If you’re trying to make small talk with a new mom, or a stay at home mom, please refrain from asking “So what do you do all day?”.
Stop. Think for a second. Then find something else to talk about. Compliment how cute her baby is. Ask her if she’s enjoying the weather we’re having. Ask her what she had for dinner last night, so she can laugh and tell you all about her half a cold toaster pancake and flat coca cola that she poured at noon but didn’t drink til 8pm. ANYTHING but “What do you do all day?”
Similar things to avoid are-
- So what have you been up to?
- Are you getting much accomplished?
- Must be nice to not have to work all day, eh?
- Basically anything that implies you think she has it easy.
I won’t lie. As far as babies go, I won the jackpot. My daughter has a happy disposition. She only cries when she’s hungry or tired. She’s been sleeping 10 hrs every night since she was 8 weeks old. At 9 months old we now have a ballin’ schedule that keeps us both happy.
So yeah, sometimes I do binge watch Netflix, because I can.
But it hasn’t always been this smooth for me. Not every day is perfect when you’re raising a tiny human. And not every mom has the luxury of a content baby.
Some days my daughter straight up refuses to nap anywhere but on my chest, under her grandpa’s old afghan while I watch anime and dream about that glass of coke that’s just out of reach. Some days she’s teething and in so much pain she won’t drink her bottle, and getting her to nap is like convincing a cat that it’s a good idea to go to the vet. Just a great big NOPE.
Some mother’s are dealing with colicky babies or are desperately trying to get breastfeeding to work out for them and spend hours and hours feeding and pumping. Feeding and pumping. Some of us have multiple children and are trying to keep up with them, keep the house clean while they destroy it in our wake, and think up something everyone will eat for dinner. Some of us just want a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes. A shower long enough that we can shave our legs, or sit down and cry a little…. because hormones.
If we truly answered your question of “So what do you do all day?” you’d have to excuse yourself from the conversation because you don’t actually have time to listen to us because you need to get to work. We need to get back to work too. Our work is raising the human who will one day take over that job you think means you’re accomplishing something all day.
Actually, do me a favour and avoid small talk all together. If you’re only talking to me because you feel obligated to do so, just don’t. If you think you’re being polite by asking how things are going, you’re going about it all wrong. Ask new moms, just mothers in general, questions that show us you actually give a shit.
- Are you and baby getting much sleep?
- How’s breast feeding going? and/or How’s baby taking to formula?
- Is baby rolling/crawling/walking yet?
- How are you and your spouse doing?
- Is there anything I can do to help?
The last thing a mom wants to feel is that she’s isn’t doing enough. Our first and most important goal is making sure we’re doing enough for our family. So please, just assume that we’re doing plenty. Because we are.