As of this minute, I am 39 weeks pregnant. So, I’m due like any second now. While I wait for the big event to happen, I’m reflecting on the past 9.5 months, and to be fair, I’ve had a pretty good pregnancy, especially considering my age (38). Just headaches, backaches, and of course, the not fun part of limiting my usual activities- horseback riding, tennis, cardio, wine…yeah, all that had to come to a halt-but overall, it’s been a really cool, rewarding experience. It was actually way better than I had anticipated, and growing a human is literally the coolest thing I have ever gotten to do. But there is one gripe, aside from the migranes… the seemingly constant judgement from others.
Yeah, I knew that Mom-shaming is a thing, and I need to prepare myself for even more of it after Baby B comes, because everyone wants to judge everyone else’s parenting choices. Which is insane to me, because I’m pretty sure there are plenty of ways to be an awesome parent, and everyone has different ways of doing it well. But when the baby is in utero, it seems that you and your choices become public property immediately, there to have stones cast upon you when you are not even asking for it.
For example, a few weeks ago, I was loading groceries into my car at Wal-Mart. A woman cruised up to me in her motorized cart and admonished me for not wearing a mask. Seriously. “You better be wearing a mask with that baby inside you” was the direct quote. Even though I was outside and had noone around me, this crazy still felt the need to go out of her way to gove her unsolicited opinion. Or the woman at Starbucks telling me that I shouldn’t be drinking coffee while pregnant. (OB told me to go for it…just have a latte if I need an afternoon boost to cut back on caffeine) Or the aquaintance who told me that I was crazy if I didn’t breastfeed- all I had said was “We’ll see how it goes”- and she flipped saying that everyone should breastfeed. (Infertile women like me have less of a chance of success with that, so that’s why I wasn’t adamant that I would. I have no idea what’s going to happen, so I like to set my expectations low)
And of course there were the host of people judging me for horseback riding through the first timester (Again, appoved by OB) or the endless “Oh, you better not drink your wine” comments. Oddly enough, the OB even approved 1-2 glasses of red wine a week- but I’ve been more into Orange Juice, so it was kind of a moot point- but still… if I wanted to have that wine, hey, my choice. That reminds me, I was buying a bottle of Whiskey for JB and a woman at the liquor store said “I hope that’s not for you”. So what if it was? I mean, obviously it wasn’t, but still… having a baby bump seems to give everyone a free pass to state their opinions. If only it didn’t take me 10 minutes to come up with the perfect comeback. Ah, well. But it’s not just me who gets the judgement- check out this thread that popped up on the Whattoexpect forum: https://community.whattoexpect.com/forums/october-2021-babies/topic/dammit-im-having-a-glass-of-wine-122431802.html?utm_source=nl&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailydigest&utm_content=dd_C_20211003&member_id=996795242(I get these e-mails constantly, and this one caught my attention).
Jeebus… judge much?
Here’s the thing: Pregnancy is awesome, and it would be even more awesome if we could all mind our own damn business and let people make their choices without being harshly judged for it. Granted those choices aren’t obviously dangerous, like drugs, etc. But in my experience these past few months, people want to judge for the most inane reasons (Lunch meat! Epidural! Labor Induction!) and it’s stupid. Humans have existed for centuried upon centuries with some pretty shady conditions, and somehow, here we are. As for women, shouldn’t we be nicer and more understanding to each other? We are all going through the same thing- so please, stop judging over breastmilk vs. formula, or which car seat is the best. I’ve learned from all the pregnancy and motherhood forums that most people are craaaazzzyyy and I’ll just do what feels right for me and my family and let it be.
This actually can be applied to most things in life, really.
Also, to all of my amazing friends and family who have been nothing but supportive? I love you!
Also, I can’t wait for the Mommy-Judging to begin after Baby B is here. Maybe I’ll finally learn to have a snappy comeback in less than 10 minutes!
But most of all… I can’t wait to finally meet my baby boy, after all these years of trying. He is going to be so loved, and that is the most important thing of all.