Every new mama needs moral support and words of wisdom from experienced moms and well-wishers. Instead, we often hear unsolicited advice and, unfortunately, condescending comments.
You see, motherhood, as great as it is, it’s not easy. We go through countless sleepless nights spent with a fussy baby, an endless stack of dirty diapers, unprompted feeding schedules and the hormonal turbulence that follows childbirth. Even on the best days, we’re unsure if the wailing means the baby needs sleep, a fresh diaper, or another feed.
When you show up with your well-intended, though unwanted, advice, it takes effort to stay silent. The new-mama friend might not tell you that you’re not helping, but I bet she wants to.
So, on behalf of all new mamas out there, here are five things not to say to a new mom, EVER!
Breast Is Simply the Best
Ideally, every mom wants her child to get the long-term benefits of breastfeeding. In the real world, breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why I wish judgment on feeding habits were off-limits.
There are various reasons some new moms choose formula, such as a medical condition, inadequate milk supply, latch-on challenges, premature delivery, and ungodly work hours.
As long as the baby is healthy and well-fed, don’t preach.
Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
Am I the only one who thinks this is unrealistic? When the baby naps (for like, 45 minutes), I shower, feed our pet, brush my teeth, prep meals, and clean up after myself – all at supersonic speed.
My to-do list will never get done if I follow this advice.
More importantly, everyone (including you) will judge me for my uncombed hair, milk, stained sweatpants, and clutter around the home. If you want an exhausted mum to sleep,lend a hand.
I Don’t Know How You Do It
There are many days when I look like I wrestled a grizzly bear. Other days I remember to brush my hair. Either day, I won’t know how to respond to this.
Since these proclamations can mean two things:
1) I’m a supermom.(Gee, thanks. Why didn’t you say it that way?)
2) I have a problematic child.(Umm… never bring that up again)
In short, mamas prefer praise over cryptic comments. If you’re wondering how I do it, don’tsay it out loud.
Just Wait Until…
Do me a favor and never finish this sentence.
See, I’m aware of the terrible twos, three-nage years, and even the teenage rebellions. I know a mother’s responsibilities don’t end. They multiply. Nevertheless, I cling to the hope that all these phases shall pass. So, between you and me, let’s keep the next stage a mystery. Even if it’s a lie, tell me things will get better.
Speaking of things getting better, one of the final things not to say to a new mom…
Soon enough, your baby will be off to … school, college, another city…
Your future-centric comments can feel like a whiplash to mums who love this cuddly, smiling bundle of joy. We don’t want to think about when our kids
will become independent or an empty nest – we already do.
Let us cherish these moments and live in a suspension of disbelief.
Now that you’ve heard from me don’t break this mom code.
If you can’t figure out what to say, simply listen.