During my first pregnancy I received all sorts of unwanted and very much unneeded advice from everyone.
No really, everyone. Strangers, family, friends, I swear female animals were trying to give me advice.
Sure this may sound completely rude and ignorant but that’s how I felt, it was unwanted and unneeded.
Let me explain myself.
First time mothers are already freaked out. There are a million and one books on pregnancy/motherhood/parenting, but not one of them was useful. Actually I shouldn’t say that. Most of them would make great fire starters. All the books did was tell you everything that ‘could’ go wrong. First time mothers have no clue what they are about to experience and everything either contradicts it’s self or is completely ‘normal’. Well in my experience anyways. My doctor told me to stop reading them and to not google every little thing. For example: At 18 weeks into this pregnancy, I was passing out all the time. Is this normal???
The answer I found was, Yes and No. You should see your doctor. What sort of answer is that. Seriously.
I had people telling me that they ‘knew’ I was having a boy the first time around, clearly they did not know because I had a girl. When I proceeded to tell them that I was having a girl. Nope the doctors are all wrong and so is the ultrasound. Yes, lets freak out a first time Mum who has just bought girly things.
It really started to bother me.
‘Can I give you some advice?’ Ugh. Sure? I would immediately regret it because half the time it wasn’t even advice, it was a horror story about how a friend of a friend had the worst labour and no drugs worked and it was 40 hours into labour and yada yada yada. I would lay awake at night and just panic.
If you are going to tell me something about YOUR experience of pregnancy and the beauty of birth, could you maybe keep in mind how freaked out you were? Start with, “In my experience”. Doesn’t sound so attacking or like it will happen to you this exact way. I always felt that if I experience any other way, it would be wrong.
Well surprise, surprise it’s no different the second time around. It always starts off like this, ‘With my second,…
- it was a lot harder
- s/he will cry until they were 3 years old
- s/he never slept, so I never slept
- I had to juggle so many things and I couldn’t handle it and was diagnosed with depression
- my oldest was very jealous, it took a toll on my whole family, for years
You see the point. No one cares to give me happy, positive advice.
My favourite right now is, “your daughter has spoiled you, don’t expect that from your second. The second are usually much more active and difficult.”
PEOPLE! Do you realize how crazy my hormones are? When you say something that you think I am going to forget, something that is not helpful or productive. I lay awake at night and I don’t sleep.
Yes, I am guilty of giving advice too. I am not innocent in that sense but I give positive advice. Or things to try. I do this because well, I remember how scared I was the first time. I know that people are trying to be helpful and ‘prepare you for the worst’ but honestly, I can think up the worst on my own.
I like to share my story about when Scarlett was born. She was easy, as far as labours go. Everything went right. Yes I had drugs. I had excellent nurse and doctor and my wonderful husband there holding my hand the whole time. No, there were no dramatics, no flashy show (other than pushing a human out of you).
Things do go right during labour and I feel that other Mum’s need to hear that. I was so freaked out and over nothing because everything went right. Next time you go to give some ‘advice’ about pregnancy/labour/delivery. Stop. Think, is this helpful? Useful? Or is thing going to cause undue stress?
Did you or do you receive ‘advice’ on being pregnant/motherhood/parenting that is just 100% not helpful?