There are lots of well intended people in this world who want to help expecting mothers and new moms by offering words of wisdom and I know they mean well but here’s the truth; new moms don’t need advice. We need sleep, and sympathy and doughnuts. We need to feel heard and to know that it’s hard and beautiful and it’s ok for things to fall apart a bit. I’ve heard (and probably said) these five pieces of advice and even though they are done with love, I need them to stop.
1. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” This would be great advice if I were a robot with a sleep switch but sadly I have annoying things like thoughts and dishes and other children. So I can’t just turn my sleep switch on when the baby decides to nap. Also, babies sleep like 18 hours a day which would mean my sleep schedule would mirror that of a fitful drug addict.
2. When people say, “You think you’re tired now, wait till the baby comes!” I get that I will also not sleep great with a newborn but if I’m having diarrhea and I tell you about it, don’t comfort me by telling me about the bigger, more massive diarrhea thats coming. Focus your attention on the diarrhea at hand. I get I’ll be tired when the baby comes but I’m also carrying an 8 pound human in my stomach and have to pee every 20 minutes so I would like a little non-sleep sympathy now.
3. “Enjoy in every moment.” That’s a lot of pressure, Suzy. Babies are magical and it’s a amazing time in our lives but we are also sleeping in three hour intervals and literally getting pissed on. New moms are tired, our boobs hurt, our heads hurt, our houses are a mess. Let’s not make someone feel pressure to be enjoying EVERY SECOND. Let’s just try to enjoy what we can.
4. “It goes by so fast, blink an eye and they will be going college.” Okay great and then what happens: death. Thank you for reminding me that life is over in the blink of an eye and if I don’t enjoy every moment then it will all be for nothing. Jeez. No pressure. Also, I barely wear pants but now I’m suppose to be worried about college.
5. “Have a solid birth plan.” You know who doesn’t care about your birth plan; your baby. He or she is not interested in what Enya song is playing or the fact that you didn’t want a c-section. They care about being brought into the world by any means necessary. So if planning helps you, by all means do it but also know that it might change and that’s ok. To me birth is similar to the best meal you will ever have, it doesn’t matter how many trials and tribulations it took getting made, once it’s there it’s the best feeling in the world.
New moms need a reminder that it’s ok for life with a baby to be hard and messy and beautiful and terrifying all at once. That it will eventually be ok and most importantly; some sweet day we will sleep 5 hours straight again.