Preparing to, or having a new baby already in your arms is something indoubtebly exciting, we all know that. Whether planned or not, chances are you’ve already got used to the idea of having a new little munchkin in your life.
Well, you’ve certainly imagined it – and you could say you haven’t really got any choice. That’s cause like it or not, you are going to receive (or probably already have) a bunch of awkward and quite often undesirable comments.
Please note: this article has by no means the point of offending anyone. It is merely a reflection of how us ladies can feel after being asked the same old question for the umpteenth time!
1) ‘You look glowing!’
So this is a classic go-to, a bit like your favourite pizza when you’re ordering a take away. People just can’t help it and it’s supposed to make you feel good – chances are it kinda doesn’t though. I mean, sure we’re not gonna deny our inner attractiveness but don’t label it as radiant.
I’ll tell you why: We’ve probably been tossing and turning in bed all night, got up to raid the fridge at 3am, can’t sqeeze into our hot-as yoga pants anymore, and don’t even think about trying those heels. Let’s just say, glowing is the least thing we feel we’ve got going right now.
2) ‘Where are you hiding it?’
Ha dee ha. It’s not our fault we’re naturally small and our six month belly looks like another woman’s fourth. Yes, we are regnant. No it’s not a scam.
If you like, we can change places and you can have the cankles and the heartburn? Or maybe you’d prefer the granny socks we have to wear for that vein sticking out on the right leg?
Didn’t think so. So, just because we’re gritting our teeth into a smile, doesn’t mean we don’t have an ever growing and ever wriggly bean inside there.
3) ‘Should you be doing that?’
Let’s just clear this up with a little magical phrase I like to use: Every woman is different.
Some women will continue to run right into their 3rd trimester, some won’t even think of the thought. It all depends on the before-bump lifestyle and of course, complication-permitting.
I have a friend who worked picking apples right up until a week before her birth. Did it do her any damage? No, because it’s something she’s done for years and she didn’t do any of the heavy lifting.
Oh and guess what? She had her baby in less than three hours….just sayin’.
This is seriously not the time to judge an overly hormonal, sensitive woman. Chances are if she’s doing something, she’s checked with her GP and consulted the internet several times.
LEAVE HER BE! Let her drink her coffee, if that’s what she likes. Jeez.
4) ‘Enjoy the peace while it lasts’
Ummm…no. Just no. Suprisingly, that is not exactly what a nine month pregnant woman wants to hear. Chances are she’s been waiting for ages to have her little bubs in her arms looking up at her ane it’s all that she thinks about. It’s probably keeping her up at night too.
Look, we’ve heard all the stories about the lack of sleep, we’ve read a million articles about life with a baby. You’ve probably watched a video about 24 hours with a newborn. Nope, just me?
Seriously though, this is probably the worst kind of comment I got. Like I knew my life was about to dramatically change and I wouldn’t be going out in the evenings for the next year and that was ok – I now have a gorgeous giggly baby staring back at me.
5) ‘It’s gotta be a girl!’
I’m sorry, did I accendentially step into a time machine taking me back to the 18th century?
Where do people get this from anyway and why does it matter? Have they even thought that maybe we don’t want to know, that we’re waiting until the very end?
That wasn’t us, but still we chose who to share it with.
Guys and girls – let’s just remember this can also be a very intimate time for a woman and she might not feel like spilling the beans on everything. Let’s have a little respect.
Plus – who even feels like having their bump scrutinised by every possible angle?
6) ‘I had a horrific labour’
Mothers – do you remember what it was like as you gradually inflated from month to month into a giant puffa fish willing to attack any nearby commentator?
If you don’t, please sift through your memories and remind yourself. Whether she’s 30 weeks or 37, this is NOT what a new mummy wants to hear.
Quick reminder: the mind is a very powerful thing. Do you want her to be able to enjoy one of the happiest days of her life or do you want her full of anxiety of the possible outcomes which you’ve just been so kind to list for us?
This was one of the things that really ticked me off as I was planning on (and went through with) a home birth.
