People seem to think it a universal truth that once you have a baby you need advice from everyone, including distant aunts and strangers in the grocery store.
So be prepared new moms, people will ask idiotic questions and make whimsical and sweeping comments about your life. They will sometimes whisper in hushed tones about you, but more often than not they will tell you straight up what they think of you, your baby and everything in between.
But listen up, people, new moms are tired. They are doing the best they can. They want someone to recognize that parenting is hard. They do not want your judgement.
So, please, please never say the following things to a new mom:
1. Oh, HE Is So Cute!
Not a he. SHE is a she. You, stranger in the grocery store, get this wrong all the time. Instead try, “Your baby is so cute.” I can’t tell you the number of times a stranger guessed my baby’s gender wrong. I had large babies, and a lot of people assumed they were boys, especially if they were wearing a shade of blue and had ripped off their bow. Stop guessing, and stay neutral if you must make a comment.
2. Can I Touch Him?
No. Just no. Can I touch you? Don’t touch my baby and please dear God in heaven, do not touch my belly thinking I’m still pregnant. Repeat after me… KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.
3. Is She Sleeping Through The Night?
Newsflash: Babies aren’t supposed to sleep well. Asking a new mom if their baby is the great exception to this fundamental truth is ridiculous and a cruel reminder of their total and complete exhaustion.
4. Are You Breastfeeding?
There is no right answer here. If you tell them you are, you will be forced to have a conversation with a complete stranger about your boobs. Which (even though your infant may be borrowing them right now) are still 100% yours and no one else’s business. And, if you answer no, there may be an eye roll, or a quote from some parenting magazine thrown at you to make you feel guilty or bad about your choice. Just stop asking people how they feed their baby. Just stop.
5. Enjoy every moment.
They must be joking. Am I right? When our kids are crying and screaming and kicking and grabbing, how are we supposed to enjoy this? I enjoy most moments, I do. I really, really do. But those moments when my kids are acting like tiny little heathens are the worst. I do not enjoy those moments. Those moments just absolutely suck. Stop telling me to enjoy all the moments.
6. This season will pass so quickly.
Can we all just stop talking about the season? I hate this. Really, really hate this. When you are in the dead of summer and sweating from pores you didn’t even know you had, no one says “Oh summer won’t last, winter will be here before you know it.” No. They sit with you in front of a fan, crack a cold one and commiserate.
So, the next time you see a new mom struggling to make her way through the aisle at Target, think before speaking. She needs you to smile, judge less and commiserate more.