Finding out that we were expecting a child was the greatest and scariest moment of my life. I mean, I made a tiny person with my favorite person in this world, that we get to hold and care for and shape into a delicate combination of all of the things we love about one another. It also meant that we could fail, or do something wrong, or see him hurt, or not know how to handle him.
It’s scary stuff and you’re mind is ALL OVER THE FREAKING PLACE. You really shut down emotionally, because you just can’t possibly process everything that’s happening to you…and on top of everything you’re trying to process, even strangers are reaching their giant groping hands out to your basketball sized stomach while they start asking you about your boobs and your birth plan and all these other things I can’t even process because WHY ARE YOU TOUCHING ME!!!
Can you tell I’m slightly overwhelmed? I mean, I get it, you’re excited for me, and you want to help, and you genuinely think your advice is oh so important but please…take a look at this list and do your freaking best to avoid doing these things to your already overly sensitive, super emotional, preggo bitch friend/coworker/person on line behind you in the grocery store!
Touching my stomach without asking. I’m not sure why my stomach becomes this domain for your hands to just roam about but it’s not cool. AT LEAST ASK. Is that too much for you? And if we’re not on a first name basis, turn the other way and leave me alone. Thanks.
Discussing the size of my stomach (or breasts, or anything else that has gotten larger). I’ve gained weight? Oh, I didn’t realize. I thought I’d magically become pregnant, birth a 7+ pound child that has lived in my stomach for 9+ months, and not gain a single ounce. Obviously my flat stomach disappeared, but thanks for the reminder!
Gifts for me that are really for my baby. I know this might sound selfish, but I’m just going to say it anyway. If you would like to purchase something for my baby, please, go right ahead and I will graciously accept with thanks. But don’t pretend that it’s a gift for me or “to help me with the baby.” Did you give my husband diapers for his birthday? Baby clothes for Christmas? No? Why not? A gentle reminder: there are things I enjoy, like for myself, and would like to continue enjoying even after I become a mother, like wine.
Asking personal questions. Are you planning on breastfeeding? What’s your labor plan? How much time are you taking from work? Are you going to get paid? How’s sex going for you? Unless you’re like my best friend or my mom and we normally discuss this shit anyway, back off.
Unsolicited Advice. You’re a mom, too? Cool! I guess you know everything. I mean, I didn’t ask for your opinion on how to get my child (who’s not born yet, mind you) on a sleep or feeding schedule, or how to get him to latch, or what I should or shouldn’t let him do when he’s 6, but I’m certainly glad you shared what’s working for you, because I’m like 110% sure that what works for you will work for everyone else, too. Also, all of your opinions are clearly the same (because obviously your children aren’t different at all) and are not at all confusing to me.
You’ll realize soon enough. This is right up there with “Just wait until…” I’m completely aware that it’s impossible to understand just how much my life will change, and things like sleeping, going to work, or just plain packing up the car are about to get a lot harder. Yes I will realize, but thanks for the reminder because I forgot that I was having a kid for a second there. I mean, I honestly just thought my life would stay the same.
When I was pregnant… When you were pregnant, you experienced your own set up symptoms, emotions, side effects and grew your very own child. And I’m sure there were wonderful moments and some not so wonderful moments. We don’t need to share all of them, especially his birth story.
Having something negative to say about our name choices. I’m sorry that you had a crappy uncle Johnny or worked in child care with a little brat named Julia, but please don’t ruin this for us.
Dumping your baby shit on me. The second you announce your pregnancy, it’s like you become a magnet for people trying to unload their precious crap without having to donate it to to the abyss. I get it, you want it to go to a “good home”. I’m not that home. I live in 400 square feet…when I say I don’t have a place for it, I don’t have a place for it. Please take no for an answer.
I feel so much better now that we’ve talked about this.
In all seriousness, we’re so fortunate to have loving, supportive families/friends/coworkers that clearly love and want to spoil our baby and who remind us, without even trying, that everything will work out, no matter how difficult or foreign it might seem. Just please, and I say this with a smile on my face, please freaking ask before you touch me or offer advice (or stuff) that I really just don’t need right now…