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.

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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.

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Photo Credit:
Pim Chu

 

©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!”

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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

Food Tip 9

I’m all about having food on hand. I don’t like frequent store trips or surprises. I’m also big into getting as natural of food as is reasonable.

So, today’s food tip is:

Grow your own food.

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If you don’t know this by now, I draw my lines at convenience and comfort. Although all-natural and organic are great ideas, the most organic I go is our backyard garden. Even then, I totally called in our pest guy at The Battle of the Squash Bugs (that epic tale will need to wait till another post).

I also think saving money is important. But when the cost of garden boxes, soil, plants, and special vegetable wash exceed the cost of tomatoes at Sprout’s; I’m not going to waste the effort.

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So, start small. Plant one thing that you’ll use in a small bit of land or a pot. Add a watering system the next year. Over the next while; purchase and implement garden boxes, special mix-ins, and more interesting plants.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll even start saving seeds for next season’s plantings.

Garden fresh tastes better and is healthier. It’s also fun for kids, especially if they have one plant that is all their own.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Food Tip 8

Even when I’m more on top of life and have meals planned out for …days, I depend on my personal food tips and tricks. I can’t number how often I’ve started a meal and realized I’m missing an ingredient.

That is when my prepared foods and pre-purchased staples literally save my bacon. I realized, however, that I had not specifically recommended a vital food tip:

Keep a food storage.

Not everyone has extra space, I know. Not everyone has extra money. Not everyone considers buying ahead, knowing of those limitations. But I can also tell you that my husband and I have always purchased a little ahead of our food supply.

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Like with cereal. I have so many breakfast eaters these days that I load up on extra boxes when the local Smith’s Marketplace runs deals.

Since we are in a more spacious house now, we also store more Doomsday Preppers-type items like oatmeal, flour, sugar, and rice.

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Before we had children and a basement, our flour supply was a couple of buckets. The oats were an extra Quaker container. The tuna fish was three surplus cans.

Ah, tuna fish: The greatest, cheap protein that lasts and kids hate to eat.

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I don’t like tuna very much, either. I make a tuna salad mix for sandwiches or a tuna casserole with potato chips and cheese on top to make it palatable.

The point is that our basic food storage has many benefits. Keeping a year’s supply of wheat will sustain us in The Zombie Apocalypse. Ten buckets of sugar just might get us through the Christmas season. And, the spare Girl Scout cookies I hid downstairs help in the between-times.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens