Navigating through pregnancy and parenthood is difficult enough and being flooded with unhelpful comments and advice can be both stressful and confusing.
As soon as I announced I was pregnant people around me all of a sudden became experts in my body and what was best for my baby. Some comments I could laugh off, others drove me mad. So for anyone finding themselves speaking to a new Mum, please, don’t let any of these things pass your lips:
1 – Was it planned?
Does it really matter if I took daily ovulation tests and treated sex like a military operation or had a drunken quickie one Friday night? You don’t need to know the in’s and out’s of our bedroom antics. I’ve told you I’m pregnant and that’s all you need to know, just say congratulations and lets move on.
2 – Are you planning on breastfeeding?
What I do (or do not do) with my breasts has got absolutely nothing to do with you! You know if you answer this question with a ‘no, I wasn’t planning to’ you’ll then spend the next 30 minutes getting a lecture from the boobie police about how breast is best and so on and so on. It’s my baby, therefore my decision – now run along and worry about your own boobs please!
3 – I don’t really like that name!
Oh no, really, now you tell me! I’m devastated that the name I’ve picked for MY baby isn’t to your liking! Quick, let me run off and change it to something that will be more suited to YOUR tastes.
4 – Make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps!
Great, it’s as easy as that is it? Shall I also cook when the baby cooks and clean when the baby cleans?
5 – Are you sure you’re not having twins?
I’m pretty sure if I was having twins then I would have mentioned it. If I haven’t then you can be guaranteed that there’s only One in there. Â Tagged onto this one is the saying that every first time Mum to be loves to hear – ‘That’s a big baby you’re going to have there’ – great, I can’t wait to go into labour with the thought that I might be squeezing out a 14lbs whopper at the forefront of my mind!
6 – When will you be trying for your next one?
Are you joking? I’ve just squeezed a human out of my vagina – the mere sight of a penis will have me running in fear for months to come.
7 – My baby slept through the night from 6 weeks.
This phrase is likely to earn you a black eye. I’m exhausted and VERY temperamental right now – please don’t tip me over the edge by bragging about how good your baby is when mine currently thinks 3am is party time!
8 – Wow, you look tired!
Thank you – I do have mirrors in my house so I’m well aware I have bags the size of the Grand Canyon under my eyes. Instead of pointing out the obvious you could maybe offer to help me rather than sit cooing over my baby whilst I run around making you cups of tea!
9 – Anything that starts with ‘here’s my advice’
If I wanted your advice then I probably would have asked for it by now. Throwing in your two bob’s worth will only wind me up and make me feel angry, useless or both.
10 – Enjoy every second, it goes so fast.
*There is hope*
Now that you’ve established all the things you should avoid saying, here’s one thing you should say to make a new Mum feel great:
Congratulations. You’re doing a wonderful job.