10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone Who Has Had a Miscarriage

10 Things You Shouldn't Say to Someone Who Has Miscarried | Baby Chick

10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone Who Has Had a Miscarriage

From the Mouths of Women Who Have Experienced Miscarriage

Losing a baby to miscarriage is never something anyone wants to think about. Let alone talk about. But it happens every day. To women that we know. To women that we care about. And sometimes even to us.

For what seems to be a small number of women, miscarriage is easy to recover from. It happens, they heal and they really only think of or mention it when the topic of miscarriage comes up. But for a large number of women, miscarriage is a tremendous loss that feels no different than having a death in the family. And that loss continues to sting for years and years after the fact. Especially at important times like the holidays.

The March of Dimes states “An estimated 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage before a woman has missed her period and 10-15% of recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage.” So if you’ve never found yourself sitting across from someone who tells you they have miscarried, you likely will in the future.

what to say

So what IS the appropriate way to respond when someone tells you they have just miscarried?
Nothing at all?
Something tender?
Just let them talk?

Well to get this answer, I asked several of my friends who have experienced miscarriage to tell me what they did and did not want to hear after their loss. And while no two women or men are identical in their feelings and some people are okay with things that others are not, there seemed to be 10 phrases that were commonly cited as more hurtful than helpful.

what not to say

1. “Everything happens for a reason.”

While many people use this as their go-to explanation for hard things in life like a miscarriage, it is generally not helpful to say to a woman who is in pain because instead of acknowledging the pain that mother is experiencing, it makes her begin searching for reasons she is supposed to be in pain. One mother said, “It just made me mad, my mind went to thoughts like: Why? Because I shouldn’t be a mother? Because I did something wrong? And what could possibly be a good reason for us to suffer like this? I knew people were just trying to comfort me, but I couldn’t hear it how they meant it at that point.”

2. “This too shall pass.”

While meant to provide hope for the future, this phrase makes people in grief feel like you are trying to rush them through their current pain. Grief is a process. Healthy grief takes time. Let them hurt.

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3. “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”

While someone may find this to be true in retrospect, this phrase also makes people feel like they shouldn’t be hurting because they should be able to “handle” it. Mothers don’t want to be told they can handle the pain of a miscarriage, they want to know you get how much they are hurting. One mother shared, “It is better to say nothing than to hear those words” when you’re hurting.

4. “At least you haven’t bonded with the baby yet.”

No one knows the heart of another person. And whether a baby was 4 weeks along or 14, a mother can still feel loss and devastation at any part in the process. One mother said, “There was no way for her to possibly know if I had or how I felt. I was so excited and connected to that baby from the moment I knew.”

5. “So what happened medically? Did something cause you to miscarry?”

While this may sound innocent, asking physiological questions makes many moms feel they are the reason something happened to the baby. You may feel like you are just seeking information, but they may feel like you are placing blame on them. One mom shared, “Like I wanted to talk about that or even knew for that matter.”

6. “Did you know that Melissa also had a miscarriage and then had three healthy children?”

Again this is meant to provide hope, but when a mother does not know your friend Melissa, there is nothing personal to them about her story. One mother shared, “While empathy is great, second-hand accounts can get old. And of course I know that miscarriage is relatively common, but that rarely helps when you are the one in the middle of the personal heartbreak. And the thing is, for me, while miscarriage may be common, five miscarriages is NOT common, and that is my experience.”

7. “You just need to relax and quit worrying! Your body will be able to do it when it’s ready.”

This unintentionally places blame on the mom and makes them feel like they are responsible for having a vital pregnancy. This is like telling someone who just returned from the emergency room over ant bites to relax as they step into a big mound of ants–easier said than done. Additionally, you may not know their full circumstances. One mom shared, “It’s not like me being calm and stress-free was going to affect my husband’s low sperm count.”

8. “At least you have two other children.”

This is meant to help a mother remember the blessings she has, but it seems to only make her feel guilty for feeling hurt. One mom shared, “Yes, and I am grateful and full of love for them. However, it doesn’t take away the hurt for this loss or mean that I wanted this baby any less.”

