10 things new mums wish you had said

Having a newborn can be an emotional time for mothers and sometimes we underestimate how much our words matter

I have a group of friends who are mothers. We recently talked about the fact that people's words can mean so much to a first time parent. We spoke about how vulnerable we were in those first few weeks and how one sentence was often enough to make us feel really low and how the same could be said for a positive sentence. A kind sentence was often the thing that carried us through the day. This was particularly the case for the friend who had post-natal depression for several months after she gave birth. 
We agreed that sometimes it is as much about the things that are not said. The support that just doesn't surface for whatever reason. Here are some of the things they wish had been said. 
  • I wish my mum told me that she was proud of me for breastfeeding. She spent every waking hour trying to convince me that bottle feeding would be easier. She meant well but all I wanted to hear from her was some support. It would have made all the difference.
  • I wish my husband had told me that I looked well when we went on our first date night. It was a big deal for me to be out alone without the baby. I felt good and enjoyed slapping on a bit of lippy and wearing my nice shoes. He never said a thing though. He's not a bad guy or anything – he just wouldn't think to say it and in that moment I really needed it as my body confidence was at an all-time low after giving birth.
  • I wish my GP had told me that post natal depression was normal. She listened and told me that we would “keep an eye on the moods” but she never explained how normal it was and how common it is. It would have made the experience a lot easier had I know that I wasn't alone in feeling this way.
  • I wish my friends had said I was invited to our usual girly brunch date. They “didn't think” I'd be up for it since becoming a mother recently but I would have loved the option. It made me feel very alone and as though things would now be different.
  • I wish the cashier had said hello. I was buying milk and bread after a really stressful morning of fussy baby and toddler tantrums. It was the first adult I had seen all day and the last one I would see as my husband was working late. Sometimes hello is all you need.
  • I wish my family had told me the baby looked like me. Even a tiny bit. I know it would have been a lie but after seventeen hours of labour all I was hearing was that my son was the spitting image of my husband. It makes me laugh now but I remember wishing someone would say it even though it was not true.
  • I wish that the local cafe had told me that there was no baby changing facilities. My baby was just a few weeks old and they welcomed me in with the pram to have my lunch. A poonami made for a very awkward situation whereby I had to change my baby on the floor of the restaurant trying to hide from the other diners. It was raining outside, I didn't drive and I literally had no other option. If I had of known I probably wouldn't have eaten there for this exact reason.
  • I wish other mothers had told me that I would become such an emotional mess. I do not wear my heart on my sleeve but since becoming a mother I could easily cry at an ad for cat food.
  • I wish the bus driver had told me that it was OK that I was ten cent short for the bus ride. Call it baby brain but I left the house with only notes and was a little bit short on the change. My baby was roaring crying in the buggy and he grunted and scolded me for “not thinking”. After five minutes of pleading with him in front of a packed bus I went home and cried my eyes out. The benefit of the doubt goes a long way sometimes.
  • I wish my girfriends told me that I would be OK when things didn't work out with the baby's father. I wish they empowered me and told me I could do this. I didn't need constant reminders of how difficult it was going to be going it alone.
Written by Tracey, mummy blogger and staff writer at www.familyfriendlyhq.ie.
Check out her own blog at www.loveofliving.blogspot.ie

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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