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The worst questions and most unhelpful ‘advice’ you’ll receive from strangers once you become a mother

As soon as your bundle of cries arrives, you’ll feel like you have an instant target on your back. To some members of the public, they see a mother and feel it is their human right to shower that said new mother with unwanted thoughts and unhelpful advice. No one asks for it. No one really needs it either, but still it goes hand in hand with having a child. Here’s what to expect and how to avoid more of these ‘attacks’ in the future.

  1. The bags are forming under your eyes, sleep is something rare these days. Enter the “gosh you look tired. You should be sleeping when baby sleeps. I know the best way to put a baby down…” the speech goes on. And you actually believe in this moment you could fall asleep. Strangers always feel the need to onboard their ‘this is how and when a baby should sleep’ comments. They are never ground breaking or helpful. And it’s highly likely these people also never had a sleeping baby, or they actually never had a child at all. Ear plugs and headphones are a welcome purchase to keep in the nappy bag for these people.

  2. “Are you feeding?” My, what a question! Am I feeding my baby? What kind of person do you think I am for not feeding my new child… most of the time we know this question is actually a double barrelled inquisition into if we are actually breastfeeding or not. This is no one’s business whatsoever and as a new Mum, you should never feel like you need to respond to this question. A quick exit from this point is more than acceptable.

  3. If they open with a “back in my day…” RUN! Do anything you can to leave! You do not want to hear what comes next. Most likely this phase is followed by a “you girls have it so easy these days” line. And boy that never goes down well with a new mother just surviving with 2 hours sleep, a child screaming while hanging onto her boob, covered with at least 5 spots of fresh vomit on her top! Yeah, it’s ‘so easy!’ Do anything you can to end this ‘lecture’.

  4. Probably one of the worst things you’ll be asked, especially in those first few weeks is the “when is your next baby due?” – while pointing at your prominent stomach. Come on, what the actual?! Can these people not see a freshly birthed newborn sitting in the pram? It is actually physically impossible to already be about 5 months pregnant with a baby only a few weeks old! For most of us, it can take a number of months for that belly to deflate, comments like this do not help a new mom in any way!

  5. “What’s the child’s name?” – I never get the reasoning behind this question. Are they really interested? Do they plan on greeting my child by his name next time we encounter one another, (which is probably never!)? My favourite part of this question is the follow up “oh they’re naming kids with some funny names these days” – a nice back hander on my well-chosen name. I’m training my child to start kicking people in the shins when they start commentating in this manner on his name. Hopefully then they’ll get the message!

What other annoying questions and advice have you received as a new parent?