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People I Want to Punch

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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
Marie April 20, 2009, 8:18 PM

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.

Just another mom April 20, 2009, 11:11 PM

Marie, you are so right. I loved the attention, the advice, the unsolicited belly rubs, the community of being pregnant; of joining the mommy club.

And while yes, a lot of the horror stories were kind of daunting, at the same time they were NO exaggeration. Actually, there was a lot of stuff that no one warned me about that I wish I’d been better prepared for.

As a new mom, I felt like a failure, like I was doing everything wrong because wow. What a crazy few weeks! But when I talked to other moms I found out, that’s normal! I was totally normal! And doing just fine. Ah, other moms. My saving grace.

Good luck to you. Though I’m sure you don’t need it from me.

Cheree April 20, 2009, 11:15 PM

Sigh, I get the whole community support-the-pregnant woman, but I don’t get why people are negative. I want the whole on truth from family and friends, but not negative comments from strangers.

I heard similar comments to the author when pregnant, and now with my infant, each stage she gets to I hear “oh enjoy it now because next she’ll be doing X and it’s down hill from there.”


Domo April 21, 2009, 10:00 AM

I’m about a week out from delivery and am getting sick of the warnings from coworkers and strangers alike about delivery. At this point I am going to start acting shocked and scared when they warn me about poo-ing on the table and tearing. I think that’s what they are hoping for.

Gennifer with a "G" April 21, 2009, 11:14 AM

People used to say that to me all the time.

Try this instead:

1) operate through life for one day without using your arms and your mouth taped up and try to get stuff accomplished

2) think (really loud) to yourself what you want your husband to take care of. In the future, you’ll be able to say it aloud but will find the same results

3) attempt to dress a drunken frat boy and try to make a specific appointment (on time) with that drunken frat boy. That’s a great glimpse into your daily existence in getting a kid or more ready for school, to attend a party or get to a train on time.

4) Give anyone annoying you a lollipop, a toy or a knife just to shut them up. This is a great exercise especially when attending a funeral or making a deposit at an ATM.

5) from now on, use public bathrooms but leave the stall door open for all to see. this will prep you for the humiliating and ever-lasting experience of having an entourage with you to pee, poop or even change a tampon.

If you are planning to return to work, please let me know and i’ll help you through the exercises of that pleasant experience too!

Gennifer with a "G" April 21, 2009, 11:19 AM

PS. I really do love my kids and family. But that is really what it feels like unless you have an obedient husband and/or a nanny :-)

Jenny April 21, 2009, 4:51 PM

hormonal….

Chrissy April 21, 2009, 9:49 PM

Perhaps they are giving you a heads up on how your life will change becasue no one gave them a heads up.
Furthermo, we as a society keep perpetuting this myth of the “perfect” mom and post baby bodies of actresses don’t help either (Hey there’s Jessica Alba bad to her perfect bod two months after giving birth!)
Thank God for other women being honest - like Brooke Shields and post partum depression and these women you want to punch.

Sara April 22, 2009, 6:17 PM

Get one of these put on a shirt:
“Please submit all L&D horror stories in writing to File 13 clerk for processing”
“I like horror movies not horror stories”
“Don’t make me puke on you”
and my fav
“I can lose the weight, You can’t lose the ugly”
They help keep the bad advice away, and your real friends just laugh at them with you.

Anonymous April 23, 2009, 7:48 PM

This is hysterical. Yeah, right on! Other women’s experiences will not necessarily be yours.

I laughed out loud at the truth of what you wrote, and though I haven’t been in the position of receiving such advice yet (TTC), I’ve definitely internalized that advice I’ve heard given to other women. Keep writing!

Galt July 1, 2009, 11:57 PM

Could you help me. I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.
I am from Guatemala and also now teach English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “Fleas and ticks can cause serious health problems for your cat.”

With love :), Galt.

Merrick September 8, 2009, 11:03 AM

Good afternoon. So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.
I am from Andorra and also now’m speaking English, give true I wrote the following sentence: “They added interviews of serjeants’ inn very after being revealed to the music, apply lace wigs.”

Regards :-) Merrick.

mommabear October 7, 2009, 6:31 PM

Yep i hated advice like that and all kinds of other “helpful” advice that i have since my kids were born.

Ben October 7, 2009, 10:24 PM

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

tubal reversal October 21, 2009, 3:16 AM

tubal pregnancy concern more conscious from the women because the pregnancy after the tubal reversal is not an easy and simple task and it just like the health threat if you don’t follow the rules and cautions. Following are the important symptoms if you find during pregnancy so must be consult with your doctor. these symptoms are as follows. these symptoms are as follows vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping or pain, or pain during bowel movements.
In the very early phase, tubal pregnancy symptoms are just like those of a healthy pregnancy. A little daybreak illness, some breast tenderness, being tired, and missed periods – the same symptoms that lead to the pregnancy diagnosis. A little bit into the pregnancy, however, some other cryptogram that the pregnancy may be ectopic may occur. Such symptoms include cramping or pain in the abdomen, spotting, and dizziness or light-headedness. If the pregnancy is not determined ectopic until the tube in fact ruptures, the symptoms include severe, sharp, or sudden pain. A tubal pregnancy happens when the fertilized egg does not achieve its objective – the uterus – and instead becomes implanted in a fallopian tube.

tubal reversal October 21, 2009, 3:22 AM

The actual tubal ligation reversal is a long-lasting and exacting procedure, requiring exaggeration and very fine suture material. The surgery is performed under general or regional anesthesia. The average operating time is just about 3 hours. Most women are able to return to their normal behavior or work within four to six weeks. If a woman is considering this surgery, her physician may review the operative and pathology notes from the initial tubal ligation. Additional information may also be gained from an HSG (tubal dye test). Finally, if any doubt exists that the procedure would have a good chance of success, the physician may perform a diagnostic laparoscopy before deciding if there is a good chance that the tubal ligation can be effectively reversed.

tubal reversal October 21, 2009, 3:28 AM


The actual tubal ligation reversal is a long-lasting and exacting procedure, requiring exaggeration and very fine suture material. The surgery is performed under general or regional anesthesia. The average operating time is just about 3 hours. Most women are able to return to their normal behavior or work within four to six weeks. If a woman is considering this surgery, her physician may review the operative and pathology notes from the initial tubal ligation. Additional information may also be gained from an HSG (tubal dye test). Finally, if any doubt exists that the procedure would have a good chance of success, the physician may perform a diagnostic laparoscopy before deciding if there is a good chance that the tubal ligation can be effectively reversed


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