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When I had my daughter, there were a lot of things people didn't tell me about having kids. I wasn't expecting everyone to mommy-shame me. I wasn't expecting everyone to forget I existed as a human being, or for everyone to forget that a mom's needs matter, too.
To a point though, I did expect some judgy behavior from everyone. However, the sheer amount of fights I got into with people was shocking—especially when it came to my own mother.
Later on, I found out that fights with your parents over the new baby was actually standard fare. From what I later found out from a fellow mom friend, there are some fights every new mom has with family, including the arguments below.
"Breast is best!"
I don't need to explain why this is one of the fights every new mom has with her mother, mom friends, neighbors, or in-laws. Yes, studies have shown that breastfeeding is a great choice for the baby and mother alike.
Not everyone can breastfeed, is willing to breastfeed, or is capable of putting their entire life on pause so baby can get boob juice. For some reason beyond my understanding, a huge portion of society has decided it's okay to tell new moms how to feed their kids and treat them like a war criminal if they can't kowtow to this demand.
Seriously. It's insane, cruel, intrusive, and incredibly rude to shame new sleep-deprived moms for not breastfeeding. How about we just stick to "fed is best," served with a hot cup of STFU to people who feel the need to voice their opinions?
"Cry it out? Are you a monster?!"
Another one of the fights every new mom has with others deals with the "cry it out" routine. Some parents need to be a buttinski and tell moms that they are animals for allowing kids to just stay in a room and cry it out. Others think it's monstrous and will shove the screaming kid in your arms while you're trying to get sleep.
As long as the baby isn't sick or dying, people shouldn't judge. It's fine. Leave the kid alone. Or don't. Just stop caring and mind your own business. New moms do not need to hear your unsolicited parenting advice.
"So, when are you getting your body back?"
When you're a mom, you are no longer a person to a sizable portion of the population. This is what I've personally experienced when I just had my kid. This means that, yes, your body and weight are also up for criticism.
Sadly this means that this is one of the fights every new mom has with her mother—at least, if you have a narcissistic parent. Usually, the ones who mention a new mom's weight tend to be the fathers of said child.
Regardless of who says it, they should be aware that life insurance policies don't cover whatever actions homicidal post-partum women end up taking once you pull chocolate cake away from them.
"Why won't you let me smoke around the kid? I did the same around you and you turned out fine."
If you have smoker parents, then you already know that this is one of the fights every new mom has with her mother or other smoker in the family. To be fair, it's probably fine as long as they don't do it around the kid all the time.
Or not. Well, whatever. You're the new mom, you call the shots. Anyone else who disagrees can kick rocks.
"Stop drinking! You're breastfeeding."
The baby is out already. The new mom is sleep-deprived and a post-partum mess. The wine is quite possibly the only thing that's keeping her from having a mental breakdown between the lack of sleep, hormone fluctuations, and pure rage involving judgy parents and in-laws.
Speaking as a mom, there are certain fights every new mom has with people that can be won. This is not one of them. This is how people end up dying.
Give. Her. The. Wine. ALL OF IT.
Now, slowly back away, thank your lucky stars it wasn't something harder she's using, and shut your mouth. Good. You might survive.
"Wait, you can't possibly go to work so soon after having baby, right?"
Yes, yes she can. Much like the topic of breastfeeding, this is one of those fights every new mom has the moment the day of the baby's arrival happens. Also like breastfeeding, this is an incredibly judgy way to behave and involves personal decisions that are NOT YOUR BUSINESS.
Being a mom who isn't a stay-at-home doesn't make her a bad mom. It makes her a mom who's willing to work her ass off in order to put food in the baby's mouth.
If you aren't personally shelling out all the money for that kid's food, diapers, and clothing, you need to close your mouth. All that you're doing, literally, is shaming a woman for being poor.
Who does that? Not anyone I'd like to be friends with, that's for sure. Poverty shaming should not be acceptable in polite society.
"Can't we stay and hang out a little bit longer?"
I just want to fully understand how people think this is a wise idea to ask. You know new moms are sleep-deprived and miss the nights when things were quiet as can be. The baby is literally crying every five seconds. She's already playing host despite not having slept in a month or so.
And now you want to stay longer?
Nope. The answer is no. The fact that this is one of the fights every new mom has with her parents and in-laws shows how little people take into account the needs of a brand new parent.
"You really don't know how to parent. Let ME do it."
A lot of grandparents have a tendency to immediately steamroll new moms by just taking control of every little aspect of the baby's childrearing. It's hurtful and undermines a new parent's confidence in themselves.
Believe it or not, a huge portion of the fights every new mom has with her mother is about actually having the older parent take them seriously. Mom, it's good to know you care. However, it's time for a new mom to take the reigns.
Thankfully, I avoided this by having an open adoption arrangement with my kid. I'm pretty happy about it. Bullet dodged.
"Don't feed the kid that! Do you want it to die?"
Whether it's milk with honey, vodka, or Monster Energy drink, there's always one or two foods that you feed your kid that your parent may think should stay off limits—or vice versa. This is why the issue of kids' diets is one of the most common fights every new mom has with her mother.
Eventually, the kid will grow up and make its own decisions. So, realistically, you only have to argue about this for a short-ish period of time.
"In my day..."
Yes, ma. In "your day" the baby was a free-range animal that was able to naturally forage in the woods or something. These days, moms are expected to be far more attentive than they used to be—and that means a lot more "coddling" as you'd say.
So many fights every new mom has with her own mom has this statement as the firestarter. If you want to avoid it from making a new mom feel worse, just think about the now and trust that she understands mom culture better.