The “Question Game” never ends for new moms.
Just like Moms never stop asking questions, Moms also never stop answering questions. Most of the time, the questions being thrown around are from people who are pregnant or those who are genuinely curious about the chaotic world of motherhood. Whether the questions come from social media forums, friends, or strangers at the grocery store, one thing is for certain: the questions never stop.
Many moms love answering questions from others. It makes them feel empowered being able to share some of their experiences with others – whether they be good or bad. Even sharing negative experiences with a mom-to-be can be helpful when she faces a similar situation. Any story or support is often helpful and new moms often laugh kindly at questions being asked or give raw, real responses that can benefit the person asking.
On the other hand, Moms also get faced with inquiries that leave them confused, frustrated, and annoyed. This may be because of a negative experience with the topic, a repeated question they are just tired of answering, or because the question was asked out of spite. It’s unfortunate people ask questions they already know the answer to but ask anyway to get under someone’s skin.
When bothersome questions are asked, the person standing in the “response shoes” has a few ways to handle the situation: give a quick, blunt, straight-forward answer, glue on a smile and try to be genuine, or walk away before the situation makes Mama explode.
Before my twins were born, I was absolutely okay if breastfeeding didn’t happen. I knew the benefits of it, but I also knew the possible struggles connected with it as well. Being I was already anxiety-ridden, I did not want the feeding of my children to be yet another stressor. Therefore, I made it very clear from the get-go that formula-feeding was fine for our family.
The number of times others moms, family members, and medical professionals told me about the bond breastfeeding brings to a mother and child was astounding. Repeatedly I would nod and say, “I understand, but there are other ways to bond with your child too” and move on. However, more times than not, the conversation would continue – and so would my frustration and discomfort.
When a mom is sure about their parenting style – respect their decisions and move on alongside them.
For “moms of multiples” or moms who have more than one child, this question may be one you often hear. Most of the time it is said in a laughable sense, but even with the easygoing overtone, it can still be a tough one to respond to. You don’t ever want to think about who may be your favorite because it can make a mama’s brain fill with mixed, messy emotions.
Every child is wonderful, wild, and wicked in their own way. Therefore, every child has their moments of being the “favorite.” Sometimes it can be tough looking at it in that light, but after all the times I have been asked this question, that response has been the most comfortable.
“Our daughter started wearing glasses at six-months-old and people would constantly give looks of pity and ask, ‘What’s wrong with her?’"
"No one asks an adult wearing glasses ‘what’s wrong with you?’” explains mom of two, Cari Roraback. “Now that she’s four, it doesn’t come up as much since I guess it’s not as unusual.”
It is unfortunate people make assumptions and throw hurtful phrases out there without thinking about the situation as a whole. Stepping into the shoes of the mom or dad in the scenario before quickly asking a question or saying something you’re unsure about is critical.
Whether someone is a pre-teen, a teenager, a college student, or a new mom, it is clear every phase of life has positives and negatives. So when someone asks a new mom about their “old life,” it can be mentally and emotionally straining.
If a mom is struggling but wasn’t struggling as much during her pre-pregnancy days, she may feel an extreme amount of guilt admitting that she does, at times, miss her pre-pregnancy life.
She may fear admitting this because she loves her child with all her heart, but also misses that independent lifestyle. This question is tough. It is important to think about your words before asking it and think about the person you are asking it to.
This could be the most famously frustrating question of all. Even though some people are okay with this question, many others are not.
It can be a tough question to answer if the person answering it has had difficulty conceiving or is struggling with postpartum depressions or baby blues.
Also, maybe that family is content with having one child and that question may come off to them as insulting.
“You have to have another one – he needs a friend.” Mom of one, Michelle Eisele, has heard this kind of question before and it can be a tough one to face at times. “They have no idea that I was struggling with anxiety and adjusting to our new life,” she admits.
For some moms, going through the ins and outs of adding one child to the family can be tough and when someone throws this question at them, it only adds to the anxiety.
Very early on after my girls were born, I left them with my mom. I was facing quite a bit of cabin fever and needed to get the heck out. I was also not taking care of my mental and physical self appropriately and by taking time to focus on my well-being would benefit both myself and the girls. However, some people would ask this question with raised eyebrows and a judgmental tone, leaving me to feel guilty for taking this time away.
