Parent Shaming…already?

Parent shaming is a real thing – and its such an interesting topic. Typically, you will hear about “Mommy Shaming”. People like Chrissy Teigen tend to really get the brunt of mommy shaming in the public eye, which is great because she literally gives zero craps about what people say about her – and she is VOCAL about that. Most recently, she was under fire for going to dinner with her husband after their baby was born. SHE was under fire, not her husband, to a point where he even said “I was there too, how come no one is attacking me?” (or something to that affect).

What I find so interesting about “shaming” other parents is the source of the shaming. Last time I checked, the world was not over run with Nobel Peace Prize winners – or even really great people. Kids can range from being really great kids, to self entitled little brats you want to shake some sense into. They all come from various walks of life, and various types of parents. Its not too far off to say the people who are passing judgment, probably are raising assholes. The whole apple not falling too far from the tree and all.

Last weekend we went to a little gathering for my husband’s grandparents, in separate cars so I could leave at my whim and let Dan help his family wrap things up. In the process, his parents neighbors began chatting about the impending little one’s arrival, and the neighbor made a comment about how the baby essentially needs to be quarantined for the first month – or anyone that comes in contact with him will need to get immunized.

Not entirely sure of what she was talking about, Dan asked a little further and she looked at him like he was a raging moron, saying something to the likes of “what do you mean you aren’t going to have everyone immunized before handling your baby?” as if that would result in the immediate demise of our child.

Let me just say – its a good thing it was only Dan there. I have a very specific question when someone passes judgement on our decisions or how we plan on raising our child: Did I ask you for your opinion?

If the answer is NO then maybe you need to mind your own business. If I did ask your opinion, its entirely possible that I may not agree with you. I won’t argue with you about it, but if you attempt to make one of us feel like a lesser person because of it, chances are…we aren’t going to have a productive afternoon.

What happens when you’re pregnant….

So, I’m pregnant.  And I have been for about 38 weeks.  Quite honestly, its been a very easy pregnancy.  I’m one of the lucky ones – my morning sickness was minimal, there haven’t been any complications, I’ve been able to exercise regularly (hell, I went to the gym this morning.  If I can workout at 9 1/2 months pregnant…what is your excuse to skip the gym?  More on that later).

Something I’ve noticed though, throughout the whole process, is people tend to forget what is appropriate and what is not when they see a pregnant woman.  I mean, I’ve heard it second hand before, from expectant mothers, but didn’t really know what they were talking about until….

  1. Complete strangers will either touch you, or ask to touch you.  In what world is that okay?  I was out to dinner with some friends and walking back to our table from the restroom when two older women stopped me and started touching my stomach, asking me all sorts of questions.  Lets start with the obvious – keep your goddamn hands off me unless I know you (and if I know you – ask first).  And really, even then its still weird.
  2. People you don’t really talk to will be so very offended that you didn’t call them when you found out you were pregnant.  Kind of sweet, kind of odd.
  3. People you do talk to all the time – may not be around for a while.  Whatever the reason is behind it, accept it and move on.
  4. People are experts.  On EVERYTHING.  And they are not ashamed or shy to tell you that.  You will get so much unsolicited advice, its amazing.  For the most part, its people that are looking to help you out, or just want to share their experiences, which is really great.  For example, its really nice of someone that has already had their hospital stay to give you hints on what you should bring with you.  On the flip side, its obnoxious and condescending to tell me how I feel, how I should behave, how I should act, and things I’m going to want.  One person told me I was going to want to take a belly shot every month once I started to feel more maternal (what?) and another couple told me I was going to want my husband to take pictures in the delivery room.
    1. he knows better.  That will NOT be documented
  5. You will get judged.  For all sorts of things.  Now, I had no problem not drinking, or skipping out on the sushi dinners that I love so much.  I mean, its only 40 weeks, so in the grand scheme of things, its not really a big deal to not indulge for me – but if other mothers choose to do any of those things, its none of my business.  Or yours.  Unless they’re mainlining heroin or something in front of you.
  6. I think that people don’t always know that pregnancy doesn’t affect a woman’s hearing.  So when you say things like “Wow you’re HUGE” or “You’re just going to get bigger!” or “Look at those feet!”, she will hear it.  And depending on her mood (due to raging hormones), she’s either going to want to tear your face off, sit on you, or cry.  So be a little considerate, maybe.
  7. I mentioned earlier I’ve still been exercising.  And shockingly enough, I either get comments or mean mugged at the gym.  Now, I’ve been exercising fairly regularly for about 12 years, so its not like I found out I was pregnant and decided to take up Olympic Lifting.  I know my body, I listen to my body, and on the days that I didn’t feel well, or wasn’t really up to it…I didn’t go to the gym.  There were/are so many people that think because you’re pregnant, you should be at home, in bed, eating ice cream with your feet up.  While that may be nice for some people, its not in my cards. So back off.
  8. I’m pregnant, not handicapped.  Granted, there are certain things that I shouldn’t/can’t/won’t physically do until after this squatter is evicted from my loins, but peeling a banana is not one of them.

I have to give a lot of credit to my husband.  He’s been quite wonderful through the whole entire pregnancy.  He also gave us sushi (for the most part, sometimes the man needs a treat), and he’s considerate and helpful around the house.  He got the baby his first velour suit.  He put together all the baby furniture and toys and all that stuff, and on the days where I was unbearable…he got me cookies.  If he’s half the father he is husband, this kid is going to be very, very lucky.

Except he’s planning on us having an army of children, and sweet baby Jesus, that is not happening!