10 Questions You Should Really Be Asking New Moms

For some reason, once you become pregnant it seems like everyone thinks they no longer have to use discretion when it comes to making comments about your appearance, touching your growing baby bump, and giving unsolicited parenting advice. More often than not, the never-ending tips on how to hold your baby and how much you should be feeding them can be overwhelming to a new mom.

You can probably find a camp of moms that feels passionately about both ends of whatever the subject is when it comes to raising kids. And to make matters worse, telling a new mom that they’re doing something wrong can lead to mom guilt that they probably don’t need your help feeling because it comes with the territory.

When I asked a group of moms recently what they wished people were asking them when they were a new moms, this is what they had to say. Next time a friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker or whoever you know has a baby these are the questions you should be asking them if you really want to be helpful.


1. Do you need a break?

This might seem obvious, but asking this is much more helpful than saying, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” Even better would be to ask the question,” How can I make your life easier?” If she doesn’t know, offer to come over and do the laundry and dishes. Or ask if you can bring dinner or groceries.

2. Do you feel guilty about anything?

I don’t think I’ve met a single mom yet that didn’t experience mom guilt at some point or another. Asking this question can give the mom permission to tell you what is making her feel like she’s not good enough. Chances are, just saying it out loud will help her see that she isn’t a bad mom. But either way, you can still offer reassurance that what she’s feeling is normal. It might also lead to something else you can do to help in that situation.

3. What are you afraid of?

Having a baby is scary at times. Period. You’re now responsible for another human being’s life. As their mom, you definitely feel that pressure and it can cause anxiety. Often moms don’t realize that having scary thoughts about bad things that might happen to their baby is pretty common.

One of my favorite books is “Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts,” by Karen Kleiman. Kleiman says that over 90% of mothers have scary, intrusive thoughts about their babies and themselves. But the good news is that you can get help and you can work through them.

4. Are you eating?

The adjustment to being a new mom can be so overwhelming that moms often forget to take care of themselves. We’ve all had those days where we got so consumed in taking care of others and running around that we couldn’t remember if we ate breakfast and sometimes even lunch.

Moms have to make feeding themselves a priority just as much as they make feeding their babies a priority. If we aren’t getting enough protein and other nutrients, our mental health can also be affected. There are vitamins and minerals that have been depleted from your body when you go through childbirth and it’s important now more than ever to make sure you are replenishing them with a healthy diet.

5. How are you REALLY doing?

A common question that we ask new moms is, “How are you doing?” Often when people are asked that question, their response is quickly, “I’m fine!” Sometimes this response is just an automatic reaction because we don’t know if the other person really wants to hear the truth.

Other times, when we respond this way it’s because we are afraid to admit that we aren’t fine. There are also times when we’re struggling and we really don’t know that we aren’t ok. So asking, “Are you REALLY ok? I mean really? It’s ok if you aren’t” can be just enough to give a new mom permission to open up to you about how they really are.

6. Is your husband ok?

I know this is about moms, but husbands are often overlooked when it comes to postpartum mood disorders. One in ten dads experience postpartum depression and that number goes up to 50% when the mother is depressed. As many as 18% of dads develop a clinically significant anxiety disorder after becoming a father.

However, the stigma against experiencing difficulties in early parenthood is even higher for men than for women. Society views men as stoic, self-sacrificing, and above all, strong. When men feel none of those things as new fathers, they don’t want to admit it or seek help.

Postpartum Support International has virtual support groups for dads and is even sponsoring International Father’s Mental Health Day this year on June 19th. So don’t forget about the dads. Ask them how they’re doing too.

7. How are you handling your new roles?

Many moms get as little as 6 weeks maternity leave. Leaving your newborn and going back to work when your baby is barely sleeping more than 3 hours at a time is tough!

Going back to work and leaving them with someone else can feel horrifying, but some moms don’t have a choice.

