"Enjoy your time off!" 20 things you should never, ever say to someone on maternity leave.

When it comes to both pregnancy and parenting, it seems everyone has something to say.

Family, friends and colleagues often offer unsolicited advice and opinions that aren't always that helpful. And that includes comments about maternity leave.

We asked mums in the Mamamia community what they wish people would stop saying to someone on maternity leave. Here's what they shared.

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1. "What are you going to do all day?" - Nicola.

2. "'Enjoy the time off!' ... because it is not time off, it's 24/7 unpaid labour." - Leigh.

3. "Assuming someone will take a year at least and being shocked if they don't." - Cliona.

4. "When I went on maternity leave, everyone kept saying how I was leaving them and made it sound like I was dying. I had to keep reminding them I was coming back." - Emily.

5. "You’re so lucky to get a holiday!" - Elizabeth.

6. "'You'll have heaps of time to work on your own thing or your business and catch up on reading.' ... Nope." - Madeline.

7. "People kept saying how nice it must be to not have to go to work - WORK IS EASY, NEW MUMMING IS REALLY HARD." - Claire.

8. "Will you be breastfeeding? You sure you’re not having twins?" - Mel.

9. "'Sleep as much as you can before the baby arrives, because you’ll never sleep again!' 1. Unhelpful. 2. It doesn’t work like that." - Rachel.


10. "I got told I’m 'too smart' to take a year off and I’ll get bored at home with my baby. Lol! I'd love to be bored!" Gioenne.

11. "When people asked how I was feeling and I answered 'excited' what always followed (by mothers of multiple children) was an evil laugh and then a 'just you wait'. At 38 weeks I'd had enough, and I looked a woman dead in the eye and sympathetically asked, 'Oh no. Do you regret having children?'" - Kat.

12. "'Bet you'll miss working!' ... Um, a newborn is not like a poolside margarita!" - Casey.

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13. "My husband switched to part-time work to share care of the baby and when he tells people, he gets a variety of crazy replies: 'Is that by choice?' And, 'Oh, for how long?' No one would ask a woman that!" - Olivia.

14. "You’re not talking 12 months off, why?" - Jess.

15. "When people comment that you are a 'lady of leisure' by getting to spend time at cafes, having lunch, etc. I have never enjoyed sitting at a cafe any less than when I have my kids in tow. You're often trying to juggle nursing a baby while trying to eat or drink your own lunch... and then don't even bother if you have a toddler in tow while on your second or third mat leave. Everyone ends up walking out in tears... you included. It's hard." - Michelle.

16. "I've seen maternity send-offs being called 'farewells' and honestly WTF." - Kendall.

17. "'You don’t know what tired is yet.' That pissed me off so much because both my pregnancies were quite hard and I actually got better sleep after my second was born than I did while pregnant with her. It’s not helpful to tell an extremely tired person that they’re going to be more tired." - Mich.

18. "Things about being lucky, etc, because you can 'afford' to have the time off while others can't." - Erin.

19. "I always hated the 'I bet you don't come back' comments." - Rikki.

20. "You're only going to come back part time, right?" - Charity.

Is there anything you'd add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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