Even though I miss them dearly during our time apart (whether it be for fifteen minutes or a few hours), I understand the importance of these spurts of separation. At first, this question bothered me because I wondered why I was okay leaving my girls while other moms could not – did it make me a bad mom? Now, I do not question those few hours here and there I spend away; it is mentally healthy to find time for yourself and it took me a while to get to that understanding without feeling guilty.
This question definitely makes the top three when it comes to popularly asked (or thought about) questions. Breastfeeding, pumping, and formula-feeding seem to cause quite a stir in the motherhood realm. While one mom may think her way is right, the next mom will disagree.
Many people find breastfeeding after a certain age to be somewhat risqué or inappropriate, while breastfeeding moms see it simply as keeping their child healthy and fed.
“I breastfed my daughter until 20 months when she self-weaned,” says Alison Jade when it comes to responding to this frustrating question. Gretchen Granholm, mama of five, agrees with the frustrating factor attached to the question.
“I’d totally be okay if people, family, and friends would stop asking when I’m going to stop nursing my 15-month-old,” says Gretchen. “My business; my body.”
There are many, many different kinds of twins. Some twins are identical and share absolutely every feature while other twins are different genders. Fraternal twins can share the same placenta and amniotic sac or have completely different placentas and amniotic sacs. Some twins even share the same placenta but have different amniotic sacs.
However, no matter what, if they grew together inside the same woman and were born together – they are twins.
When strangers look at my twins and question them being twins at all, it can be tough. Even though it is typically a curious, genuine question, when it happens during a stressful, “mom moment” – it can be tricky. I try to remember that strangers or parents of singletons often don’t know the ins and outs of “twinhood” and don’t mean to sound hurtful. However, it isn’t always the most comfortable situation to face.
Stay-at-home or work-from-home mamas get stigmatized as mothers who sip coffee all day, play all day with their babies, and clean up the home while wearing a big smile on their face. This vision is a very traditional, unrealistic vision that needs to be burned.
Being a work-from-home mom, I have gotten the “you’re so lucky to bond with your babies all day” and “don’t you love playing all day with your babies” statements numerous times. Though these statements are true and, yes, I love spending quality time with them – that is not all I do. Honestly, I don’t spend enough quality, bonding time with them as I would like because of the work that needs to get done and the cleaning that never ends.
“[Their dad] is Deaf, so people always ask me (I am Hard-of-Hearing) if my girls will learn American Sign Language when they ‘grow up,’ explains mom of two, Renee Saraceni. “My oldest is three and she signs now. She knows over 100 signs. I wonder how many people think their dad can’t communicate with them until they ‘grow up.’”
When a family dynamic is unique and American Sign Language is a prominent language in the household, such as Renee’s, children will catch on and learn the language before they ‘grow up.’ Also, children want to connect and communicate with their parents – so it happens sooner than later. Parents may grow frustrated when others think their children will have to “wait” to learn how to communicate with their loved ones. When something is an important part of the family dynamic, it becomes natural and necessary.
AND 10 THAT ARE JUST #BASIC
The famous cloth diaper question: Where does the poo go? For disposable diaper mamas, this is a legitimate question to ask. Is it wiped into the toilet? Is it thrown in with the rest of the dirty laundry? If it’s really that bad, is the diaper just thrown out? For cloth diaper mamas, this question can be a laughable one to hear – and a question they are faced with often.
“We cloth diapers and... babies poop?!” says mom of two, Renee Saraceni. “So, I always get asked what I do with the poop. Because we cloth, we don’t just throw it away. It gets thrown in the wash. It’s no different than when ‘sposie babies’ (disposable baby) have a blow-out and you got to wash their clothes.”
New mama, Kira Literalee also has been faced with this question. “I just add a pre-wash cycle for my cloth diapers and everything is good to go,” she explains.
Before having my c-section, I was always curious about the end product.
Would the scar be extremely visible? Would it heal well and without infection? Does it look like everyone else’s scar? So when people would ask to see mine (if they were close friends or family), I had absolutely no problem showing them the mark.
This question is often asked out of genuine curiosity and if the person asking is someone I feel comfortable with, showing them the incision only hands them over knowledge they didn’t have before. It can also be stress-relieving discussing the situation with someone else – especially if the surgery was stressful in itself.
