When I was pregnant, it drove me crazy whenever someone, usually a woman, would share their experiences and advice. You have to politely feign interest and gratitude, all the while thinking, “Well that was you.” I’d be rolling my eyes (in my head) and counting down the seconds until this uninvited bonding time was over. I didn’t want to hear about how hard it was going to be, or what a blessing it is, or hear “Just you wait!” It was my body, my experience, and I was going to be a different kind of mom so their advice just didn’t apply.
And I know I wasn’t not the only pregnant woman who felt that way. In fact, I’d wager that when you’re pregnant, the last thing you want to do is swap horror stories or bond over your changing body, unless it was with someone who was pregnant at the same time. Then it’s different because you’re both in the same boat at the same time.
And I suppose that was why I didn’t know that the first few weeks are terrible after delivery, breastfeeding sucks at the beginning, co-sleeping isn’t as taboo as docs make you think, etc. I was only pretending to listen to the veteran moms.
However, now that I’ve had Ben, I can’t help but spout advice to all pregnant or wanna-be-pregnant women I encounter. “The first two weeks after the baby are the worst!” Or “Breast feeding is excruciating at the beginning but you get used to it!” I can’t help it. It’s like diarrhea of the mouth! Since I’ve been through it, I just want to help a sista out. Which I guess is what all the women are doing when they were giving me advice.
I guess once you’ve been through the “marathon of labor” and are a seasoned athlete of sorts, you join a sorority called “The Mom Club” in which you want that bonding time with other mothers. It’s no longer unwelcome to discuss the messiness of breastfeeding, or the gray hairs taking over your head. Baby farts and bowel movements are hilarious. And a rack of clearance baby clothes mustn’t go un-perused!
So if you’re pregnant now, be nice – you’ll be part of the club soon enough.