This is an important community announcement for anyone who may come into contact with a new mother. There will be many questions you enthusiastically want answered, but please be aware, some are a tad irritating and should be given a wide berth.
To prevent future mothers from enduring these tedious queries, let’s get the word out there. The following questions are about as welcome as a cold sore:
1. “So what do you actually do all day?” (Asked by childless humans). This question is always accompanied by a confused screwed up face. The kind of expression you would enjoy removing with the back of your hand. It naively flies out the mouths of pesty people who assume your day is spent sipping tea and getting your nails shellacked.
If I’m being totally honest I’ll admit, some days can be pretty cruisy. I might sit on my derrière and watch a few episodes of The Housewives of Beverly Hills. I may cram in a nap, and I’m partial to a little Facebook stalking. But let’s not forget that I manage all of this WHILE KEEPING MY BABY ALIVE!
Explaining what you do all day as a stay at home mum is almost impossible. If you actually listed off every feed, soiled nappy change, and load of washing you did, you would bore the bejesus out of the questioner (and possibly send yourself into a slight depression).
The worst thing about this question is the insinuation that spending your days raising tomorrow’s future generation is somehow not enough of a contribution to society. Yes I know, very dramatic but I think you get my point. This question sucks!
2. “So do you want me to babysit?” (Asked by the baby’s father.) “Ummm, nah, how’s about you just parent your child?” I won’t throw my boyfriend under the bus here. Fortunately he knows when our son is in his care he isn’t pocketing $17 an hour. However, there are some fathers who think looking after their own child, by themselves, is somehow doing their partner a ‘favour’. I’d like to make it clear that babysitters usually come in the form of 18-year-old girls who need the extra cash to buy Passionfruit UDL’s on the weekend. Fathers do not classify as babysitters, just men raising their own offspring. I hope we have cleared this one up.
3. “Are you getting much sleep?” (Asked by
It could possibly be the excess hormones wildly rushing through my body that make this question so unpalatable. Although I’m sure you’d agree, this is the most ludicrous thing to ask a new mum.
Sleep deprivation starts off during pregnancy, when you suddenly need to spend more time on the toilet having a tinkle than in your own bed.* It then gets dramatically worse when the baby arrives. You find yourself shoving your boob, or a bottle, in a tiny mouth approximately 153 times a night.
I’m told tiredness eases up a smidge when your kid hits their teen years. Although many Saturday nights are spent lying in bed wide awake with worry. Your young adult is oblivious to this while out gallivanting around town, pashing anything with a heartbeat.
That beautiful, indulgent, uninterrupted sleep apparently doesn’t return until the nest is empty. For some reason by this age it seems like a wise idea to get up at 5.30am just to “get a full days gardening in”.
So basically that beautiful, nurturing, loving friend called ‘sleep’ turns into a back stabbing moll.
4. “You look amazing for having just had a baby.” (Technically this isn’t a question, but an infuriating comment all the same)
I haven’t studied at the Ponds Institute, but I’m pretty sure growing a human being inside your body, and then enduring 10 hours of labour, is not the perfect beauty regime. I know this because I resembled a bloated puffer fish after having my baby.
If people feel it necessary to comment on the state of a new mothers appearance why not just say just “you look amazing”. Full stop. Don’t add “…for just having had a baby”. It turns what could have been a lovely compliment into a reminder that you have wet patches where your nipples are, fish n chips could be fried in your oily hair, and you have bags under your eyes that put John English to shame.
I hope this announcement has been received loud and clear. If you have the need to ask a new mum a question make it “can I get you a cup of tea?” or perhaps, “would you like me to rub your swollen feet?” Otherwise it might be best to just zip it.
*My record was NINE times in one night. Too much information???
Ed’s note: This post was clearly written in jest. The author and moderator are reading comments and we will be deleting any that breach the comment rules – as well as all replies to those comments. Be nice people. And take a breath.
Katie “Monty” Dimond is a broadcaster and media personality. She has appeared on Channel Ten, Channel Nine, and Nova FM. She is currently busy being a full time Mum and loving it! You can follow her on Twitter here
Have you been asked any questions that drove you mad? Asked any questions that you immediately regretted?