My little family and I were recently at a family BBQ and it had been so long since we’ve seen my partner’s extended family, we were really enjoying ourselves in everyone’s company. But there was one thing I kept hearing that got tedious with me real fast.
I received comments saying, “You look skinnier/smaller/slimmer. You are almost back to your old (pre-baby) size”, and variations of such. I politely responded with a smile and a ‘thank you’ because I know it’s coming from a good place and they mean well. People wanted to ask about me and not ask about my baby because they care. I get it. But why did it have to be about my size or weight or lack thereof?
There are many things you can say to a mum (and not just new mums, all mums) that are not about her weight or her baby.
If you want to be helpful.
This is most applicable to mums with very small babies, be it her first one or not, but it’s still applicable to all mums too. In fact, if you really want to be helpful just go ahead and do things for her, because she’s probably going to feel guilty asking for any sort of help from anyone. But if you want to be polite and ask her, just position the question to get a simple yes or no answer (don’t leave it open-ended).
- “How many sugars do you take in your tea/coffee?”
- “I’m going to do your dishes/take out your rubbish/walk your dog.”
- “Can I hold your baby while you eat/sleep/shower/get some fresh air?” (The letting her eat part is very applicable for BBQ situations too.)
- “What is your favourite meal?” (Then drop it over at her house.)
- “If I send you a list of things I can help you with, do you promise to tick at least one of them?”