9. People who say nothing at all.

If someone has taken time to tell you they have miscarried, it is better to say or do something than ignoring their pain. One mom shared, “Meals go a long way. An act of kindness sometimes says what someone can’t say. If you can’t think of something to say then at least do something for that Mom who, to her, has lost her child or sometimes worse – lost the child and hope of ever having one at all.” 

10. “You can try again.”

Again, this is meant to be hopeful, but if anything can make a mother or father feel rushed through the grief they are in and anxious of the future. One mom shared, “This was meant to make me look to a promise of a child in the future, but at the time I was devastated from the loss of my child and unable to think beyond that loss, let alone thinking of the probability that another pregnancy could end all too early.”

So now that you know the 10 things that are NOT helpful, here are 4 simple phrases that are helpful because they acknowledge a hurting mother’s pain while still expressing empathy and willingness to help.

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caring things to say

  • “I am sorry for your loss and that you are hurting.”
  • “I will be thinking/praying for you as you go through this pain. Not just today. But in the future too.”
  • “I am here to listen if you want to talk.”
  • “Let me know if there is anything I can do that would be helpful even if it is months down the line.”

If this article is true to your experience or if you find there is more you want to add, please comment and tell us about your experience. And if you think others might benefit from reading this, please hit share.

About the Author /

Quinn is a wife, boy mom (x’s 4), blogger at Sanctification and Spitup, host of the Renew You Podcast and licensed marriage and family therapist. She loves to encourage others in relationships through her speaking, writing or podcast episodes.

