Back in the days B.T., I attempted to educate the world on how not to speak to a pregnant woman. I’m not sure how effective it was, but I felt better. And now? Now I’d like to teach you how not to talk to a new mom. So here it is, the list of things I don’t ever want to hear you ask a woman with a newborn ever again.
Are you getting any sleep? Hmmm, let’s see. I have a baby who needs to eat about every three hours or so. Said feeding takes about an hour. Then there’s the diaper changing, and the calming of the baby, and the rocking. That takes another hour. That leaves, let’s do the math, an hour! A whole hour in which to sleep. And that’s if I don’t have to eat, or pee, or shower, or wash some dishes so there’s some utensils to eat with! Short answer? No. No I am not. Thanks for reminding me.
Are you breastfeeding? Excuse me? Since when is what I do with my boobs any of your business? And what are you going to do if I say no? Turn into a breastfeeding nazi and tell me how I’m damaging my child? I bet you will. Which is why I’d really rather not answer such a personal question, if it’s all the same to you.
Are you sure you should be (fill in the blank)…I can’t tell you how many people started a sentence that way in my first weeks as a mom. Absolute strangers told me I shouldn’t have my baby out in public. That I wasn’t dressing her warmly enough. That I was holding her wrong. The list goes on and on. And you know what? I was already completely paranoid and unsure of myself. I really didn’t need this “helpful” advice. So next time you find yourself starting a sentence that way? Can it.
Aren’t you going to stay home with the baby? I’ve heard that question asked just about every way you can phrase it. And it never fails to make me mad. No, I am not staying home. As much as I would like to, I’d like to keep a roof over my baby’s head more. So please stop making me feel like a horrible human being—I’m already conflicted enough.
And here it is. The very worst thing you can ask a new mom. Are you ready?
When are you having another one? Seriously? This one can’t even hold her head up yet, and you want to know when I’m going to do this again? Un freaking believable. Here’s a head’s up. If the baby’s under a year old, the mom hasn’t had time to forget how horrible the whole thing was. Don’t ask about her plans for further procreation. ‘Kay?
On behalf of all the tired, frustrated, in-over-their-heads new mothers in the world, I thank you for your attention to this matter.