Silent support

When you enter motherhood, people talk.

About you, to you, for you.

Because a baby is exciting news.

Everyone is so invested.

Many feel like they can help.

And much of it is well-intentioned.

But there are some comments, no matter how or why they are delivered, that do anything but help.

“You’re not drinking”.

When a woman is pregnant but is yet to share her news, this comment can make for an awkward silence, or an earlier-than-she-was-comfortable-with disclosure because she’s been made to feel uncomfortable.

Quite simply, it’s not needed.

She will tell you when she’s ready.

Or she may just not want to have a drink tonight.

Please just “cheers” to her sparkling water and carry on.

“Are there two in there?”

A woman knows the size of her bump.

She marvels at it every single day.

She carries it around every single moment.

She does not need to be told how big she is perceived to be every single time she’s seen.

This comment is almost always said as a joke, and while the pregnant woman may laugh, it’s likely a cover.

Because her size is not a joke to her. 

Her body is not a painting in a gallery up for observation.

Her body is a home to a baby who is the perfect size for her.

“At least it happened early”.

A loss of a baby, is a loss of a baby.

When it happens on the pregnancy timeframe has absolutely no impact on the validity of that woman’s grief.

It’s hard to know what to say when trying to support a woman through loss, but please let it not be this.

It’s not taken as optimism.

It’s taken as insensitivity.

A woman needs permission to feel all she needs to and for others to help her find healing through that.

She has lost enough already.

“Just you wait”.

“Just you wait until they start walking” after a woman tells another she has her hands full with a crawler.

“Just you wait until you have more” after a woman tells another she is tired with one.

“Just you wait until you get to the birth” after a woman tells another how uncomfortable she is in the third trimester.

 How about “just you wait and think before making this comment”?

This phrase has a way of discrediting a mother’s experience with her current stage and can leave her fearful of what’s next.
It is entirely unhelpful.
It is also entirely unnecessary.

“Just ignore it”.

While some mothers may be able to ignore the sound of their own baby crying, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Many can’t or don’t do it.

Mothers feel their children’s hurt, because while they are separated at birth, they are still very much as one.

This comment can dismiss the baby’s feelings, but also the mother’s. It can also make the mother feel like she needs to go against her instinct. 
Both feelings matter.
And a mother’s intuition matters most.

“Enjoy every moment”

No matter how much a mother loves her children or how hard she tries to enjoy every moment, this is simply not possible.

There are many moments that make up motherhood and a large number of them test a mother in more ways than she could have imagined.

Factors such as sleep deprivation, big emotions, external pressures, overwhelm, the never enough time, and the general physical and mental exhaustion all play their part in making some moments less than enjoyable.

And not only can this comment set unrealistic expectations, but it can also place further unnecessary guilt on a mother when she inevitably experiences these less-than moments.

Motherhood can be so loud at the best of times,
But comments like this need to be silenced and replaced with questions of how she is doing.
Because you just never know when a mother is having some of her worst of times,And sometimes she just needs to be afforded the space to tell you.

A mother who has heard them all.

Read next: Questions not answers

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