PSA : PREGNANCY RAGE

Dear Imperfect Stranger,

With effort, I can usually hide my displeasure. I can bite my tongue despite the fact that my face is probably saying it all for me anyways, but hey, that’s a matter of perception right? On a good day, I can tolerate most things, I’ll suppress the annoyance with a simple shrug and move on–but these are not good days. Full disclosure, being pregnant, it does not take much for this crouching tiger to find her hidden dragon and breathe fire all up in your grill.

For the record, pregnancy rage is not due to a wild, irrational case of hormones, it’s due to a decreased threshold for bullshit, and honestly a little common sense, and common courtesy will go a long way to not having to deal with the Flame of Udun.

These days, I feel like an eighty year old who has lost her filter. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I literally don’t have the energy to suppress your ignorance at the moment. Growing a human being is exhausting and quite frankly painful. Things are pulling and pinching and you feel like a knit sweater slowly unraveling, so please stop pulling the fray.

This does not mean that pregnant women need to be treated as fragile bowls in china shops, and it’s not that we’re crazy, aggressive beasts that need to be tamed either, we’re people whose minds are currently being occupied with things more important than your bruised ego after finally calling out your lack of consideration. So how about instead of brushing off my anger with a demeaning call out to my hormones you actually take a second, listen to the words, and do better in the future.

I’ll admit, my personal fury has always been lurking below the surface like a shark ready to devour it’s prey, the irritability for things that have happened over and over again without resolution, and the overall annoyance of (to quote Michel from GG) people being particularly stupid that day. I can be sassy AF; however, now it’s different. Now I don’t want to just be the bag that takes the punches because that’s not the example I want to be for my kids. I don’t want to be the people pleaser who is always sweeping things under the rug because that’s not being an example of emotional intelligence to my kid, that’s being a door mat.

Maybe once the energy levels resume I’ll be able to find a more eloquent way of calling out your bullshit, but until then, my dear Imperfect Stranger, can you just make as much of an effort to not piss me off as I have made in the past not jumping down your throat? Can you just think about the consequences of your actions before making them and acknowledge the effort it takes to logistically, physically and, yes, emotionally get out the door to do you a favor? Or how about making stupid comments about my altered body, or birth plans? Even simpler, can you not invade my personal space by rubbing my belly like Aladdin’s lamp because I can pretty much guarantee you that the genie will not be coming out of the bottle, but Iago might just get a cracker shoved down his throat.

So about that freak out sorry, but not sorry because when it comes to pregnancy rage, it’s actually not us it’s you. It might stem from a deeper, unresolved issue, or it can also just be because you made some jerky move, which happens, but at least own it and try to do better instead of placing the blame on the tornado of emotions swirling below our surfaces.

…and if for whatever reason you don’t understand what caused the rager in the first place, chocolate and a foot rub can go a long way!

HUSH LITTLE BABY

Dear Imperfect Stranger,

I’m going to ask a favor. It’s pretty big, and might seem damn near impossible, but I believe in you. Would you mind kindly shutting the hell up?

The fact that my child is not a big talker should really be no concern to you, so repeatedly telling me that she NEEDS to talk and that I SHOULD be making her talk is extremely aggravating. I know I’ve asked you in passing to butt out of my child’s speech, but apparently I was being too subtle.

Silly me.

If you do your own due diligence and look at the charts, you will see the incredible range there is for children  to hit milestones. There are of course indicators of possible delays or issues, but who are you to diagnose my child in the five seconds you’ve spent with them?

As always, it comes back to trust. Trust that I am on top of my child’s development and that I am not hiding under the covers wishing. Trust that I am aware of the fact that my child is not very vocal, and that perhaps I have already looked into it, and am taking the appropriate actions. Trust in my ability to parent before bringing in the cavalry, and lynching me for a snapshot.

Sanctimommies and know it alls are too dominant in our society today. Mothers should not feel the need to explain themselves or their parenting to an absolutely Imperfect Stranger because trust me, as easily as you are able to nit pick a snapshot of my day is as easily as I could nit pick yours.

