Friday, November 04, 2011
"Just You Wait"
Expecting a baby is exciting. Big changes! A new family member! When I talk to someone who is pregnant, I am inclined to say one of the following:
2. How exciting
3. You look great
And yet, when I was pregnant, I couldn't get over how often I was offered supposedly hilarious doomsday advice. For instance, I had morning sickness for five months. One day I was feeling particularly green and said I was going home for a nap. The response I got was, "Ha, a nap? Well, ENJOY IT NOW, because soon enough there'll be no more naps for you!" Thanks, bud. Rub it in.
The "Enjoy it now" and "Just you wait" advice seems to be quite common, and I'm not sure why. Is it meant to be humour? "Ha ha, no more dates for you and your husband! No more time to yourself! Laugh, because it's funny to think of how much a baby will destroy life as you know it! You will lose your identity and become a sweats-wearing, puke-covered drudge! Mwa ha ha!"
If it's not meant to be funny, is it advice? Because I don't think there's any parent-to-be who isn't aware of the sacrifices that come with having a baby already. "Naive preggo doesn't know what she's in for. Must inform."
WHAT? You mean I can't just flip the baby's 'off' switch when I want to go clubbing? Wow! Thanks for the heads-up!
Also, 'sleep now while you can' is kind of silly. Everyone knows you can't bank sleep.
After a while, I ran out of ways to respond. "Ha ha! So I hear! Yup! Uh oh! Oh yes, what have I done, amirite? Ha ha ha... "
I even had someone say "A boy? Yeesh. Good luck with that." It's a boy, not a 200 lb. rabid chimp.
Now I've only been a parent for 8 short months, but I have to say that I am having a ball. I still have showers and put my face on before going out. I still exercise, have personal non-baby interests and see my friends, and get out with the hubs, albeit not as often (and don't say "wait until you have two kids". Please read above.)
I acknowledge the camaraderie that comes with the tough task of being a parent, and sometimes it's good to vent to know you're not alone. There are tiring times, frustrating times and I'm definitely busier. I do wish hubs and I could still take our weekly dance lessons or would like to go out without 45 minutes of prep, but that doesn't mean expectant parents want to hear me rub it in, whether they're excited or nervous or a bit of both. Besides, there's so much wonderful stuff about being a parent that far outweighs any of that, and it's a shame to sit around wallowing in what you're missing out on. I'd never trade my delightful sonny boy back just to have the luxuries of the DINK lifestyle.
So if you see a pregnant woman out there, she's not huge, nor does she want to hear she about to succumb to a soul-sucking life. She's likely heard the joke already anyway and didn't think it was all that funny then. Just say congratulations, and maybe 'you look great'.