Our society has some pretty unfair and unrealistic expectations of new moms. We are supposed to "bounce back" instantaneously, as if growing a human isn't a shock to your body. Pregnancy is hard AF in every way imaginable, and you need time and space to recover as a result. I, for one, would like heal without having to answer the intrusive, presumptive, and insensitive questions people think are OK to ask new moms. Seriously, time to shut the ole yapper, because there are some things that you don't get to ask me when I'm postpartum. Seriously.
I just had my third baby, and despite having a relatively good idea about how hard postpartum recovery would be. Still, and even though I've lived the postpartum life before, I feel a ton of pressure to do everything perfectly and that, well, is impossible.. I am expected to breastfeed my baby exclusively and never put them down, but also to lose the baby weight right away, keep the house clean, and put on pants. This is all hard to do, especially on the days when I can't even get out of bed. I also feel like I'm supposed to magically ensure that my baby sleeps through the night (as if I have any say in the matter), but also attend to their every need the moment I hear a single, solitary peep. Some people think I should stay home forever, others think I should go back to work. I just think I'm tired AF.
It's really no wonder that some people think recovering from childbirth is no big deal. On television shows and in movies, pregnant people seem to stop by the hospital to give birth like they're getting a massage. There are no 30-hour labors, vaginal tearing, or bodily fluids, and then it's as if they remove basketballs from under their shirts and walk out with a baby, looking well-rested and wearing their pre-pregnancy jeans. Um, no. That's not how it works. The moment you have a baby, the countdown starts for you to go back to being you. The trouble there is that everything changes when you have a baby. You have to find a new "normal," and that takes time, or in my case, an act of wizardry because I will never be normal. In the meantime, I just wish people would stop asking me so many damn questions:
"Did You Deliver Vaginally?"
I hate this question. I mean, honestly, why do you care? For one, you are literally asking me about my vagina. Stop. For two, it's done. I don't have a handy dandy time machine to go back and change the way my baby's birth went down, even if I wanted to (which I don't). Birth is badass, regardless of how it went down, I need to recover now, not answer questions, or worse, feel like I have to defend how it went down.
"Is Your Baby Sleeping Through The Night, Yet?"
That's just mean. If he was, I would be shouting it from the rooftops. If you haven't heard me bragging about it, it feels like you are just asking this to be mean.
"Are You Still Breastfeeding?"
No, and as a mom who suffers from undersupply, and has a baby with food allergies, I would rather stab myself in the eye than have to explain my medical history and tell the long drawn-out story of our breastfeeding journey to one more person. Please don't ask.
"When Are You Having Another One?"
Never. The answer is never, and jeez, calm down, this one is literally brand new. Plus, thought of being pregnant again right now is making me panic a little.
"Do You Ever Put Your Baby Down?"
Nope, and I don't have to. You can't spoil a baby, and besides, I'm high on baby snuggles. Or is it delirious from sleep deprivation? I'm not sure.
"Have You Lost Your Baby Weight, Yet?"
No, and honestly, I probably won't ever lose it all. It's not even on my list of top `0 priorities right now. You asking about it is rude AF.
"Are Those Still Maternity Clothes?"
I'm not telling, but if they are, why do you care? Are you jealous that I'm ridiculously comfortable? Or maybe you're trying to criticize me for not fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes right away. The way I see it, after nine months of pregnancy hell, I deserve to be comfortable for a change. There's no law that says you can't wear maternity clothes postpartum (or ever, because they truly are that magical) and honestly, IDGAF what you think.
"Is That All You Did Today?"
I kept tiny humans alive, fed, clothed (well, partially clothed, anyway), and relatively happy for another 24 hours. That's pretty damn awesome.
"Why Can't You Just Be Happy?"
Postpartum depression is real. Seriously. It's not something you can just get over, no matter how much I wish it was. You can't just snap out of depression any more than you can snap out of a broken leg.
"Do You Want To Hear About This Amazing Product I Sell?"
No. I really don't. Multi-level marketing schemes are unethical and predatory, there's no such thing as a quick fix, and I am completely broke because, well, babies are expensive. Besides, trying to sell me something for weight loss or stretch marks implies that you have "a problem" with my postpartum body, or think that I should have a problem with it. That's so rude and unkind.