Pregnant? Consider Yourself Warned!

10 Comments 25 May 2011

If there was one thing I couldn’t stand while pregnant with my first, it was the warnings I received from “well-wishers” about how much my life was about to change.

Only one thing would have bothered me more: strangers touching/rubbing my belly without asking. I must have had a “touch me and die” look on my face when people got near, because no one dared (haha!).

The nicest thing someone can say when hearing news of pregnancy is “congratulations!”

And if there needs to be more said, let something else positive follow.

“Your life is about to change.” 

What bothers me is the negative tone that can be associated with this statement, like a warning. As if saying, “expect to give up life as you knew it and not have any freedom or fun for a long time.”

The funny thing is, people follow up by saying, “but having children is the greatest!”

Smooth recovery. Not.

Why not skip all that and simply say, “your life is going to change in the most beautiful way you’ve ever imagined!” All in one sentence. No dramatic, eyebrow-raised pause.

How I felt becoming a mother.

Giving birth at home and becoming a mother has been the most rewarding, satisfying and surprisingly enjoyable event of my life thus far.

Yes, having a child (and children) changes things. But what was my life before this? I didn’t have a thriving career. I was waiting tables and smoking cigarettes (both of which I quit abruptly).

Becoming pregnant and having a child taught me how to love myself, how to live in the moment, what it means to have patience and how to give without want.

Now with number 2 on the way, I’m hearing similar comments that make me shudder…and  always  right at those moments when my daughter is having a tantrum.

“ready for another one?” <insert scary, dramatic music here>

What about saying nothing during those times, (which of course make me want to scream ‘NO! What have I done! I can’t believe I’m going to have a newborn and raise a toddler at the same time!’) and saying something sweet and supportive while my daughter is happily playing on the floor with her doll house?

I want to daydream about
holding a peaceful sleeping newborn in my arms while my daughter colors at the table.

Or the three of us falling asleep in the afternoon after a long morning of playing outside. Let me hang on to those lovely thoughts. Remind me of them when I start to panic.

The uncomfortable scenarios that I mentioned do tick me off in the moment, but they are also useful.

They serve as a guide for how I don’t want to focus my energy. So I suppose in the end…I’m grateful for the lesson they teach (between gritting my teeth of course). <wink>

Your Comments

10 Comments so far

  1. Miranda says:

    Ohhh, I get the “and you want ANOTHER one!” comment A LOT – from FRIENDS even! It’s seriously irritating – and insulting! It’s never said in a kind way or from a place of good-will either, it’s always said in a sneering snide kind of way. What is it with parents having to trod on the newer parents on the block? Not all of them are like that, but a lot of them are. I now disregard ALL the negative comments (unless they are actually constructive in some way), and only listen to the people who actually care about me and my family. Everyone else can bugger off!

  2. labortrials says:

    Yeah, I’m finally learning (your 35w buddy!) that it’s best if I give people as LITTLE info as possible.

    When I was pregnant with the twins, “Oh you look so small for having twins” drove me nuts.

    This pregnancy (my 4th child), “Oh wow, you’re really big” REALLY gets under my skin. Like seriously? I’m nearly 5’11″ tall and fundal measurements are ‘right on’ so STFU!!

    And yeah, everyone else is an expert on how the next few years will or won’t go. Whatev. Just trying to stay in my peace bubble as much as possible! =)

  3. Becca says:

    I have a 5 year old, 3 year old twins, and am expecting #4. (I’m due Aug. 2.) I get these kinds of comments ALL the time! Drives me nuts! I don’t know which is worse. These kinds of comments, or insinuations that I don’t know how to use birth control and/or have too many children!

  4. Me says:

    The worst thing someone said to me was my MIL saying she doesn’t really like babies so she didn’t really care that we were pregnant, as long as we were happy. A simple congratulations would have been fine. Caused my poor partner lots of stess. She told us we can kiss our plans of buying a house goodbye. That isn’t just IMPLYING that our lives will change for the worst…that is spelling it right out. And I definately agree that that is NOT the kind of negative attitude you want around you. It is amazing how much of my energy did go on this though, even though everyone else is over the moon, that one bit of negativity sure ruined the experience for us as we were then terrified about getting another negative response when we told others.

    I also resent it when people say something about my age. 22 is not a bad age to have a baby, yet it MUST be brought up, it is amazing how judgemental people are. Even if they don’t say it negatively, just mentioning my age is unecesary.

  5. Dhanya Smtih says:

    Yeah I get negative comments even now like, “Oh isn’t that the worst when they do that,” and “Oh you poor thing you must just want some time to yourself,” but I LOVE being a stay at home mom and I’m happy about my decisions to be there all the time for my toddler, call it attachment parenting or whatever.

    lol people are constantly implying that things will get harder worse it’s so funny because things have only ever gotten better

    great blog post, you really nailed it!

  6. Amy says:

    I agree with the idea of not giving them more information than they need. I have two boys, 3 and a half and almost 2, and am pregnant with my third, due at the end of August. It seems like nobody has anything nice to say to me once they find out I’m only 23. The looks I get are ridiculous! The comments about birth control are the most common. Most of the time I just brush it off and am confident that I am a strong woman and can do anything life throws at me. But there are those times when, like any woman, no matter the age, I start feeling like, “Holy cow! I’m going to have 3 kids. How am I going to do this! What did I get myself into.” Why can’t the women who have done this before say encouraging words, instead of telling me what I already know. I know I’m going to have my hands full and life is going to be pretty crazy. But it can’t be all bad, right?

  7. Sara says:

    My perspective is different because my husband and I are still TTC, but I get the same comments. “Oh, you are so young to be worried about having a baby!” (I’m 23 and married, so I don’t feel like I’m THAT young). Oh yeah and this one: “You shouldn’t start trying to have a baby until you have been married at least a year.” Who made that rule up? And then, when one of my sister’s kids throws a fit, she always gives me a look and says… “Are you sure you want one of these?” Or: “You should come watch our kids for a few days. It will be great birth control.” That last comment makes me so sad. (She does love her children, they are just very spirited and test her patience A LOT).

    It really upsets me that I’m getting very little support from my family. I love reading the BBH blog because it paints such a beautiful picture of motherhood. I have a very positive outlook on being a mother. I watch how stressed my sister is, and I am going to strive not to be like that with my kids. I am going to strive to be joyful and peaceful. It’s just so hard not to let the rude/insensitive comments get to me.

  8. Sara says:

    Oh yeah, I know Kaitlin uses cloth diapers, but I’m not sure how many other gals use them on here. My family had a FIT when I mentioned that that’s what I was considering doing because it’s healthier, better for the environment, and way cheaper! Anyone get negative comments about that? Here are the ones I got:
    “That’s so gross, Sara!”
    “You will hate being a mother if you do that.”
    “Cloth diapers are expensive, what if you don’t stick with it.”
    Anyways, I just wondered if anyone else had had similar experiences?

  9. bringbirthhome says:

    (the comment left by Me is not Bring Birth Home – just a clarification)

  10. Mishka B says:

    I understand the frustration when people say things that you feel are inappropriate. On the flip side though (and i’m just playing devil’s advocate here), most people want to engage with you when they see a belly or a baby. Not everyone is tactful or sensitive enough to understand how their comments might do more harm than good. I feel like we shouldn’t be so hard on them. Most times people are just trying to make conversation. I know that i have said things to people before i was pregnant or a mother that i cringe to think of now. Perhaps you could kindly deflect the comment with something like “oh i’m looking forward to having my hands full, there’s no greater privilege than having children.”

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