STOP RIGHT THERE. It was almost the scandal of the town. People would either be really enthiusiastic like I was a super hero, or just stare at me blankly mumbling ‘Oh right….’
Some would even dare to tell me the possibilities of something going wrong and ask me how far away the hospital was.
Just because you couldn’t possible imagine it, doesn’t mean that I can’t have the freedom to!
7) ‘When are you due?’
If I could count the number of internal screams I made when I heard this one. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one either. In fact, I’m sure of it cause I’ve asked all my mummy friends out there.
This little minx of a question may seem completely unharmless to the total stranger, but to a mother to be struggling to sleep at night with impatience for that day to finally arrive and up to her cankles or being pregnant already, it’s not really what we like to hear.
A small amount of women actually give birth on their due date anyway.
Word of advice: if said woman has a small belly, she’s probably still excited to share this little gem with you, if however she looks like she’s about to pop (and please don’t tell her that either…) you’re better off keeping your mouth firmly closed.
Pregnant women, despite the myths, can actually be pretty strong creatures. So don’t mess.
And DON’T ASK!
And onto the new mummy no-gos….
8) ‘He/she looks just like dad’
If you’ve come her looking for one way to rile up a new mum, this is your one.
Not only have we spent all that time growing this little human inside us and causing us countless refluxes, we’ve had to get him out too. So when we here this, after all that hard work – chances are you’re going to downright piss us off.
Please, save it for your own thoughts. I mean – imagine mum’s not with the dad anymore, do you think she needs to be reminded of that? Instead why not try pointing out diplomatically the resemblance of both of us.
Or just say she’s cute. Full stop.
9) ‘It would be nice if they stay that way’
Sure, we all love a cuddly baby, no one would deny it. That doesn’t mean we want that to last forever though. We love to see our babies grow into these clever little humans.
We love to laugh with them that first laugh, guide them through those first steps….that’s what parenthood is about, right? Maybe mum is tired from the sleepless nights and is just waiting for that day she gets a full 7 hours in a row.
We’ll never forget the baby days, that’s for sure, but we wouldn’t want to send our pesky toddler back in time either.
10) ‘Are you getting enough sleep?’
Do we really need to go into the sleep discussion? Anyone who’s had a baby, whose friend has a baby or who generally has a brain would know that newborn baby and sleep are just two terms that do not go together.
If she’s yawning mid conversation while wiping up yet another spit back, she’s not had enough sleep. In fact, most new mums are just living off catnap to catnap. Day and night don’t exist since the most shut eye she might actually be able to get is during the day.
So, if she does look like she’s just crawled out of her cave, she probably has and the very thought of a decent sleep is probably swirling around in her head.
Give her a break with this dumb question and do something useful like encouraging her.
11) ‘How long will you breastfeed for?’
Here it is, the inspiration of this very article. Boy, if I had a euro for every time I’ve had this said to me, I’d be cashing in right now and booking a flight to Barbados.
Just kiddin’. But I do here it A LOT.
Let’s get this thing straight: if a mum plans to breastfeed or not, that’s entirely up to her and her family. And in the case that she does choose to do so, she does not need extra pressure on the duration of such.
Nor does she need to hear the story of your cousins child breastfed until she was three. Breastfeeding is a personal relationship that develops between mother and child and she doesn’t need judgement on whether she does it three days, three weeks or three years.
12) ‘C’EST QUE DU BONHEUR’ – this translates into English as ‘It’s nothing but joy’
Caught you out there with an extra! I’m an expat living in France and it just felt right to write the original down.
I’ve heard this while pregnant and when carrying my baby about everywhere and I have to say– it’s just a bit annoying.
We’re well aware of the joy that our little will bring or has already brought us, but that may not be the first thing that pops into our head after the 3rd nappy change in the attempt to set foot out the house and scramble to the supermarket.
When we are finally outside and acting like normal human beings only on 4 hours sleep, it’s not really useful to here it!
Ladies, that’s me done ranting here – have any of you got any annoying or pointless comments to add to the mix? I’d love to know!