I just don’t understand…
Since becoming pregnant, I’ve run into many women (occasionally men, but mostly women) who have seemed to revel in exclaiming all the known downsides of being a mother. Of course, this is done without me asking any advice or wanting to know about their birthing experiences. Or life as a mum. Or their marriages woes. Or…um.. anything.
- Sleep now, because you never will again. Ever. No seriously. You may as well just slit your wrists now (okay, the last part was implied).
- I’d rather die than go through labor again. (This is usually said with a grin that screams something like, “Sucker. You’re eff’ed.”)
- There goes your figure. Hah, good luck getting that back! And your who-ha, good Lord, she’ll really never be the same. My husband… (this is usually where I escape, screaming, into my own mind)
- My husband said he would help, but men just don’t get it. You’ll be on your own until your kid can survive on his own. Then your husband may be interested in helping. But probably not. He’ll probably start cheating on you too.
- I labored for 72 days, yes days, but I was tough enough not to take medicine :proudly puffs up: You look like you’ll want to be medicated though. Hm.
- My nine year old hates to do homework. He hates it. He hates me. We battle for hours. I cry every day from 2-3:30, knowing that the rest of my day will be hell-on-Earth. Then I take a pill and get Mommy’s “special juice”.
- Etc. etc. etc. ( I realize that et cetera isn’t actually a bullet-point worthy addition, but I figured you would take that opportunity to think of the worst unsolicited advice you ever received. Feel free to leave that advice in the comment section. Sharing is caring.)
So why is it seemingly appropriate for them to announce the negatives of a given situation and I’m supposed to just smile and glow (don’t get me started on the pregnancy glow thing) and be happy for the sage experiences of those that bred before me?
It’s acceptable to announce the negatives of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, without being asked, but I have to bite my tongue when it comes to all the other well-known negatives of a given situation?
I say nay. Here we go:
- Oooh, divorce huh? He’ll have another woman within two weeks. You? Well, you’re of “a certain age” so how do you feel about cats?
- Yep. That’s terminal.
- Yeah, hating your job is usually a side effect of not putting any effort into furthering yourself.
- And hating your life is generally a result of your poor decision making.
- Your health is failing? Probably because you’re obese and mock those of us that like to make healthy choices. Sorry-o.
- Maybe you hate your kids because you have so many, in addition to a consistent tendency of choosing poor breeding partners.
Of course, it would only be fair to say these things when not being asked for advice on the situation. It would be best if you could deliver this unwanted “advice” when the other person is completely taken aback. Like, in the grocery store. I’ve spent many shopping trips trying to avoid the stranger that is making eye contact with my baby bump. Because that’s when I’ve had the most inane conversations with women about my impending “doom” as a mother. I just want to choose a green pepper and be on my way…
So we can continue this way… OR:
- OR we can all assume that the mother-to-be has read, at least once or twice, that her new kid needs to eat every 2 hours and the mom has figured out that she probably can’t just hit the snooze button on that one. She may have to get up. She may lose sleep. She has to train a new human that we sleep at night and are awake during the day. The process may take a long time. She may lose sleep.
- OR she may be a different weight for a while or forever after the birth. And she probably knew that ahead of time and chose to forge ahead. (OR she has carefully ignored the advice of everyone that suggests she eats an extra 1500 calories a day, just because she’s pregnant and may not gain much weight at all.)
- OR her husband/partner/fella’ is actually interested in fatherhood and while he may need guidance and probably won’t care for the kid like she would, will still make an effort to be part of the team. Not all men are the same. And if a man is forever being yelled at and belittled for his parenting skills, perhaps he is less inclined to help out and to learn the preferred way of doing certain parenting chores. :shrugs: Just sayin’.
- OR maybe medication is her choice. And she believes that advances in labor and delivery have been made so that women don’t have to labor for 18 hours in pain. It is also her choice whether or not she’s going to breastfeed or bottle feed her offspring. As is whether she hopes for a natural birth or is requesting a c-section. And all of these things are personal and should not be brought up 1. In mixed company. The word “vaginal” tend to make men act weird 2. If you and the knocked-up mum aren’t extremely close. (Really? Did my hairdresser just say vagina to me?)
Of course, all of this is null-and-void if the mum-to-be has asked your advice or wants a retelling of your birthing experience. If she’s asked, then by all means, grab out your scrapbook that contains pictures from everything from the pee-stick to your episiotomy scar.
Extremely Pregnant and Not Looking for Advice. No really, I’m good. But thanks. I appreciate it. Sorta.