With a sincere desire to see the good in all, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that your “advice” is coming from a place of concern, a place of encouragement, and not a place of high horsery; however, this is the only tip your delivery will be receiving today. Quit being a Buttinski, focus a little more on your own little darling who, as luck would have it, is currently over in the corner pushing another child out of the way of the play kitchen, and leave the doctoring to my child’s actual doctor.

Am I so excited to hear the absolutely crazy shit that will come out of my child’s mouth? YES! Is speech encouraged through activities, reading time and learning? Every damn day. Is my child more of an observer and a listener than a talker? Yup. Has all this been discussed with her doctor and are we currently awaiting an appointment with a speech therapist for due diligence? Hell yes because despite what you are implying with your critique, I am, in fact, not an ostrich with my head in the sand.

Imperfect Stranger, I do have hope that you and I can one day come to a mutual respect, but in the mean time it would be a big help if you could just mind your own business, or take a cue from my little listener and just be quiet.

Hush little baby…

XoXo

 

IGNORANCE, JUDGEMENT & LIES (OH MY!)

Dear Imperfect Stranger,

Contrary to your preconceived notions, you don’t know me, so please stop crowding my space with your ignorance.

For some reason, everyone feels the need to create their own narrative about mothers. From eating habits, to clothing choices and everything in between, mother’s are questioned day in and day out. We’re shamed for this, that and EVERYTHING, and some Sanctimommies even feel the need to trash you online…I mean really though, how dare you decide to let your child play with an empty Tim Horton’s cup to keep them calm so that you can actually finish your grocery shopping and have food for the week. Seriously, are you trying to raise a diabetic serial killer? Shame, shame.

While I know any sane person would know that the previous statement is seriously ridiculous, that is actually the crap that parents deal with on a regular basis. Ludicrous statements that somehow manage to second guess choices and fill an amazing mother’s head with doubt.

It’s exhausting, and at a time when moms are the most overextended–the most vulnerable–it’s just mean to offer anything other than support.

One of my least favourite narratives has to be about women who have their child in daycare versus women who stay at home. Instead of accepting, or better yet embracing a mom who is making the best choice for THEIR family, people choose fallacies.

It’s a double edged sword. Women with careers that take them outside of the house are too often met with criticism about being selfish or having other people raise their child. Whereas women who are home with their children all day are often met with judgment over work ethic and ambition (or lack there of). For the record, none of those statements are accurate or valid, and both bring a hell of a lot of guilt with them.

It is SO difficult to be a parent. Not only are we in open water, we’re unable to sink, but have yet to learn to swim. It’s tough and every single one of us is doing the best we can, and despite what you clearly seem to think, you actually have no idea to parent anyone else’s child.

Think back to your childhood, dear Stranger, and reflect a little bit about your own story. Were you in daycare so your parent’s could make ends meat? Were you in daycare because your parents wanted you to have the socialization? Did your mom stay home with you because it was more affordable than having you in daycare? What real impact has being a daycare child or one with a stay at home mom had on your adult life?

Put down the pitch forks, get your head out of your ass and just accept that ALL parents make the best decision they can at the time for their child.

Stop with the obnoxious falsehoods. Stop with the judgement, and STOP putting words in our mouths.

XoXo

NOT THE MOMMA

Dear Imperfect Stranger,

Do you know who the mom to my kid is? Me. Yet for some reason you claim to be an expert on the proper way to be her parent. Either I’m not feeding her enough, or I’m feeding her too much. Either she’s under, or over stimulated. No matter what side the coin lands on I’m wrong because apparently you’re the expert on MY child.

Everything you do, or say makes me want to scream “Not the Momma!”, and hit you over the head with a frying pan.

It’s beyond irritating. I have a really great kid. Sure she throws a tantrum here and we get mega side eyed there, but ultimately I have a great kid. So, why the hell isn’t that enough? Am I really such an awful parent because I’m not doing things the way you might?

