Whirlwind. In a word, that pretty much sums up the past nine months. From the second we brought little A home from the hospital to now and I know, for the rest of our lives, this crazy journey of parenthood has been filled with ups, downs, twists and turns. There’s NEVER, and I mean, NEVER a dull moment. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
However, parenting is hard! Babies don’t come with an instruction manual. And even the so-called experts that preach the top 5-things to get your baby to sleep, eat, dance and juggle balls in the air, are just general guidelines, and don’t necessarily apply to your specific situation. So, for example, the 5-S’s (all new parents know what I’m talking about here), while they are a godsend to some families, just piss the baby off in others. Point being – parenting is trial and error. You have to find what works with your situation, your family and your baby. Most importantly, don’t let what others say to you make you feel any less of a mom. Parenting is stressful enough, without the hair-brained, sometimes uninformed and usually unsolicited comments from outsiders.
So, with that said (written), I have compiled a funny (or not), list of comments i received over and over again as a new mom. Everything from wow, you look great are you sure you had a baby…. to wow, still haven’t lost the baby fat yet, eh? Advice: tread carefully when speaking with a new mama. They/We are hormonal, sleep-deprived and probably hungry. Don’t piss us off! haha.
I know some of these comments are from people who generally mean well, but, still, with a new mom. Best not offer advice until she asks. Best yet, don’t say anything, just bring food and help clean up! hehe. Here’s the list:
1. Don’t you just love being a mom? Ok, this is irritating because, honestly, sometimes, NO. I didn’t. When my kid was on her 5th hour of screaming inconsolably, not only did I feel like pulling my hair out from frustration, but I also felt like a complete failure for not being able to soothe my own kid. And I certainly didn’t need someone else making me feel guilty by pointing out to me what a blessing being a mom is, and how much I should treasure every moment, and don’t I just love it. Of course, I do. I love my daughter more than anything else in the world, but not all moments are picture-perfect pinterest-worthy ecards. I think in the end, though, that’s what makes you appreciate the little moments of perfection even more!
2. OMG, your baby is so tiny/so big.And who are you, a representative from the WHO that has memorized the baby height/weight chart averages. C’mon. A new mom is worrying about everything already as it is, no need to add another issue for her to dwell on, thinking if she is feeding her kid enough, or too much. That comment should come from the ped, don’t ya think?
3. Wow, your baby doesn’t do “X” yet?Insert choice milestone for X, (walking, crawling, teething, eating solids, sleeping through the night…). Every kid is different. Just because little Johny is sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, doesn’t mean all babies should, and that just because your baby is not, that you are doing something wrong.
4. Oh, she/he must be hungry.Ummm, just because baby cries, or isn’t sleeping through the night doesn’t automatically mean she isn’t eating enough. Babies cry for other reasons, hunger isn’t the sole reason, nor is food the sole solution to a crying baby. It’s irritating to me when others insisted my baby was hungry that’s why she was crying. I feed my kid, thank you very much!
5. Why are you doing “X”?Again, insert choice parenting action for X including: feeding solids, not feeding solids, not feeding enough solids, still breastfeeding, not breastfeeding, co-sleeping, not co-sleeping. Well, you get the idea. What’s right for one family may not be right for yours. Don’t pass judgement. Let me parent the way I want to parent.
6. You need to let the baby cry to sleep. Ummm, no I don’t. Next topic.
7. I could never stay at home all day / I could never leave my baby in day care. So thanks for the guilt trip. One comment makes you feel like a loser for choosing mommyhood over career, and the other makes you feel like a bad mom for having a career! One thing is for certain, I have NEVER, and I mean NEVER worked so hard in any job as I do being a mom. Even on my busiest days in the consulting world working 100-hour weeks, I would still have 5 minutes for bathroom, lunch, or a quick coffee. All of these said things now are done with my kid in tote! And, on the flip side, being able to balance a career and parenthood is no easy feat, and career moms should be praised for their juggling abilities. Just because you chose one path over the other does not make you better. So get over yourself and stop judging other mamas for working or staying at home.
8. The baby looks nothing like you.Gee thanks. I don’t know why this irritates me, actually. but it does. And, I’m sure other mamas out there agree.
9. You look tired. You should sleep when the baby sleeps.Ohhh, so that’s the key to being refreshed? Sleeping when the baby sleeps. Got it. NOT. When/IF, actually, a big fat IF, the baby sleeps on time, I would love to shower, pee, eat some food and actually savor a few bites without shoveling it in as fast as I can with a screaming infant attached to my hip, get some cleaning done so the house looks less like a episode of ‘hoarders’ and more like an organized home, and oh, I don’t know… maybe just sit down and watch some TV for a few minutes to unwind. Not to mention, actually spend some quality time with the hubby. When the baby sleeps is the only time I can actually get something done!
10. If you think this is crazy now… just wait until X…Can’t you just let me live in MY moment without bringing up what I’m in for??? My baby just learned to crawl, I want to revel in this moment without thinking about walking, running, jumping, destroying the house, just yet.
I’m sure there were more comments that rubbed me the wrong way, and I’m sure there will be many more. Stay tuned for a follow up post from my husband on things you shouldn’t say to a new dad!!! That should be a good one. I know I’m definitely guilty of saying/doing a few things to irritate him! Sorry hun!
Until next time,
L, C and Little A.