While the first few months of having a brand new baby can be a magical time for parents, it can also be an extremely trying time. Pair a lack of shut-eye with a lack of quality time alone or with adults and some raging hormones, and you may find yourself wondering why mom and dad are so devastated about life right now. Rest assured, this season of unrest and uncertainty will pass, and there are ways you can help a new mom get through it. How? By not saying the following things, no matter what your intentions may be.
You’re Baby is Fussy!
Sometimes you fill in the silences with completely objective comments; be careful when you do that with new moms. What you thought you were saying was, “I just noticed that your baby seems to be crying more than being quiet. I’m sure you’re already aware of it, so we have that in common. Interesting!” What mom probably hears is, “Why is your baby crying so much? Do you not know how to soothe him?” New moms, especially first time moms, are meeting their little ones for the first time. They’re figuring out exactly what to do with this little human, and they’re worried they’re not doing it right when baby cries. Whether you believe that’s a legitimate thought or not doesn’t matter; all that matters is that you try to understand how she might feel about her fussy babe.
Did You Really Want a Boy or a Girl?
What an odd question, and one that (unfortunately) gets asked all the time in a desperate attempt to check in on mom and to make small talk after baby arrives. When you ask this question, what it sounds like to mom is, “Are you disappointed with the outcome, here? Would you trade your sweet little boy for a little girl?” It’s a non-sensical question for any new mom, and one that most find annoying and rude.
You Look/Must Be Tired
Did you just want to make sure that she knew you noticed the bags under her eyes? If that was your goal – mission accomplished! Sometimes empathy comes in the form of odd questions and suggestions, and we understand all you’re trying to do is empathize with her, maybe even following up with an offer to help. Try this: always assume new mom’s are tired, but don’t talk about it unless they broach the subject. Rather, try offering to help, try making sure that they are taken care of. Your empathetic gesture will be much more appreciated, and you won’t make mom feel bad or self conscious about the way she looks.
Use discernment when speaking to new moms. Bear in mind that sometimes you don’t need to say anything. Try instead helpful and thoughtful gestures that show her she’s on your mind, that you’re interested in knowing how she’s doing, and that you’d love to get to know her baby.