This piece is going to be light and I hope it will be read in the same spirit. It is to bring a smile on the faces of first-time mommies who have entered a fresh phase of life and let the mommies with slightly older kids take a trip down memory lane. I would sincerely request the readers not to interpret it as being intended to offend or disrespect anyone.
When I became a mom, here are some things people said to me that annoyed me. The only reason I did not react then was because I was always so tired from taking care of the baby. I can now look back and laugh hard and so should you.
1. Is your baby too hot or too cold?
In the first year of my baby, everyone who saw me strolling with him had their own view on whether he was sufficiently layered up or not. I was asked to add an extra layer if my son was wearing only one or remove the extra one on days I thought I did a good job of keeping him warm.
2. You look so tired…..
Well, if you are not going to follow this phrase with “so let me help you out”, please don’t say it at all to a new mommy. Of course I looked tired, staying up all night, feeding or changing diapers every two hours. It is also amusing when people make statements like their baby was not like this – he never cried, slept through the night since the beginning and had diapers filled with rose petals! I am certain every parent goes through a similar journey and thankfully passing time obscures some of these memories.
3. What did you eat to make your child so active?
When your child is constantly on the move, comes the question “What did you eat during your pregnancy to make him so active?” I just think in my head that I ate a horse and so he’s galloping around like this!
4. The baby doesn’t look like you.
While I may know that myself it was not great hearing it from others. Mainly because it does not feel good to learn that I carried the child for nine months, went through painful labour and he came out looking like his dad. However, I soon came to realise from others, that I am still better off hearing that he looks like at least one of his parents. It is worse if people say that he looks like neither of you!
5. You have gained or lost weight after delivery?
My weight is nobody’s business. Even so, everyone I met had a viewpoint on it. I can only say while some women manage to get back to their old self soon enough, many don’t. And there’s nothing wrong with it. The body goes through so many changes before, during and after pregnancy. It is most important to feel good about yourself irrespective of your weight.
6. Don’t you think you should know why he is crying?
I wish there was a baby manual to accurately identify each time he cried. I was a new mom and it was my first time. Hence, I was also trying to figure out things along the way. Thankfully my baby was very forgiving and I would have expected others also to extend the same courtesy.
7. How is your baby vacation?
Anyone who calls post-pregnancy a vacation has clearly not had a baby or gone on a vacation. Sleepless nights, feeding all day, cleaning poop and changing diapers is surely not my idea of a vacation. Labour does not end only with delivery. Interestingly, sometimes, people who said this are the same people who earlier said, “You look so tired….. (refer point 2 above)”
8. Are you sure he is not older?
My son though only 4.5 years now, has always been tall for his age. People often mistake him for being older and look at me suspiciously when I reveal his correct age. Then comes the “are you sure?” It’s almost as if I forgot when he was born.
This article was first published on Momspresso (erstwhile mycity4kids).