I find the whole ordeal of pregnancy to be slightly fascinating. I’ve never been pregnant, nor do I have the inclination to be. While I have no interest in having a baby, I think it’s pretty damn cool that women can grow another human being and squeeze them out.
I am at the age where a lot of my friends are beginning to start their families and get pregnant.
Whenever one of my friends tells me they’re pregnant my initial thought is not:
I’m so happy for you!
This is my second thought.
My first thought goes something like this:
Goddammit. There goes our friendship.
Let me explain. Am I happy you’re having a baby? Sure thing. Babies bring happiness and good times to all (most of the time).
That being said here is what I know about having a little one: they take over your life. I’m pretty sure that the love a parent feels outweighs the fact that you never get to go out and are taken over by a tiny dictator. However, it sucks for me, the friend. If I’m your friend, it means I like hanging out with you. Not your baby. Don’t get me wrong, your baby is pretty cute, but can we have a conversation that doesn’t include you ignoring me to coo at your baby?
Hold on. I know this is horrible to say but I hope that people will appreciate my honesty, mmkay?
Baby rant over, back to pregnancy.
Recently a friend posted this article about “smug pregnant women”. Do I agree? Maybe a little, but I don’t think that this is necessarily an affliction of only pregnant women – I know a lot of people who act like a life changing moment in their life needs to change my life as well.
When I think about conversations I’ve had with pregnant women and new parents these are some of the most irritating things I hear come out of their mouths:
“No, you just don’t know how much you can love a person until you’re a mother.”
– Ummm, excuse me? What did you just say? I don’t have the capacity to love without having a baby? Why don’t you just tell me I’m a robot, jackass.
“She/he did the most incredible thing today! She/he stared at a grape/waved at the dog/blinked”.
– How rude. The first part of this sentence gets me excited. And then you finish off with some crappy, inane moment that may be exciting (to you) but I don’t need to be regaled with every moment. Truly.
Me: I’m exhausted!
New Parent: You have no idea what exhausted is.
– Hi. What is wrong with you? Do you really need to minimize my experience and my life to reassure yourself that you are a super parent? Don’t. It’s tacky and makes me not want to talk to you.
Here’s the thing: I think that we don’t respect pregnancy enough. We’ve taken the age old process of birthing babies and medical-ized it. (Note: if I ever did get preggers, I would be having a home birth like you wouldn’t BELIEVE). I think that a lot of this “smugness” surrounding pregnancy is not totally the making of women, but of the big bad pregnancy machine. I think, like a lot of things over the past thirty years, folks realized how much money is to be made off of the process of popping out babies.
At the end being smug is irritating, pregnant or otherwise. And if I take a moment to think about why a person is smug, it is quite sad. I think smugness is born out of insecurity and fear. And that does make sense to me. Pregnancy and parenthood are scary. When you become a parent you automatically become open to scrutiny from others and yourself…parenthood is one of those things that everyone has an opinion. And if you’re a parent, you’ll know doubt hear all those opinions.
So, take mine with a grain of salt. And don’t be so freaking smug.