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The Real Reason Being a New Mom is Hard...


When you’re pregnant the door never goes unopened, people smile when they see your rounding belly, you're making plans for maternity photoshoots with fabulous glow portraits and many stores have an extremely nifty sign in the front parking spaces for “expecting mothers,” reducing the required waddling distance from vehicle to store.

Interestingly enough there are no front parking spaces labeled “new mom”, fewer people smile in awe at your beautiful bundle of crying-ness, and despite carrying a diaper bag, stroller, and car seat, fewer people hold the door as you juggle twenty some pounds. Herein lies a huge wake up call for the sleep deprived new mother.

If you pass a new mother on the street, or stop by to hold the baby, realize that this new mom is invariably struggling and there are a few things you can do to help.

The real reason it’s hard: The Mom you don’t know

  • When you’re pregnant men carry the groceries out to the car for you, women smile and share new born stories. People bring you food for no reason at all.
  • When you’re a new mom people watch you juggle a giant stroller, carseat, groceries, diaper bag, and purse without even pausing...
  • People stare at new mom’s with death glares when their colicky, hungry baby is crying bloody murder in the store, like they don’t remember being a hungry, sleepy, overwhelmed new mom, just trying to pick up some dang groceries.
  • People ask inappropriate questions like:
  • “Are you working out yet” (or any variation of baby weight questions)
  • {pity voice} “Aww the baby is going to go to daycare”- which make the new mother feel guilty as heck, and makes her question all of her life decisions.
  • {pity voice} “Oh! They’re not sleeping through the night yet?”

What you should do: Either help a lady out, or just don’t look at her, and don’t say anything.

The real reason it’s hard: The struggling Mom you know and love:

  • Guests sit down and play with the new baby without bringing the new (also starving) mom food for the evening (plus some leftovers), and offering to help with something.
  • When you're pregnant, people promise snacks, dinners, and help!
  • Friend sits down and reveals all of the world news of death, murder, and child kidnappings.
  • Mom waits all day for a guest to arrive, and they are late!
  • Mom waits all day for you to arrive, and then you tell the exhausted mom that the human she just pushed out of her body has a weird shaped head….

What you should do:This is the time to assure your friend/sister/daughter that her life is safe and sound and she’s making really great decisions for her family. That she is an awesome mom, to a beautiful baby. Also: clean something up, and bring her the food you promised.

The real reason it’s hard: The Struggling Mom that Is your Wife/Partner:

  • You mosey in after talking to the neighbor, or on the phone to your mother. She was awaiting your return, she’s tired, she’s lonely and she wants your help.
  • You ask, or say any variation of the following:
  •     “What’s for dinner”
  •     “Why is the house so messy”
  •     “What have you been doing all day”
  •     “When are you going back to work?” Or any other work related questions. Realize that this will need to be a joint decision, and she needs to feel supported 100%.
  •     “Man, I had a really hard day, can I just sit down and relax for a second?”
  •     “I am so tired”
  •     “My mom/coworker (any lady you have ever known, met, or loved) said you should try….”
  •     “When do you plan to start working out again?”
  •     “Why are you so tired”
  •      "Wow! I thought you were going to be less hungry now!”
  • When she was pregnant you brought her snacks, carried the groceries, and treated her like she was a fragile doll.
  •      Now that she’s popped a human out you think she can carry the car seat, strap the baby in safely after she already spent 3 hours trying to put the little guy to sleep and is extremely afraid of waking them up, and that somehow the hunger pains        would have gone away by now.

What you should do: bring her a present that makes being a struggling mom a little easier, prepared dinner, and start her bath while you take the dogs and baby on a walk.

Lauren Penrod's picture
Expecting Mother

Lauren Penrod is the mother to two poodle mixes and is expecting her first child in November. She was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and spends her free time writing, decorating, and planning too far into the future.