Tuesday, March 30, 2010

By Carly (with an 11th Demandment from me)

THE 10 DEMANDMENTS OF CHIT-CHATTING WITH PREGNANT WOMEN (plus one)

Demandment 1
THOU SHALT NOT comment how big a pregnant woman looks. We (pregnant women) are bigger than normal. We know this. We see ourselves everyday and notice how our wardrobe dwindles until all we can wear are huge sweatshirts, our husband's pajama bottoms, and flip-flops. We do not need anyone else informing us of how big we are. Exclamations such as "Damn!", "Good Lawd!", and "You look like you're gonna pop!" do not help the situation. This especially goes for persons commenting on the appearance of a pregnant woman that you have never even met.

Demandment 2
THOU SHALT NOT ask how many babies a pregnant woman is having. This pretty much goes in line with "Demandment 1." Asking how many babies we are having is just as bad as shouting "You are freakishly huge!" It doesn't make for a pleasant day. If we are having multiples we will let you know, otherwise, assume we are having one.

Demandment 3
THOU SHALT NOT call a pregnant woman "Little Momma" every time you see her. You may think you're being cute, but just realize that you are not the only one calling us this. As soon as you pass us and shout out "Hi Little Momma", someone is right behind you saying the exact same thing. When we pregnant women hear this 7-8 times a day, everyday, it tends to wear on our nerves. If you must say something, say "Good morning" or "Hi", like you did before we were afflicted with pregnancy.

Demandment 4
THOU SHALT NOT comment on the "cuteness" of a pregnant woman's "belly." This goes hand in hand with "Demandment 3." You are not the only one clever enough to call a woman's pregnant physique "cute." Everyone says it every day. You are not clever. "Cute" went out the window when we first noticed that our jeans were a little snug and had to buy our first pair of maternity pants. By the sixth month we are not cute, do not feel cute, and hate all cute people.

Demandment 5
THOU SHALT NOT hold meaningless conversation about pregnancy with a pregnant woman. For co-workers and acquaintances: If you could not hold a conversation with us before because you couldn't think of anything to talk about, then please do not use our pregnancy as a topic for the next 9 months. Yes, it's fun for us to talk about the pregnancy at first, but during the last trimester we're talked out. We just want our precious little parasite to be ripped from our bodies so we can get back to normal. We do not have time to hash out details of the pregnancy to everyone. If we weren't best friends then, we won't be now.

Demandment 6
THOU SHALT NOT touch a pregnant woman's stomach without permission. This is a biggie. Just because something is growing inside of us causing our mid-section to protrude does not give you justification to touch it. We're sorry our bellies may be in your personal space while waiting in a line or in a crowded area. We can not help it. If we have not known you for more than 5 years, or do not talk to you on a daily basis about something other than our future child, than hands off. If you touch our stomachs, we're touching your crotch, so be ready.

Demandment 7
THOU SHALT NOT discuss your prior pregnancy woes unless asked. We do not want to hear about how awful your pregnancy was, unless we have specifically inquired about it. We don't care how swollen your feet were. We only care about the fact that our feet are the size of an elephant's and we no longer have ankles. You whining about your swollen feet does not help our situation. Do not tell us to prop our feet up. It doesn't help. Nothing does. It's hopeless.

Demandment 8
THOU SHALT NOT discuss how bad your delivery was. For those of us having our first child, we have no idea what to expect. No book or video in the world is going to prepare us for child birth. Hearing you talk about how arduous your delivery was and how you were "ripped from top to bottom" does not help in any way (and I, personally, cannot believe you would actually tell someone, anyone, that). Regardless of how bad your delivery went, if asked by a pregnant woman how it was, lie.

Demandment 9
THOU SHALT NOT tell a pregnant woman how miserable she looks. We are pregnant...not fat...and therefore, not jolly. Although we may look "cute", we don't always feel like showing it. There is something inside of us kicking our innards every minute, we have to go to the bathroom 100 times a day and our backs hurt. We're sorry that, at times, we can't suck it up and put on a happy face. You telling us we look miserable just reinforces the fact that we're unhappy and are failing miserably at trying to hide it.

Demandment 10
THOU SHALT NOT inquire as to our plan after childbirth and then pass judgment. Do not act shocked if we decide to go back to work after our child is born. What is this, the 1950s? Women do not have to go back to work only in times of war any more. Some of us are the breadwinners and have no choice. I, personally, have bills to pay, such as cell phones, cable, groceries, daycare, etc. Now you may say to yourself, "You wouldn't have those daycare bills if you stayed home with that precious bundle of joy." Even if I did stay home, if you think I'm going to spend more than 5 hours a day with this screechy "bundle of joy," you are sadly mistaken. Mommy needs her "Me" time. Besides, who's going to love and nurture my child if they're home with me all day?

An extra Demandment from me for after the baby is born...
THOU SHALT NOT speak of being tired in the presence of the parents of a newborn.  My baby is 29 years old and I still remember wanting to strangle anyone who said the words "I'm tired" to me in the first three weeks after he was born.  You're tired?  You can take a nap...whenever you want.  You can sleep more than two hours in a row.  You don't have to make bottles, wash baby clothes or try to comfort a crying baby all on five hours sleep in the last twenty-four hours.  There is no tired like newborn parent tired.


Below is the best grandma present I received. If you have a baby or if you're going to have a baby, you need one of these. My grandbaby is almost three years old and we still use this every day...

4 comments:

Lorna said...

I was too blissed out during my pregnancies to have come up with a list like this, but it's a good one. I can see it in print---sitting right next to "What to Expect When you're Expecting", which deserves a demandment of its own: thou shalt not buy this book unless you've checked to see if the "expecting" person doesn't already have a dozen or so copies.

jen said...

As a recently pregnant lady and mother of a newborn, I cannot agree more!

Also add one about how new parents really don't want unsolicited PARENTING advice from anyone. Or lactation advice. Ew!

LoneStarLass said...

Perhaps being called "Little Momma" is what leads some women to snap and name their sons "Lil' Man". I lived next door to a Lil' Man for a long time - just saw him and his momma at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. He's now 8 years old, and was proudly wearing his Lil' Man tee shirt. I wonder if he'll still love being called Lil' Man at 21 - or 40.

And thanks for the booster seat idea, Laurie! I bought a high chair, a Pack & Play, and a bouncy seat from another grandma recently. Feel free to send me any more good tips!

LoneStarLass
(aka jen's mom, and Grandma to the adorable Miss C!)

Laurie said...

Lorna, good one. :)

Jen, another good one. :)

Lone Star Lass, I can't wait to meet Miss Charlotte. You should buy one of those chairs/booster seats. They're great.