This question is probably the most-heard questions for all new moms. This question starts being thrown around starting that first trimester of pregnancy and really doesn’t stop until the babies have grown quite a bit.
Though it can be an annoying question to be asked over and over again, the question is typically genuine. People truly want to make sure Mom is feeling okay.
It’s known that a new mama will be blown over with joy and love and stress. However, this question is often not meant to hurt someone’s feelings. It is asked out of pure curiosity.
And you can always answer it with quite a story or two.
“Why don’t you just sleep when the baby sleeps,” is a question Chelsea Swan, mom of one, has heard quite often.
This topic is probably a popular topic discussed amongst many new parents because, well, sleep is a cherished pastime for many. When it is asked, it can bring forward many laughable emotions because mixed feelings come with the concept of “sleeping when Baby sleeps.”
“Because then I actually have a free moment to clean, or do anything for myself. And I’m so overtired that sleeping isn’t easy anyways,”
Chelsea explains regarding the question that even though taking a nap when the little one naps can happen once and a while, for many moms that time is precious time to get things done.
This question can mean many, many things. More times than not, the words “down there” can be replaced with quite a few different words. However, when this kind of question is asked, many women simply laugh it off – especially if a friend, family member, or close acquaintance is the one asking it. If it is someone they feel incredibly close to, they will probably give them a straight-forward, clear response – and it may not be the most appropriate or attractive answer, either.
Motherhood is a beautiful time, but it truly impacts a woman’s physical and mental state.
When someone is able to laugh at their situation and discuss how the process went, it can be a weight lifted off their shoulders. Sharing this kind of private information could be beneficial for both the mom and the person listening if they someday want to become a mom.
Moms see their children in many different lights. Sometimes their little one may be sweet and cooperative while at other times they may be tougher than tough. Since Moms see all sides of their children, it can be funny when someone makes a comment about their little one’s behavior. This can be especially funny when the person asking the question has absolutely no idea how that child can be behind closed doors.
“I bet she’s just a perfect angel at home, huh?” Alison Jade, mom of one, has heard this question before regarding her little one. “My daughter is like Rosemary's baby,” laughs Alison when thinking of what runs through her mind when the question is asked.
When this question is asked, I often want to turn it around and respond with, “Haven’t you wondered what it tastes like?” I have turned this question around a few times and the responses are either shrugs of disgust or curious nods. More times than not, the reaction is the latter and people do wonder what the heck pureed baby food tastes like.
Whether the puree is homemade in a Baby Bullet or purchased at the store, one thing is clear: more times than not, it literally tastes like mashed up fruits or vegetables. There is nothing extremely surprising about the taste of baby food. Sometimes, the food actually does taste flavorful. The question is one many parents laugh about because they may have wondered the same thing before wearing the “parent hat.”
“Is he happy all the time? He’s just such a happy baby.” Mom of one, Michelle Eisele, has heard these statements before. Even though they are kind-hearted, genuine words, they also can make a mom’s head spin with mixed emotions. She may feel grateful for hearing such thoughtful words and appreciate the pick-me-up. However, if she has struggled with coming to terms with all that motherhood entails, this statement may bring her back to reality.
“He would scream for over an hour straight with deafening cries for no reason,” says Michelle of her ‘always happy baby.’
Though this question isn’t meant to be hurtful, it can often make a mom do the opposite of what the sentence meant to do – that is, bring her back to those tough, tricky mom moments.
Motherhood is a busy, busy time. For many new moms, motherhood is both the most joyous time of their life as well as the most stressful. This can be hard to see as well as hard to accept when you are a new parent. You want every moment spent as a mother to be cherished and perfect. However, that isn’t always the case.
Moms definitely have their hands full and that statement is truer than true... No need to rub it in!
Between feedings, laundry, dishes, packing for appointments, getting to appointments, giving baths, and taking time for herself – Mom is truly a superwoman (even on the days she doesn’t feel like she is).
A funny, ironic question some Moms are faced with is whether or not their little ones are twins. The humorous part of this question is that most of the time, the answer is “no.” Of course, there are situations when people will ask this of a twin mama’s fraternal twins. However, if a mom has children around the same age with similar features and behaviors, this question can happen on the regular.
“No, he’s three and this guy is one,” says mom of three, Beth Ann, regarding her response when people ask this question. “Or for my daughter and her best friend. No. Not even from the same uterus!”