Today Melissa Fenton posted an article to Scary Mommy, which honestly made my head spin! As an experienced Mom myself, I thought I would respond with a post of my own. Melissa’s article is “5 Things Experienced Moms Do When Visiting New Moms“.
Melissa says “assume after nine months of eating clean and healthy, she’s more than ready for a big ‘ol No. 1, supersized”. Are you kidding me? Most Moms cut themselves some slack during pregnancy and eat pretty much whatever they want. After giving birth most Mamas want to get their bodies back, and fit into their clothes again. How is a supersized fast food meal going to help? In addition, she is tired and taking care of a newborn; she isn’t going to be cooking real food for a bit.
She’ll eat plenty of fast food on her own; there is no need to deliver it to her couch.When the baby falls asleep in the car she’ll probably eat dinner right there in the driver’s seat. Bring her some good food and offer to go on a walk with her and the baby when she’s ready. Those of us with experience will throw together a delicious healthy meal that her family will love.
No Labor Stories or Small Talk
I agree that new Moms don’t want visitors to show up ready to rehash their birthing stories. Come on though…”take her baby” and then clean her house while she showers? Most mothers are not trusting their baby to a neighbor or co-worker that they don’t know well.
When people come over and clean a woman’s house, she probably takes offensive. If you want to come over to hang out, call first. Be considerate, tell her she looks beautiful and don’t tell her to go shower. You could ask if she would like a break to shower or some help with dishes…that would be nice. Sit with a friend and overlook the chaos that may be her house. If you don’t want to ask if she needs help, just drop off food and let that Mama do what she needs to do.
Empty and Fill Up Everything
Again…no. Melissa suggested taking someone’s car and filling it up, even if she says not to do it. Don’t you dare touch my truck if I’ve told you not to. You want to be helpful and that’s wonderful, but now you are the overbearing “inevitable friend“. An experienced Mom respects boundaries even when they are laid down. Now I just want you out of my house. Seriously…just go away.
Paint Her Toenails and Blow Out Her Hair
Unless you are my sister, Mom or best friend…No! I don’t want a casual friend painting my nails, braiding my hair or otherwise getting into my personal bubble. With a baby constantly attached to her this Mama probably just wants personal space. Spending 45 minutes drying her hair? Melissa you’re wrong here too. I wouldn’t cry tears of joy. The only weeping I would be do would be due to you not leaving me alone.
Doing the “been there, done that” speech is hard to do as an acquaintance or casual friend…most of the time it comes off cold. An experienced Mom will say that she remembers what it’s like and that it’s HARD. She’ll offer to do specific things that she think might help and then respect it if the new Mom declines. Yes Melissa, good job in telling that scared and tired Mommy that she’s a great mother. That baby is damn lucky to have her, and soon she’ll be the experienced mom.
The thing I hope you change the most is backing off. Your needs for new baby smell and making a friend doesn’t trump her needs. Instead of gaining a new friend you might just end up with a woman who can’t stand you. Oh, and if you are as persistent as you seem, you might end up with a police record.