I only have 3 months of motherhood experience. But with the additional 9 months of being pregnant, I have a full year’s worth of experience of being a punching bag for advice-givers. I can take it! In fact, I welcome a lot of advice. One of the benefits of being a ClubMom member is unlimited access to parenting tips.
But there is one piece of advice that should never be offered, even if you’ve “been there”. It’s just two words.
Telling someone not to worry is not helpful and is kinda offensive because it implies that their feelings aren’t valid. And for moms, all we do is worry. So not worrying is not an option.
There were many things that have happened to me in the past year that have prompted me to write this post.
“I don’t have morning sickness. I hope the baby’s ok.”
“I’m zero centimeters dilated. I hope I don’t go too late.”
“My baby is breech. I hope she turns so I don’t have to have a c-section.”
Now I know that after all of those things, my baby and I are fine. Nothing was really that big of a deal. At the time, those worries were all-consuming, especially the worry about the c-section. I had spent 8.5 months preparing and planning for an unmedicated vaginal birth.
It is so easy to say “don’t worry” in response to someone else’s problem. It’s almost like a reflex. And I think we say it genuinely because we hate to see a loved one fret. We’re totally all guilty of saying it and will continue to be, simply because we are human.
Next time a friend comes to you with an issue or is stressing out about something, I urge you to pause before you say “don’t worry” and to instead think about it for a minute. Maybe you know that the baby’s erratic sleep schedule is just a phase or that having a c-section really isn’t that bad. But remember the brief period of time before you had that knowledge? Think about what you would tell your past self.