Stop telling me what I should be doing with, for, or to my child. She’s two. She doesn’t quite have the dexterity to be a brain surgeon yet, and she’s about 4$ short from taking over the world. Stop telling me that my child NEEDS to start talking. Again she’s two. She is an observer first and a talker second…how that’s the child I have is beyond me, but that’s how she rolls and there is nothing wrong with it. I don’t need to defend her speech, or tell you about conversations we’ve had with our doctor because, at the end of the day, that’s really none of your business.

There’s this funny picture that’s been going around about how to be a parent in 2017. Haven’t seen it yet? No worries, I’ve got your back!

Image result for how to be a mom in 2017

See it’s funny because it seems SO exaggerated, and really quite absurd; yet, it’s also a 100% accurate representation of parenting expectations. There are far too many “rules” to your game, and I hate to break it to you, but I was never really great at following the leader.

Trust me to be the parent.

Trust me to be giving my all for my kid, and trust that every single thing I do is with her best interest at heart. I’m not perfect, but neither are you little miss Sanctimommy, or worse random person who doesn’t actually have kids.

My household is not GMO free, I do not live in a cul-de-sac, and my child loves Curious George, and you know what? My child is happy, healthy and loved. She eats broccoli as if it was candy. She is a spit fire who is keeping us on our toes. She is active and she is a freaking force.

As my ten dollar Walmart shirt will tell  you: I’m the Mom, your argument is invalid.

XoXo

ON THE PLUS SIDE

Dear Imperfect Stranger,

Fun fact, I did in fact lose all the baby weight. Yup, all SIXTY pounds of it. I know I don’t look the way I did before; my thighs are a little more giggly, my ankles are a little more canklely and my stomach is less toned than ever, but if I’m okay with it, why are you so uncomfortable?

For real, my husband never received comments about his post baby weight loss (because let’s face it, I wasn’t eating those chips on the couch by myself), so why the hell are you commenting on mine?

As with everything, there is that pesky standard; however, honestly the last I checked beauty came in all sizes.

Am I a walking, talking, breathing poster of body positivity? No. Depending on the day I might change my outfit three times, but honestly if you ask anyone regardless of their personal body description they will tell you the same. That’s normal, everyone has their own perceived flaws; however, that doesn’t mean I need to hide away or feel shamed for a little extra junk in the trunk.

I’m happy. I’ve accepted that my body is post baby because, well, I had a baby. I’m proud of the weight loss I did manage to accomplish in addition to learning how to tame and nurture a Mandrake, and I know that one day, I will be able to get back to a higher level of fitness.

So, take your bullshit pressure and shove it because at a time when everything is a guessing game, guilt trip, or open water swim, the last thing that anyone needs is to feel as though they are lesser for living the way they see fit.

As Ed Sheeran would say “there’s more to life than fitting in your jeans”, and as a new mom there is A LOT going on! Everyone is writing their own story, and you, my dear Stranger Danger, are not being consulted as a bata, editor or reviewer–so just butt out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to finish this deliciously atrocious green juice…and then I’m gonna eat a damn donut because, you know, balance.

XoXo

MESSY HOUSE? OH WELL!

Dear Imperfect Stranger,

Welcome to my home! As you can probably tell, it is a little less organized than the last time you visited because I’ve finally realized something. I’ve finally figured out that I don’t need to have the perfect house to live my happy life.

Honestly, life can get pretty messy. While I love organization, and knowing that everything has its home, I’ve learned that things can have sleepovers too. That the train set that we spent the afternoon building will bring as much joy tomorrow as it did today. That the mountain of books will be read again and again, and that the puzzle on the play table will be finished in a day or two (or five).

You see, I’ve finally figured out that my house isn’t messy, it’s lived in. While I will admit, I do think it’s important for the sake of my own anxiety to manage the clutter, I realized that that is not what I was doing. I was driving myself crazy, and adding pressure to an already heavy load. Worse than that, I was erasing our day. The train track, the puzzles, all of it was gone in the time it took my husband to put our daughter to bed.

And why? So that I could impress you? So that I could be like Suzie Homemaker and I could fake an image of perfection? That image is too illusive and I really need to focus on my own realities instead of striving for others.

I need to stop feeling inadequate for my house being lived in.

