At this point in my life, I see almost any trait as having a positive side and a negative one. While mood swings aren't exactly a trait, they similarly have upsides and downsides. And perhaps the best way to handle the usual rollercoaster of pregnant moods and emotions is with a healthy sense of humor.
A great big heaping dose of humor, preferably, because, chances are you, and everyone around you, will need it. I remember in my second pregnancy with my son, Keillor,(19 years ago!) I was feeling bored, like I was just waiting for this kid to get the show on the road. I chose to go to the movies with my Mom, and we went to see the movie everyone was going to see then; Titanic.
In retrospect, not the best choice when you have a squished bladder, because as you may recall it was a l-o-n-g AF movie. I think during the actual movie, I simply teared up a bit. Usually, I also become angry when I see a film that I feel is super manipulative in trying to create tears. However, when I came home and told my-then husband about the movie, as I got to the end, I began crying like it was my relatives who drowned or something. Highly embarrassing and it pissed me off to be such a dumb mess. Welcome to pregnancy hormones!
15 Fear Feeding
Ever seen the husband or partner of a pregnant woman mid-mood swing? Pitiful woodland creature caught in an iron trap kind of look, isn't it? Add the demands of specific and quite odd foods, that he just knows may change on his way out in the middle of the night, during an electrical thunderstorm, and well....that's the look of a broken man. Pregnancy does do weird things to us, and most especially to our digestive systems. We don't know if we are nauseated because we ate something disagreeable, or if we just need to eat again.
The food we were salivating over 30 minutes ago, may now induce vomiting at the mere aroma hitting our nostrils. But let's face it; the upside is eating on total whims. When else in your life can you insist on eating crunchy Cheetos dipped in salsa with a side of coleslaw, and then dead-stare someone when they question it?
14 It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To!)
I already told my Titanic story, but there are plenty more where that came from. Look, if you tend towards tears with PMS, pregnancy will be a watery ride for you, my friend! Commercials, PSAs with whimpering dogs, newstories and funny looks from strangers can all elicit ugly cries. You know what I mean, the kind of cry where your nose becomes red and shiny, your nose also runs like an old leaky faucet, and your eyes look like Mayweather's opponent in the 8th round. Not pretty. Not at all.
And so now you have that to cry over, too! The plus side, hey you get to let it out with no fear of real judgment. At least not the kind you'd get for such outbursts while non-pregnant. So if you feel the waterworks switching on, heck go for it! It's a rare pass!
13 Let's Do It...Now!!
One possible side effect of those cray-cray preggo hormones is a big surge in sexual desire. Note I didn't say romantic feelings, but plain pure, give-it-to-me-now hormones. Drop trowel and let's go buddy! Some guys are down for the opportunity for easy sex with the woman they love (she is still in there, right?) while others can be a little put off. Some men are used to being the initiator, so if that's the case, just make it obvious what's the deal and let him take it home if that makes him feel better. As long as you get some, right? But plenty of other men will be quite appreciative of the extra boot-knocking time and will have nary a complaint. Don't let yourself get hung up on that not being like you, or whatever; just get your groove on and enjoy the upside!
12 Awkward Tears In Front Of Strangers
Besides breaking down into puddles of tears, pregnant women may also have a bit of awkward tears in public. For instance, you are waiting in line for the bathroom and someone accidentally bumps you and then you begin crying, for no darned reason, really. Likely, however, there'll be a moment of uncomfortable silence, and then guess who will get the next open stall? Pregnant crying woman, that's who! Or say you are trying to return something at Walmart, and the clerk waiting on you isn't the kindest. You try to explain your issue when the tears just shoot out like hot darts. Unless she's a total, heartless cyborg, she will cave and do whatever necessary to get you away from her. It can be embarrassing, but oh, what a timesaver!
11 Curse Like A Sailor With Immunity!
You can be the most ladylike woman in the universe, and then you get impregnated, and BOOM, you cuss like the crotchety old dame from the bowling alley with the face tattoo. It's just a temporary thing (probably) so you need not worry about doing penance or anything. But those little 4-letter buggers will slip out from time to time, so be prepared. Instead of being humiliated or ashamed, just go for it. Unless it's directed at a sweet old lady, or innocent child, (note I said innocent), shake it off. They are simply words infused with emotion.
You can say the word, "Garbage!" and with enough venom on it, it can sound worse than a genuine, inappropriate word. Just don't let them build up too much. Women who try to bottle that stuff up usually end up going on a swear-fest, interlacing foul language in a string of ill-fitting cuss words that leaves some strangers near tears. And he was a military policeman!
10 Indecision...No Wait!
I will admit, I don't like making decisions. Not just biggies, like is this the right time to move, or should we get the platinum package deal on the resort? I mean, do you want Applebees or Ruby Tuesday level head-scratchers. So for me, the indecision that can accompany pregnancy is a mixed blessing. I have an excuse for one time in my life for my inexplicable difficulty choosing the most simple of things. If that's not the norm for you, well it is probably most unsettling. People get impatient with you, you often regret the choice you just blurt out and it's annoying even to yourself. So, for you people unaccustomed to indecision, great news! It's temporary! Until then, ride the ever changing wave.
9 Snap At Authority Figures
One of the more rewarding upsides to pregnancy hormone-induced mood swings is the ability to quickly snap on someone, especially someone you generally must mind your p's and q's with. You know, bosses, landlords, in-laws and police officers. While that would usually result in some horrific results, there's an excellent (albeit it not foolproof) chance we will get away with it if obviously emotional and especially pregnant. No one, repeat no one, much fancies a row with a pregnant woman. You simply cannot win. Of course, if you go mad with mad power, it will eventually lose its potency so pick your moments to give into your crazy hormones carefully. And of course, remember you don't want to go to jail or get fired while pregnant, so gauge your moods accordingly.
