twitter facebook stumble upon rss

People I Want to Punch

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Teresa Strasser: If one more mom tells me, "Go to the movies now, because after you have the baby, you'll never get to go to the movies again," or "Go on a trip now, because once you have the baby, you'll never leave town again," or "Have a date night now, because you will never see your husband again," I am going to punch her right in her tired, defeated face.

women arguing

Hey, how about you shut your rude, projecting, bitter soup coolers and let me be?

Just let me just deal with the fact that I feel like I've been strapped to the spinning tea cup ride at goddamn Dizzyland for the last 11 weeks.

Allow my nauseated, terrified, pregnancy-hobbled brain to stick to its usual troubling fare, and by that I mean non-stop oscillating between thoughts of various fatal genetic defects and how best to phrase it to people if I end up having a "non-viable pregnancy."

Stop to consider that as a first-time mom-to-be, I'm kind of overstocked with worries right now. It's like you're peddling mortgage-backed securities to AIG. No gracias, I got enough of those and they're all toxic, anyway.

To see me all bulging about the middle is to know I'm in a serious "no backsies" type situation, so keep it to yourself if you think my life will be a dingy wasteland once my bundle of joylessness arrives.

Let's talk about a girl named Kim.

Having heard I was pregnant, she messaged me on Facebook with the following advice, "Take a look at your body right now, because it will never look this way again. Your stomach will be so pock marked and stretched out, there will be nothing you can do about it, so enjoy it now."

I barely know this woman, and while I am impressed at her ability to paint such a richly hued portrait of how crappy I'm going to look, I can't understand what drives her other than pure evil.

Stretch marks are genetic, and they may also be caused by excessive or rapid weight gain. However, what if there is another, more mysterious cause? What if the collagen gods punish people like Kim for being passive-aggressive twats?

You can't laser that away, Kimmy. See you on Punch you in the Facebook.

If I do morph into a bleary-eyed, pock-marked, sad sack with spit-up and organic oatmeal in my hair who is too neurotically attached to her precious child to allow anyone to baby sit, I hope to have enough compassion to lie my saggy ass off when I see a pregnant girl and simply say, "You are going to love being a mom."

next: Woman to Have Dead Lover's Child
37 comments so far | Post a comment now
redmum April 20, 2009, 6:34 AM

That is mean, but I have to say as well I was a little freaked while pregnant about the changes in my body once I had my child. However giving birth puts a lot of that to rest, you are amazed at your body for producing this amazing child, the stretch marks (if you have any) nearly become a badge of honour.

Course part of me would love my pre-pregnancy non-lined tum back, but it aint happening and I am more than okay about it.

Karen April 20, 2009, 8:25 AM

OMG! You said it girl! You said exactly what I’ve wanted to say a million times while I was pregnant…and sometimes even now that that little bundle of joy is 15mos old! LOL

Being a new mom is hard enough without people saying things like that! I’ve come to the conclusion that those people were miserable being pregos and want company!

You’ve got a new reader here!

jjennifer April 20, 2009, 9:29 AM

great post! there are only 3 words someone should say to a pregnant woman…”you look beautiful.”
btw, i have 2 kids under 4 and i get manicures, go to yoga, the movies, on trips, and out to dinner. it is absurd that once you have a child you have to stop taking care of yourself! women who do that end up bitter, dumpy, and sending out nasty facebook messages to their hot, pregnant friends.
enjoy your pregnancy. the next time you get a stupid comment, reply with a big smile and, “thank you!.” that usually gets the point across.

Anonymous April 20, 2009, 9:36 AM

Mark my words. They are all annoying… but you will be one of them in just a few short months. They’re trying to warn you. You will soon understand.

ame i. April 20, 2009, 9:55 AM

I think I’d be tempted to punch Kim, too.
Stretch marks may be genetic, but I escaped them through both pregnancies. I religiously slathered myself with Neutrogena sesame oil twice a day, not sure that’s what helped or not.
I don’t mind my c-section scar because it would only be seen on a nude beach.
I do wish someone had thought to tell me that epidurals can fail or stop working. Mine did as my c-section started. I didn’t think about the possibility of the doc leaving a couple of pieces of gauze up inside of my hoo-ha after my vbac,but surprise!