I love our days, and I need to stop erasing them because as much as I like to have things in their place, my daughter likes to run from her crib and continue with her play. She likes to push the trains around the track while making choo choo noises, and despite a sometimes short attention span, she enjoys working and finishing a puzzle.

So I’m sorry if my house is less than photo ready, but I’m not about to run around like a chicken with my head cut off and pretend to be something I’m not. I do that enough, and I’m exhausted.

XoXo

 

STOP TRYING TO WRITE MY STORY

Dear Imperfect Stranger,

Listen, I was polite and made small talk while you asked me about my child’s age, sleeping and eating habits, but I have my limits. It’s honestly none of your damn business how many kids I choose to have.

Let me love and focus on the child I do have instead of preaching hypothetical ones to me.

I don’t want to hear your opinion about single children, and I don’t need you to tell me how much my daughter would love a sibling or two (or three) to play with. You don’t have to tell me about age gaps and the hardships that come with them. You don’t have to tell me how wonderful it was raising multiple children, but you do need to just stay out of my bedroom.

It’s none of your business. You’re not the first to bring it up, but you are also not the one who would be bringing up this hypothetical child. I am. Therefore, I’m the one who gets to decide if and when I am ready to be pregnant again. I’m the one who gets to decide if we’re feeling stable enough both financially and emotionally for another child. I’m the one who gets to decide what kind of family I get to raise, not you. Your opinion really is invalid here.

Honestly, I get so tired. While I never mind someone stopping to ask a question or two about my little love, there is no need to delve into the more intimate details of our family life. Trust me, my husband and I have had many discussions about baby number two, but not there is a reason we have kept those conversations to ourselves. Not everything needs to be public knowledge; and really, why does it matter to you if we have one, two or twelve kids?

The reality is, you don’t know our story. You don’t know our struggles, and you don’t know our life. The only thing you do know is that at the moment we have one amazing kid. Focus on that. Focus on that fact versus the fiction you’ve created in your mind.

I love my kid, and while I would love for her to have a sibling one day, the fact that I have yet to cross that bridge has no impact on YOUR actual life, does it? So just back off. Let me decide what’s best for me, and you for you.

XoXo

ENOUGH ALREADY

To all the parents doing the best they can in a world full of Critics, Nay Sayers, Sanctimommies, Self Described Gurus, and (im)Perfect Strangers working to snuff your spark instead of igniting your flame, this ones for you.

 

Dear Imperfect Stranger,

ENOUGH ALREADY!

Women have a nasty way of dulling their own inner sparkle without help from you. We’ve actually really perfected it over the years. While I’m still working on always keeping a healthy and open mind about my self, body and mind, I am certain I do not need the help of strangers to dim my own light. Everything is always a criticism and taken at face value when you are a mom. Instead of offering empathy or giving an ounce of benefit of the doubt, people instantly conclude that you are in over your head and completely dismiss your ability to parent.

Your kid is thrashing around the shopping cart because they refused to finish their breakfast earlier pushing you thirty minutes behind schedule and you are now encroaching on naptime? How dare you not be aware of the emotional well being of your child!

Your little boy is having a blast playing pirates at the local park as he merrily runs around in a Spiderman shirt and a turquoise tutu? Way to cause gender confusion, you horrible mother!

What’s that, you’re breastfeeding your child in public? You’re breastfeeding your child in the comfort of your own home? You’re feeding your child formula because you’re unable to produce enough milk yourself? Really, you’re just choosing formula? Whatever category you fall into the conclusion is simple: UNACCEPTABLE.

Honestly, the fact that anyone, especially another mother, would waste their time being overly critical of others is absurd. During and after pregnancy, our minds are exhausted. Hormones are swirling and we have developed a chemical imbalance that often leads to depression. Knowing this and still injecting your opinions on someone on the verge of mental collapse is downright mean.

Can we all agree to put down our floggers and pitchforks for a moment and walk a mile in the shoes of the person before choosing to publicly shame them?

Seriously, it’s enough already. Worry about yourself, and stop wasting energy on me—because I am not wasting an ounce of energy on your bullshit.

XoXo