There are also moms who have worked their whole life and defined themselves by their job, but decided to be a stay at home mom. Going from a working mom to one who doesn’t work outside of the home, can be isolating and confusing.

I’ve done both and neither are easy. So make sure to ask your friends how adjusting to their new role has been for them. Do they need help figuring out how to balance it all?

8. Better than questions, were the moms that just showed up.

The ones that said, “I’m bringing dinner tonight.” Or, “I’m picking up the non baby sibling for a playdate so you can nap.” Or I’m coming over with a bottle of wine and/or coffee. What is your favorite sweet treat so I can bring that too?”

Sometimes, new moms feel guilty about asking for help and they need you to just show up. Don’t ask, just do it.

9. Do you need to see a pelvic floor physical therapist?

Did you know that you shouldn’t have to hold it in so that you don’t pee yourself when you sneeze, cough, or exercise after having a baby? The focus of care after delivery gets shifted from the mother to the baby. And mom’s often don’t get any guidance on how to heal their bodies.

There are physical therapists who specialize in helping you retrain your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles so that you don’t have to continue holding it in forever. Empower Physical Therapy and Wellness was founded by two moms who get it. Their goal is to help guide you through the postpartum period so that you have a solid understanding of your body’s capabilities and how to safely return to exercise. Reach out to Aimee and Lauren if you have questions or to set up a free consultation.

10. What do you miss about your life before you were a mom?

I often ask moms this question when we start working together because it’s usually a good indicator of where we can begin. It helps me to understand what you’re passionate about and what brings you joy. We usually have to get creative and think of new ways to implement those old hobbies or activities that we used to do without having to plan ahead and find a babysitter. But that doesn’t mean it’s not doable. Finding your identity as a new mom is important. Yes it will change, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t still the same person and that you can’t enjoy your new life!

If you’re a new mom and you’re feeling like you don’t have the support you need, reach out to Patrice to see if working with her might be helpful to get you back to feeling like your old self again.

Nature is My Happy Place

As I was driving past the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge, GA Friday afternoon I remembered how much being in God’s beautiful creation is an instant mood lifter for me. There is especially something about water that makes me feel at peace- whether it’s a walk on the beach, laying on a beach towel listening to the waves breaking, standing on a paddle board floating down the river, or hearing rain drops hit the trees outside. It could even be as simple as drinking a glass of water or looking at a picture of the ocean.

I kind of grew up on the water. Some of my earliest memories are of climbing on my dad’s back and grabbing his neck as he swam underwater through the pool. I also remember learning to swim in the backyard pool of one of my parents’ teacher friends and mastering the art of floating on my back.  I joined the swim team around 4th grade and my summers soon became consumed spending my days at the community pool and weekends going to nearby towns for swim meets.

My dad taught a summer camp where you spent part of the time in the classroom learning about science and then you’d go outside to apply what you learned. We spent a lot of our time canoeing down the Peace River. I have some great memories of the strategically planned water fights where my dad and the other teachers would use their ice water from their lunches to soak certain students for payback while trying not to flip their canoes into the alligator infested waters. It’s funny to me how fearless of alligators we were back then. We actually sought them out and would try to see how many we could find in a given day. I guess that was all part of the learning component- teaching problem solving skills on how to safely canoe past them?

Yesterday my husband and I went on an adventure with our 3 and 6 year old boys to find a swinging bridge. We ventured out knowing that the road to get there might be a little rough,  but we have 4 wheel drive so we were confident. After a few pit stops and questioning whether or not we lost a car part in the bumps in the road we made it.

The short hike to the bridge was just right for our two whiny kids, but unfortunately the river was a little too deep and the water was moving too fast for swimming than we thought it would be. We had promised our boys they could swim and even let them wear their bathing suits. So we decided to head back to another spot near our cabin that we knew was rockier and would be better for climbing around on with two young kids. We missed our turn on the way back and almost spent the whole afternoon exploring the mountain roads of Georgia, but we finally found our way back to the spot we were looking for. It was definitely an adventure and although my idea of fun is different now that I’m a mom, I still found my joy in nature and I think my family did too.



