Top Ten Things to Never Tell a Pregnant Woman

As I’m more obviously pregnant now, I’m getting a few well-meaning comments and questions from people. While most know to avoid the “are you pregnant” one, a few of the others I’ve heard left me thinking that I really need to make a list.

So, without further ado, here are The Top Ten Things to Never Tell a Pregnant Woman:

10. “You don’t look pregnant.”
Since I first felt the wonderful joys of ‘morning’ sickness, this comment has hurt. I realize it’s coming from good intentions, I do. Still, when you’re already aching in your lady parts and constantly feeling like tossing your Saltines, hearing that you don’t look pregnant is the worst.

9. “You look so cute.”
I don’t know why, but I’ve heard this one several times lately. No, I do not look cute. I look like a whale. I look like an elephant. I look like myself in a Sumo wrestler suit that I cannot take off for …a few years. Cute things are little and precious, and I am neither of those whilst pregnant.

8. Assurances of how long it took them to bounce back.
This is more of a stinging comment for older women who are pregnant. If it’s their first time in the ring, they might be more severely depressed post-partum when they can’t go jogging within a week. If it’s not their first time, they know better and don’t need the reminder -especially from someone who looks like she never carried anything heavier than a baby guppy.

7. Lists of risks for the foods the pregnant women is eating.
Another helpful one. If the person is really looking to be helpful, a kind reminder BEFORE any money or effort is spent would be nice. Or -as the best idea- show up with perfectly safe foods for the pregnant woman and her entire family.

6. “You’re eating for two.” Wink, wink
Lady, I know I’m pigging out. Maybe I’m just excited that the food’s staying down this time. Maybe I really do have cravings that seem to involve the wrong side of The Food Pyramid. Maybe I need to eat every hour because my stomach is being smashed in an upside-down direction.
Whatever option you pick, keep it to yourself. And, pass the ice cream.

5. “It’s only nine months.”
You know what? YOU try it.

4. Horrible delivery stories.
Again; as helpful as these are intended to be, maybe keep them to yourself. Especially if the pregnant woman has done IVF or prayed for ten years or whatnot, stories of botched or nearly-botched deliveries are terrible. Didn’t you know that stressing the mom out can cause premature labor? -Yeah, don’t tell her that, either.

3. Shameful comments about her birthing plan.
I addressed this somewhat in my article on planning a C-Section. If you know the person well enough to comment, maybe begin with a simple question: Are you choosing that plan because of past complications?
There’s always a nice way to say things and I know people can choose that way.

2. Horror stories of what the baby looked like, or how it changed sexes.
Like I mentioned in #4, just don’t. No one needs to worry that she’s going to pop out some alien with tentacles where they shouldn’t be.

1. Stories of babies dying.
I once expressed my anxieties about birth to a former neighbor, who responded that at least the child would be “teaching people in heaven.” That is not comforting; that is strange.
Getting a baby to attach, grow, not have complications, and pop out is HUGE. Please, please don’t tell an expectant mom about someone losing her child at birth. Save it for if that happens to her, when you give her a genuine hug and help her to cope.

—————

Here’s what went down this past week:
Sunday
, October 6: “No Kids Allowed: The Death of the Family,” an observation of society’s changing expectations.

Monday, October 7: “The Toilet Seat, a poem.”

Tuesday, October 8: Shared a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Wednesday, October 9: Recommended mixing your own cleaners.

Thursday, October 10: “Eat a Balanced Diet?,” a snippet concerning dieting.

Friday, October 11: Thought about raised voices in “The Merits of Yelling in the House.”

Saturday, October 12: Shared Marcy G‘s tweet about kids and their feelings of ownership.

Sunday, October 13: That’s today!

 

Photo Credit:

©2019 Chelsea Owens

I Have No Advice

Today’s been a rough one. No, I haven’t rushed anyone to the hospital (yet). There haven’t been any fires (yet). Everyone’s limbs are still attached and the house is still here.

We’re all a little cranky from staying up late. That’s probably it.

