switch on TV at home because I read about this study that says the rays from the TV can cause autism in children. By the way, do you vaccinate your child? Do you know vaccination can cause autism?

Or

Me: My yoga class is fabulous! Do you want to come too?

Enthusiastic Parent: I really should. See, I’ve put on so much weight after pregnancy. But I don’t want to diet because I’m breastfeeding. I’m going to breastfeed till my child is at least two years old. I can’t believe these mothers who give formula! I mean, you know the WHO guidelines, right?

I’m not being holier-than-thou. I’m sure I’m guilty of boring people about my marvellous baby at some point in life too. But I eventually saw that I was being a bore. I eventually re-discovered the things that used to interest me before this small person took over my world. Like books, movies, travel, sports. I like being a mother. But I’m tired of having to define myself as one all the time. I’m tired of people assuming that motherhood is the only thing I can talk about. Every child is unique but every child is also not that unique. I’m not saying we shouldn’t talk about our children at all. They are an important part of our lives and of course it makes sense that they should figure in our conversations. But let’s not forget that there’s more to life than eco-friendly cloth nappies. My sippy cup runneth over. Change the topic, PLEASE.

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