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What to Keep in Your Toddler's First Aid Kit ⛑️📦⁠
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Any pregnant mamas out there relate?⁠
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Anger. Rage. Frustration. Guilt. Shame. Remorse. A Anger. Rage. Frustration. Guilt. Shame. Remorse. Apologies. Self-digust. All make mothering complicated and layered with conflicting emotions.⁠
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Comic from "Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts" @familiustalk @brooklyn_rabbit⁠
Words & 📷: @postpartumstress⁠
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Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ❤️ It is Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ❤️ It is the day Americans honor Dr. King's legacy and his key role in helping our nation get closer to its goal of equality for all. There are several important lessons from MLK that we can all learn from and teach our children. If you want to spread his legacy and honor this day, share these 12 lessons with your kids and let's implement them into our own lives. 💜 {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
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Crawling is correct. 🤣⁠ (quote via @mytherapi Crawling is correct. 🤣⁠
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How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠ You k How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠
You know you have a newborn when _______.⁠
📷: @healthiest_baby⁠
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YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠ Go and find your troo YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠
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Words & 📷: @triplets_and_toddler
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“I breastfed my first child so I knew I wanted to #breastfeed again. People were skeptical about me #breastfeeding triplets, and this drove my determination! 💪 My boys were born at 29+3 and therefore it was so important for them to have #breastmilk! 🤱
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After having an emergency C-section, I knew there was no time to rest, so I started hand expressing within the first hour. I set an alarm to ensure that I expressed every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours overnight. ⏰
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Twice during our #NICU journey my boys were split between hospitals over an hour apart! This was the hardest time and meant I was separated from 2 of my boys for a couple of days. During this time I kept up with expressing and ensured that all three of them had enough milk to take with them until we were all reunited.
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Looking back I feel it is my sheer determination that has really enabled me to successfully breastfeed my triplet boys! Not once have they needed donor or formula milk. It required a massive commitment both physically and emotionally but I am so proud of my achievement! My boys are now 11 months and are still breastfeeding." ❤️
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*This story is not to bring any mothers down that choose to formula feed. (I, personally, had to give my son formula at 7 months old!) We share this mother's story to inspire mothers and celebrate our victories! ✨
If you are having breastfeeding struggles and want to succeed, contact a good local IBCLC and receive support. Find new mom friends who are also breastfeeding who can encourage you. And if you choose to formula feed, we honor you too. 💕 #mommychick
WTF 😑⁠ (via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠ .⁠ WTF 😑⁠
(via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠
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(quote via @friscoareamoms)⁠
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🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠⁠
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Your child’s mental health is fairly complicated. It's also critical to their overall health and wellness. We often think of mental health as it pertains to adults, but just like growth and physical development, research shows that mental health is something that should be considered starting at birth. ❤️⁠
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When children are very young, their brains are extremely sensitive to environmental stress. Toxic stress, defined as high levels of prolonged stress, can have life-long effects on children. Limiting stress for young children is critical for their early mental health. One of the most fundamental ways we can help eliminate toxic stress is by building a strong relationship foundation from the very beginning of their lives. Your relationship with your baby is an integral part of their sense of self-esteem, independence, and confidence; three key factors in mental health.⁠
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Building that relationship with your child can be broken down into four key concepts . . . {Click 🔗 in bio to find out what they are!}⁠
📷: @vlentine⁠
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Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE bow that shows she's a girl . . . yet still somehow get's called a boy. 🤷⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤⁠
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If you’ve ever typed into Google, “Why won’t my baby sleep?” you’re not alone. In fact, you’re among thousands of other parents/caregivers who are likely as tired as you are. Chances are, if you have gone down the Google rabbit hole at 2:00 a.m. (or just asked your pediatrician for sleep advice), then you’ve most likely been introduced to the concept of a bedtime routine.⁠
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A bedtime routine can be an incredibly helpful tool in establishing healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene. Infants and young children thrive on routine; in fact, they are comforted by predictability (spoiler alert: most adults are this way, too!). Plus, a young mind is exposed to so much new information every day that it’s reassuring for a child to know that they can depend on certain events to have a predictable structure.⁠
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Bedtime routines are also a cue to their brains and bodies that sleep is coming. With a predictable bedtime routine, your little one will start to recognize the order of the routine and begin to anticipate what comes next. With enough repetition, this process happens automatically in a very Pavlovian way. A calm and successive routine will also make the onset of sleep come more easily. Can you imagine if you walked out of your workout and immediately someone told you that you had to lay down and fall asleep? This would be nearly impossible, and the same is true for our little ones. By allowing them some time to unwind, you are making the falling asleep process that much easier. Here are some tips on what to do for your little one's bedtime. ❤️⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @hannahxruth⁠
Article by: @ohbabyconsulting⁠
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THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴 📷: @brit THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴
