No, really, keep your two cents

I love advice. I ask my friends for advice on many things. What I don’t love is an unsolicited opinion. Once you get pregnant, however, everyone on Earth will try to tell you what’s what. Even people who have never been pregnant or have kids. Even worse, men will give you their opinions. And then the very worst? When people ask you something about your pregnancy, make a face at your decision and then proceed to tell you why your choice is stupid. Here are some right and wrong ways to handle a pregnant lady (PL). Clearly, the very best way to handle her is to avoid her. If you can’t manage that, refer to these examples.

Example 1:

You: So do you have any girl names picked out?

PL: Yes. We really love the name Fartasha Vulvodynia.

You (incorrect response): Ewww. I don’t like that at all. I knew a girl in high school named Fartasha and she was stupid and picked her nose. She smelled like fish.

You (correct response): That’s really pretty.

Example 2:

You: So are you going to find out the sex?

PL: No, we’ve decided to wait.

You (incorrect response): That’s so stupid. I don’t understand people who do that. I would never do that. There is no point to waiting.

You (correct response): Oh how fun!

Example 3:

You: So do you like your doctor? Who is it?

PL: We actually go to a witch doctor. He’s really great. My husband and I did a lot of research and decided his methods suit us best.

You (incorrect response): You’re not seeing a real doctor?!?!? I’ve never even heard of people doing this! You’re crazy!

You (correct response): How interesting. I don’t know a lot about witch doctors delivering babies. Why don’t you tell me more?

Example 4:

You: So are you being induced, doing an epidural, having a C-section, what?

PL: Well, we discussed all the different methods with our doctor and we’ve decided I’m going to have the baby while I’m hanging upside down from a tree. I’ll probably labor in a tub filled with Jell-O while listening to Vanilla Ice, but will climb the tree when the baby is crowning.

You (incorrect response): No drugs? Jell-O? A tree? Are you crazy? Your whole plan sounds insane.

You (correct response): Wow. I don’t know anyone who has ever done that before. You’ll have to let me know how it goes.

Example 5:

You: So you quit smoking?

PL: Yeah, it’s been really tough. I think about having a cigarette every single day.

You (incorrect response): You know, with all my pregnancies, I smoked, drank and even did coke from time to time. My kids are perfectly fine. Want a cigarette? Just one won’t hurt.

You (correct response): Good for you. I know that must be hard.

And so on. Basically, be kind and supportive no matter what. If you can’t handle that, keep your mouth shut. And for all my friends who are moms and/or are pregnant right now, please know I love hearing your stories. Sharing your experiences is helpful to me. But judge me and my choices like I judge you and yours–behind my back. That’s the only polite way to do it. Criticizing anyone on pregnancy/birth choices is as personal and inappropriate as, say, you walking into my bedroom while my husband and I are doing it and giving us pointers.

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September 9, 2010. Uncategorized.

4 Comments

  1. Kristi replied:

    It is also my understanding that complete strangers feel that it is ok to touch a PL’s stomach. NOT OK! You should carry some sort of cattle prod or bug zapper to shock these people.

  2. Angela replied:

    Okay Emily…you’re asking people not to be inappropriate around you? We needed a warning years ago that this was going to go into effect, like big sweeping law changes.

    • Emily and David replied:

      Ha. I wouldn’t say I’m asking anyone to not be inappropriate around me, just sensitive. I’ve always tried to be really considerate when people tell me about personal choices involving pregnancy, children, marriage, etc. I know I can be inappropriate at times but I usually try to be kind.

  3. Ann Marie replied:

    So….did I prompt you to write this? HAHA

    By the way, dude….I TOTALLY like the tree delivery method. Only, I would go with El Debarge. Oh, sorry…my 2 cents slipped. 🙂

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