As a mom of three boys, currently all under 4, the “tips” and “advice” that I got as a new mom is still stuck in my head. Everyone meant well, I’m sure, and some of the advice was useful (when taken with a grain of salt) But there are two pieces of “advice” that I never, ever want to hear again. If you have ever heard this, I feel ya. If you are giving out this “advice” please STOP, now.
The first one: Sleep When The Baby Sleeps
Seriously?! Ok people, new moms may be sleep deprived and not thinking clearly due to crazy hormones but we aren’t dumb. Of course we would love to sleep when the baby sleeps but when your newborn sleeps in 20min increments you take those 20min to pee, maybe (if lucky) shower and try to feel like human being, or shovel food into your face as fast as possible. If you have more than one kid those 20min are usually spent changing diapers, feeding them, or discovering what disaster happened in the other room. I absolutely hated this piece of advice, and got it from many different people. Sorry, I have three kids, the minute my 4month old is out I am buzzing around the house like a crazy honey bee trying to play catch up.
Things I much rather would have heard:
– Keep it up mamma, you’re doing a great job.
–Would you like me to come over and watch the baby so you can shower? (I probably would have burst into tears and given a hug if this was offered)
–Would you like me to bring over some coffee? (Would have gotten close to the same reaction as above)
–Can I bring over some dinner so you don’t have to worry about cooking? (YES PLEASE!)
Avoid switching it out with: This will only last a little while, enjoy them being little. This is almost as bad as the whole, Sleep when they Sleep thing.
The second terrible “advice” to give: Don’t worry about doing housework, it will always be there, enjoy the time while they are little.
Yes, that terrible reminder that you have housework to do until the day you die, now made even harder with the little human being you are raising. Pretty sure we all know the housework will be there and that taking care of our little one comes first, however, running out of clean clothes is a very real possibility as well as not having enough dishes to last forever, without washing them. I also don’t want my little one growing up in a house covered in dirt and grime, so I’m going to bust out the vacuum. I get that this is meant to say, oh don’t worry about washing the windows and deep cleaning, but let’s face it, who really does that on a regular basis anyways? So ya, that 20 minutes I was talking about previously, some of it will be spent doing laundry, washing dishes, making food, and vacuuming. And don’t worry, all of us moms know that time goes by way. too. fast. But shit still needs to get done.
Try saying/offering this instead:
–Keep it up mamma, you’re doing great! (This is a great thing to say no matter what the situation is)
–Would you like some help with housework this week?
-Again-Would you like me to bring over dinner so you don’t have to worry about cooking?
-And if someone were really, super, fabulous and awesome, they would offer to have a professional come clean for you. (I will still take this offer)
Whether you have good intentions or really think this is good advice to give new parents, please, don’t ever give this advice again.
Sincerely-All new parents, everywhere.