Being a new mom presents you with a slew of seemingly never-ending, particularly tough situations. From learning how to breastfeed to attempting to get some much-needed sleep to trying to figure out motherhood in general, parenthood is tough. Because it can be exhausting, frustrating, and downright difficult, there are so many things every new mom wants to say...but almost never actually says.
Whether it's out of obligation, social pressures to appear put together and in-the-know, it's not at all uncommon to feel alone in your parenting experience. Or maybe you're simply too freakin' tired to say exactly what's on your mind. Either way, it can be really hard to voice your true feelings right after you have a baby. Your hormones are going in a thousand different directions, your entire body is sore, there's a brand new baby eating up the majority of your time, energy, and attention, not to mention a whole new list of social standards you're expected (and definitely pressured) to adhere to now that you're a mom. You're trying to figure out where you fit in the parenting world, how you want to raise your child and how to navigate a culture that judges you for, well, just about anything.
Maybe you don't want to make waves or maybe you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings; Regardless, there are things you would absolutely love to say to your friends, your family, your partner, or even absolute strangers, that you end up hoarding inside of your sleep-deprived mind, instead.
Is this necessary? Well, maybe. Family, friendship and romantic relationship dynamics are complicated, and you're really the only person who knows what's OK to say to certain people, and what isn't. But I will say that, in many situations, if a new mom just felt supported and respected enough to truly speak up and say what is on her mind, postpartum life would be substantially easier.
Here are 12 things every new mom wants to say, because hey, if you don't want to say it, I will. (They don't know me, anyway.)
"I Don't Know What I'm Doing"
Women are told from a very young age that motherhood is in their DNA, and being maternal is natural and somewhat unlearned. To a certain extent, that is kinda, sorta true and nature kicks in when it needs to (and when you want it to), but you'll also be hard-pressed to find a woman who didn't also feel completely terrified about motherhood. The truth is, so many of us have no idea whatsoever what we're doing (or at least feel like we don't) but don't feel like we can voice our anxieties and fears without judgement and condemnation.
"Wait, What About Me?"
When you have a baby, it is all about the baby. Of course, it is difficult to compete with a cute little bundle of joy and happiness, but many women feel like they become invisible the moment they have a baby. However, and contrary to popular belief, your identity does not have to be tied to — or erased because of — your baby. Mothers deserve to be seen and heard, especially after they've experienced child birth.
"Please, Help Me"
It's an outright lie that you're failing as a mother if you ask for help. No, you do not have to do everything by yourself. No, you absolutely shouldn't do everything by yourself. There is nothing wrong with asking for help (from friends, family, your partner, a neighbor, anyone who is willing) when you need it.
"I Don't Have To Share My Birth Story If I Don't Want To"
No one is privy to your birth story, or any information regarding your labor and delivery. If you want to share that extraordinary moment in our life, you absolutely should and please, feel free to do so. But if you don't want to — whether it was traumatic or it was intimate and you want to keep it that way — you don't have to share the details of your child's birth.
"I Don't Need Your Unsolicited Advice"
No, really. We don't. So stop giving it.
"No, I Don't Care About Losing The Baby Weight Right Now"
Women are expected to lose the baby weight the moment after they have the baby. It's ridiculous, not to mention dangerous, to expect women's bodies to bounce back from a grueling, physical act like pregnancy, labor and delivery, so quickly. And still, many women feel like they need to live up to this absurd standard, and that if they admit to not giving two sh*ts about their weight after baby (or, you know, ever), they're somehow admitting to the masses that they're lazy.
"Please, Visiting Family And Friends, Go Home"
It's so wonderful to have excited (not to mention helpful) friends and family members visit after you've had a baby. It's also overwhelming, exhausting and stressful. There's already a new person in the house, and while that person is small, that person comes with a lot of stuff. Friends and family, get a hotel room. Is it more expensive? Sure. But it is helpful for the new mom? Probably.
And if you're going to stay in the house, be mindful of how long that stay is. We new moms know you're excited about seeing the baby and that warms our hearts, but we also need to bond, both as mom and baby and as a new family.
"My Work Plans Are None Of Your Business"
People are quick to ask new moms if they plan on returning to work or staying at home. Mark my words, you are under no obligation to discuss your future plans with, well, anyone. If you want to, by all means, but don't feel like you need all the answers or that you need to justify your life choices to inquiring minds. What you do is your choice, and yours alone, and no one knows what is best for you and your family, better than you.
"Don't Touch Me"
A new mom just went through ten months of having someone else take over their body, an untold number of hours laboring while people stared at her vagina and (if she chooses) endless feeding sessions with a little person attached to her boob. Being "touched out" is a real thing, as new moms feel uncomfortable in their own skin, let alone when someone else touches it.
Give the new mom in your life some much needed, and much deserved space. Don't take it personally — her body has been through a lot, will continue to go through a lot, and she has the right to demand time and room to feel like herself again.
"If You're Coming To Visit The Baby, Bring Food"
Always, always, bring food. It's comforting, it's so necessary (especially if the new mom is breastfeeding and burning extra calories) and the new parents are probably so exhausted that cooking sounds like a form of torture.
"I Need A Break"
This goes right alongside "I need help." Women have been taught, by society at large, that you must sacrifice everything (including your sanity) when you have a baby. You have to love being with your baby all the time and you can't do anything for yourself otherwise you're selfish and a horrible mother.
As if I should even need to clarify, this is not true. Self-care is vital for everyone and especially for new mothers. You should feel free to hand the baby over to your partner or family member, take the keys and drive far, far away for a solo-lunch or quick movie. Take time out for yourself. I guarantee you, you won't be the only person who benefits from it.
"My Baby Is Prettier Than Yours"
Look, that's just the way it is. We see our babies through rose-colored glasses and there's no way that anyone else's baby is prettier, more handsome or all-around cuter than ours. It's just impossible, and we make no apologies for knowing the ultimate, undeniable truth.
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