The reason why we need to stop telling new mums to 'savour every moment'
As people fuss and fawn over a new mum and her new tiny arrival, certain sayings have become standard.
"Oh you look great!"
"Oh is he sleeping?"
"Oh she looks like her dad/you/your mam/your auntie."
And then the most common phrase of all:
"Oh enjoy every single moment because the time will fly by."
It's a particularly irritating statement - said with oodles of good intentions, of course. But brutally unhelpful nevertheless.
My smallies are now four-and-a-half years and almost two - and terrifyingly, I can already feel the months starting to slip by that bit more quickly.
The thought of being able to return to tiny newborn feet and that newborn smell; to Moses baskets and size 1 nappies and curious strangers peering into the pram is easy to idolise.
Meaning on a couple of occasions I myself have been tempted to splutter out an ill-advised cliché based on my own, glossy memories of having a brand-new baby.
But I don't. I bite my tongue. Because truthfully, I have yet to meet a first-time mum who would say that those early weeks and months (or indeed, years) whizzed on by in a heartbeat.
Are you on cloud nine when you have a baby? Broadly speaking, yes. Do you sporadically beam with pure joy and happiness while gazing at your tiny, little one? Naturally. Has your entire world changed for the better? Undoubtedly.
But to say to those same parents cradling their new arrival that they'll 'blink and miss it all' is entirely misselling the reality of being a mum or dad.
"You're in the trenches now," I remember one colleague saying to me when I confessed to being a mum of two-under-three. "Once you have them both in school you won't know yourself."
I was grateful for her realism and empathy too - finally! Someone who refused to glorify the beginnings of parenthood.
So in that vein I tell my new mum friends to cry, to laugh, and to do everything in between as she needs. I tell her I'm there for her, and to throw out the rule-book and listen to her instincts.
I tell her that in the best possible way life will never be the same again. But saviour her time and appreciate every moment? I'll give her more credit than that...