I was blessed to be given the title of MOM back in June 2015. It was my first pregnancy so naturally, I didn’t know it all. I was going to be a first-time mom! I was really excited and when I had questions and concerns, I asked my doctor. I really didn’t ask other moms for advice because I knew we would figure it out. However, after my daughter Sienna was born, people just somehow took it upon themselves to solicit unwanted advice and ask ridiculously nosey questions. I had a friend recently ask me what my best advice was for them since they were due in a few weeks. I simply told her, don’t listen to other people’s advice, trust yourself, yall got this. She later told me, this was the best thing ever because so many people felt the need to force their opinions or advice on them. Why do we do this?
So I’ve gathered some tips for new parents, old parents and anyone who feels the need to question or comment. Even if they mean well, it can be offensive or downright annoying. Know your relationship with that person and think again before you ask or give your opinion. Not everyone wants your prodding questions. Not everyone wants to answer them. Why? Maybe it’s just not your business. Check out these 6 things that I think you just shouldn’t say to a new parent.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps”
Yeah so we have all heard this one. Before Sienna was born, I thought this too, because people told me this all the time. Ok cool, we’ll just sleep when she does. WRONG…. Sure there were times when I could nap for the whole 36 minutes she stayed asleep as a newborn. But other times, I had stuff to do. So maybe next time you tell a mommy-to-be this, make sure you are offering help. Say, hey, I am free Friday at 4, why don’t I come over and let you get some rest? Now THAT would have been much better and is actually feasible.
“You new moms these days, we didn’t have to use that stuff when my kids were little.”
So what? This is my kid. If I want to have a video monitor instead of listening for my baby to cry in a drawer, then I will. Or if I want to trust my pediatrician when she says not to start solids yet, then I will. That’s my right. Times have changed and so had the best practices. Now if something is a threat to their safety or something, that’s different, I’m not saying not to use your judgment.
“You know breast is best!”
Stop it. Just stop it. We know, breast is best, but guess what, many moms struggle. Some moms, just don’t want to, for whatever reason. Some moms wish they can exclusively breastfeed and can’t & have to supplement. Whatever the case, they should NOT be made to feel guilty for her decision. I stopped at around 5 months and I had folks coming all out of the woodwork to comment on why I should “try harder” or “stop being selfish” or “I’m not doing what’s best for her” or “you know formula is expensive.” Hey, I got this…. It’s really ok.
I remember being in Target one day and had some formula (with my coupons, of course, lol) in my cart. Some random lady felt the need to let me know that “Breast is Best.” I won’t share my response :), but just know it was not her place nor her business regarding how my child eats. Maybe I couldn’t, maybe I didn’t want to, maybe I supplemented for a specific reason. She didn’t know me. She didn’t know my story. More to come on the formula shaming in another post, but FED is best too right?
“Was it planned?”
Don’t. Just…DON’T. You don’t know if they were trying for years or weren’t trying at all. Either way, if they don’t share that with you, it’s none of your business. Stop Asking. I read an article once that summed it up perfectly and it said- Mind your own womb! THAT IS ALL.
“Ahhh, didn’t you want a boy?”
I have friends who were pregnant with their second child. The first was a girl. And when the second was announced that it was also a girl. It was such a sympathetic time. But why? Why do people just assume they just have to have this gender or they will be devastated when it’s the opposite? Maybe just maybe, they are just as happy with their second girl as they would have been if it was a boy. Maybe they wanted another girl. Now I get it you may have preferences on what the baby will be. I wanted a girl and my husband wanted a boy. When we found out it was a girl, we got a few sad eyes and “aww, I know he wanted a boy”. No, actually we wanted a baby, so don’t treat this as if we didn’t get what we wanted. Don’t ruin the moment and just be happy for us.
We’ve all heard it. JUST WAIT. But why push that onto a new parent? I intentionally changed the subject when someone would say this to me. They’d let me know that “If I think a newborn is hard, just wait until they are 2” or while I was pregnant, “You look great now, you are barely showing, just wait until you gain 50 lbs and can’t see your feet” I mean really? Why even say this to someone? Stop with the negativity because all pregnancies are different- I only gained 12 lbs and I could always tie my own shoes. Don’t push that negative light onto me and my life. I don’t need it and neither does anyone else.
I’m just saying, you may not mean it with ill intent, but “Just wait” usually is followed by some horror story, because you are assuming your experience is universal and that’s not always the case. Maybe her baby will sleep much better than yours. Maybe she won’t spit up everywhere. There is nothing wrong with sharing your struggles, but there are better ways to go about it. Instead, try this. Speak life over them if you must use “Just Wait.” Why not JUST WAIT until they smile for the first time at you. Or JUST WAIT until they walk for the first time instead of once they start walking, they’ll tear up your house. Now, this may be true, but I wouldn’t change the fact that toys are always everywhere or that I am constantly looking for my things because she hides them. I prayed long and hard for her, so I will gladly take all those things that come along with it. She is never a burden.
These are just a few that are big for me, but what are some things you wish you weren’t said to you as a parent?