Being a Mom - pushing, screaming, and panting her way into a whole new stage of life with a beautiful new baby. Ahead of her are challenges, excitement, and the total unknown.
So, the last thing a Mom wants is people asking her a bunch of unwarranted questions and giving her unsolicited advice. But unfortunately, it seems to come as part of the baby package.
Making it out of childbirth is a big enough deal. Your body has essentially gone through a battle. You’ve reached a whole new level of exhaustion, but you don’t have time to be exhausted because you’ve got a baby to look after. It’s time to say goodbye to your old sleep patterns, your beauty regime, and your gym-fit body for a while. Your baby is your new priority.
Of course, you’ve had nine months to prepare for all of this. Becoming a mother is a beautiful experience. It just has a lot of bumps in the beginning of the road. This is all understandable.
What is not so understandable, however, is why other people think the best time to ask weird and intrusive questions is right after you’ve given birth. There’s a time and a place for everything. And the time and place to ask how your newborn baby is sleeping is NOT when the bundle of joy is screaming in your arms in the middle of the aisle and you can’t remember what you needed to buy from the supermarket.
Welcome to motherhood. Now brace yourself for some of these bizarrely weird questions others might want to ask you.
15 “Are You Enjoying Every Minute?”
Ok, the world should know upfront that not every minute of new motherhood is enjoyable. How could it be? You’re fighting your own fatigue and trying to make your baby comfortable. It’s not meant to be sunshine and daisies every single minute.
It is unrealistic to expect new moms to enjoy every minute. No one actually enjoys “every minute” of their day-to-day life without a newborn baby. Therefore, this is an odd question to pose to new moms. So why do people ask it? They really just want to hear the good bits. Save the truth of your answer for those you are really close to.
Rather, people should consider asking, “how are you handling the ups and downs” and acknowledge that not every single minute is going to be all glitter and sparkles. New moms are entitled to those ups and downs more than anyone can understand!
14 “Do You Love Being A New Mom?”
Well sure, you’re going to love it, even if you don’t love it in the moment this question is asked. This question is more insensitive than weird, really. Post-natal depression is a real issue facing new moms and it can be hard to acknowledge when someone is going through it.
If someone asks this question and the new mom isn’t loving being a mom right then and there, a whole lot of guilt is going to emerge. Not loving being a mom doesn’t make you a bad mom at all. Hating some moments of new motherhood is totally normal. After all, your hormones are all over the place and your body feels like a war zone. You don’t have to love that, exactly.
Unconditional love for your baby triumphs over not loving all elements of motherhood, however. Instead people should ask, “how is it being a new mom? What are you experiencing so far?”
13 “Are You Sick?”
Sick of all these weird questions, yes. Physically sick, no. Insanely tired, yes.
New moms often look pale, undernourished, and have bags the size of Mars under their eyes. They don’t have the common cold – they have a new baby. What do you expect? So much has changed with your body and your whole life in the past few weeks. You don’t have to be looking your best.
It's unnecessarily weird for people to ask if you’re sick while you’re holding your new baby. Sometimes people ask this as a way to make small talk. It’s odd because there are so many other ways to start a conversation with a new Mom rather than comment on their health status.
What’s more, new moms really don’t want to be reminded that they look like they survived the zombie apocalypse. That pasty pallor isn’t going to last forever so you really don’t need to worry about this weird question.
12 “Is She Being A Good Baby?”
Define good, in terms of a baby, exactly? Every baby is a good baby. They don’t know how to be bad yet. If they cry, they aren’t being bad. They are communicating. If they scream, they are telling you something is wrong. If they kick, they are learning to use their gross motor skills.
Babies are fundamentally good and pure. Therefore, this question is more irrelevant than weird. It just doesn’t need to be asked. People should be more interested in what you like about your baby, what they did last night, what reasons they cry for. These are more appropriate and more applicable queries that new moms want to hear.