Serves me right for organizing them all into an “at home campout” last night after our neighborhood one was cancelled. Serves me right for dragging mats, sleeping bags, furniture, and snacks into the family room. Serves me right for watching an action film (the only sort my husband says he can stand watching with the kids) until 11 p.m.

So, I have no advice like “be a fun parent.” Look where it got me.

If you’re going to get any advice out of me today, it’s that you ought to take naps. Frequent naps.

Maybe have the kids take a nap, too.

pim-chu-dWzWo22F0mA-unsplash (1)

Photo Credit:
Pim Chu

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

“We Don’t Point Guns at People”

Once while browsing through clothes at a consignment shop, I witnessed an interesting mother. She and her daughter were looking through dresses. A small boy zoomed past; I guessed him to be 3 or 4 years old. He waved a toy pistol he’d ‘borrowed’ from the toys for sale and made shooting sounds as he ran.

“Pew! Pew!”

artsy-background-bang-1076813.jpg

The woman stopped the pretend assault and relieved him of his weapon. “Now, Garrett**,” she admonished, “We don’t shoot guns.”

She might have gotten offended if she’d seen my expression, a mixture of hilarity and shock. For, in our house of 4.5 boys, we possess a full arsenal of Nerf guns, Nerf crossbows, plastic bows, Nerf swords, Minecraft swords, and many off-brand toy hand guns. When not shooting darts all over the basement; my kids and their friends hurl pillows, socks, and each other at each other.

The consignment shop mother’s comment reminded me of my own mother’s words, once upon a time. My oldest was two years old, and he had been fascinated with guns since he’d learned to speak. After aiming a squirt gun her way, my mother said, “No, Samuel**, we don’t point guns at people.”

All this talk of guns and swords and pro-gun rights for children might peg me as a weapons-happy, gun-lovin’, dyed-in-the-wool carrier who won’t have my right to bear arms ripped from anything but my cold, dead fingers.

alex-kalligas-mwdrrf-fllq-unsplash.jpg

Although I am in favor of that amendment, my support of the boys and their pretend weapons stems from logic.

  1. My children turn most objects into weapons, and then use those weapons to attack each other. The toy guns with their sponge bullets give them a better outlet for that aggression.
  2. It’s impossible to play the sorts of war games mentioned in #1 without ever pointing a gun at a person.
  3. All of my rules have been created to channel the boys’ actions into somewhere productive instead of trying to make them stop feeling the way they do.

So, what’s a mom to do? Our official rules are:

*You can’t shoot anyone not playing The Gun Game and not holding a gun.
*You can’t shoot heads or sensitive parts.
*You can’t shoot at close range.
*Swords can only hit other swords.
*Only wrestle with Dad.

Actually, our #1 rule, the one I made years and years and years ago is:

*No heads, no necks.

My sister thinks it’s hilarious, but now she has children of her own….

kids-816056_1920.jpg

—————

Sunday, September 8: “Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!,” a post encouraging parents to put the phone away.

Monday, September 9: “The Boy Mom Poem

Tuesday, September 10: Shared a funny parenting meme.

Wednesday, September 11: Outlined the steps for framing a beautiful food picture.

Thursday, September 12: “Underpants and Floor Food,” a snippet about what children prefer.

Friday, September 13: Discussed teaching how income and credit cards work in, “Kids and Credit Cards (The Magic Money.

Saturday, September 14: Shared Anxiouscougar‘s tweet about funny things we tell our toddler.

Sunday, September 15: That’s today!

**Names changed

 

Photo Credits:
Image by ariesa66 from Pixabay
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
Photo by Alex Kalligas on Unsplash
Image by นัทธิ์กวี แก้วบุญ from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Kids Can Work!

My husband grew up without chores. I kid you not. His mother had some philosophy about her husband’s household (13 kids by the time they stopped) having far too many jobs, and somehow equated that with her children needing none.

My upbringing was more typical: keep your room clean, rotating dishes assignment, and more labor-intensive Saturday Jobs. Even with that; my mother did the floors, toilets, laundry, and decorating.

