Is there anything women daydream about more as girls than a wedding? Perhaps one thing, and that's becoming a mother! From the time we play with baby dolls, then progress to babysitting, we are imagining what we will do with our child, how we will dress our child, and what perfect name our perfect baby will be dubbed.
Being a mother is one of the greatest aspects of adulthood, and one of the briefest, most fantasied about phases in life is pregnancy. We imagine what we'll look like and feel like. We plan how we will manage the symptoms, dress and react to the big news. Will we find out the baby's sex? Will we suffer from morning sickness or breeze through? As much as the end of pregnancy tends to drag on interminably for most, in retrospect it only lasts such a brief flash of time. For that reason, every moment seems to be something we want to capture and savor, to reminiscence upon in the years to come. What we don't daydream about is the way reality, including our beloved family and friends, will intrude upon those perfect fantasies.
When we imagine ourselves in adorable maternity clothes, we never see our sister snickering at our wide behind in the fitting room. When we imagine picking out the ideal baby stroller, we never visualize our best friend trash-talking our choice. When reality and fantasy collide, that's when the stuff gets real and dealing with it is the beginning of true parenthood.
15 When Mom Tells Her Buddies About Baby On Facebook
Depending on whether we had been trying for some time to get pregnant, or it's one of those blindsiding blessings, it's a special moment to savor. We know life is about to change forever, and it's a difficult choice between shouting the news to the world and keeping the secret to just the parties involved: Mom and Dad. Many people still hold to the time-held advice to keep it to a bare minimum of folks until the precarious first trimester is over. But whatever our choice in deciding who and when to divulge the juiciest secret of our lives, it's inevitable for many of us to have a relative who, despite our urging, will divulge the secret widely and indiscriminately.
Such is the case with a mom who blurts it out on Facebook and then shrugs, "What's the big deal, really? After all, it's just my friends!" She is completely clueless that those friends have friends and relatives and those overlap with others in your life, and many you weren't ready to tell. And some who will be pissed that you let it out to others without telling them first.
14 When Your BFF Takes Your Baby Names
I may be a little more extreme than most in baby-naming, but most women are rather protective of their favorite names. Some girls discuss it years before they've even found the man to procreate with. So when a woman has whittled down her favorites to just a few, she may be especially guarded about who to let in on it. We don't want people to criticize or explain how their names are not good. For instance, when my mom chose "Katrina," for me, my uncle laughed that it reminded him of the word, "latrine."
But even more a problem is when a friend does you a dirty and steals your favorite name or names. This is when a lot of women learn to be tricky and secretive to avoid such name poaching. If you settled on "Alicea," and whispered it to your best friend, and then her sister sends out her birth announcements with "your" chosen name, you will be furious. To avoid such entanglements, be cagey and nonspecific, even with besties.
13 When Your Brother Blurts Out The Baby's Gender
Once upon a time everyone was surprised when baby was born, as ultrasound technology didn't exist or was not as hard a science, or done as routinely as it is today. Now, knowing the baby's sex is a choice each couple must make, and the choices vary. Sometimes one parent wants to know and will surprise the other in some special way, or will wait for baby's arrival. Sometimes the couple finds out the gender, but keeps it secret until a special reveal date or event, or at baby's birth. Whatever is decided, a couple feels it is their choice and in their power to reveal the secret.
Yet by trusting the wrong individual, "leaks" can occur. Such is the case when your brother blurts out the gender of the baby over the turkey and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. To avoid anger and hurt feelings, be very cautious about who you let into your secret's circle. If you want to maintain control of the the information, don't expect total silence on the part of those allowed into the secret. Instead, reveal to all at the same time, or just wait until baby is born for everyone to find out. Some couples opt to have a gender reveal party where some prop, usually in the traditional pink or blue, let's the cat out of the bag.
12 When Your Work Friend Reveals 'Preggo Status' To Boss
Few places are as touchy about revealing the pregnancy status than at work. To let people at work know at all is a risky proposition. First, you know at most work places there are some internal politics which are frustrating at best. To be pregnant should be a happy occasion, but at work it can be more of a worry. Will my boss start giving my projects to that annoying Chris? Are they counting how long I'm having to spend in the bathroom each morning? Is Janet maneuvering to pick up my "slack" while I'm on maternity leave, so should I delay my leave?
These are valid and stressful situations that most women who work must deal with, and the timing of the pregnancy announcement to the boss is a crucial decision. Trusting a work friend with this sensitive secret is an incredible extension of your vulnerable status into another's control. Be careful who you reveal your condition to. Be prepared for raised eyebrows when you are queasy for weeks on end, or continually yawning or running to the restroom. But don't feel compelled to confirm anyone's suspicions before you are ready to announce.