Remember, your baby isn’t bad if he or she isn’t sleeping well through the night or eating well at first. They are learning to process their senses and how to survive in this world. These reactions are learning moments, not indicators of “badness levels.”
11 “Are You Going To Try For A Boy Soon?”
You might get this if you’ve just had a girl. And if you’ve had a baby boy, expect the weird question of when you’re going to try for a girl.
So, um, a new mom who has just given birth and is learning how to raise one baby probably isn’t forward planning too much to their next baby. Let alone thinking about the gender of said next baby. In fact, the gender is the last thing most people think about when they’re planning to have a baby. Especially because this is a total 50/50 chance thing, after all.
This question has no place for new moms and there is no real answer you can give. The best way to go is just to come up with a totally weird answer in response, like “oh yeah, I’m going to try get a boyfriend for my baby girl really soon, thanks.”
10 “Are You Sure The Baby’s Hungry?”
The idea that mother knows best seems to go out the window with questions like these. If your baby is crying, you have instincts that come alive and you know what your baby needs. So if you choose to feed your baby in response to his or her cries, the people you're around should really accept this decision.
However, you’ll always get a few odd-bods who want to stick their nose into your business and wonder if you’re making the right choice. Even if it turns out your baby isn’t hungry in that particular moment, that’s something for you to learn and discover. Your judgement is still the most important.
The person who doubts your judgement on your baby’s hunger probably won’t be there the next time your baby is crying or uncomfortable. So why does their opinion and unnecessary question even matter?
9 “I’m Sick But I’m Not Contagious, Can I Still Visit?”
So you’ve had a cold or got the sniffles but think you’r not contagious, but want to risk bringing these germs into my newborn baby’s atmosphere and let them linger around her under-developed immune system? Do people even hear what they’re asking sometimes.
Not many new Moms are going to take the risk with any form of sickness around their new baby. The development of the immune system is one of the most fundamental processes your baby needs for good health and strength for his or her future. Why compromise this just because someone can’t reorganise their schedule for another time. Besides, if someone is so thoughtless as to potentially put your baby in harms way, you likely don't want this person around baby - at all.
Save time for healthy visitors who are prepared to wait for ALL their unhealthy germs to exit their system before entering your home.
8 “What Are Her Bowel Movements Like?”
Soft, squishy, sloppy. What kind of adjective are you looking for with this question? Sure, if the person who is asking is a doctor or nurse or actually has knowledge of what bowel movements mean, give a proper answer.
However, if your friend you see down the street is asking this weird question just out of curiosity, you’ve got to wonder why. Your baby’s bowel movements have no impact on anyone’s life other than your own and your baby. Why do people think this is an ok question to ask?
When all else fails and you’re so over these weird questions, just go into as much detail as possible. Really describe that scent of the diaper and the consistency of the poop that you had to wipe up. If that’s what people want to hear, you may as well as answer in depth.
7 “Did You Gain A Lot Of Weight?”
Well, obviously. What else do you expect when you’re growing another life form inside of you? This isn’t exactly a time for dieting and frequenting the gym, is it? Even if Mom gained the perfect amount of weight throughout every trimester, it will still seem like a lot since it's in such a short amount of time.
Baby weight gain is natural and completely normal. However, it's also a sensitive topic for a lot of new Moms. So this question can come across as hurtful and irritating.
You should be proud of the weight you’ve gained as it means you’ve gone through the biggest challenge in life of creating a baby. Why do people want to know how many kilograms exactly you gained in this process? It just doesn’t matter.
What’s even worse is when people ask if you’ve lost all the weight from your pregnancy. It isn’t going to happen over night people! Ask again in a year or so.
6 “Did You Have A Natural Birth?”
You have a beautiful newborn baby, so why does it matter how it came out? Whether you used your vaginal canal, a C-section, or had an epidural, the details really don’t matter too much. They especially don’t matter to someone who is only seeing the finished product.