When I first birthed a child, I had no plans or outlines for his future chores. When he started being mobile and ‘helped’ anyway, I began formulating rough ideas.

My first assisted me with:

  1. Unloading the dishwasher
  2. Sorting and folding laundry
  3. Watering or weeding the yard outside
  4. Vacuuming
  5. Dusting
  6. Toy pick up

In practical application; that meant:

  1. Putting some plastic items away and being chased after for removing a glass dish and running
  2. Swimming through the clothes, usually without any on his person
  3. Playing with everything, especially mud, and needing a bath within five minutes
  4. Fighting over how to run a vacuum over carpet, since he did not want to follow any sort of grid
  5. Waaaay too much polish
  6. “I’m too tiiiii-iiiiired to pick up!”

yawning-1895561_1920

Not that I didn’t persist. After all, he always tailed me and wanted someone to do something with him all day.

What’s been interesting to me is that years and years of chore expectations and (sometimes sporadic) patterns of assigned jobs has led to them all (A) knowing chores are expected and (B) teaching the younger brothers by example.

Today, I can whip out a chore chart my FIVE YEAR OLD can do; jobs that include:

  1. Clean the bathroom (toilets, sink, counter, mirror, floor; refill soap and TP; empty garbage)
  2. Fold and put away your clothes (including hanging up dress clothes)
  3. Dust and polish the furniture (they still use enough polish to slide off the railings)
  4. Unload and load the dishwasher (a lot of spilled water, but they do it)
  5. Pick up and vacuum a room

The moral of the story? No matter how tiiii-iiiired the kids think they are, they actually are capable. No matter how reticent you feel to assign something as monumental as toilets, they can learn to do it.

Most importantly: no matter how much of a favor you think you’re doing your children by not assigning jobs, THEIR WIVES WILL WANT TO KILL YOU IF YOU DID NOT TEACH THEM.

 

Photo Credits:
Image by LaterJay Photography from Pixabay
Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Beauty of Telling Children, “No.”

Children ain’t easy to raise. They try a parent’s patience, destroy household items for fun, and cost a placenta and an umbilical cord to even birth them. It’s just icing on the cake that we, as their guardians, are expected to also teach them good behavior.

Behavior like not being spoiled, rotten brats who throw temper tantrums in public.

You know; when they know better. Psychological meltdowns are a different ball of wax.

In terms of a typical upbringing, this is where a truly magic word comes into play: NO. “Mom, can I eat dessert before bed?” No. “Aw, Dad, just one more hour of Fortnite.” No. “But we promise we’ll clean the entire fort up before getting into every board game we own.” No.

See how it works?

child-cute-girl-116151

But you’re a smart parent. You know that that, “No” isn’t as magic a word as “candy” or “grandma” or “game.” “No” is the sort of magic that requires supplemental materials to make it work. It needs three such materials: truth, consistency, and follow-up.

Truth: When you say they can’t, they can’t. You’re not lying and they need to learn that.

Consistency: Closely tied to Truth, being consistent means your word is always your bond. No begging will change that.

Follow-up: In order to bolster the power of “No” a consequence may be in order if the child cannot stop begging, yelling, or destroying in retaliation. Make the punishment fit the crime, and follow through.

Like I said, children ain’t easy. Children who are never given boundaries and expectations are far, far worse.

luz-fuertes-1191512-unsplash

—————

Sunday, August 18: “The Best Thing You Can Give Your Child.” Wanna know what? Read it!

Monday, August 19: Wrote a poem titled, “There’s Nothing to Eat.”

Tuesday, August 20: Shared a quote by Brené Brown.

Wednesday, August 21: Talked Taco Salad in another bestest, cheapest dinner idea.

Thursday, August 22: “Children: A New Element,” a snippet about their amazing physical properties.

Friday, August 23: Discussed the impractical stress of family photos in “Picture Imperfect.”

Saturday, August 24: Shared Snarky Mommy‘s thoughts on precious moments.

Sunday, August 25: That’s today!

 

Photo Credit: Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens