After having my son, I was continuously mind blown by the things that would come out of people’s mouths. I didn’t feel offended, hurt or confused—I was thoroughly amused.
So, all future Moms and new Moms out there: brace yourselves. Here’s a quick list of the top comments in my book.
1) “You’re out alone? Where is your baby!?” Que look of shock and disbelief.
This one is very common with new Moms, who have recently given birth and are stepping out for the first time to get a drink with a friend, or a coffee and a manicure. It’s hard enough as it is, leaving your little one for the first time, but people don’t seem to make it any easier.
My favourite comeback line was, “With the wolves. I left my son in the forest, alone with the wolves.”
Where do you think the baby is?! It’s as if the world doesn’t seem to understand that there are loving fathers, grandmothers and babysitters who are all there to take some pressure off the sleep-deprived, exhausted woman who just brought new life into this world.
2) “Oh wow, you don’t look like you gave birth at all! How come you’re not fat?”
I resent this one the most. Let me start off by saying: all women are different. Whether it’s genetic predisposition, health issues throughout pregnancy, diet, lifestyle or anything else, gaining weight and pregnancy should not be seen as a given. It is only recently in our North American society that the focus has shifted off the glowing, beautiful pregnant woman to assuming that having a child automatically means you’re now part of the Weight Watchers.
Growing up, I was taught that a pregnant woman is the most beautiful woman in the world. The emphasis was never placed on her dress size or her ability to “jump back into her pre-pregnancy jeans” within a month. So even though you may think that telling someone that they look skinny enough by their standards is giving them a compliment, please don’t. What you’re actually doing is bringing down all other pregnant women who did gain those extra pounds.
3) “Why aren’t you breastfeeding? Isn’t it better for your baby?”
This topic is actually not discussed enough. I have to say that most people who asked me this question, genuinely wanted to know the answer. There was no malicious intent and no judgment with the comment, they simply wanted to understand.
What a lot of people don’t know is that, unfortunately, not all of us are lucky to be able to give our little one the purest form of nourishment. That leaves us feeling like a failure. There are various reasons for the lack of milk: from hormone imbalance, to stress, diet and gland malfunction. Whatever the reason, not all women are able to breastfeed, and I was one of them. I ended up having to formula-feed my son, but he is now a big healthy boy and I don’t think I have harmed him in any way.
So, the next time someone asks you why you don’t breastfeed, instead of projecting your feelings of disappointment and failure onto them, focus on the fact that it’s not your fault, your baby is healthy and simply answer the question without getting upset.
4) “So, you guys must not have sex anymore, eh?”
I don’t know where this notion of sexless morbidity comes from that associates having children with the end of sex and romance. I think that every couple and woman is different, but the assumption that sex becomes a once a month thing is just flawed.
You plan date nights and weekend getaways while the grandparents babysit, and you may even feel like you’re restarting a romance that was briefly put on pause post-delivery.
5) “You have a baby, yet you have your nails done and your hair is washed. I thought new Moms don’t even have time to take a shower?”
Once again, oh so flawed. If anything, hygiene, cleanliness and just overall sanitation of yourself or your house, must be your priority.
You baby is particularly sensitive to dirt and bacteria during the first few months of life, so give your little one to your significant other and go take a hot shower and get those 10 minutes of peace. This is also important one-on-one bonding time for them, so don’t be a crazy overprotective mom who must control every second and do it all herself. Go shower and get a nice steam, as a happy Mom means a happy baby!