This post might come across a bit harsh, and know that truly isn't my heart at all because I know you mean well. However, I have to be honest and speak up on behalf of all of us young moms.
Can you please stop it with your unsolicited advice? Oh and also all the horror stories, they aren't helpful.
Because when I announced I was pregnant at 8 weeks to celebrate and have others praying, I don't want to hear about how your sister miscarried just before her 12 week appointment. I'm sorry that happened, I really am. But I'm trying so hard to trust God's plan with this little life growing in me.
Or when I'm still puking my guts out at 20 weeks pregnant, I don't want to hear about your daughter who was still puking on the way to the hospital to have her baby. In fact just hearing the word puke made me gag for the 20th time today.
And when I'm 38 weeks pregnant and even my maternity clothes are struggling to fit, I don't want to be asked for the 10,000th time if I'm having twins? Or even better when I say no, you confidently ask if it's triplets. Seriously?!
And after we've brought that baby home and you send me a gift and then email me a week later to see if I got it because you didn't get the thank you card, well just don't send the gift. Because I have 387 emails left unchecked, my voicemail box is full and I don't even know where to buy stamps. That blurry pic I posted on Facebook, that was your thank you.
Or how every time I walk up to you, you smile at the baby cuddled up in my arms and look me over from head to toe to see how I'm doing losing my baby weight. I see your eyes, and trust me, I know I still have a long way to go to get back to pre-baby body. I'm not a celebrity. I plan on doing this the healthy way: 9 months on, at least 9 months till its off (but let's be honest, I will never be the same again).
And when my baby is fussy, please don't ask if she is colic or has gas or has an upset stomach or has a fever. She is a baby. She is supposed to cry.
Or when you ask, "How are you doing?" And I choose not to say, "Great! We are so smitten!" with a forced giant smile. And instead choose to be honest and say, "We sure do love her but I am so exhausted and I feel like I smell like poop and spit up."
Please, seriously please, don't tell me, "It will pass before you know it." Because I know it will pass. That's why I feel so guilty for even feeling frustrated by this short season. I know you feel like you've blinked and your kids are all grown up and you long for the days of diaper changes and toys all over the place. But I'm in the middle of it and so tired and in this moment when I could burst into tears my eyes burn so bad from exhaustion, that reminder isn't helpful.
And when you hear that I stopped breastfeeding because it was hard or I thought I had milk supply issues, please don't tell me how breastfeeding is best and my kid will now be sick, unhappy and stupid (or something like that) and then send me articles about the benefits of breastfeeding and a lactation consultants info. Because I know breastfeeding is best. And I nearly drove myself and my whole family crazy trying to continue nursing.
Oh and when you ask how my baby is sleeping and I tell you that she is doing pretty good. Please don't tell me about your kid who didn't sleep through the night for a year. Because right now the sleep is all I have going for me. And if my kid does become a finicky sleeper (which I'm certain will come over the years), I will need hope that it isn't going to last that long. I'm sorry that first year was so rough for you. But please don't make me feel guilty about my baby sleeping, at least not until I can stop feeling guilty that I haven't showered in a few days.
Or when you ask how old my baby is and I tell you she is 3 months old and you get a real sad look on your face and feel compelled to tell me, "My neighbors daughter just lost her baby at 3 months. She put her down one night and when she went in the next morning she wasn't breathing. Just like that." Because you know what? I was finally exiting the sleep deprived state since my baby was stretching out her sleep at night, and now all I can do is stare at the video monitor and watch her chest go up and down and pray against SIDS.
And when you ask me if my kid is smiling/laughing/rolling over/sitting up/saying words/crawling/(fill in whatever developmental milestone here), and I honestly (and bravely) confess, "no," please don't make that weird "oooohhhh" noise and give the look like my kid is behind and then say, "Oh well she will get there." Because I know she will get there eventually. And I've already googled this milestone and know we are a bit behind. By the time she gets to kindergarten she will be as amazing as your kid/grandkid. And if she isn't, I'll still love her.
Or when you ask why we lay our baby on her back or let her cry it out or don't give her juice or anything that was different than you, don't say, "Well I must have been a horrible mom because I did/didn't do that." You were just like me, you were doing the best you could with what you knew. When my kids are big they will do it different than me. Me doing it different isn't a slant against you.
And when I'm in line at the grocery store and my baby, who is strapped to me, is crying and my toddler is throwing a tantrum, that look of judgement, yeah it doesn't make my kids stop crying, it just makes me cry when I get to the car. Now we are all 3 crying.
Or when I'm sitting in the booth next to yours and my kid throws her chicken nuggets on the floor, please don't huff and puff and say just loud enough, "I don't know why kids are allowed in restaurants." Then proceed to have an "educated" conversation around your table about how kids just aren't disciplined these days. Listen, my kid has been in time out 10 times today and had 3 spankings. We are completely out of groceries and I'm completely out of patience and this Mama needed a real meal out.
Or for the more compassionate one, when I put my kid in timeout in the middle of Target, please don't pass us by and say, "Poor thing. Bless her little heart" and give my child a smile that says, "your mommy sure is a mean one." That "poor thing" was just throwing the biggest tantrum of her life and told me no for the 50th time that day. I'm doing the best I can with this discipline thing and doing it in public is so hard.
Again, I don't mean to be rude. I just felt like this needed to be said. I know you mean well, I really do believe that, but it's still not helpful. I'm not angry or even bitter, I just thought you'd like to know.
Because young moms are so exhausted.
And so insecure in what they are doing.
And feel like they are carrying pizza dough around their midsection and nothing seems to fit.
And their hormones are all over the place.
And they don't need to hear about what they aren't doing well.
Or hear how much worse you had it.
And, in case you are curious, yes every single one of these things have happened to me over the past 3 years. Some stories have been slightly altered to protect the one being "helpful." Wink.
Check out the follow up post: "What to say & do for young moms" because I know you really do want to be helpful with what you say and do.