Scaring Pregnant Women: A National Pastime

When I was pregnant with C, plenty of people issued dire warnings from the other side (of parenthood). I’ve mentioned them here before, but I was regularly told that my life would never be the same again (and this was always said in an ominous tone of voice). I was warned that I would never have time to read or even to take a shower. This all turned out to be complete nonsense. Although I was very sleep-deprived for the first three months of C’s life, no amount of “enjoying my sleep” while I was pregnant could have helped me to avoid it. People who tell pregnant women to “sleep now!” seem to think that sleep is something you can stockpile, like a squirrel hoarding nuts for winter. It just doesn’t work that way, folks.

So you would think, having been through this once before, that I would be immune (or at least resistant) to the fear-mongering that people seem to enjoy when they interact with the visibly pregnant. Nope. I still regularly get anxious after talking with someone who says something like “Whew, you’re going to have your hands full soon. Good luck.” Uh, thanks? Or “So this is your second? Get ready for life to get crazy.” Um, okay? How do I do that, exactly?

Luckily, once in a while, I’ll bump into someone who is reassuring. I met someone last weekend who has two little girls (only a year and a half apart) and she asked me a few questions about my situation.

“What will the age difference be?” – 26 months
“Do you have any help?” – My parents live an hour away, but are able to help sometimes, and my husband works a lot but is super awesome.
“Will your older daughter go to daycare?” – Yes, two days a week.

Her response? “Pfft. You’ll be fine. Don’t even worry.”

Now that is what I needed to hear.

It’s not that I think having two kids will be a walk in the park. I know it will be difficult, particularly for the first year. But there isn’t much I can do now to prevent that. Worrying won’t make the transition, or the exhaustion or the craziness any easier. That is why I’ve decided to hold onto that lovely woman’s response and dismiss any negative comments I might hear in the next three months. Because worrying will get me nowhere. And besides, I’m pretty sure those people just want attention, and I’ve learned from my toddler books that conscious ignoring is a great strategy for dealing with that sort of behaviour.

8 thoughts on “Scaring Pregnant Women: A National Pastime

  1. I’m so grateful for this post– I feel like everything I hear about pregnancy and parenthood is fear-based, so refreshing to hear the opposite for a change 😉

    • Oh, good! That was definitely my intention. I’m always so baffled by the fear-based pregnancy and parenting advice. It’s even weirder when people say really negative things about parenthood *in front of their children.* Thank you for reading and commenting!

      • So much agreed– I cringe every time someone says something terrible in front of their kids. As a teacher, I sadly hear it a lot…

  2. Haha, the title of this post really caught my attention as I am currently in the midst of my first pregnancy. Fortunately my previous job was in a family support program, so I heard ALL about the ups and downs of parenthood way before I actually got pregnant. And since I’m amongst the first of my friends to have a baby, they are very supportive and are mostly full of questions about my pregnancy, but I’ve been amazed at some of the things people have said to me when I announced my pregnancy. Thankfully my previous job has allowed me to laugh off those comments, but seriously? As if you don’t have enough on your mind when you are pregnant 🙂

  3. I think people are usually well meaning with their comments, but I agree that we just need to support each other more. You will definitely be fine. Mothers have handled having multiple young kids for thousands of years!

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