I was emailed the most interesting article from The Bump recently and I just had to share a high-level overview of what it said…it really made me stop and think if I am alienating my “non-mommy” friends with my mumbo jumbo ramblings all the time. I’m curious to see what yall think about this subject, too…
“10 Things You Do That Your Non-Mom Friends Hate”
1. Oversharing. You survived the marathon of pregnancy/delivery, and you’re proud of it. Still, lots of people who haven’t pushed another human being out of their most intimate of orifices would prefer never to hear terms like “mucus plug,” “episiotomy” or “placenta” in conversation. Save the clinical talk for your mommy group and stick to less-graphic terms when your friends ask about birth.
**If you ask, I am going to be honest…that’s just how I am. I don’t hold back unless I’m instructed to, and coming from someone who didn’t know a lot about birthing a child, I think people need to understand it’s not like it’s portrayed in the movies-it’s just not that glamorous. But, you get an AMAZING prize for all that hard work!
2. Abusing basic kindness. Here’s something that may be hard to hear: Not everyone who asks to hold the baby actually wants to hold the baby–at least not for hours at a stretch. As desperate as you may be to get a break, if you take advantage of your friends’ offers to bounce the baby and sneak off to take a luxurious bubble bath or comb the mall, they eventually will stop offering.
**I don’t take bubble baths so maybe this doesn’t apply to me? You can pretty much tell who feels comfortable holding your baby and who may be a bit nervous. I was SO scared of holding newborns until I held my own that I can totally relate. As for offering to watch the baby while I shower, grab a bite to eat, etc…this is MUCH appreciated and the kindness will be returned one day.
3. Putting your baby on the phone. “Please don’t ask me to talk to your infant on the phone,” says Katie. “I can understand a toddler who can actually talk, but I doubt a two-week-old will have anything interesting to say.” It’s not that your friends aren’t interested in your offspring-they just aren’t quite as riveted by every gurgle and coo as you are.
**Putting a newborn on the phone…well, I did that with my Mom from time to time, but that was just so Caroline could hear her voice. Thank heavens for FaceTime though-great technology so people can SEE the baby making cute faces and such.
4. Making disgusting requests. “I was at a restaurant with a good friend and her baby,” recalls Kristin. “She handed him over and said, ‘I think he needs a bath. Do his neck rolls smell?’ Please don’t ask me to smell your baby.” Similarly, don’t ask her to analyze poop, wipe spit-up off your back or give your bottled breast milk the “whiff” test. If she’d like to help, she’ll let you know.
**GROSS…it’s clearly evident when something is lurking in a diaper I assure you and I would never pawn that off on anyone other than my immediate family for fear that would cause my close girlfriends to NEVER partake in having a baby.
5. Complaining constantly. Nobody’s saying that being a mom isn’t hard, but chances are you chose this diaper-lined path-and regularly lamenting how tough your new role is doesn’t just make you sound bratty, it can make you appear smug and superior. Also, “You don’t need to remind us every 10 minutes that girls’ nights, book club, camping trips and date nights are off-limits now because parenting is such an important responsibility.”
**True friends want to hear that it’s not a piece of cake, that there are good AND bad days, and they don’t mind listening to you ramble on about not sleeping….I thought that is why we had friends in the first place? I don’t tell strangers these random things, but I will open up tp my best girl friends-DUH. I try to be there for them and I expect to listen to them one day when they are going through this, too. And yes, unfortunately, some commitments have to take a backseat to motherhood. I miss out on fun things from time to time, but then I remember Jeff and I chose this path and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world…Caroline is EVERYTHING to us. If some people don’t understand that, then maybe you don’t have as much in common with them as you once thought.
6. Pretending to pay attention. All moms are guilty of it: trying to have a conversation and discipline a toddler at the same time. That scenario looks a lot like this: “’Yeah, that sucks that he dumped you, but EMILY, PUT YOUR BROTHER DOWN…I’m sorry, I’m listening. Being dumped sucks, but you know EMILY! STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER! But at least you’ve only been dating for five years EMILY, DON’T MAKE ME COME IN THERE…What? Oh, no-now’s a fine time!’ Just call me back for God’s sake. I don’t mind!”
**I am guilty of this…heck, I think we all are-not just moms. I think sometimes we all need to disengage from Facebook/Twitter/and all other forms of social media and really focus our attention on what someone is telling us. Let them know they are a priority and if you can’t listen then, tell them you’ll call them back when you can!
7. Turning Facebook into Babybook. The baby drank six whole ounces! Then she burped! Here’s her post-burp smile! Now she’s napping! While you might argue that your kid-free friends’ timelines are no less tedious, the truth is, nobody needs a minute-by-minute recap of your little bundle’s every breath. Post a few cute pictures and be done with it.
**I used to cringe when people would have babies, and EVERY SINGLE picture they posted on FB was of the peanut. Now, on the other hand, I totally get it. I don’t post pictures on FB as much as I used to, just because I’d rather put them here on the blog or only share with friends and family. I think that is totally a personal choice, but that’s how I choose to handle. Not to mention uploading takes forever and I am not tagging my child in pictures :).
8. Acting superior. Yes, you had a baby-which means statements like, “You’d understand if you were a parent,” might seem totally legit. Still, they can sting, especially if you use them out of context. And even after your best friend has kids of her own, maybe she won’t be the sort to bail on a girls’ night out because her baby has a 99-degree fever.
**I don’t think anyone is superior just because they have a baby…that is just strange.
9. Making assumptions. Quit asking your baby-free friends if they’re “trying” (to conceive, that is). We know, there’s probably not an ounce of malice in the question-after all, you just want them to experience the same joy that you have. But it could be considered pushy or presumptuous. “Not everyone is Fertile Myrtle,” says Trisha. As hard as it may be, assume that your buddy will share the glorious news when there’s glorious news to be shared, and until then, keep your mouth shut about it.
**I can understand this…as soon as you get married, people suddenly start asking when you’re going to have a baby. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to answer that question because it happened so quickly. Others close to me have had a harder time, and sometimes I long for them to be able to experience motherhood, too. That’s when I have to look to God and tell myself He has plans for all of us and I need to give my trust to Him. I think we have all been guilty of making these assumptions at some point, but just remember we all have different situations to deal with, and to be sensitive to that because you may not know the whole story.
10. Bringing the baby anywhere and everywhere. Of course you want to show off your stunning spawn-but not all events and activities are appropriate for little ones. Plus, you deserve some grown-up time. For sanity’s sake, every once in a while you need to hand baby to dad, hire a sitter or enlist grandma’s services and go be your old, fun, fabulous self. Your friendships need that too.
**1 night each month, I get a reprieve and have bunco with the ladies. Jeff and I also try to plan a date night at least 1 time a month (thanks to our fabulous babysitter Alex), and we are fortunate that my parents and grandparents are ALWAYS wanting to babysit Caroline so we can go do stuff just as husband and wife. I agree wholeheartedly that you need time together as a family, and time just as a couple… this is HUGE!
Any thoughts? Things you think I got wrong? I’m wondering what yall think of these things, whether you’re a mom or not…