What is it about being pregnant that attracts a stream of scaremongering comments? Last night, when hubby, LB and I were having dinner, a waiter saw my bump and oh-so-helpfully pointed out that we “must be gluttons for punishment” in having another baby as well as a toddler. I took offence. And left him no tip. But it got me thinking…
On an almost daily basis I get comments from family and friends like “just wait until you’ve got two, you won’t have a second to yourself then” and “you won’t get another one that’s as good as LB”.
It is not helpful, and not nice to try and make a pregnant woman worry.
It was the same in my first pregnancy, with a friend (who had a baby a few months before me) telling me to ‘get ready the worst pain you’ll ever experience’ and to ‘just wait for the ring of fire’. Now I won’t sugar coat it, we all know that labour hurts, but its over so quickly and was no where near as bad as I had built it up to be and I was left really annoyed that I’d spent so much of my pregnancy and labour panicking about what was to come next.
More pregnancy scaremongering classics were warning me to “catch up on sleep now, you’ll need it when the baby is born” and “make the most of time to yourselves now because you won’t get any when the baby is born”. My friend even told me not to bother buying a dress I was looking at because I’d “only be able to wear sweatpants after the baby was born anyway”. What a way to make an expecting mum feel great!
It didn’t stop when my daughter was born, it just changed to the next thing to worry us on, ‘just wait til they’re crawling you won’t be able to sit down then’ and now we get, ‘just wait for the terrible twos’. How is it helpful to warn us of things like this? What do people expect us to do, say “oh really, I didn’t realise raising a child would have its challenges, I’ll return them for a refund”.
We obviously knew when we decided to start a family that life would be different and that labour etc wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but the stream of negativity around it baffles me. Yes, there have been hard days, sleepless nights and countless times I’ve had to hose myself down after being pooped or sicked on, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world and have loved having my toddler and I’ll also love having my second, and any future children. I really wish people would stick to the rule of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.
So to all the scaremongers out there: please keep it positive or keep it shut!