to a brand new, first-time mom:
1) “I’m SO tired!”
Unless you too have a newborn attached to your body 24 hours a day, you are not that tired. You may think you are experiencing some semblance of tiredness, but until your body has gone through massive trauma, you are given (overnight) the responsibility of feeding and caring for an infant, and are (at best) sleeping in two-hour increments (or not at all if you are experiencing the wonderful insomnia and postpartum depression/anxiety that I experienced) for weeks on end, you are NOT THAT TIRED.
A friend of mine noted that even if someone were cruel enough to wake you up every two to three hours every night for two months, it would still not be anything close to what a new mom experiences in those first couple of months.
I cannot even conjure up the words to describe how horrific and miserable postpartum insomnia and sleep deprivation really is. Pure torture and hell are the only words that come to mind at the moment.
2) “You look tired!”
Yeah? No shit, Sherlock.
3) (To a new formula-feeding mom): “Awww…don’t worry. Your baby will survive.”
Really? Because I thought I was feeding her poison.
4) “So what are you up to today?”
Feed, burp, change, rock, sleep, repeat.
5) “My baby still won’t sleep through the night/sleep in his crib/sleep without being held/etc. and he is almost a year old!”
No, no…please do not say such things. It makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and shout expletives.
6) <Pointing to stomach> “Is there still a baby in there?”
Only a man would have the gall to say this. That man would be my dad.
7) (Non-moms): “I understand.”
No you don’t. Shut up. Get out.
8) “So when will you be having #2?”
Perhaps when I have long forgotten the postpartum period with #1.
i.e. Not any time in the near future.
9) “Just follow your maternal instinct!”
What maternal instinct? Where can I get one of those?
I’m sure there are others out there who actually have this. Unfortunately, I was not born with one. I have to learn by doing, and in those first few months, nothing was instinctual. I constantly questioned myself as many first-time moms do, wondering whether or not I was doing things “right” (whatever that means) or if my poor feeding/napping/rocking/changing skills were setting up my sweet daughter for a lifetime of instability/insecurity/health problems/destruction.
My therapist once told me, “You’re not being graded for this.”
Perfectionist, Type A moms, I feel you. We suffer.
10) <INSERT YOUR OWN COMMENT HERE>
And here is a random photo that is entirely unrelated to this post: