It’s been hectic the last few months with a new baby in the house, but I’m so happy to be posting again. I thought about what would be good to post after a few months of taking a break from the blog. Things to never say to a new mom,” seems to be a perfect topic to write about now. Although, I’m technically not a new mom, I recently welcomed a new baby – my second child to this world. Most people don’t mean to be assholes, but if you come across a new mom, try not to say these really irritating things to her.
You’re not holding him right. You should be holding him like this.
I was recently walking with my baby and rocking him. A stranger went up to me and asked me if he was my baby. When I told her yes, she told me I wasn’t holding him right and told me the correct way to hold him. I politely said, “thank you,” and walked away. If you see a new mom holding a baby, just keep your thoughts to yourself unless you see the baby in obvious danger. I held my baby the same way since he was born in front of medical professionals. If what I was doing was dangerous, I would have been told something. Unless you’re going to offer something useful to the new mom (like helping her carry groceries to her car when she has her hands full with a baby), keep your thoughts to yourself por favor.
Why did you have your kids so far apart? Do they have the same father?
My two kids are nine years apart. I’ve stopped telling people how far apart my kids are, because when some people ask about the ages of my kids, I get crazy reactions. One ultrasound technician asked in a concerned way, “Do they have the same father?” They do have the same father, but even if they didn’t, what the hell would be wrong with that? In fact, what the hell is wrong with having my two kids so damn far apart? Are my kids going to be emotionally scarred for life? Honestly, people – it ain’t that serious. If a new mom tells you the ages of her kids and they happen to be far apart, don’t act like an apocalypse is on the way.
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You should have it easy or easier with this baby since your first kid at home is not a toddler.
I totally understand that having a toddler and baby at home is not easy. But if you bump into a new mom that is having a baby and her first or other kids are non-toddlers, you don’t want to undermine her challenges of still being responsible for other human beings. My first child is 9 years old, but she still has needs. Can she drive herself to school? Does she still need emotional support and time with her mom to process when she experiences something difficult at school? Does she still ask me questions when she’s doing homework? Are there still a ton of other things I help her with and still do as a parent? Yes. Okay, then. All stages of parenting have unique challenges. Sleep-deprived and exhausted moms with new babies who also have non-toddlers at home don’t need to be told they have it easy or easier than other parents with toddlers at home.
Why are you going back to work so soon? Don’t you want to be home with your baby?
I have to go back to work in a few months, because that is what my paid maternity leave will cover. Many moms who go back to work already feel like crap about leaving their babies and don’t really have a choice (unless they don’t mind being homeless, bumming off of family members, or not knowing where the next meal will come from). If you feel like asking a new mom why she is going back to work so soon, just keep that curiosity to yourself.
You’re lucky to take a “break” from work
Okay, this comment actually makes me laugh more than irritates me. However, if you come across a new mom, don’t tell her she’s lucky for being able to take a “break” from work. Parenting (especially a newborn) requires you to be on the clock 24/7, and I really mean 24/7. You don’t get to clock out at 10pm and wake up 6 or 8 hours later. When I was working, I didn’t have anyone in the background screaming for me if I needed two minutes to do my business in the bathroom. Now that I’m parenting my newborn at home, it really is work ALL the time. I may be taking a “break” from my paid job, but I’m certainly not sipping on margaritas on a beach.
So, those are some of the few irritating questions and comments you may want to keep to yourself when meeting a new mom. Some moms may not care if you comment or question certain things, but if she’s sleep-deprived and exhausted, it’s better not to take a chance. Just offer support or positive and non-judgmental comments her way.
Moms, let me know about your experiences! What are some comments or questions that irritated you as a new mom? Share your comments below!
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