By Michelle Ruiz
New moms are in a glass case of emotion, so choose your words carefully, guys.
1. "Oh my gah, just enjoy. This. Time."/"Treasure. Every. Moment."/"Isn't it bliss?" There are moments of bliss - like when your baby stops crying and falls asleep on your shoulder. But when everyone implies new motherhood is nirvana, when in fact your baby is really whiny and you're so overwhelmed, you're spontaneously crying for no reason, you shame yourself and wonder what the eff is wrong with you. Better to just say, "Are you hanging in there somehow?"
2. "Sleep when the baby sleeps!" Presented without comment, a text from my friend with three kids under three: "Um, yeah right! I have two other kids who are screaming in my face, piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and have to pump my breasts, but I'll take a nap, too, no prob!"
3. "So, you're breastfeeding ..." Congrats, this is the fastest way to make a new mom cry! Everyone assumes everyone is breastfeeding, but some moms can't because of medical complications or low milk supply, etc. A lot of those who can't feel like total shit about it. PSA: Wait for a new mom to bring up breastfeeding to you.
4. "Can you drink that wine/have that coffee while breastfeeding?" You're really launching this inquest as a new mom is mid-sip of that wine or coffee? Clearly she is making that decision for herself - just let her enjoy this beverage in peace.
5. "Can I drop by for a visit?" - and then staying more than an hour. Assume that new moms are getting about as many winks as terror suspects undergoing sleep deprivation torture. Visitors are nice in theory, but soon a new mom has to whip out her breast and feed the baby, or try to take one of the elusive naps, or, even, in a perfect world, shower. Just bring some baked goods and make it snappy.
6. "Can you not even remember your life before her?" A lovely, sweet lady asked my best friend this three days after her baby was born. She was like, "Um, yeah? I can remember four days ago?"
7. "She doesn't look a thing like you!" This hurts some people's feelings. Repeat after me: "Your baby is so cute!" That is all.
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8. "It was nuts, my baby slept 12 hours the first night he came home from the hospital!" This is just really rude and I hate you.
9. "Do you have her on a schedule?" HAHA, that's hilarious. Can you put a week-old puppy on a schedule? A baby is essentially the same.
10. "So, when are you due?" Good-bye.