I’m going to go ahead and say it. Being a new mom is super hard. There is sleep deprivation and leaking boobs. Hormones that makes you sweat like you’ve spent the last hour running from someone with a chainsaw and hunger pains so strong they wake you from the few precious hours of sleep you have managed to sneak. Self-doubt, mommy-guilt, and unnecessary advice from every corner of the earth. And we all know that isn’t even half of it.
And even though I don’t really know what I’m doing yet, I think having an almost five-year-old means I’ve graduated out of the new mom category to the proud rank of intermediate mom. But I still remember waking up in the middle of the night, wondering why someone thought I was competent enough to keep a baby alive and well when the number of negligent goldfish deaths I have under my belt should have me in prison for life. I remember it well, and so in solidarity with new moms everywhere I solemnly swear I will never…
Ask You If Your Child is Sleeping Through the Night:
Your child’s sleeping pattern is not an accurate indicator of your skills as a parent. It’s the first thing everyone asks, and even though most three-year-olds are still waking up on occasion, people seem somehow shocked and appalled if your three-week-old is up every other hour. And there is also the weird sense of delight expressed by other parents that you are in the midst of suffering through life on three hours of sleep just like they had to when their kids were new. You won’t have to use all your self-deprived energy to keep yourself from popping me one because I will steer clear of any questions about the sleep you are or aren’t getting.
Tell You It’s Time For Another One:
I will not pressure you into creating another human life. We had people asking us when we were going to try for another baby before we’d even survived our daughter’s first birthday party. Now that she’s six and we have another baby, people ask less, but they still ask and it doesn’t bother me anymore. But when I was in the middle of those first few months, nothing overwhelmed me more than the thought of more kids. And it’s a really personal question to ask, and the decision to have or not have children is often fraught with turmoil. Perhaps you suffer from fertility issues and having one baby was a miracle. Maybe you want more but your spouse is content with the one or two or three you have. Maybe it’s the other way around. Perhaps there are underlying health concerns that prevent you from having more kids or you just don’t want another. Whatever your reason, it’s none of my business unless you want to share it with me.
Get Angry If You Have to Cancel:
There are poopslosions and post-vaccination fevers and don’t get me started on the joys of a teething baby. It’s okay if you send me a frantic text 10 minutes before our coffee date, all autocorrect and no explanation. And Godspeed with whatever crisis is forcing you to cancel because you probably want to get out of house or get a break from work more than me.
Judge You or Your House for Being a Little Extra Frumpy:
Dishes in the sink and laundry blocking all the fire exits: Doesn’t bother me. You just work those yoga pants and messy bun like you never have before. And please don’t hesitate to call me if you need a real shower or time to eat an entire meal while it’s hot. Even if you are living in condemnable squalor. I’ve been there. I used to just keep all my blinds drawn all the time because I didn’t want anyone to see, or rather, not be able to see, my carpet due to all the laundry, of both the clean and desperately in need of a wash categories.
Be Weird If You Pop Your Boob Out to Feed Your Baby in the Middle of Starbucks:
Most of the people closest to me have seen my boob, probably both of them, in fact. I nursed my daughter for 14 months, and in that time I nursed everywhere except in the bathroom. I will not balk at the nip slip. I will try not to laugh when you accidentally spray your kid in the face. And I don’t care if you decide that you’d have to or would rather just give that baby a bottle, either.
There are a lot of things you should and shouldn’t do or say to a new mom. What did I miss?
This post was originally published on Deleting the Adjectives.
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