To do the world a service, and remind myself (and others) to erase these 10 phrases from our baby small talk repertoire:
1. “Let me know if I can do anything for you.” No matter how sincere, this statement is ridiculous. Why? because with a newborn you are so sleep deprived, that you don’t have time nor the energy to recall who said they could help and when. Don’t make me, The hormonal mess who just pushed out a pumpkin through a hole the size of a bagel, call you and ask to help me out. What to say instead, “I’m available tomorrow afternoon to take your toddler out to the park, or I can bring you dinner. What would be most helpful to you?” Better yet, just show up at my house, with food, and inform me you’ve come to watch my toddler and clean my bathrooms.
2. “You look tired.” Well, yeah. Pregnancy Sleep was a crap shoot, I was in labor for 3 days straight, and now my baby wakes up every 2 hours… On top of it all of my toddler is as busy as ever. So yes, I am tired. Hopefully, one day I’ll stop looking like I just came off set from The Walking Dead. What to say instead “I’m available tomorrow afternoon to take your toddler out to the park, or I can bring you dinner. What would be most helpful to you?” (Do you see a pattern here?)
3. “Is your baby sleeping through the night yet?” … *Eye roll* See #2.
4. “Is that formula I just saw you feed your baby? ‘Breast milk is best’ you know.” This is pretty rude. Some ladies don’t make enough milk, others experience a lot of pain breastfeeding, and sometimes the babies have latching issues… The list goes on and on. So, dear stranger, sometimes breast is NOT best. And anyway, it is none. Of. Your. Business.
5. The following Usually happens when your newborn decides to test out their lungs and vocal capacity in public. Usually when in one of those mega long lines somewhere like at Costco: “aww, she must be tired/hungry/Etc etc...” First of all, I wish I knew as miraculously as you as to how to solve my babes screaming probs. Second of all, my guess is better than yours on why my baby is crying. Third of all, can’t you see that I’m barely holding it all together?! Therefore, If you want to help me, please switch places and let me check out with my babe, toddler and truck load of food before you.
6. “Oh. Two girls? Next time are you going to try for a boy?” Wow, nosey! Who are you to determine my family is incomplete just because I have two children of the same sex. Also, I have a new born. Please let me get my head around that addition to our family. Asking if I intend to have another baby, male or female, is something best left a little further into the future. Say in like a year’s time. Or, if we aren’t the best of friends, just don’t inquire about my reproductive choices at all. What to say instead “What a beautiful baby.”
7. “Your baby cries a lot! My babies never cried.” It has either been so long you’ve forgotten what it was like having babies, you’re lying, or you are trying to make me feel like a bad parent. Again- What to say instead “I’m available tomorrow afternoon to take your toddler out to the park, or I can bring you dinner. What would be most helpful to you?”
8. Pointing at my stomach then theirs “you look great for just having had a baby. Look at me, I still have 40lbs to lose.” This is just awkward. Please refrain from commenting on my weight so I don’t have to comment on yours. When did it become ok to say things like this out loud?!
9. “Come visit me!” Um, no. How about you come visit me. Traveling with a newborn is so stressful whether it’s just to the store or farther a field. You know what? Recently, we went to Utah for a close friend’s wedding. We took both kids. We have a lot of friends and some family in Utah, but didn’t tell most of them that we were coming as time was limited, and our priorities were the girls and the wedding. Needless to say it was hectic and stressful, trying to take care of everyone, traveling to the venues, pumping milk awkwardly in random bathrooms… You get the gist. And the awful thing was that after we left, we received snide comments from some family and some like-family upset that we didn’t take the baby and go visit them. This really rubbed me the wrong way because in different circumstances we would have loved to arrange something, but not only had we travelled 700 miles from our home to a different state (for 3 days btw, 2 of which were filled with wedding stuff), but we had a 6 week old baby. I pray that people simply forget the misery that is that newborn stage, because otherwise Why on earth they thought we owed them a visit while we were ‘in town’ (a town a few hours away), is beyond me. All I can say is shame on you if you are one of those people and are reading this. You know who you are. And. Shame. On. You.
10. “Is it worth it?” Thankfully this time I don’t have post Partum depression, so I can honestly say that yes, it is. Having a baby is a miracle beyond words. We are so grateful to be blessed with two healthy and happy little girls. The all around misery of pregnancy, the insomnia, the nausea, the crutches, the sciatic pain, the liver failure… It was, I dare say the worst time of my life, however, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’, my baby was worth all of it.
*Edit* I have been flagged up today for copying another blog post about what not to say to parents of a newborn. Click here. Please note that any ideas that are alike are inadvertent and that I have experienced each of 1-10 personally in the first few weeks after having Miss H. And if you type my title into google there are a bunch of blog posts all about the same thing with many of the same experiences.