📷: @britt.kav⁠
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It's the beeeeeessssttttt . . . 😬😑 (quote vi It's the beeeeeessssttttt . . . 😬😑
(quote via @smalltowntallgirl)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
🤗 7 Tips for Raising Secure and Happy Kids 🤗 🤗 7 Tips for Raising Secure and Happy Kids 🤗⁠
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Parenting is hard. And ever so important. But sometimes it feels like we need to have a special degree in “Managing Toddler Mood Swings” to navigate some of the unexpected scenarios that come with raising secure and happy children.⁠
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Like how do we handle a child that likes to scream instead of talk?⁠
“Please, child, just lower your voice while we’re in Target.”⁠
Or what are we supposed to do when a child prefers to strip down every time we get them dressed or only eat foods that are the color blue?! (In case you’re wondering, there aren’t many blue foods.)⁠
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It can feel tricky and tiring to try and do it all right and then sometimes still feel like you’re at a loss. But the truth is, there’s never any way to make everything perfect. But there are things we can do that set our children up to feel secure and happy. And here are seven of my favorite tips. {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @lauren.stewart_dc⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Any oldie but goodie by @spiritysol⁠. ❤️⁠ Any oldie but goodie by @spiritysol⁠. ❤️⁠
Cesarean mamas--this one's for you. I hope you know that you are worthy. That you are such a warrior. That you are brave and powerful and strong as f✨ck. I hope you know that birthing your baby on an operating table makes you no less of a mother. No less of a goddess. Your birth story is holy and that beautiful scar on your belly is sacred as sh✨t. You are worthy of praise and celebration, honor and  admiration.⁠
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I hope that you know it was worth it. Knowing this does NOT mean you can't mourn your dream. It does NOT mean "you and your baby are safe--that's all that matters!" It does NOT mean you can't wish things had gone differently. But I hope that underneath it all, you can find beauty in what was. What is. Your baby. Your birth. Your strength. Your healing. Your story.⁠
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Your journey wasn't easy. Perhaps it unfolded much differently than you had hoped--perhaps it shook you to your core and left you feeling the immense weight of a "what if" and why".⁠
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Perhaps you're still wading through the heavy emotions of disappointment, anger, and grief. Perhaps you always will. But whatever feelings you hold in your heart and in your womb, I hope that you can look at your scar and say "Hell yes, it was worth it. And hell ya, I am worthy."⁠
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*This post was written for mamas who might be struggling with an unexpected or undesired cesarean birth. I recognize that there are mamas that choose to have planned/elective cesarean births who might not resonate with the message in this post. I honor them as well--as I honor all mothers, all women, and all beings.⁠
Words & 📷: @spiritysol⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #birth #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #cesareanbirth #bellybirth #postpartum #newmom #childbirth #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Because I gave him the wrong colored cup . . . whi Because I gave him the wrong colored cup . . . which is the color he originally asked for.⁠
🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️⁠
(quote via @HenpeckedHal via Twitter)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Hope they're ready for us!⁠ 👯‍♀️⁠
📷: @myquestionablelife⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
" . . . Tears contain stress hormones. Why would w " . . . Tears contain stress hormones. Why would we have tears if they didn't serve a purpose? Little hurts can feel big when you are little. There is no such things as no reason to cry. Comforting a crying child is not the same as shutting them down, no matter how sweetly we shut them down . . . up actually." - Pam Leo⁠
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#gentleparenting #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #parenting #parentlife #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #healing #mentalhealth
"Every diaper change is a struggle⁠ Goldfish cru "Every diaper change is a struggle⁠
Goldfish crumbs are literally everywhere.⁠
Nothing stays in the correct place.⁠
Dramatic meltdowns are a part of our daily routine.⁠
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Being a mother to a new toddler is so challenging, and every day I'm not sure what to expect! But, even on the days where I think I'm going nuts, it's so worth getting to watch my daughter grow into her own person. I love seeing her personality expand with each day.⁠
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I won't lie though, I do get a tad bit freaked out sometimes! I mean I've never heard anyone nail the sound of a pterodactyl better than my daughter, when she's having a meltdown. 😂😳"⁠
Repost: @postpartum⁠
Words & 📷: @tori.mccain⁠
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Share your worst/funniest toddler meltdown stories below! I'm sure almost all of us mamas who have a toddler can relate. 🙋⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
That's my kind of mom friend. 😂 Tag that mama w That's my kind of mom friend. 😂 Tag that mama who is your happy safe person. ❤️⁠
📷: @lifeandtimesofmom⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
8 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues When You're Stuck 8 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues When You're Stuck Inside⁠
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⁠When the snow first starts falling, it’s a great feeling. Your house is cozy inside, school is cancelled—three cheers for a snow day! The kids are excited and you can’t help but feel some excitement, too. However, after a few days of being snowed in, we can all start to get a bit stir crazy, especially with our littles cooped up at home with us. We're sharing eight creative ways to beat those winter blues when you feel like you’re stuck indoors! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @cecileadams⁠
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#winterblues #snowday #snowedin #winter #winterwonderland #winterfun #wintertime #home #indoorideas #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Where do I sign up for my parenting punchcard? 🙋‍♀️⁠
📷: @momtransparenting⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Whatever you gotta do to get in some self care, ma Whatever you gotta do to get in some self care, mama. 💁‍♀️😂⁠
(quote via @fruitsofmotherhood)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #parenting #parentlife
But in 2020 🤔🤔🤔😂😂😂😂⁠ jk
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #newyearnewme #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
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