What Not To Do When You're Around New Parents
If you're reading this, chances are you are a parent. Actually, chances are more than likely that you're a Mom. As a Mom (or even a Dad for that matter), you've experienced the fear and excitement of the "new parent" stage. You've felt the incredible highs, and wallowed in the sleep deprived lows. You've frantically called your Mother, or Googled odd baby behaviors. You've been through it, and you've survived it...
So if we've all been through it ourselves, why do we subject the torture of what we experienced onto the new parents that we come across? We all have that Great-Aunt Betty that is SUPER obnoxious, and tells us exactly how to parent our newborns...It is a never ending and vicious cycle, yet here we are...
There are many things you shouldn't say or do around new parents, but here are a few main ones...If I'm being honest, I've totally done it to people that have had babies after me. I'm sure a few of you have done it too.
Guilty as charged...
Don't Give Unsolicited Advice
This is totally the MOST ANNOYING part about being a new parent. As a new Mom, I recognized that I didn't know anything. I fully realized the fact that I had ZERO knowledge of caring for a tiny human. That doesn't mean that I needed every family member and friend giving me their version of the secrets to raising the perfect child. If you're asked your opinion or advice, by all means, give that newbie Mom some killer Mom knowledge...But if you feel like giving advice just to make yourself feel cool because you know something that these poor fresh meat parents haven't learned yet, hold it in, let the new parents learn the fun way; good old fashioned experience.
Don't Touch The Baby Without Asking
This is something that I never realized was a big deal until I actually was a new parent. First of all, new parents are terrified of all the germs people talk about (understandably so)...All the horror stories about newborns getting horrible illnesses and worse are all over the news and the internet. IT. IS. TERRIFYING. Second of all, would you like it if someone (stranger or not) came up and touched someone that has literally been inside and/or a part of you for the last 9 months (give or take) without your consent? Hell no. I don't know where you've been Granny Jane, or the sicko germs your infested with. Always, always, ALWAYS ask if it's okay to hold or touch a newborn. It's just the polite and respectful thing to do. And if a mom wants you to wash your hands 500 times with scalding hot water before you touch her baby, just do it. If you can ease a new parent's anxiety with some clean hands and some 1st degree burns, it's a no brainer.
Don't Patronize Mama
I know I still look fat and like I got hit by a bus. Please don't tell me that I've never looked better. I appreciate the sentiment, but you're full of crap, and telling me how beautiful and glowing I am, does not change the fact that I still honestly look like hell. Instead of trying to pay me unfounded compliments, tell me that my kid is cute, or that I'm a freaking badass for pushing out a nearly 10 pound baby (true story, folks, she was just shy of a 10 pounder).
Don't Ask If They Are Tired
Really?!?!? Does this even need to be explained? Obviously new parents are tired...Is rubbing it in by reminding them of their sleep deprivation helpful? Nope. Sure isn't. Instead, maybe offer to watch the newest addition so Mom and Dad can catch up on some much needed z's...
Don't Talk About Touchy Subjects
After giving birth, the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do was discuss touchy topics like medical interventions and feeding methods. I honestly don't want to debate anyone on these topics any time, let alone when taking a fresh new baby home. Just don't bring it up. I don't care if you're for or against vaccines...And I really don't care if you formula feed or breastfeed. Do whatever the heck makes your heart content, and I'll do the same. Why make a stressful time like having a newborn, worse by arguing with your cousin Linda over the fact that she's pissed that you want to pump instead of exclusively breastfeed? Stick to neutral topics and you should be in the clear.
Please tell me some of you can relate to these things! What are some things that drive you crazy that people do to new parents?