Adults say the darndest things

So pretty much every mother on the face of the earth – slight exaggeration – warned me how all other mothers (not themselves of course) would soon begin sharing their horror stories or give me well-meaning advice but boy oh boy I didn’t realise just how crazy it would get. Nor was I ready for some of the questions people would ask me.

‘Oh so was it planned?’ ‘Did you mean to get pregnant?’

Wow just wow. I lump this question into the same category as ‘so how much money do you earn?’ None of your Goddamn business. Seriously I would never ask anyone either of these questions. They are both personal and why on earth would anyone need to know the answer. So note to yourselves don’t ask EVER.

Right from the get go – and I’m talking within the first five minutes after revealing the news to family and close friends – the birthing stories started to come flooding out. ‘I was in labour for two days’, ‘Oh you’ll have the epidural’ and various tales of areas being cut and ripped. This was coupled with a smug ‘you have no idea what you’re talking about’ look when I’d reply ‘no I’m going to try (note I said TRY) to have as natural birth as possible’.

Thanks guys – I’ve just told you this amazing news and all you can do is talk to me about how awful childbirth is. Also you’re probably right and I may cave and have an epidural but can’t you just humour me for a while. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s reaction once I tell them I want to try a waterbirth.

Speaking of awfulness why is it that nobody ever has a nice story to share? It’s always the horrors. It’s as though it’s a competition to see who had the most hellish experience. Do mothers develop amnesia once they’ve stopped being pregnant? Do they not remember how horrible it was when other mothers told them their horror stories?

Note to mums – even if you had the WORST experience on the earth, keep it to yourself or at least wait until the expectant mum has given birth herself. New mums have enough anxieties as it is without your own thrown into the mix.

If it isn’t talk of childbirth it’s people with the best intentions telling you what life is going to be like after childbirth.

*screaming baby* ‘ha ha that’s what you guys have to look forward to’

*toddler throwing a tantrum* ‘ha ha that’s what you guys have to look forward to’

Sigh, yes both The Boy and I are fully aware being parents will not be a walk in the park but just once couldn’t the following happen…

*baby smiles at mother* ‘that’s what you guys have to look forward to’

*toddler tells dad I love you* ‘that’s what you guys have to look forward to’

Unbelievably I ran into a girl I had not seen in almost 10 years at the Farmers’ Market the other week and she said to me ‘you’ll never go back to work’. I had not even brought up the topic but apparently this person who I’d not spoken to in a decade could forsee my future.

Another well-meaning friend informed me I would not be doing anything for New Year’s Eve next year. Nothing, not a damn thing. Apparently having a baby leaves one housebound. Housebound and in tears.

So in a nutshell please be aware of what you’re saying when an over-the-moon first-time-mother tells you her amazing news. Don’t forget she’s hormonal, anxious and probably – like me – a bit clueless so will take these things to heart. Before you launch into your own experience pause and think of a special moment guaranteed to leave her walking away with a smile on her face.

Maternally yours, Mum-To-Be.

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4 responses

  1. my baby is just shy of 5 months old so all this stuff you’re writing about is still pretty fresh to me! so just wanted to reassure you…

    – i did have a natural birth, no pain medication. it was by far the hardest thing i have EVER done — but it can be done. even if it doesn’t work out like that for you, you will be amazed by how powerful your body is and how blessed you are to live in a country where medical help is so available.

    – yes, babies scream, cry, poo, drool, spew and wee. sometimes they are inconveniently awake at times you would rather be asleep. but sometimes they also coo at you like they’re having a conversation with you. they smile at you, accidentally at first, then intentionally and then finally learn to giggle. and sometimes they will lie peacefully on your chest and you’ll kiss the top of their head and marvel in the fact that they are all yours.

    – babies are not a life sentence to staying at home. in the early weeks, they are actually quite portable as they’ll sleep anywhere.

    i hope this hasn’t just been a whole bunch more of unwanted advice, but i remember feeling the way you describe and wanted to be a positive voice among all the horror-story bearers.

  2. Guilty guilty yes I did say that once to you and I slightly hated myself for it as soon as it came out of my mouth then it was too late to cram the words back in so sigh…I apologise.

    So here is a positive to make up for it. The other day we were looking at a few videos I had on my camera and we came across the one I fluked of B’s first steps. Best feeling ever watching him take those steps.

    You have heaps to look forward to! I am looking forward to it too 🙂

  3. Pingback: Ten awesome things nobody tells you about being pregnant | Newsroom to Nursery

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