11 When Your Sister Embarrasses You In The Ladies' Room
Sisters are embarrassing by nature, it seems, but by the time you are both grown, you hope things will settle into maturity more. Then there you are, at the ball game and you need to run to the restroom yet again. You walk to the bathroom to see a line snaking down the hallway. "Oh, no!" you mutter. "Don't worry!" your sister says, as she rushes along, dragging you by the arm. She pops into the restroom, at the head of the line, and blurts out loudly, "Hey, my sister is pregnant and needs to skip ahead in line!"
A few people roll their eyes, some smile and others seem frozen. Your sister is undaunted, even as you turn thirteen shades of red and try to hide by the paper towel dispenser. It probably won't be the last time that your family will attempt to get you better service, quicker service or favor because of your expectant status. If it's too much and too often, talk to the offending party about not using your pregnancy as a get-wherever-free card.
10 When Your Mother Tells The Story Of Your Birth To Your SO
Maybe you're different, but my mother loves to tell stories, and the more humiliating the better. She means well, I know, but there are times I've prayed for a sinkhole to open up and swallow me whole. Imagine your weak-stomached and nervous husband/father-to-be or significant other sitting horrified, mouth agape, while your mother gives the blow by blow account of how her water broke, the doctor was hot, and the little poop on the delivery table were all part of the wonderful story of how you came into the world.
I am so very grateful that I wasn't part of the generation that grew up with video cameras and camera phones, or else I'd have never left my bedroom. For whatever reason, pregnant women are some kind of confessional booth to many folks. They feel compelled to tell their birth stories, their friends' pregnancy woes and every terrifying delivery tale they've ever experienced or heard.
9 When Your Dad Tells You How Disappointed He Is
Let's be honest; no one wants to disappoint their Dad, especially his "little girl." So imagine the discomfort when sitting together as an extended family in the living, once the pregnancy had been revealed, when your father says, "I know you haven't found out whether it's a boy or girl, but if it's a boy I told your mother I just know you'll name him after me!" Then he smiles and pauses, looking at you intently. Your father is named Roscoe, Grover or some other name you'd never saddle your child with--not even as a middle name.
If your husband or significant other is a quick-thinker, he may insert a well-timed joke and a quick conversation changer. While the awkward moment may pass, it will only be a temporary reprieve. Prepare yourself to have to tell your dad either in advance or at the birth that your child will not be a something-something the second or third. You know your dad and will probably know which is the wiser timing to pursue.
8 When Your Sister-In-Law Buys The Baby's Hospital Outfit
Is anything more fun about being pregnant than shopping for adorable tiny outfits for the baby? If there are things more enjoyable, there aren't many! Baby's first real outfit, the one when the hospital takes the first official photo, and often the same one worn home from the hospital or birthing center is a big decision. Well, one that we relish, at least! Imagine someone pulling the rug out from under you and arriving after the birth with a cowboy or cowgirl outfit, complete with "boot"ies--when you had already months ago purchased a costly and frilly boutique dress with yards of ribbon and pearly trim.
Do you acquiesce and have a little cowpoke pic, or do you stand firm, all the while smiling, that "That's adorable, and I can't wait for the baby to wear that! But I already got the outfit for today. Thanks so much!" It's probably best to stand firm, because if you bend this time you'll be likely to be pushed and overlooked for years to come.
7 When Your Sister Crashes The Ultrasound
Sisters talk to each other a lot in many families, and a pregnant sister is quite likely to mention upcoming ob-gyn appointments, and certainly a major event such as the ultrasound or sonogram is a big deal. You and your husband are in the little exam room, you with the blue sheet around your thighs and your bulging belly shiny with gooey gel while the ultrasound technician is pushing and rolling the transducer over your tummy. Suddenly the door opens wide, and a nurse stutters to the technician, "Her sister is here--" when your sister bursts past and hugs your husband.
"Sorry I'm late!" she cries, and leans over you to stare at the screen. "Is that what I think it is? Is that a little thingy---is it a boy??" she squeals in excitement. "It's the umbilical cord," the tech replies coolly, watching your response. What do you do? Kick her out, or let her stay? That's a toughie, and hopefully you won't have to deal with something quite that extreme, but many relatives have some difficulty with boundaries and you will need to enforce your hard ones.
6 When Your BFF Announces Her Pregnancy At Your Baby Shower
A baby shower is typically arranged and run by those closest to you, and it's a good bet your best friend is a big part of the shin-dig, and you've imagined this wonderful event for weeks now. So you're sitting at the head table, unwrapping one adorable gift after another, when you catch sight of your best friend smiling so hard her cheeks must ache. As the chatter continues over a pretty pastel baby cake, she clears her throat. "I am so excited that my best friend is about to have her precious baby."
