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.