I was writing a blog for Mama Said Tees called What New Moms REALLY Want and it got me thinking about all the things new moms really DON’T want. Let’s be honest, if you’ve had a child, sometimes the list of things you don’t want can be bigger than the list of things you do want. So I’m here to lay them all out for you so next time your relative or friend has a baby you can avoid all the new mom “no no’s”.
- Flowers – Don’t get me wrong, flowers are BEAUTIFUL and make the house smell lovely, but they are just another living thing a new mom has to care for and keep alive. The only thing a new mom should worry about watering is herself on the off chance she has time for a shower. And one step worse than flowers is flowers delivered to the hospital. How do you think the parents get those flowers home? Have you ever driven with vases of flowers & water? They may as well have the carseats installed just for the flowers and ride with the baby on their lap. More often than not, your beautiful & expensive arrangement will be left as a ‘thank you’ gift at the nurses station. Get the new mom some donuts & Doritos. Now those will surely make the trip home!
- A welcoming committee at the hospital – With the exception of immediate family & VERY close friends, DO NOT go visit mom & baby at the hospital. As much as you want to cuddle that new bundle of joy remember, mom just had that baby come out of her body 1 of 2 ways. Both ways likely involving stitches and both definitely requiring a huge ass diaper. (Those of you who aren’t privy to childbirth, that huge ass diaper is for mom, not baby.) She will have nurses coming in ready for mom to whip out her boob & discuss in great depth how the baby is “latching”. To say it’s an emotional rollercoaster is an understatement and likely no matter what you say, you will probably say the wrong thing. My advice is to stay FAR away, but if you are one of the lucky “insiders” who gets the OK, make your visit short & sweet. Compliment the mom, snuggle the baby, give her suggested donuts/Doritos and then GTFO. (In case you didn’t know, that means get the fuck out.)
- A welcoming committee at home – Arriving home with a new baby is mildly terrifying. The drs and nurses had all the answers, and now the new parents are supposed to figure it out all on their own and without a manual! WTF?! They are no doubt shitting their pants, trying to play it cool talking about how #blessed they are, while baby sits in the carseat on the living room floor wondering which one of them is actually going to pick him/her up. Let new mom get home & get settled with her stash of giant ass diapers she received as a parting gift from the hospital. Again, if you are one of the chosen ones approved for a visit, arrive at the EXACT time you scheduled, give some compliments, donuts & Doritos & then GTFO.
- Open ended offers – Don’t be the person who says, “Let me know what I can do to help.” You know damn well new mom isn’t going to call you up and give you a list of things you can do to help her; she has more pride than that and won’t want to burden you. Don’t put helping her on her. She has more to focus on than to thank you & make you feel appreciated for your fake open ended offer. Just do it (#SWOOSH)! Just make dinner, set up a play date if new mom has older children and take them off her hands, drop off a Starbucks, pick up some of her laundry…whatever you do, just do it. And if you don’t really want to help, then don’t supply a fake offer because that’s just like dog shit wrapped up in a pretty package.
- “Help” – If you are a great relative or friend and are going over to help new mom then make sure you research the definition of help before “helping”. Coming over to snuggle the new baby on the couch for 3hrs is NOT helping. New mom can snuggle the shit out of her baby, she doesn’t need help with that. She does need help cooking a meal, loading the dishwasher, starting a load of laundry, playing with older children and running to the grocery store. Don’t worry though, your help should be rewarded with baby snuggles and during that time you INSIST that new mom goes to take a shower & take a couple minutes to herself. New mom doesn’t want to host high tea because someone is coming over. She wants to wash her hair, put on a fresh big ass diaper and feel a little human before getting back to snuggling her little one.
- Unsolicited advice – If you are a parent, you know it is hard to keep your mouth shut sometimes, but unless new mom asks for your advice, keep your mouth SHUT! Parents often think their way is best because it worked for them and la de freaking da, but newsflash: this is not your baby so zip it. New mom needs to figure out this new chapter of her life in her own way, so let her do it her own way. Unsolicited advice givers are plain awful and will forever be branded with a flashing neon sign above their head reading, “DON’T EVER ASK THEIR OPINION!” But worse than that? Unsolicited NON-parent advice givers. They are the fucking WORST! Their flashing neon sign reads, “Who the hell do they think they are? They don’t even have a kid, let alone a date on Match.com. Make sure to pay them back when they have a kid!”. Now if you’re not one of those and you are trusted in new mom’s eyes she may ask for your advice. Well then, get on your stage, grab your mic and make new mom lucky she got advice straight from the World’s Best Parent, but be gentle with what you say. Don’t act like one way is right and the other is wrong. Give new mom some “grey area”. Tell her what worked for you, but remind her that it is different for everyone and new mom should do what feels right for her. You will be the Albert Einstein of baby-advice and for sure new mom’s go-to.
- Hearing how much baby resembles dad or dad’s side of the family – New mom may love her baby daddy & his family more than life itself, but the last thing she wants to hear is how baby daddy gets all the credit! New mom spent 40wks growing that human, vomiting over the toilet, applying bottles of stretch mark cream just to get stretch marks at 39.5wks, tossing & turning all night with her Snoogle because her hips ached so bad they felt like they were going to break off her body and birthing that human with stitches & a big ass diaper as a reward. Please, for goodness sake, PLEASE, even if baby daddy is swaddled in a blanket staring up at you and it’s freaking you out, just lie. Tell new mom how precious baby is and how you are so so so happy for her (and her baby daddy looking baby). Also, don’t fall for the new parent trap. This is when new mom & baby daddy corner you, shine a bright light in your eyes and ask WHO the baby looks like. Remember what I said about grey area? Baby definitely has mom’s eyes and dad’s lips. Then slowly set down the baby and walk away for new mom & baby daddy will be busy totally up their tally marks.
- Bringing you own kid when you visit – Just don’t do it, not right in the beginning at least. You had your turn, your moment in the spotlight with your perfect child, but let new mom have hers. She may lie and say she doesn’t mind, but more than likely new mom truly doesn’t want your child there. You may be swooning with pride as your little one walks over and announces “BAYBEEEE!” (insert all the heart-eye emojis), but new mom is likely terrified that your germy toddler will stumble over, point to baby and poke his/her eye out. I know it’s easy for seasoned moms to look back and remember how big of a deal it really wasn’t, but remember, new mom doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing so let her have all of everyone’s attention on her baby, keeping germs & eye-poking at the door.
So there you have it, your 8 ways to avoid pissing off a new mom, but remember they are not foolproof. New mom has a firestorm of hormones RAGING and she can turn on you at any given moment. Don’t take it personally, unless you’re blatantly ignoring all my insightful and wonderful tips, then you deserve it you asshole.