What NOT to Say to a New Mom



Sometimes in life, you come across those people that just have no filter. You know, the ones who suffer from “diarrhea of the mouth” and say whatever comes to mind. It happens when you’re pregnant and believe it or not, continues to happen even once baby is born. I’m on my third round of motherhood and let me tell you, it only gets worse with each child. One would think that your skin gets thicker, which it does, but with each child also comes less patience for moronic remarks.

I’ve been compiling a mental list of these comments and so-called pieces advice because I’m quite certain that many of you can relate. Here are a few of my (not-so) favorite comments that really are better left unsaid:

“My baby slept through the night a week after coming home from the hospital.”

Look, apparently you can’t see the dark circles under my eyes or smell the three-day-old crusty spit up that is in my hair, but even so, I don’t need to hear you to brag about how fabulously you kid is sleeping.  I’m 1 for 3 in that category and your stories of glorious slumber are only making my sleep deprivation worse.

“You look great! How much baby weight do you have left to lose?”

I appreciate you starting your statement on a positive note. I don’t, however, appreciate your follow-up question. Excuse me while I cry and eat another brownie and try to pull my leggings up over my muffin top.

“Breast is best!”

…as I shake up a bottle of formula to feed to my screaming baby. I’m already well aware of this and thankfully have over 100 ounces of pumped breast milk in my freezer. Regardless, how anyone feeds their baby is none of your business, Judgey McJudgerson.

“You look really tired today.”

Thanks?  I thought I did a pretty good job of concealing my under-eye circles before leaving the house, but maybe it was the I-haven’t-showered-in-three-days smell that tipped you off. Note to self: Carry concealer and perfume in the diaper bag from now on.

“Oh, I figured you were just staying in since you have a baby now.”

Yes, my life has changed drastically and no, I won’t be taking my baby into a bar. However, I can easily tote her to your house for a dinner party or load her up in her car seat for a play date. I already feel like an outsider and a hermit, so a simple invitation goes a long way.

“I never had a single cup of coffee while I nursed my children.”

That’s great for you. I still happily choose my three cups a day over your zero. And if I don’t get it? I wouldn’t recommend engaging in conversation with me.

“Wow, you have your hands full!”

Wow! What a great observation! Now excuse me while I hold this pacifier in my baby’s mouth, persuade my toddler to stay in the shopping cart, and drag my five year old away from the Star Wars toys. Also, the scoffing and under-your-breath remarks while my toddler and baby are both having a screaming fit are not helpful. But that slushy I am giving her to keep at least one of the two quiet until we can make a quick exit actually is, so excuse me…

It’s easy to judge, and some people are more verbal about it than others. But let’s take a moment and try to remember what it’s like to be a new mom. While you may think you’re just handing out good advice, most of the time, you’re not. And my body is already a hormonal mess and your parenting “tips” are just making things worse. So instead of trying to come up with something clever or “helpful” to say, just try this.

“You’re doing a great job!”