May The Force Be With You

So this past weekend Star Wars fans celebrated May the 4th, and as I saw all of the different memes on social media I realized something.

What many of my friends probably don’t know about me is that I sometimes struggle with anxiety and depression. I actually have my whole life. This may seem crazy to you since I’m so good at hiding it, or maybe it’s pretty obvious to others.

Irregardless it’s there, and it’s real. I’m not going to get into why- that’s another post for another time maybe, but recently I’ve had a sort of spiritual awakening. A few wise people have told me before that I can control whether or not I’m happy. As much as I want to believe this, it’s not always that black and white for me.

I imagine it’s not for many people out there. Because depression can be so debilitating that you feel like it’s never going to get better. You feel hopeless. In fact the last thing you want to hear, is that you could get better by simply deciding to do it.


I even have a bracelet that is engraved with “Choose Joy.” The thing is, when I’m not depressed it makes sense to me that I’m in control of my emotions. It’s quite obvious that I can choose how I respond to things. I can look at the glass as half empty or half full.

I can see the positive side of a difficult situation and find something good that came out of it. But, there are still times in my life where I find that really hard to do. I forget that I AM in control. It’s sometimes difficult to see that, and I get trapped in the downward spiral of negative thinking.

Someone explained this to me in a really profound way that really helped me understand why this happens. When your brain is so used to negative thinking, the neural pathways that lead to negative thoughts are created more and more.

Then when you have a new experience you tend to go down those same paths that lead to a negative response, or The Dark Side.

In order to get yourself out of that hole or downward spiral of negative thinking, you have to create new pathways. You have to retrain your brain to see the positive outlook.

Practice Gratitude

One way to do this is to write a gratitude journal. You can start by writing 5 things you’re grateful for each day. I like to spend a few minutes writing down everything I’m grateful for.

It may seem hard to do at first, but it actually isn’t once you get started. It’s a great exercise for multiple reasons.

  • It helps to remind you of all the ways that you’ve been blessed.
  • It also helps you to see that things aren’t as bad as you thought they were.
  • More importantly, it creates those neural pathways that lead to joy. It’s pretty hard to feel grateful without feeling at least a little bit good about your life.

So, when I said “May The Force Be With You,” this is what I meant.  That I hope the next time life throws you a curveball, you have the strength to choose the path that leads to joy. And that you can avoid the one that takes you to the dark side.

Maybe remembering that phrase will be enough to help you recall all of the good things going on in your life and all that you have to offer.

My First Post

I’m officially a blogger! Now it’s time to let my creative juices flow.

What should I write about?

Let me start with telling you a little about myself. I love to travel, eat good food, have fun with my kids, get outside in nature, and work out. I’m hoping to figure out what else I love and dive deeper into these interests. Now I have a good space to write about that along the way!

I should also tell you why I started Mom Life With P. I’ve always enjoyed writing. Actually I should say there have been times in my life where I enjoyed it. I also remember how much I struggled with writing in college and high school because I was such a perfectionist. My writing always had to convey exactly what I was thinking, but also sound interesting to the reader. Looking back, I’m not really sure where that came from. But I still find myself thinking that way today.

Another passion of mine is helping people. As a stay at home mom, I have felt someone like I’ve lost sight of this passion- or maybe I’ve just shifted my focus to helping my kids. I went to graduate school to become a child therapist and went through the 3 year long process of becoming a licensed professional counselor, or LPC. Then when I had my 2nd son, my husband and I realized how much day care would cost for 2 kids at once! So we decided I would quit my job to save money and give me more time to spend with the kids.

Fast forward to now and my kids are both in school full time. So I’m finding myself wanting more. With my husband’s encouragement, I decided to use my passions of writing and helping people. So that’s how Mom Life With P was born! You can find more about me here!

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