For the most part. Going out with a newborn inspires people to make all kinds of comments. Some are appreciated, many are not. There are many situations in life where I'm not sure what to say, so I usually make an inappropriate joke and move on. In case someone having a baby causes you to say unfortunate things, I have compiled a helpful list of what not to say to a new mom.
Things NOT to say to a new mom:
1. "Enjoy it now, because this is the easiest part of having kids! It's only gets harder!"
This one really grinds my gears. If one more person tells me that this is the easiest part of having kids, I am seriously going to lose it. Maybe some people have easy newborns and just love the newborn phase, but others of us have babies that don't sleep at all at night, postpartum anxiety, and just going to the grocery store so you could make this awesome comment has us feeling completely overwhelmed. I have received this comment countless times and I just don't understand this. Why on earth would you tell a clearly exhausted and frazzled new mom that this is as good as it gets? Is your goal to convince this woman that she is never ever going to feel like herself again and her life is in the crapper for good? Are you hoping she will immediately run out and get her tubes tied to prevent this from happening again? The message I am hearing is, "If you can't handle this, you have no hope for the rest of your life, so you'd better give up now because you are terrible at this." This can not possibly be as good as it gets. Even if you truly believe this is a fact, please just lie to me.
2. "You look tired!"
That's strange, I logged a full 3.5 hours last night. I'll try to look perkier next time.
3. "My babies never/always did the opposite of whatever your baby is doing" (Accompanied with a judge-y and condescending "tsk tsk" attitude.)
Your baby never had a pacifier or had medicine or napped in the swing and you always read to your baby for 3 hours a day and wore your baby 24/7and he slept through the night from birth? Aces, friend. Here's a trophy. Me and my medicated baby with a binky are going home so he can nap in the swing. Let me assure you that when we want advice or opinions, we will ask for it. Otherwise, you are safe to assume that we aren't that interested in your opinion on our mothering. And if you comment about my kid's binky again, I'm going to stuff one in your yapper so you'll pipe down.
4. "I am NEVER having kids, it looks miserable."
I have had multiple people say this to me! What are you supposed to say back? "You are so right, I am going to return him immediately!" Instead I want to retort, "Good, the world is better off without you procreating." People also tell me, "I am SO glad I'm done having babies!" Both of these comments just make me sad and make me worry that my life is gonna be garbage for the next 10 years.
5. "Sleep when the baby sleeps!" "Enjoy every moment!" "The laundry can wait!" And other well intentioned, but impractical advice.
Sadly, I can not nap in 20 minute intervals as my little cherub is wont to do. And while I am trying to savor the baby cuddles and smell his sweet baby head as often as possible, I find it hard to enjoy the rivers of spit up and diaper blow outs and least of all clipping his $!@% fingernails. (WHY is that so hard??) And yes, the laundry can wait for a bit, but one can only wear a soggy nursing bra for so long. This advice comes from a sweet place, so it likely won't be met with physical aggression or crying, but I could still do with hearing it less.
6. "What's wrong with your baby?"
I have heard this in a few different contexts, and none of them were appreciated. One time, someone was commenting about Nate's unfortunate but short-lasting baby acne. Another time we were waiting at the pharmacy for an eternity and Nate was crying. Yet another time, Nate had just spit up and the person was completely shocked by this behavior. New moms are incredibly self conscious and insecure. Any critique or insinuation that something is wrong with our baby is not helpful and just makes us feel like the world's crappiest mom. Unless you are a pediatrician, keep your wonderings to yourself.
If you've made these comments to a new mom recently, don't sweat it too much. We all say dumb stuff unintentionally sometimes. Like the time that I told my father-in-law that I thought men's wedding rings with diamonds in them were for white trash and members of the mob, and he held up his wedding ring with diamonds in it. Whoops. So in case you read that list and are now wondering what on earth your options are to say to a new mom, I have taken the liberty to assemble a list of appropriate comments. Stick to this list, and your risk of getting a pacifier stuffed in your pie hole are greatly reduced.
1. "You are doing great! You are a wonderful mom and your baby loves you."
2. "Your baby is adorable and perfect."
3. "You look super skinny and definitely don't look like you had a baby ____ weeks/months ago."
4. "You are a natural mama! Trust your instricts!"
5. "I can't tell at all that you haven't showered in 3 days! You smell great!"
6. "Being a mom will make you so happy. So will going to get a pedicure and going to lunch and eating with both hands while I watch your baby for 4 hours."
Aaaaand some Nate pictures just to wrap this up in a precious fashion:
Such a big boy in his new chair!
So happy to be sitting up and taking in the world!
Nate weighs over 12 lbs at his last doctor appointment! The little chunk. He got his 2 month shots which broke my little heart, but he was a champ. And his little chunky thighs got Taz bandaids, which made me smile. My nickname was Taz growing up, because I was a little bit of a tornado child, and I have a feeling I've got a little Taz 2.0 on my hands.
Tummy time tuckers him out.
This goofball is always falling asleep in odd places. Love my little Naters!