I really like this-- good mix of old school and new school myths.
Who's a Guilty Mommy? Who's a Guilty Mommy?!
Ever feel like you're not living up to the expectations (even if they're just in your own head? Read this to know you're not alone. (And be on the lookout for my upcoming review of a new mommyhood book!)
Remember a few weeks ago I posted that teaser about a blog post from a new author? Well here it is!
Pregnancy teaches you a whole lot, doesn’t it? About a whole lot of stuff; right? More, in fact, than you ever thought you’d need to know about, say, hemorrhoids. Or varicose veins. I learned so much during my two pregnancies that I gained forty-five pounds of pure knowledge. And one of the biggest lessons I learned was how much people like to share with pregnant women: maternity clothes, baby gifts, hand-me-down furniture…and advice. Oh, the advice.
Nothing, in my experience, brought out people’s generosity quite like the desire to bestow upon me and my poor unsuspecting fetus their opinions and words of – ahem – wisdom. And what follows here is a sampling of the often solicitous, always unsolicited advice I received when I was knocked up, down, and sideways by pregnancy.
• Remember: you’re eating for two! Oddly, people told me this over and over again during my first trimester, when so much as a whiff of a green M&M made me gag. Huh, go figure: these comments seemed to taper off after the second trimester or so, when I’d eaten enough M&Ms (of all colors) that I’d gained more weight than my freshman dorm.
• Make sure to get enough exercise! Does hiking count? Because if it does, I am the Sir Edmund Hillary of getting up from and out of the bed on the thrice-nightly journeys to the bathroom. And I had no Sherpa to assist with carrying the loads that were my ass and abdomen.
• Sleep now, because once the baby comes…. Hah! Excellent! That’s a good one! I’ll have to remember that joke… when I’m up from 2:30 in the morning until sunrise with indigestion, cramps, anxiety, and the need to pee (again) (and again).
• Just rub some of this [insert brand name or creepy home remedy here] on your tummy to prevent stretch marks. If sleeping in the deep fryer at McDonald’s would have helped control stretch marks, I’d have dived right in. (Okay, truth
be told, I’d have dived in anyway; I mean, it’s the fryer at McDonald’s). But I was so desperate to forgo these imprints of motherhood that there was no grease too repulsive for me to caress lovingly onto my abdomen. So, for me, the grease-rubbing wasn’t the problem. The problem? The fact that everyone who offered this advice proceeded to then rub my abdomen as though instructing me on how
to apply the aforementioned elixir. There may have been a baby under it, but wasn’t it still, technically, my abdomen?
• You know how dangerous coloring your hair is now, don’t you? As dangerous as looking like Berlin in that Top Gun video? Because that sure would Take My Breath Away.
• You just can’t imagine how much your life will change! Cue threatening soundtrack here. Maybe something with an organ and Vincent Price laughing in it. Because everyone who offered this little crystal of knowledge did so with a
sort of implicit mwaa-haa-haa in their voice and a glint in their eye that always reminded me of Mr. Futz, my seventh-grade substitute teacher: kind of know-it-ally mixed with a little bit of schadenfreude. And it always left me feeling the way I do in that recurrent nightmare where I’m taking an exam while my teeth are falling out, and I have to pee, but I can’t get up because I’m naked.
It is true: pregnancy does weird things to people – and I’m not just talking about the pregnant ones. Because, let’s face it, we’re all affected by pregnancy, aren’t we?
Pregnancy means there’s been another person added to the guest list, another member invited to join the party, another attendee of the big event. It’s thrilling, isn’t it? So, with that in mind, it’s understandable that everyone wants to take part in the celebration – to share the joy, to share the moment, and even, alas, to share the advice.
Stephanie Stiles is the author of Take It Like A Mom. Look for my full review in the upcoming weeks! (Grab a copy now if you'd like to read along or, of course, let me know if you've read it!)
Thanks so much, Steph!
I challenge you to read this without welling up.
Thank you SO much for sharing with me so freely.
I love the public comments, the private messages, and the "I just had to share" emails. If people feel that they can come here to have their questions answered, their fears calmed, or their funny bone tickled, then I am happy :)
It is never ok to tell someone they look tired unless it is immediately followed by the offer to take their kids for the day and/or do their laundry and/or send them to a spa. Write that down so you remember it.
I've mentioned unsolicited parenting advice before (there's an entire chapter in Crib Notes dedicated to it!), so I love this article by Stephanie Stiles.
(Insider Info: Stephanie is the author of a book that I will soon be reviewing!)
I have some great book reviews coming up, including a couple that are self-help without *sounding* self-helpy! Stay tuned!
10 Things Not To Say To a Working Mom
10 Things Not To Say To a Working Mom (plus, her header is a laugh within itself!)
With a love of children and a passion for reading and writing, Kelly decided to share her experiences with others through the pages of the Crib Notes book and site.
Join me on Influenster: www.influenster.com/r/1290177J