Leslie April 20, 2009, 10:19 AM

I bet it would bother you alot more if people didn’t care enough to comment about your pregnancy. Its their way of helping you ease into motherhood. Whether or not you realize it now these women you want to punch may know a thing or two you don’t. Why be so mean and no pregnancy is not an excuse? Pretty soon you won’t be the pregant princess and people will hardly notice you.

Beth in SF April 20, 2009, 11:20 AM

Very well (and humorously) put. While I was pregnant, I heard so much about how my life and my body would change for the worse, I actually had a break down around 7 months where I sobbed to my husband, “what have I gotten us into?!” Luckily, he was not operating on junk food and hormones and he calmed me down. What I wish someone had told me was how awesome it is to be a mother, and how much your life changes for the better!!!! I will never tell any pregnant woman any differently.

flipflopmamma April 20, 2009, 11:20 AM

Well, I’m here to tell you that you are going to love being a mom! Even with my EXTREMELY attached breastfed son I am still able to get out alone for a few hours if I need to. Motherhood is what you make it, and I really hope you don’t become like those negative Nellie’s who are trapped by it :)

marymac April 20, 2009, 11:21 AM

Hang in there, Teresa. I always call them the “You Just Wait..” people and am betting a judge would let us off on justifiable homicide.

Just wrote “My Mom Logic” post today- enjoy it:

maggie April 20, 2009, 11:21 AM

OMG! SO TRUE! For all nine months of my pregnancy I got unsolicited, unwanted advice from best friends and strangers alike! Almost all of it was negative…some of it completely panic inducing! What is wrong with these people??? I really want to slap them…I do.

Julia April 20, 2009, 11:24 AM

I think Kim actually wanted to be you. I went through the same thing when I found out I was expecting my second baby (the first one was only 4 months old). I heard all kinds of horror tales like my life was over and how my body was destined to become this giant tapioca pudding. Sadly, I couldn’t punch the person… After all, she was my mom. LOL

Nina April 20, 2009, 11:26 AM

Awesome piece. And those people are just wrong. I have had 4 kids and my stomach look quite nice, thank you very much!

Beth April 20, 2009, 11:29 AM

Welcome to the wonderful world of competitive motherhood.

Next up: discussing whether you really gave birth if you have a c-section; whether you are really a mother if you can’t/don’t breastfeed; and, unsolicited advice of all types when you’re out and about with your little one.

Consider these folks helping you develop the thick skin you will need once you’ve had your child and people continue to want to tell you how to mother him/her.

By the way, congratulations and I’m sure you look fabulous! Oh, and the nausea usually passes, so don’t worry, you won’t always feel like that.

Carrie Anne April 20, 2009, 12:03 PM

I hear you on the annoying advice. Yes, people might be trying to give you a heads up. But the ‘being pregnant’ part is so short, why ruin the high you’re on. New moms will find out the realities soon enough (and these vary for each mom). I don’t know any mom who would give up the role because they can’t do everything they did before (ok, maybe for a day). The only advice I’ve ever given new moms I’ve known is get on your daycare waiting list NOW :-)
Enjoy the full 9 months.

rugbymom April 20, 2009, 12:16 PM

Just look at Heidi Klum. Seriously. I’m sorry people said those things to you. None of that matters though, thankfully you are not in High School anymore and you can de-friend that biiaatch on FB.

What you make of life after baby is up to you. I find I didn’t want to do all the same things. Spending time with my new daughter was so much fun, seeing a movie paled in comparison, but later when you want to go or join a gym, there are daycares that operate on hourly basis for gyms, churches & organizations that do “moms day out,” and thankfully family and babysitters which allow you to go out in public rocking your Heidi Klum post-baby body!

