Motherhood is challenging, exciting, and one of the most emotional experiences that someone can experience.
Knowing this I was then so surprised at some of the things that people deemed “acceptable” to tell me during the first month or two after I became a mama. New moms need all of the support and love that they can get from their friends and family., and less of the other comments.
Here are five things that you should never tell a new mom:
1. “Your baby looks nothing like you!”
Just don’t even go there. Someone once told me that my son looked nothing like me, and it ticked me off so much. I know it may seem shallow and silly to get annoyed at something like that, but it just isn’t something that you should tell new moms (or just moms in general). I mean think about it, moms carry their babies for nine months, have to experience labor, and then endure a lot of sleepless nights postpartum. To tell them that their baby looks nothing like them is really like a slap in the face. Even if their baby doesn’t look like them, just make something up. Trust me on this one.
2. “Women were made to do this!”
Although usually meant to be an encouragement, it is another big time “no no” thing to say (don’t even get me started on the feminist issue at stake here). One big problem with this statement is that it invalidates a new mom’s struggles with parenting. Parenting is challenging, and you definitely don’t want to make a mother feel that she isn’t adequate at this whole mama thing, especially if she is struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety.
3. “What do you even do all day?”
Yes, someone asked me that. Even though some people think that newborns sleep all day, they don’t (at least mine didn’t). There is nothing more annoying than people assuming that moms just lay around all day and binge watch Netflix.
4. “How long does it usually take to lose the baby weight?”
Yeah…don’t go there. Just tell that mama she looks beautiful! Postpartum is rough on new moms, and it just takes time for a woman’s body to heal and recover. Don’t make a mom feel bad about her weight by asking her about it. Support her and encourage her as much as you can!
My son is seven months old, and I’m still wearing maternity pants.
5. “Is labor really that bad?”
Lord have mercy on you if you ask that!! When it comes to “labor talk,” all you need to do is praise that mama for the goddess that she is for delivering that baby.
When talking with a new mom, just try to be aware of her feelings and be very careful with what you say to her. Don’t be critical of the way she does things and whatever you do, don’t criticize her baby in any way. Being a new mom can be intimidating, so be as supportive as you possibly can.
COVER IMAGE COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK.