Five things not to say to a new mom

1. The child looks EXACTLY like his/her Dad:
Even if s/he are the Dad’s “mini-me” version and especially during the early days post-delivery. Here’s the deal, the complications of a pregnancy (even the most normal ones) and the torture of child birth (even the most normal ones) are still fresh in our minds and on our bodies. Most of us have crazy stitches in places where the sun don’t shine. And are in massive amounts of pain and under copious amounts of pain killers. And are dealing with hormones going berserk. And are struggling to pick the ropes of this “motherhood” thing, which we thought we had all figured given all the books we read and workshops we attended during pregnancy. But boy, is the reality really different or what. And most of the time we’re being brave about it. Is it too much to ask to not to be reminded constantly that the little tyke is a photocopy of the person whose contribution to the entire process, to put it delicately, was rather limited? Yes, we know life is unfair and one day we will come around to accepting this “injustice”. But till then, WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT. Kapish?

2. Wow, you really haven’t lost any of that baby weight/stretch marks have you?
Not all of us are blessed enough or resourceful enough or just hard working enough like the Gisele Bundchens and Heidi Klums of the world. Guess what; their success depends on their being inhumanly thin and pretty. Ours don’t. We have a thousand other things to worry about than what the scale/mirror tells us. So unlike supermodels who can be back to their normal selves in like six seconds, most of us will have to live with huge, wrinkly, bags/pouches of a stomach, marked by stretch-marks from here to Timbuktu, for a while. And in some cases, (like yours truly) a long, long while. We hate looking like this as much as world hates us looking like this. We are working on it, so zip it.

3. How can you crib about how wonderful a miracle a child/motherhood is? You are so ungrateful.
If I had a dime for every time someone has said this to me, I would have been able to afford one of those fancy personal trainers hired by the Bundchens of the world. Yes, pregnancy is a GREAT miracle. Yes, bringing up a child is by far one of the most AMAZING experiences that we will have in our lifetime. But is it all peaches and cream 24/7? No, and anyone who says so is lying. To you and to themselves. And as women, as primary care givers, as people whose bodies and lives get affected the most by this experience, we should be allowed to be HONEST once in every while about our feelings. Without the fear of being ostracized or being labeled a bitch or worst yet (for the mom’s psyche), a BAD MOM. I LOVE MY CHILD. But I ALSO LOVE MYSELF, and there are times when the needs of these two identities collide and that’s okay. If you can’t recognize/appreciate that, I have two words for you: GET REAL!

4. “Back in our time, we had…”: Such statements usually come from people of the older generation, and often times from women.

“Back in our time….Women used to be up on their feet 5 hours after the delivery/We had no help/We brought up a gazillion babies single handedly/ We were never this fussy. Your generation is so spoilt.”

Hmmm, yes. Back in your time doctors thought that smoking actually had health benefits. And that heart attacks happen only to people in their sixties. But now that we are no longer in that “golden age”, either step out of your time machine and be of some real help or just SHUSH…

5. He changed A DIAPER? WOW, he’s SUCH A GREAT DAD:
Why is it that we are quick to laud men as soon as they move a bloody finger? Sure, there are men who are great, hands-on dads. But let’s be honest, how many of these dads have you met? Here’s a test. Ask a dad you know when the date for their child’s next vaccination is and what kind it is? If the answer is correct, feel free to break into Hail Marys, you are in the presence of one of them “real involved” dads. And if it’s incorrect, you still have your answer. So, while women are up all day and night, feeding the baby, cleaning, bathing, walking, burping the child, keeping track of his/her medications/vaccinations, (balancing a career as well in most cases these days) you also want them to be thankful that the husbands can change one lousy diaper now and then?



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