What _not_ to say to a relatively new mom

table-rest tried-new-mom

So, I made my way to my local food store to get my usual stash of precooked and easy to assemble meals. Yes, I am yet to learn to cook from scratch – but there’s been a lot on my plate lately (note the play on words – my dexterity with words seems not to suffer from sleep deprivation!). I had just popped on my gym kit (I had NO intention of actually going to gym, but it was lying on the top of my semi-clean clothing) and tied my hair into a semi top knot (glad this became a trend as it’s the ultimate mom hairstyle). I had on no make-up and was actually feeling relatively confident that I had things under control and looked like a healthy functioning member of society. I grabbed a trolley and started my expedition down the aisles. Halfway through, a fellow packing the shelves volunteered his opinion, “No offence, but wow, you look really, really tired.” I was taken aback at his comment for two reasons. Firstly, most times, people actually say hello first before launching into an unwanted opinion. And secondly, when did we become so familiar?

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I wanted to launch into a full steam verbal onslaught, but politely smiled and said, “Thank you.” Yes, motherhood is tiring – even with support. And MOST statements started with “No offence” DO offend! To all the moms out there who have been told they look “tired” – yes, you might look tired, but you’re doing a brilliant job at raising a little human being. That “job” does require long hours and makes the notion of 8 continuous hours of sleep a distant memory. Even when my son does sleep uninterruptedly, I find myself checking the monitor or creeping up to his cot to check that he is breathing 🙂 Take a deep breath. Or as they say in Afrikaans – “Kyk noord, #&*@$ voort ;-)” I’ve heard it gets easier. But, I’m calling in a sleep trainer … just in case. Please do share your story below on sleep deprivation or any other anecdote on parenting. 🙂

Oh and for laughs, a friend sent me this link to a music video for moms 😉

And while we’re on the subject of cute videos about parenting – check out this link too.


Modern Mommy Written by:


  1. chrisanta nair
    Tue, 11 November 2014

    Hi jo ann!
    Love the blog,I’m a new mummy of a 9month old and gosh during the day his hands on all the time and his crawling now,I’m still breastfedding him aswell,its extreamly tiring because even tjo he is on solids he still wants all his milk especailly during the night…I try n get short naps more of ‘power naps’

    • Tue, 11 November 2014

      It is quite a hand full! Actually, a few hands full 😉 But, the best experience in the world! All the best with your little one. xx MM

  2. Busi Diko
    Tue, 11 November 2014

    Yes motherhood is a fulltime job especially with a small baby who doesnt sleep through the night. I love the blog even though I’m not a new mother.

    • Tue, 11 November 2014

      Yip, it is all consuming 😉 Thanks for reading the blog, Busi 🙂 xx MM

  3. Tue, 11 November 2014

    One of the worst things someone said to me (and it was quite a few years after my last pregnancy!), was “I can see number 3 is on the way”!
    Think I must have been terribly premenstrual, but definitely not pregnant!

  4. Glynis Gossmann
    Tue, 11 November 2014

    Only someone who has been through the drill knows the feeling and does not comment on how tired one looks. In my heart when I do see a “tired mom” it brings back memories of bonding at 2am with my baby that I will never experience again. That feeling when they’e solely dependant on you and no one else is heart warming to me. I have 3 kids (11,7,2), a full time job, a full time cook, cleaner and everything full time and I feel I want to go mad sometimes but I look at those sleeping angels and I know I’m doing the best I can. And when they all tell me that they love me is the best feeling. And after 3 kids I have finally accepted the fact that I will never have the pre preggy 32 I once was. I wear my “honour marks” with pride. To you, MM, well done and thank you for “keeping it real”

  5. Naralda Amien
    Tue, 11 November 2014

    My Kids are 6 and 4 and I’m lucky if I have uninterrupted sleep since the 4 year old will wake up and call from his room!

    I work and come home to a night shift because it’s cooking, cleaning getting ready for the next day, most days I feel like a hamster on a wheel! I miss my SA life where I had help from family and a maid! Here I have to do it on my own!

    You always look so poised and elegant, reminds me of that quote, “Be like a duck, calm on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath” it’s tough being a mom, so much happens behind the scenes that we have to cope with!

    You are a good mom and doing great so far don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

  6. Jo
    Tue, 11 November 2014

    Hello Jo Ann,
    What a great post, thanks! I am not yet a mom, however i do enjoy following your blog!I did get the same “unwanted comment” the other week after a sleepless night and got so irritated. People need to mind their own business!
    Bst rgds from Germany

  7. Tracey
    Wed, 12 November 2014

    hey love the blog. makes me think what’s in store. Im 28 weeks pregnant and have insomnia for the past few days. But the excitement is building up. People have commented and said I look drained. But being pregnant is no joke. Then you get the moms who just glow and look wonderful. But thanks Jo-Ann love reading ur post. ♥♥♥

  8. Wed, 12 November 2014

    Hi there Jo Ann!

    I once asked my mom: “How do you handle all the sacrifices that comes with motherhood because damn, it looks like a lot of work!” 0_0 And she replied (with a smile): “When you have a kid one day, you’ll understand” 🙂

    Yumnah (31)

  9. busisiwe
    Mon, 29 December 2014

    I’m 20 weeks pregnant, it’s my second pregnancy my daughter is now six, this time around I feel is more hard to be pregnant, but so looking forward to hold that bundle of joy again

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