Everyone coos and a few clap, and then she continues, "And I'm even more excited that my baby will grow up with hers!" A few oohs and ahs break forth, but also some confused whispers ensure until she squeezes your shoulders and turns to the crowd to announce, "Yes, I'm pregnant, too! We just found out!" Your shoulders slump slightly but you are truly happy for her. But couldn't she have just waited another week or two?
5 When Your Brother-In-Law Shows Your Sister's Birth Video To Hubby
I personally cannot imagine the circumstances where anyone should ever show pictures or videos of my sister's woo-hoo to my man. Period. But it's unlikely your brother-in-law either asks or much cares what you think. He decided to share - most would insist overshare - their most personal and joyful moments to your husband, uncensored and unsolicited. Very unsolicited. You can see the growing discomfort on your loving husband's face as the contractions grow harder and her shrieks louder.
Then the money shot pops on screen and your man turns white and looks a bit faint. You've been working on making him more comfortable with the whole birthing process for months now, and he was finally on the verge of agreeing to cutting the cord when this happened. In retrospect, you should have intervened as soon as he put the DVD into the player. But you didn't. And now you've certainly got work ahead of you in prepping hubby for the birth. Thanks, B-I-L!
4 When Your Family Hijacks Your Baby Registry
Again, one of the brighter spots of pregnancy is baby shopping. It's a delicious pleasure to pick out baby bags, strollers and highchairs, plus clothing, blankets and nursery furnishings. Having a baby registry has become one on the best ways to avoid thirteen wipe warmers and five identical highchairs. Going to the store and choosing your items is a cool rite of passage in parenting. So when you take Mom or Sis along with your husband to choose the items, you don't think it will be any kind of ordeal.
Imagine your surprise when your store assistant informs you that your mother changed your choice of crib while you were in the (surprise) restroom. Hopefully, you'll laugh and explain to only listen to YOUR or your husband's choices on the registry. But what if they somehow hijack your registry once you leave the store, or gather relatives to chip in on the god-ugly rocking chair for the nursery. A gift you specifically stated you did not want. A gift not listed anywhere on any baby registry. Welcome to the rest of your parenting life if you do not stand firm.
3 When Your Mother-In-Law Brings The Antique Crib
Of all the scenarios in this article, this one seems the most likely in some form to happen, if my experiences are at all like others'. A relative, frequently one of the grandparents, but possibly an aunt or uncle, will show up grinning proudly, bearing a family heirloom that they want to bestow on you now. It will be ugly, outdated, unsafe and inappropriate, or some combination of those. It will be something "all the kids in the family going back generations have used." And for you to refuse to take it and use it for the baby will be a stark ending to a happy family tradition. Smile and thank you.
Maybe even put baby in the dreadful thing once while you stand nearby, and snap a pic and post it or send it. Then put it in storage until the next visit by that family member. If the relative is a frequent visitor then that plan won't work, you'll just have to bite the bullet and tell them the slightly-scrubbed up truth. It won't work for you. You were told by your pediatrician not to put your child in clothing made of wool and emu feathers, or use the old crib to display antique quilts in your entryway.
2 When Your Father-In-Law Is Pissed You're Using A Midwife
Folks get funny when it comes to grandchildren, but especially first ones, so watch out if that's the case. So suppose one or the both of you come from opinionated families, and you decide to do something less conventional. Perhaps you are having the baby via midwife at a birthing center, or (god-forbid!) at home. Or maybe you are trying hypnobirthing, a birth pool for a water labor or birth, or let's say you've been open about not circumcising your son. Prepare for impact!
This is something you are definitely needing to band arms together as a couple and make a stand. This is your child, and that trumps the fact that this is their grandchild. You don't want to have to be that blunt and bold if you don't have to, but it may come to that. If you bend to their hounding, you will never have full authority over your child, family or home ever.
1 When Your Sister-In-Law Surprises You With A Finished Nursery
Sometimes people have the best of intentions, even if they are your annoying relatives. Such may be the case with pre-birth surprises. One of the worst is when a family member goes for breaking and entering, (OK, she had the key) and decorates your baby's nursery in raggedy Ann and Andy decor, with scary blank-eyed dolls, or maybe it's all John Deere tractors in green with golden fields painted in a horrid amateur mural. This has to be one of the worst possible scenarios to greet you at the end of your pregnancy, or worse yet, when you arrive home with baby.
If that happens, in all likelihood, you were being too mealy-mouthed all along in the pregnancy, trying to keep the peace between families and swallowing your feelings. Now you'll pay with a nightmare nursery. But you can't let your innocent child pay the price in therapy later because you don't know how to handle your or your husband's relatives. Join forces with your spouse and kindly, gently but ever so firmly, say thanks but you have another vision for the baby's room. Or else get used to tractors and trucker caps for your baby boy.