1. You look tired. Well, I'll just say it: duh. Of course we look tired. You try sleeping with a baby alarm pre-set to disrupt your sleep every two hours. Those things are totally relentless. Tired is a given. Therefore, I feel this statement needs to be said with the same regularity as: 'Oh look! You have a nose!'
Here's the other thing; everyone knows that 'tired' is really code for 'terrible' and no one really wants to be told they look terrible. Not now, not ever.
2. You look great* That's right, you can't win in this department. I recommend just veering completely away from commenting on our looks. In fact, why don't you just promise to avert your gaze completely and save your comments for the baby?
See, we know we don't look great. We have mirrors. Most of us are still at least 20 pounds overweight, carrying the majority in our middle region (that includes belly, hips, and butt). And remember the 'tired' comment? We're talking baggy, puffy eyes that even the best concealer couldn't handle -- but who has time for concealer anyways? Our clothes don't fit right (maternity or otherwise) and odds are we spent more time today dressing the kid than we did dressing ourselves anyways.
So don't patronize us.
The only exception here is for those freaky women who only gain ten pounds and shrink back into their size 2 pants after a month. But those bitches might only exist on the covers of magazines and even then it's airbrushed.
BTW: Big kudos to the Duchess of Cambridge for proudly sporting her post-baby bump to the world.
3. Unsolicited advice of any kind. Let's make a deal here, you don't tell me how to raise my kid and I won't tell you what car to drive, house to buy, career path to choose, or spouse to marry. It's freaky enough to be suddenly responsible for a helpless tiny person without everyone suddenly chiming in with how you're supposed to execute the endeavor. Plus it's often condescending and useless information anyways.
There are two exceptions.
A) Your advice is directly requested. This includes board-certified/licensed pediatric medical professionals whom my insurance company and I are paying specifically for said advice. Pretty sure that's not you, Target checkout lady!
B) If you witness something actually harmful being done to the baby/kiddo, like abuse or not vaccinating (couldn't resist...)
4. Any bragging or one-upping about your miracle child. The last thing a sleep-deprived new mom wants to hear is about how your angel slept for eight hours the night you brought him/her home. This also goes for the 'who has it worse' game. Don't get caught up in that mess.
News flash: you don't get an actual award for being the first back in your skinny jeans or for having to stay up 36 hours straight with a gassy newborn. Once you start trying to prove you have/had it worse or better than the next new-mom/dad you've officially moved into d-bag territory and honestly, nobody wants that.
5. You think it's bad now? Just wait until...
Let us at least *think* there's a light at the end of the relentless baby-alarm tunnel. We know our babies will eventually become stubborn toddlers and later ornery teenagers, but we don't need you raining on our post-partum parade in order to point that out. It's like telling someone that the shiny new car they just spent nine months saving for will eventually start refusing to take gas and later quit wanting to be seen with you in public. Plus, statements like that make you look like an ungrateful and overly pessimistic parent, and ultimately land you over there in d-bag territory with the one-uppers.
*NOTE: please don't be offended if you have payed me what you believe to be a sincere compliment recently. I am not trying to be ungrateful, just making general statements about how us new-moms tend to feel about ourselves in the first few weeks. I will feel better about the compliments in 6 months when I (hopefully) do look good enough to justify a compliment.