What not to say to a new mother

Here’s a public service announcement. If you’re about to go and visit a friend with a new baby, there are a few things that you just should not say. Under no circumstances. Ever.
All of these were said to me in the few weeks after my daughter was born almost nine months ago.

Will you have any more?
I’ve just spent almost ten months growing a small person inside me, dealing with kicks to the ribs, bladder and pelvis, unable to sleep, struggling to breathe … and then I had to get that baby out into the world. If you’re asking me before my stitches have even healed, the answer is no.

My cousin’s sister-in-law’s daughter is six and still not sleeping through the night.
When you’re waking up every 90 minutes, sometimes the only thing that keeps you going is the knwoledge that every child must sleep through the night eventually. Hopefully soon. I don’t want to hear that could be years away.

I wouldn’t say no to a glass of wine
I’m a fan of wine, too. But if I’ve just had a baby you can get it yourself.

It’s my birthday next week…
Great. Best wishes. If you’re expecting me to turn up to your celebratory dinner, you’ll be disappointed. Book me in for the next one.

When do I get to babysit?
First up, most of the people making this offer are 100% expecting never to have it taken up. Second, she’s a week old. The idea of leaving her with anyone makes me feel a bit faint.

I think she’s hungry
If you offer to hold her so I can have a minute to myself, I won’t be impressed if, two minutes later she’s back because you think she needs a feed. Especially if she’s only just finished one.

Remember to sleep when she sleeps
Thanks, hadn’t thought of that. Except if I sleep when she sleeps, it means every single minute of my waking hours is full of baby.

Make sure you get out
Yes I know getting out of the house helps avoid pnd or whatever. But I don’t need to hear this when I’m still trying to work out how to install both seats in the car. And when the one time I have attempted an outing I’ve ended up covered in milky vomit, carrying both a baby and a two-year-old.

I’d like a baby but I couldn’t bear what it does to your body
When my mid-section still looks like a deflated beach ball with weirdly crepey skin and one breast is twice the size of the other, the least you could do is pretend not to notice.

I’m not really a kid person
If you’ve come round to visit me and my newborn, try to pretend you think she’s cute. Related to this: oh dogs are so much easier.

You look tired
How odd. I’ve been sleeping like a baby.

Oh, (son) looks a bit left out
For me, the worst bit about having two has been the worry about not being able to give my son the same attention. 0/10 to those who made this observation. 10/10 to those who brought a little present for both of them or attempted to engage him in conversation about something other than his sister.

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