8 Blurt And Be Blunt
Another advantage to those mood swings that dip down into the rude arena, is you can be more blunt and just blurt out long-held truths. For instance, the woman who French-kisses her poodle in the elevator every stinking morning, you've got an opinion or two on that. Or the mean girl in the cubicle next to you who goes out of her way to point out how much bigger you've gotten since she last bothered to look at you. You may have saved up some zingers for her over the last couple years, as well. Again, be careful where these arrows land. You will not always be pregnant and considered off-limits to haters. Also, be careful not to become something you've been blurting against. It sucks to become what you abhor, pregnancy hormones or not!
7 'I'm Not Crazy, I'm Pregnant' Pass!
There will be times when your mood swings so hard and so fast, and then back again to your starting point, everyone around will be gobsmacked. Just plain stuck, wondering what will the crazy lady do next. Should we comfort her, or is it a trick to get us closer and then let us have it? The only way you can get away with this level of unbalanced-ness is to be pregnant. Or really, really old and it's unlikely you can be both, so go with the pregnant option for now.
Honestly, people would normally want to call your closest family members and friends and have a BBQ-slash-intervention, but you're pregnant, so it's sort of OK, more or less. Again, don't let yourself go too far with this behavior or you might find that particular mood-accelerator sticks and you'll be loony full time, and lose confidence in your own sanity. That's a point you don't want to cross, so just occasionally do some slow-breathing and light a candle or something.
6 Infallible Excuse For Shopping
We've all stood before a closet and while there were things on hangars, maybe even a lot of things hanging there, we will see nothing. No options whatsoever. It often occurs in that awkward stage of pregnancy when you can't wear your old clothes and you aren't quite big enough for maternity wear. That's the moment you'll probably snap and begin venting about your bloated tummy, your expanding everything including your feet and wonder how in the world you will manage to put together five outfits for work this week.
You may scream or swear, or cry or pout, but it will be about looking and feeling like crap. Here's the upside. You will end this day shopping. Guaranteed. You have no choice now but to find some outfits so he won't have to listen to you talk about things he doesn't care about or understand. Get what you need, he'll insist. So what choice will you have? Shop! Now!
5 You're It!
This is for all those mild-mannered, sweet girls out there who hold their friends' hair back when they are vomiting vodkas, talk to her friend's boyfriend's dweeby friend, and are always, always the designated driver. You know who you are and you are so tired. Well, guess what? You're pregnant so it's finally your turn to be the selfish, self-centered friend in your group. You decide where you all are going for lunch. Not Molly again! You will choose the movie, and the snacks. You will get centerstage for your melt down, not Drama-Daniella. Not this time! You will dominate every conversation for the next nine months, and you will not be ignored. This is your time! You will not be the one on carpool duty and you will not be the gopher at work any more.
4 No! Nope! Uh-Uh!
Again, you nicey-nice girls out there who can be counted on at the last minute to bake four dozen cookies for the bake sale, to pick up Jenny's crazy aunt from the airport, and to help your brand new coworker move up to the fourth floor, this is for you. For once in your life, you have a guilt-free reason to say no to everything you never really want to do anyhow. You can shrug, pat your tummy and shake your head sweetly. You have found your way out of everything you hate. You know you can't overcommit while pregnant, and you will darned sure not jeopardize your health for the fundraiser. You need to practice looking in the mirror and keeping your voice firm and audible as you refuse to do anything that doesn't fit into your life easily.
3 Discover Your Inner "B"
I know it doesn't fit the image of the beatific, haloed mother-to-be to be a big ol' "B" but it lurks within us all. Yes, you've seen traces of her here or there in the shadows of your PMS. But during a big mood swing you'll see her in all of her glory at some point. And by harnessing the power of your inner B you can learn to trade your sweet subordination for comfortable dominance. At least a reasonable confidence. Here's how.
When that "Oh, hell no!" moment arrives and your temperature is rising, figure out what you need to happen and demand it. Don't let the waiter shrug at you when he brings you raw hamburger and you show him. Don't let your mother-in-law put you in the backseat where your big old swollen pregnant feet are banging under the seats. Be firm, and only loud if necessary.
2 Be As Sappy As You Want
Are you a tearjerker mark? You know, the Hallmark and Lifetime Movie Networks were created for you. Or are you the tough, tomboy who never lets a little sap bring the slightest moisture to her eyeballs? Whichever, while pregnant you can forgo any discomfort at being the big sappy girl. It's really expected now, so embrace it and don't worry about getting razzed for it later. Saying, "What's the big deal? So I cried my eyes out over that episode of Friends. I was pregnant!" And no one can say another word, because pregnancy is license for sappiness. No worries! Be as goofy, sappy and sentimental as you'd like. Make a pregnancy memory book where every single i is dotted with a pink or blue heart. Indulge it!
1 Last Chance To Be Childish
Some women aren't in the biggest hurry to grow up. Daddy's little princess, you know who you are. You take the last piece of cake, you insist on sitting up front even though you're tallest and you never give in on what you want. Fine. During your pregnancy mood swings you can continue to get things your way! Congratulations! You have now started the countdown clock on your last nine months of childishness. Because, once baby is here, all that is over with. Now there is a true child in the house, and this one will win, must win out over your every selfish desire and whim. So give in to it now, and throw your preggy tantrums while you can because soon, and maybe for the first time, you will not come first again. Never. Again. But hey, it was fun while it lasted, right?