Becoming a new parent is a joyous, exciting, and exhausting time. It’s a time where new moms and dads are thrown into an experience that they’ve been preparing for but you can never prepare enough for.
You can’t prepare enough for parenthood.
Or for all the unsolicited advice that is going to come your way. People mean well, they do but sometimes, they just overstep. And, I don’t mean to offend anyone. I just want to chat about things that I think shouldn’t be asked.
From my experience, motherhood/parenthood opens up this can of different discussions that you wouldn’t think would happen in your everyday life.
While I was pregnant, I never expected to chat about my decision to breastfeed or not but so many people asked about it. Honestly, I was shocked at first. Mostly because I wasn’t expecting people to ask about it. It’s not really talked about a lot unless moms are having the conversations. That’s probably why breastfeeding should be normalized by now but that’s a discussion for another time.
Like I mentioned above, people can overstep. There are levels to many conversation points and some people just jumpstart to the highest level. It’s wild but you get used to it. Being used to it doesn’t excuse boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed — remember that.
As a first-time mom and new parent, I thought long and hard about the questions I thought were silly to ask. Not only are they silly but you should just avoid them because we don’t need a headache or advice when we’re exhausted and just want to relax.
Questions you shouldn’t ask new parents:
Why do I need to do ….. to visit you and your baby?
Look, you need to abide by mom and dad’s rules when it comes to their baby. It might seem foolish to you but it’s not to them. That’s their baby and their rules about their baby should be followed. From my experience, I asked people to get the Flu Shot when Cannon was born if they wanted to be around him. The people that cared enough about his health abided with no issue.
Unfortunately, there were folks that had issues with this ask and expressed it to others that weren’t me. One, if you want to see the child that a woman lent her body to for nine months, respect her ask. Two, you aren’t above that mother when it comes to her child so don’t give her that ‘I have common sense’ speech. Cool, I have common sense and still get shots to protect babies and those that can’t.
Any ask that a parent has concerning their child should be followed. If you don’t want to follow it, don’t ask to visit until she’s deemed it visiting season.
Your intentions may be good but hold off on stirring up trouble. What mom/dad says about their child goes.
Are you getting any sleep?
Now, we both know the answer to this question so why are you asking it? I feel like people ask you this question to give you advice and to see how your parenting is going. If I just had a baby that needs to eat every 3-4 hours then no, I’m not getting as much sleep as I would like. Your unsolicited advice is not on my radar. I’m sure no new parent is trying to be told what they should be doing but people that don’t know their baby.
And, please don’t tell me to sleep when the baby is sleep. There is so much to do that I can’t sleep when my little one is asleep or else I would have done that.
It’s a silly question and you should avoid it at all costs. Just about the newbie parents how they are. If they want to dive into more specific topics then they will.
When’s your next baby/pregnancy?
Any question that focuses on another baby should be avoided. Can I get through the first year before you ask or tell me that I need another baby? Seriously, I have received this question and statement more than you would think. Stop asking women when they’re going to have children or get pregnant, you don’t know what their decisions are or what they might have to go through to have another child.
Let me enjoy the baby that I have. I want to soak up every moment with Cannon so I’m not thinking about that next baby. Especially when I still have a baby in diapers that can’t communicate his wants and needs yet. Also, my health is important and it’s not always good to get pregnant back to back.
Just let new parents live and enjoy the little moments. There is no need to rush and pop out another life that will need so much attention. There’s a time and place for everything and there is no time or place for this question.
If you must ask mom and dad a question, I compiled a list for you:
- Do you need me/us to bring you anything over?
- Can we help out with anything?
- How are you feeling?
- Would you like a homecooked meal?
- Does your dog/cat need some attention?
- How are you doing?
- Do you need a break/date night?
Now, these questions are showing concern and that you want to help.
It’s better to help and show kindness to people especially people that are adjusting and trying to get used to something new.
Don’t ask about things that are going to provide a headache because there’s already a lot on a new parent’s plate. Just check on them and make sure they’re good, it’s much appreciated.
At the end of the day, I know everyone has good intentions. Why would you not? But, let’s just avoid questions with obvious answers or questions that can cause a swirl. They’ll come up especially with family and close friends, it’s normal.
Maybe we should un-normalize the questions above? A girl can dream.
What are some questions you think people should ask new parents? What are your thoughts?