This question is weird on a number of levels. There just isn’t much relevance in it for other people. Granted, if someone really close to you is asking or a friend works in the medical profession, it’s a different story. But most of the time people will come out with this odd question just for the sake of it. Not to mention some women have very strong opinions on the subject, so why open this can of worms when Mom is already just trying to get from moment to the next.
Do they really want the details of the labor process? Do they really want to know how many centimetres you dilated in that natural birth? No. So why ask it?
5 “Do You Get Out And About Much With Hubby?”
There are so many things wrong with this question and so many reasons why it shouldn’t be asked. What if you’re a single mom? What if you’re in a lesbian relationship? What if you used IVF on your own? What if you and your partner aren’t formally married? The nuclear family is a historic concept. Since this question is already so annoying to deal with, it will likely come from someone at the worst possible time while you're in the middle of a hundred different things or in the super market, already distracted and rushing to get on with the day.
This question can lead to some really weird, uncomfortable, and awkward moments when asked. It's really best to avoid asking about the baby’s father and your circumstances until that information is offered up by you. This saves a whole lot of awkwardness and discomfort that you just don’t need in a regular conversation.
4 “Are Things Back To Normal Down There?”
Once again, you’re going to have to define “normal” when it comes to vaginas. These come in all shapes and sizes in the first place, let alone after a baby has come out of one. Vaginas stretch and dilate a whole bunch during a natural birth. So if you’ve had a natural birth, your vagina isn’t going to look the exact same it did a year ago.
In fact, your vagina isn’t going to go back to what was “normal” for you when you were in your twenties. Whether you have a baby or not, your vagina changes with time and age. So the standards of normal alter all the time, baby or not.
So for someone to ask if your vagina has gone back to normal is just weirdly ignorant. Give them some basic biological reminders about the human body and it’s “normal” changes.
3 “Are You Staying Fit?”
Well, your weightlifting regime now consists of lifting the baby all the time and your squats are trying to pull your skinny jeans on. Fitness changes when you have a new baby. This is a really open ended question and can lead to some really weird moments in a conversation.
Remember, the aim of having a new baby is not to have the world’s best body. You’re not aspiring to take some gym time selfies and snaps in the mirror of your six pack. Running a marathon probably isn’t on your to-do list right now.
Being fit as a new mom means having enough energy to get up when your baby needs you through the night. Fitness is having the strength to put your baby’s happiness over your own and tend to their needs before yours. Fitness goals aren’t about how much you lift anymore, rather it’s about how much you love.
2 “Do You Ever Eat Baby Food?”
This curve ball question can catch new moms off guard, but often the answer can be even weirder. It isn’t entirely uncommon for new moms to sample their baby’s foods when they start a solid diet of purees. So sure, new moms often taste test them, but don’t make it sound like you’ve changed your whole diet to match your baby’s.
This question can make new moms doubt if they’re doing the right thing with trying their baby’s foods. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Remember, new motherhood is all about experimenting more than you thought you could ever experiment. If trying a weird combination of apple and mango sauce is part of that, so be it. The question is weird for people to ask, but it shouldn’t make you feel weird as a new Mom if you’re doing it.
1 “Have You Tasted The Breastmilk?”
This one is really about wondering why exactly people want to know the answer. Do they want to try some as well? It’s no crime to try the breastmilk, even if it’s just to ensure it’s at the right temperature if you’ve pumped it and warmed it up.
Breastmilk is extremely natural and nutritious. It’s actually quite good for adults, too. You shouldn’t be chugging bottles of breastmilk for yourself, as obviously your baby needs it more than you do, but you can certainly sample a little bit. It's also interesting to know what your baby is tasting and experiencing - after all, breastmilk doesn't always taste the same like formula, it will change depending on what Mom ate that day.
So it’s really none of people’s business if you’ve tried your own breastmilk. If they’re going to judge you for it, that’s their weirdness, not yours.