Rule number one, ignore all advice. Everyone on the planet that ever raised children before you will tell what they think you should be doing. They will be shoulding all over the place. You will never encounter more unsolicited advice than when you become a mother. Most people mean well but they can’t imagine how mentally exhausting it is to hear several conflicting stories about what is best for YOUR child. Trust your instincts. These flabby guts our children have given us tell us the correct choices to make.
Rule number two, save your money on the books. They will only confuse you. A lot of the doctors that write books, the Ph.D. kind, not the, my child has an ear infection kind; don’t even have children. I did find the DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block helpful. It is still trial and error though because every baby is different. The video was a nice starting point. I read several books on sleep training and drove myself crazy trying to figure out what was best for King. I did figure out how to get him to sleep and it is very unconventional and not in any book.
Rule number three, relax. I know you have made lofty goals for yourself in this motherhood game but perfection is not the goal here. Your baby will teach you more about yourself than you could ever imagine. We want to do all of the teaching but never think about what we need to be taught.
I wish someone would have said these things to me when I actually asked for advice. So here is my offering.
~A King’s Ma
This is an oldie but goodie. I think I wrote it when I was near the end of my pregnancy. It was at the part that is no longer blissful, the part where you feel like you have been pregnant forever. The part where your body is pulled so tight if someone stuck you with a pin, you’d pop. This is when you are counting down to your due date.
Can I touch it?
My stomach is not some inanimate object. It is attached to my body housing a living, breathing person. Can you touch my stomach? Maybe. It? Hell no, because I don’t know what it is!
What are you having?
I respond, “A giraffe”. Straight faced. I would like to note that one of my students’ asked if I knew the gender of my baby, I gladly responded by smiling and giving her the appropriate information.*
Are you having twins?
What I hear: You are the size of a small house and there is no way there can be only one baby inside of you. Really? You want to call a hormonal, pregnant lady that can eat you, FAT? My answer to the question varies depending on my level of pissedosity. (new word)
Hope you are having a boy!
The feminist in me is appalled. This is America jack! (Cue Coming to America) Why is a boy child valued more than a girl child? Women themselves tell me how much easier it is to have a boy than a girl. I wish these self-hating women would have several seats. Isn’t the goal to have a healthy baby no matter the gender?
How many months are you?
This may seem an innocent enough question but doctors speak to us in terms of weeks not months. I can tell you how many weeks I am and I will let you do the conversion. PSA: you stay preggers for 10 mos. not 9. If you don’t know, now you know.
I hope this little rant will make you a more sensitive human being when dealing with pregnant women. And if it doesn’t, I hope at least I made you laugh.
~A King’s Ma
*At the time this was written we were not telling the gender. It’s a boy!
When I step on the scale I am amazed. I step on it every day and every day I am amazed. I am closer to 200lbs than to 100lbs. The reason why this is so fascinating is because I was a skinny child. I was teased and told to eat regularly. My West Indian relatives thought my mother was starving me. In my adult life I have worn sizes 0, 2, and 4. Later on in adulthood it went up to 6 then 8. I have heard myself described as “the skinny girl with booty”. As objectifying and ignorant as that sounds I was ok with that description. I learned in my thirties that your metabolism really does change. I also learned that I am an emotional eater.
When people hear this they think I get depressed, get under the covers and eat a pint of ice cream. Which may be true, but I also eat when I’m happy. Getting a promotion? Let’s eat! Found 50 bucks in my jeans, we are eating well tonight! I have always enjoyed food and my saving grace has been that I stay active. I am always involved in some type of physical activity and I rarely diet. I may juice, or do a raw foods fast but abstaining from food all together? No ma’am. Then I had a baby.
My 5’4 single digit clothes wearing self went up to 209lbs. Pause. I ate whatever I wanted, however much I wanted and still did yoga. If I ever were to do it again, which I probably won’t, I will do some cardio. However, when your breathing is labored and a simple task like getting out of the car becomes difficult; you are not thinking about busting a sweat. So now, post baby I am in the double digits for clothing. I have a gut and I cannot wear anything form-fitting without the proper fat camouflage under garments. I visit plus size stores and even continue to wear some of my maternity tops. I exercise as much as possible. Even with the increase of cardio I am not releasing weight. I’m not gaining any, I’m simply maintaining. It looks like I’m going to have to change my eating habits.
The foodie in me is heartbroken. I don’t really eat a lot of junk but there is room for improvement. I am leaning towards a paleo/pescatarian vibe. A vegan diet would probably get me there quicker but Papa Bear doesn’t eat that way and I’m not preparing different sets of meals. I’m busy and making time to cook one meal is difficult enough. It is hard trying to love this new body with its’ sagging boobs, stretch marks and jiggly stomach but I know I have to. I must accept myself exactly the way I am right now before I can change what I see in the mirror. I have a new empathy for the fat girl. I’m fat and I don’t eat fast food every day and I do exercise. The assumptions I made about fat people have all been challenged now that I am one.
Papa Bear thinks that I’m losing my mind. It takes me longer to get out of the house now. I’m always changing outfits and making sure everything is properly sucked and tucked. The clothes despite their size must be stylish. And my face, well it always has to be beat. Papa Bear will yell “what is taking you so long?”
I reply, “Baby if I have to be fat I’m definitely going to be cute.”
~A King’s Ma