TL;DR If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say it!
My little baby is coming in four weeks and I’m so excited! So of course I end up talking about kids and being pregnant with just about everyone. As a first time mom, I thought I would give a short list of things that I wish people wouldn’t say to me! Different people get bothered by different things, but these are my top four.
1. You’ll never sleep again. I want to look forward to having a child, not dread it! I think this comment is extra bad, because for me it usually comes up in the following context:
Friend/Acquaintance in super caring voice: “How are you feeling? Is there anything I can do to help?”
Me: “Oh, thanks. No, everything’s going well. Just tired.”
Friend/Acquaintance: “It’ll only get worse once the baby comes.” (or some variation thereof)
You just went from being a source of potential help and comfort to filling me with anxiety! I’m well aware babies cry and don’t sleep through the night for the first several months. But I feel awful hearing this when I’m already tired!
2. You’ll be uglier and fatter forever. Okay, so maybe not that exact wording, but anything referring to your body being changed permanently for the worse after pregnancy. Giving birth is a thing to celebrate, right? Why add to people’s stress? Us pregnant ladies have enough stress worrying if our baby will be healthy, or if our shrinking bladders can make it to the bathroom in time.
It’s also a bit misleading. Yeah, stretch marks and urinary incontinence happen. Yeah, some people lose weight easier than others. But there are plenty of super hot mamas out there! So, don’t freak women out and discourage them just because you aren’t happy with your own post-baby body.
3. It’ll hurt like a m***er f***er
So Ive heard my entire life. Help me to be less afraid of going into labor, not more. Interesting fact: Being tense and scared of labor actually makes contractions more painful than they would be already.
4. Being a parent sucks but it’s worth it
Not sure why, but it seems to be a requirement of the parent club to complain about how difficult having children and a family is. After a long rant about how hard it is, someone will throw in a “but it’s worth it” at the end. Since 99% of our exchange was you talking about how terrible everything is, that phrase isn’t very convincing.
Like everything worthwhile in life, being a parent has its challenges; and I can appreciate you need to vent. Just maybe save it for your friends that already have kids? Please don’t make me worry I’ve made a terrible mistake!
On the bright side, being pregnant is teaching me greater resiliency. I take a deep breath when people tell me negative stuff, and silently try to shove it in my mental trashcan. It’s good training for being a parent. I hear they get tons of unwanted advice!
What about you? What did people say that bothered you the most during your pregnancy? Any particular coping strategies?