pregnancy and parenthood · Uncategorized

Moms: we are contradicting ourselves

Moms, we need each other. We need someone who understands what it is like to live on cold coffee and rows of oreos during breastfeeding binges. We need that person who we can text at 3 a.m. to keep us going through those late-night feedings, and who totally understands what we mean when we call our kids assholes without worrying that they will call Child Protective Services. We need each other because we get each other. 

But we also need our partners, families, neighbors, co-workers, baristas, mailmen, you name it. Whether or not someone can relate to the brutal realities of pregnancy and parenthood, they are still a part of our circle in some small way. We need our communities in their entirety. It takes a village, right?

But how can we expect a village behind us if we are building our own walls up at the same time?

I’ve been reading so many blogs and hearing so many complaints on everything that people need to stop saying and stop doing around mothers. Today, especially with the advent of the Internet, we are sharing glimpses of our journeys to motherhood more than ever before, but we’re also using the Internet to berate our villages with everything they’re doing wrong:

  1. Don’t touch the belly
  2. Don’t comment on the belly
  3. Don’t ask about baby names
  4. Don’t react to our baby names
  5. Don’t ask about the due date
  6. Don’t ask about the gender reveal
  7. Don’t make jokes about the gender
  8. Don’t share your birth story
  9. Don’t ask if we planned it
  10. Don’t mention sleep
  11. Don’t give me your newborn advice
  12. Don’t give me your parenting advice
  13. Don’t question my choices
  14. Don’t comment on my choices
  15. Don’t call ever. Just text. – (What is up with this one? Is speakerphone considered old-fashioned now or something?)

The list could go on …

Everyone has their own boundaries, anxieties and triggers; I absolutely understand this, and these personal boundaries should be communicated and respected. I’m not trying to argue that any mother’s boundaries should be pushed, but maybe when a boundary is crossed, we can start using it as an opportunity to educate rather than let it create resentment.

When that passerby at Target asks if you are sure you are not carrying twins, give her a chuckle and say, “No pregnant woman wants to hear that she looks bigger than she should be! We all carry our babies differently. It is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?” 

When that annoying male co-worker asks when you’re going to pop with 10 more weeks to go, chuckle and say, “No pregnant woman wants to hear that she looks ready to pop two months premature. Patience is a virtue, isn’t it?” 

When that family member won’t stop telling you that your baby should really be sleeping through the night, give them a chuckle and say, “No sleep-deprived mother wants to hear that! Babies are all different, and we are doing what works best for us.”

When your chatty co-worker asks when you’re planning on having another one, give them a chuckle and say, “While multiple kids may be in the plan for you, my family and I are building our own life plan.”

Or, insert any other variation that works for you depending on your comfort level with confrontation and desire for sarcasm.


I have a hard time believing that these passersby, family members and co-workers are trying to hurt us. They see us. They see us wobbling with our swollen feet and round bellies. They watch us transition to motherhood, and then they see us holding our babies with the utmost love, fatigue and worry. They see more than we give them credit for, and what if, their prying is really just their way to engage, to learn, to help, even though they don’t quite know how.

Maybe we can teach them how.

We can wish for communities of silence; or we can build communities where it’s okay to engage in conversation, even when a bit uncomfortable – communities where breastfeeding is not taboo, where neighbors help us install our car seats and where we celebrate all approaches to parenting.

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6 thoughts on “Moms: we are contradicting ourselves

  1. I seriously think we just live in an era that thrives on bitching. There’s always SOMETHING to be offended by. Sure, there were days when I was pregnant that I was super on edge and would fly off the handle, but for the most part, I don’t think people were meaning to be hurtful. No, pregnant women aren’t fair game for any/all commentary; real life trolls exist and prey on insecurities, wherever they may be. But pregnant women also don’t get carte blanche to be rude.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that approach would work for just about all situations. Few people are actually trying to hurt another human when they say something thoughtless. Your responses would give the other person the opportunity to see that they did, without making them feel bad in return. Kindness and tolerance is just so much better, especially between us moms.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am guilty of being super-defensive when my family or friends say or do something insensitive about my mothering or life in general. I love this post and it showed me the other side of things. Sometimes people just want to help or want to learn, and other times they are completely rude. That’s why it’s important to have the rude ones outside of the circle of trust (meet the parents reference lol) and the ones that really feet you and understand on the inside to get that emotional support. Now, where do I find them should be the next post! Lol😫

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can absolutely relate to that! I catch myself being more defensive than I need to as well, and that’s what inspired me to write this post because I feel like there are so many articles at our fingertips on how to build that wall up – how to handle the unwarranted comments, and it can make us feel paranoid when we leave our houses as if there are people just waiting to ruin our day or judge us. But then when I would receive these comments, especially the ones on my big belly when I was pregnant still, I noticed that the demeanor and intent of these strangers was simply to engage. They would smile at seeing the sight of my bump, and even though they didn’t know how to compliment, it didn’t mean that they were trying to make fun of my size. I needed to stop reading into it too much. I’d rather have a community that is comfortable acknowledging my realities as a mommy than a community that is too afraid to engage in fear of accidentally offending me. And hey, there will be times where a line is crossed and we are offended, but it is usually easy to distinguish the difference between someone being ignorant and someone being malicious. Haha and I love the Meet the Parents reference. Gosh I need to watch that movie again – it’s funny every time!! Thank you for reading, and I’m glad you could relate to this, too! 🙂

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