Being a new mom is one of the toughest jobs around. Sleepless nights, crashing hormones, and frayed nerves can quickly take their toll on even the hardiest of women. Unfortunately, when it comes to motherhood, everyone has their own opinion as to how it should be going, and they are never afraid to share it. Here is a list of the top three questions to avoid when talking to a new mom.
1. Are you breastfeeding?
Just the word “breastfeeding” can quickly become a source of stress or embarrassment to a new mother. We all know the adage, “Breast is Best,” but how a woman decides to feed her child is a personal choice, and one in which she sometimes has no control. Some women struggle with breastfeeding, so making remarks such as, “If you love your baby you will breastfeed her,” “Breastfed babies are smarter,” and “If you feed your baby formula, she will be fat later in life,” will only add to the anxiety. After all, it really is none of your business anyway.
2. When are you going back to work?
In the first few weeks of motherhood, a mom is only concerned about when her next meal/shower/nap will be. The last thing she wants to do is think ahead to a prospect of juggling even more stress into her already overwhelming life. So give these ladies a break, and let them enjoy a little time off. And be grateful you aren’t the one up at 3 a.m. changing diapers or soothing a screaming infant.
3. Are you enjoying being a mom?
Questions like this amaze me. One that often goes along with this is, “Are your mothering instincts coming in yet?” I’m not sure what the expected answer is: “No, it’s miserable, I wish I could just eat my infant like a lion and be done with it.” Of course, I enjoy it! Of course, it’s also miserable! No matter how much you love your child, no first-time mom can ever be prepared for the challenges or the emotional rollercoaster bringing your baby home will invoke. So a simple, “How are you?” will do just fine, especially if you are just a casual acquaintance. After all, you might not like what you hear if you ask a sleep-deprived, stressed-out mother an intimate question.