While you’re trying to conceive, every experienced mother sings the praises of how wondrous and magical pregnancy is. Amazingly enough, as soon as that stick has two lines, the same women can’t stop lamenting about how dreadful their pregnancies were, and openly take every opportunity to get in a good chuckle at your expense.
At first, you’ll laugh with them and brush it off. Your pure elation overcomes often silly, but sometimes terrifying, war stories from veteran moms. Nothing’s going to bring you down.
Around month four, you may feel a little differently. You’re stoked that your risk of miscarriage has decreased dramatically, and usually the nausea starts to subside, yet the stories persist. Now, you have the pleasure of enduring woeful tales of killer heartburn and rib-cracking, alien octopus babies.
There’s only so much a woman can take. After a while, these unpleasant stories will start to take their toll on your baby-growing morale.
So, what’s a girl to do?
How do you shut them down without losing your cool and throwing some uncouth nastiness right back into their laps? As tempting as it is, all it will do is provoke an awful “hormone” comment and an overstated eye-roll, which will ultimately only frustrate you further.
First, take a deep breath…not an obvious, get-out-of-my-face sigh…but a deep, relaxing breath.
Second, smile. Give her a simple, sweet smile that shows appreciation for what she went through. It’s all about the poker face.
Third, sympathize with her story. “Wow, I’m really sorry to hear that. It must have been hard for you.”
Finally, change the subject. If she’s really burning to share the elements of her pregnancy, shift to a lighter, happier topic. Ask her how she picked her nursery theme or where she found her favorite maternity clothes. She’ll start dishing and you might actually pick up a tip or two that will be useful to you.
Pregnancy isn’t always a cakewalk, but the end result is something beautiful and sweet. Don’t let Betty Buzzkill rain on your parade. If you keep calm and take the reins, you’ll be able to enjoy your pregnancy without other mothers’ negativity.
Jessi Arias-Cooper is the senior writer and assistant editor for Advice4Parenting.com. She is a work-from-home mother of 3 boys and has been married for 10 years. Jessi co-owns Profitable Prose, with her husband, Brock. If she had time for hobbies and interests outside of parenting and keeping house, they would be jewelry making, baking, watching bad B-movie horror flicks and creative writing.