Posted by Fitz

If anyone watches How I Met Your Mother as much as I do, you’re familiar with The Bro Code, Barney’s intricate set of rules for how to treat your brethren.  Given that The Bro Code’s purpose is to create a bond between bros of all kinds, I think it’s high time for us moms to develop our own code.  The Mommy Code, if you will.   

The items in this code need to follow a certain set of criteria.  They need to be realistic, applicable to moms of all ages, religions, and nationalities, and something that moms around the world can strive to achieve.  I’ve come up with a few  ideas of my own, and I need your help to make sure nothing important has been left out.  Here’s where I am so far*:


  • Do everything you can to open doors for a mom trying to navigate a stroller on her own.  It is tough to open a big glass door and try to get your baby and yourself in before said door closes on a random body part.
  • Do not offer your unsolicited advice on anything.  Anything!  Shut up already!
  • When your advice is solicited, be kind, gentle, and compassionate.  This is no time for tough love.
  • Unless it’s the most obvious lie in the world, when you encounter a mom with a newborn in public, tell her how great she looks.  It probably took her two hours to get out of the house and another hour to manage to blow dry her hair in between screams – encourage her to do it again.  If it is an obvious lie, find something else to compliment her on.  Not her baby, her.
  • Don’t give dirty looks to anyone trying to wrangle a screaming child in public.  This is not helping, and karma will come back to bite you when you’re in public and need your child to behave.  Big time.
  • Be generous with new moms you know.  They’ll be appreciative of diapers your baby has outgrown, coupons you can’t use, books you’ve read and enjoyed, or outfits that your kids never got to wear. 
  • Don’t ask a new mom if she’s breastfeeding.  This is probably not your business, and if it is, the mom will tell you about it on her own.  If you do ask, keep in mind that you might be making the mom feel very guilty if she’s wrestling with the decision to continue or decided to formula-feed from the get go.
  • Don’t give a baby gift without a gift receipt.  Even if she loves the darling outfit you picked out, it might not fit in the right season…or she might have more than enough clothes.  Returning the item will allow her to get something else that she needs, and isn’t that what you want?
  • Offer to babysit, even if the mom just needs to go grocery shopping.  Those 30 minutes out of the house could be just the respite she needs to feel human again.
  • Don’t go on and on about how each mom needs to make her own choices, and then subtly question even her smallest decisions (“When my daughter was young, I only let her play with my keys if I really had to.”).  Again, not helping.
  • If you see a mom struggling to unload a packed grocery cart with a (or several) kids, go over there and offer your help.  You know how hard it is to manage the shopping with all of the kids in tow – use this opportunity to pay it forward.
  • Kidnap your mom friends every once in awhile and go out.  Have a glass of wine, see a chick flick, eat some delicious food, and ask her questions about herself.  Remind her who she is – a fabulous woman who happens to also be a fabulous mom.
  • When you encounter a new mom, give her the best gift she could ask for: ask her how she is, and be interested in the answer.

*All items on The Mommy Code assume that the follower has not just been spit up on or the victim of a recent blow out.

It is my great hope that The Mommy Code will make the world a tiny bit easier for a new mom to navigate.  Please chime in with your suggestions to add…there are many new moms out there who are counting on you.

Photo Credit:  This picture of NPH was chosen specifically to make Duff happy.