7 Common Things New Moms Hear and How to Respond

0

one young white woman , one young black woman eating popcorn and looking surprised shocked

I was having a conversation with a couple of brand new mamas recently. We were talking about the things people say that even though they mean well (at least most of the time) drive us absolutely batty as new mothers. There were a couple zingers that each of us could totally resonate with, and we all laughed in recognition of that. There are definitely common things new moms hear constantly, but how should they respond?

It got me thinking though, sometimes it’s just so hard to know what to say in those moments. It’s easy to feel like we need to defend or justify something. Or sometimes there may be nothing to say. But it can be hard to navigate those moments. So here’s my guide to common things new moms hear and some ideas on how to respond. 

1. “Don’t you just love being a mother?”

Ohhh…listen. We love our babies. But, a blanket statement like this is so hard because the truth for most of us – is that there are moments we don’t LOVE it. And it can make us all feel like crap that we don’t…and how many people ask that question openly, awaiting an honest response? 

It’s so hard to know how to respond and totally depends on the person asking, but I give you full permission to say “Well, most of the time” or “Right now, I’m not loving being a Mother.” 

And here’s another option that goes for this phrase and all of the following phrases …you can always just smile, nod, and walk away…#SmileNodWalkAway

2. “Cherish Every Moment” or “Enjoy Every Minute”

This is the one for me that personally drove me nuts as a new Mom. It’s hard to cherish every moment, when there are moments of tantrums, meltdowns, poopsplosions and sleepless nights. And seriously, talk about giving new mom anxiety over how fast things go when they’ve only been at it a short time? 

I think a solid reply to this could be, “I’ll do my best!” And then flash that smile, nod that head and walk away….

3. “You’re feeding the baby again? Didn’t he/she just eat?”

Yeah…because we’re super excited about cluster feeding too. Yep, baby just ate 30 minutes ago (or 2 hours ago or whatever) and now he’s hungry again. Unless you are keeping a spreadsheet to help me track my feedings, it’s nunya business. 

Things you could say in response:

  • Is there a reason it matters to you? 
  • Yep, he/she’s a growing boy!
  • The good ol’ smile, nod and walk away. 

4. “Is she a good baby?” 

What does this even mean? Well, you know, she toilet papered the entire house while we were sleeping and pooped in the refrigerator, but other than that, she’s a good baby. 

Seriously, there are no good and bad babies. 

Things you could say in response:

  • There are no good or bad babies. 
  • What makes a baby a good baby? 
  • Give ‘em the smile, nod and walk away….

5. “Oh, just you wait, it only gets worse.” 

Thank you, Debbie Downer, totally appreciate that while I’m still trying to figure out the new crazy that is my life now. Appreciate that. Not helpful. 

Things you could say in response:

  • Save it, I’m still working out life as it is right now. 
  • Hey, new Momming it over here, I don’t need too many details of what lies ahead. 
  • Give ‘em the smile, nod and walk away. 

6. “You shouldn’t hold him too much, he’s going to get spoiled.”

Please don’t tell me not to hold my sweet little newborn baby! I mean what does this statement actually provide other than some angst, maybe some WTF’s (either out loud or internal depending on who said it and/or your personality LOL) and just general unhelpfulness? 

Things you could say in response:

  • Actually, there’s a lot of evidence that points to that you can’t “spoil” a baby. 
  • Um, I love me some baby snuggles. 
  • I don’t think you can ever hold a baby too much. 
  • Give ‘em the smile, nod and walk away. 

7. “You’ve got your hands full!”

Ooooh, this one I personally heard All.The.Time. And it got SOOOO old. I even had a man say to me in the grocery store one day, “you know how that happens, right?” WOW. So, if you hear this one a lot, check out this blog from Babble that compiled what I think is an AWESOME  list of responses. 

Here’s a Bonus Common Things New Moms Hear – You’re Doing Great, Mama!

Remember, people simply lose their filter (and their minds sometimes) when it comes to babies. The unsolicited advice runs rampant, the personal biases and experiences tend to be shared and expressed without thinking, and it can be crazy making for a new mama. 

Know that you are doing the best you can, trust yourself, and arm yourself with some of these responses (or whatever else feels right to you) to these common phrases, and hopefully, you can navigate some of the crazy with lightness and humor.

What are some common things new moms hear that we missed?

 

Previous articleGrieving a Pet is Painful and Difficult But It’s Healthy Too
Next articlePut It Down: Focus on Driving – What You Need to Know About the New Law
Dawn Herring
Dawn moved to Florida solo 7 years ago from Colorado after hearing a small voice inside that kept telling her she was “supposed to go live by the water.” A mountain girl at heart, having grown up in Vermont and then declaring Colorado her second home, she thought that was crazy. When she finally said YES, an opportunity in the Tampa Bay area showed up and she moved within a few short months. It was there that she met her husband Greg, and not long after, she became Mama to Savannah, now 5 1/2 and Benjamin, now 4 1/2. She is so grateful for all that they’ve taught her, and the part they’ve played in answering the call to serve women and families as a Childbirth Educator and Doula. She loves to ride her bike with the kids in tow, exploring in nature with them, a good cup of coffee, baking, cupcakes, live music and anything that makes her laugh.