Jamie April 20, 2009, 2:04 PM

I don’t think they mean it in the way you are taking it. I hated it when I was pregnant too, but after my baby was born, I wished I would have listened a bit more. Your life will change, in ways you can’t even dream of! It isn’t all bad, but it is definitely different!!

Rachel April 20, 2009, 2:49 PM

It definitely gets annoying, but I wish someone would’ve told me how DRASTICALLY different my body was truly going to be after carrying a baby and giving birth. Sorry to say, but no amount of exercise or gaining weight correctly will leave you with the same belly you had going into childbirth. The only thing that can help that, is plastic surgery and that’s the truth. I wish someone would’ve told me that so I would’ve cherished my tight tummy before pregnancy & birth and I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself post partum.

Jill (the other one) April 20, 2009, 6:13 PM

Amen, Teresa. The only thing I want to hear from people (especially the passive-aggressive Kimmys) about my pregnancy is “congratulations.”

Julia April 20, 2009, 6:44 PM

It’s hard for me to see through the annoying comments about pregnancy. Yes, we gain weight, stretch marks, a C-cection is necessary sometimes, the decision to induce labor should be up to the woman and her doctor, breastfeeding could become a struggle and so on… But, after my two pregnancies, I gained a whole new sense of etiquette when a friend of mine announces her pregnancy: I wish her the best and tell her I’ll be there for her whenever she needs me. You deal with so much for nine months that the last thing you want is negativity.

I’m sorry but I don’t see what good can come from telling a pregnant woman that her body will never be the same again.

Marie April 20, 2009, 7:52 PM

I hate these new moms who have the attitude of “I have everything under control , please shut up”

With that attitude you are showing your ignorance about one of the major motherhood mottos: “it takes a village to raise a child”.

From the beginning of humanity, mothers raised their kids together, and it has been one of the most successful survival techninques. This process starts in with pregnancy. Motherhood is the most life changing episode in the life of a woman, and yes it doesn’t require a license, a degree, or even a permit. It’s not only emotionally, but physically demanding. Childbirth is brutal, so why exactly are you closing your ears to other women who already went through it? Don’t get me wrong, half of the “unsolicited” advice that you will receive will not be science-based, probably wrong, not your case scenario, or just way too out-of-date to be useful. But if something can come from that, it’s the deep sense of community it involves. The feeling that you are not alone in this process, that many women went through it, survived it, and they are willing to share their experiences with you.

You dont have to agree or disagree with these opinions, in fact, in my personal experience, I disagreed with the majority of them, especially the ones from my mother-in-law, but I was still thankful for them. Just imagine getting through this process without any references, what a huge unpleasant shock will be. How many times have we all said, “only if someone had told me”? I know that nobody learns from someone else’s head, but it definitely makes it much easier in every aspect, from your delivery choice to picking the right stroller. I’m sure that you will read very sophisticated baby books, have the chief of the OB/Gyn department as your doctor, or the hollywod trend psychologists as your therapist, but the old lady in the bank line who touches your belly with out telling you even hello is priceless. That old lady, that tells you semi-cooked shrimp will help your skin, is also the one deeply feels for you, has compassion and probably will pray for you that night. The majority of women will not give you advice to make you a trauma, it’s a ritual of initiation. Im jewish like you, and I envy the days of the “big red tents” when women get together during their periods, and sit and relax for days, make crafts, talk about their bodies, their marriages, and most importantly, their kids.

“Unsolicited” advice in pregnancies is one of the few things left in our society that one is free to do, and makes you feel part of something without filing a membership form.

I fell sorry that you, like many other moms, can not see the whole picture, and just enjoy the moment. Sooner or later, you will find out what “play-dates” are really about: the coffee and the talk.

Back to top >>