4 Unhelpful Things New Moms Are Told


4 Unhelpful Things New Moms Are Told - Columbia MomAs new moms, there are always comments said with the best of intentions, but that aren’t actually all that helpful. Unfortunately, unsolicited advice is something new mothers receive all the time. And even though people are well intentioned, that “advice” is normally the opposite of helpful. 

I have been reflecting on things I have either been told as a new mom or statements I have even said to new moms myself. Some of these statements, although intended to be encouraging, can really be just the opposite. 

1. “You only have 18 summers with your kids.”

This statement just makes me feel pressured to spend every waking moment engaging with my kids during the summer. That’s just not realistic. Also, why must it only be 18 summers? If I am lucky enough, I hope to spend more summers with my children even after they are no longer living with me. It may look different and it may not be all summer long, but I hope to have a lifetime of being a mother to my children that doesn’t end once they turn 18. Instead, I would rather hear, “Once you become a mother you will always be a mother.”  

2. “You don’t even look like you were ever pregnant!”

After the herculean effort of being pregnant for nine months, followed by a rigorous labor,  the last thing I wanted for someone to comment on was my physical appearance. Even though this was intended to be a compliment it made me self-conscious instead. I then felt the added pressure of “bouncing back” to my pre-pregnancy state.

I would have loved to have heard a compliment on my efforts as a mother rather than how I looked. For example, something like, “You are doing such a great job as a mother already!” or, “Your baby is so lucky to have you as a mother.” These comments would have helped boost my teetering confidence as a new mom, which would have been much more helpful.

3. “Treasure every minute. It goes by so fast!”

Yes, our kids do grow up very quickly and they are so cute and cuddly when they are little. But, when my toddler shatters my glass dinner plate on the floor, or when I want nothing more than to sleep but my baby keeps waking up in the night, I simply can’t treasure every moment. Instead, I would have loved to have been told something like, “This is just a season. It is a hard yet beautiful one.”

4. “Sleep when the baby sleeps.”

Any mom who reads this knows that is impossible. You can’t sleep the disconnected 12-16 hours that your newborn baby sleeps. I laugh when I think about this advice as I am pushing my baby in the stroller and she falls asleep. I imagine laying down on the sidewalk immediately next to her and taking a snooze. Or in the check-out line at the supermarket, or in the car (quick pull over!). All of these are not convenient places for me to sleep when my baby sleeps, nor would I want to!

There are other things to do and getting a second to myself is one of them. More useful advice I have been told was, “Don’t do anything while the baby is sleeping that you can do while the baby is awake.” This was helpful insight as I often chose to hold off on the laundry or the dishes when my baby was napping because these were easy tasks to do with my baby wide-eyed and watching me. This helped free up time for me to focus on other things like exercising, cooking, or yes, even taking a nap while my baby slept. 

Although many of these comments new moms receive are intended to be kind and helpful, they can actually be quite triggering. New moms are going through a tender and vulnerable time. Having a little extra thoughtfulness and care behind our words can go a long way in really helping a new mom’s perspective. And as a new mom myself, I’d appreciate it. 

What advice do you wish you had received when you had your first baby?

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Brittany Myczkowski
Brittany is a mom, wife, and outgoing introvert who recently moved to the Columbia area in 2022! She has lived in many different cities from the East Coast to the Midwest and is happy to now call Columbia home. Building a sense of community is one of the reasons she and her family decided to come to Columbia and why she is very excited to be a part of the Columbia Mom team. Physical and mental health is also very important to her. As a physical therapist, she has witnessed the powerful connection of the mind and body and how both need to be given the proper TLC. In her spare time, she enjoys perfecting the fine art of sleep procrastination, listening to podcasts or books on tape, doing anything active, and adding unnecessary items to her Amazon cart. Photo by: Zach and Sarah Photography


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