The nice pregnant lady’s guide to not offending polite society*

This guide has been compiled with your best interests at heart. If you think otherwise, just remember, you’re a little lady whose little lady brain is now addled by more hormones than ever! Best not to question the experts at this time, dear. * – Do note, however, that this guide extends only to dealings with polite society, which does not include various miscreants, shady individuals, and people who get their information on pregnancy from satanic abortion mills such as Planned Parenthood. This guide has been put together based on my own experiences so far, as well as the experiences of other pregnant ladies I have known.

1. Make sure it’s OK for you to procreate.

There are nice pregnant ladies, and not-so-nice pregnant ladies out there. Are you a pregnant lady whose skin is of the wrong colour? A pregnant lady who is not neurotypical? Even if you’ve answered “no” to these questions as well as similar ones – there may be other criteria for you to take note of. Do you own your home? Do you have a few billion dollars saved up for this kid’s college fund? Better yet, if you’re procreating with a male partner – is he the right sort of male partner? Does he practice the right kind of religion? No visible tattoos? That sort of thing. We don’t want any more undesirables in this world than we’ve got already.

2. It’s OK to get married when you’re already pregnant, just don’t talk about it!!!

So you were a brazen hussy – and now you’re pregnant. Thankfully, there’s someone in your life willing to make an honest woman out of you. Great! Get married as quickly as possible, but remember a few basic rules: it’s in poor taste for you to throw a party, wear white, or talk about this event as if it’s anything other than a solemn attempt to rescue you from your current status of Village Bicycle.

When the Man With the Visible Tattoos and I sent out our wedding invitations, we included a few humorous references to to the fact that I’m knocked up. Bad idea! Now some folks are talking about how he’s “humiliating” me, while other folks (or just one very resourceful individual with a whole lot of time on their hands) keep sending me anonymous e-mail messages about how I’m “trapping” the Man into marriage and ought to be “ashamed” of myself.

All of that could have been avoided if we had acted properly apologetic about my growing bump. And answered surprised questions along the lines of “But why isn’t Natalia slamming back drinks?” with something like, “Oh, she’s, um, on antibiotics.” And had already made arrangements for me to give birth in a convent in Siberia.

3. Leave the sexytime to Borat, please.

Conversation I had with a friend who recently got a whole lot of religion:

Friend: “And it’s plainly evident that sex only exists for procreation!”

Me: “But I’m already well on my way to procreating, and you know, I don’t desire Man With the Visible Tattoos any less than before, so if God really meant it for that ONE purpose, then…”

Friend: “Wait, what? Child abuse! Child abuse! You’re ABUSING YOUR CHILD and they’re NOT EVEN BORN YET!”

Oops.

4. Everything you do has consequences for your child. And we literally mean everything.

Play violent video games? Child will turn out to be a serial killer.

Write a play with swear-words in it? Child will turn out to be a criminal.

Hang out on feminist blogs? Child will turn out “confused about his identity” and quite possibly “homogay.”

Etc.

5. You can’t work anymore. But you can’t not work either.

Now that you’re pregnant, you have to quit everything you do, especially anything that has ever earned your money, in order to be a good mother. If that means you could potentially wind up broke – well, whatever. You should have thought of that before spreading your legs, ho.

Oh, and if you don’t work, we’ll call you Suzy Homemaker, make jokes about how boring you’ve become, and secretly hope your husband (if you’re not a hussy and actually have a husband) will run off with his secretary to escape your utter blandness. Hey, you used to be awesome, now you’re just a housewife – so what can we say? You should have thought about that before spreading your legs, ho.

Or else you can keep working, in whatever capacity, don’t come crying to us when your neglected kids become drug-runners for the mob. And certainly don’t come crying to us about lack of affordable child care. You *really* should have thought of that before spreading your legs, ho.

6. Only designer baby accessories are acceptable.

If it’s not made by Dolce & Gabbana, it’s probably carcinogenic.

7. But when it comes to how you dress – you really need to act the part of a nice pregnant lady.

“So Natalia, what are you wearing for the wedding?”

“Oh, I bought this really cool white minidress. And boots. Boots will also be involved.”

“OMG, are you SURE about that? I can just imagine what that kid will think when he takes a look at the wedding pictures!”

Moms and moms-to-be look a certain way, everyone knows that. You don’t want to confuse anyone. Or look like a ho.

8. Now is NOT THE TIME to tell anyone you’re pro-choice.

“So I guess now that you’re pregnant and experiencing the miracle of life inside your actual womb, you’ll take back all of that stuff you used to say about keeping abortion legal.”

“Ummm, if anything, I’m more pro-choice. I mean, seriously, nobody should be forced to go through pregnancy. That’s a direct violation of human rights.”

“You deserve to miscarry.”

9. Now is also NOT THE TIME, to tell anyone that this baby was “not planned.”

Everyone plans their baby. People who don’t plan their babies are acting like animals. Animals poop in the woods. You don’t want to be gross like that.

10. Pregnancy is the one thing little ladies are good for – or good at. If you don’t get pregnant, you’re a selfish bitch. But if you do get pregnant, you’re also a selfish bitch – so don’t think you’re special, little lady. And for God’s sake, don’t complain! Especially don’t complain about stuff that could scare off other little ladies from performing their sacred duty – which actually isn’t sacred at all.

Complain about your back hurting? You’re making a mockery of the sanctity of motherhood.

Worried about tearing during childbirth? EW, you’re being GROSS – and making a mockery of the sanctity of motherhood.

Haven’t started saving up for a personal trainer to help you lose the baby weight? Don’t complain when you wind up a fattie. Unless you were a fattie to begin with, in which case, see Point 1.

Scared about securing that maternity leave? Then you’re probably a socialist. Shoot yourself.

Now, remember to enjoy those pregnancies, ladies! “The nice young mother’s guide to not offending polite society” will hopefully be out sometime in the summer of 2011, so mark your calendars!


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76 comments for “The nice pregnant lady’s guide to not offending polite society*

  1. January 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Oh, Feministe. Hitting it out of the park today! Sent this to my pregnant friends. This is so on point. Thanks for making me smile and shake my head at the same time.

  2. January 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    This is hands-down the best thing I have read all week. Pure win!

  3. Florence
    January 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    10a) Part of your sacred duty is to tolerate everyone’s hands and eyes all over your body, and their incessant, never-ending comments about your size and weight. Complaining about acquaintances and strangers man-handling you is proof that you are a little lady whose little lady brain is now addled by more hormones than ever. To demand boundaries afforded to non-pregnant people is making a mockery of the sanctity of motherhood.

  4. January 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    #3. Wait, what? Even the Roman Catholic Church lets the pregnant ladies get it on. Your friend has won the coveted Less Sex-Positive Than The Pope Award. It comes with a shiny hat.

    #8: As my mom always says, “Pregnancy made me pro-choice. I love my children, but if someone tries to make me go through labor again I will cut out their hearts.”

    If it’s any help, I think you’d be the most awesome mom ever. :)

  5. January 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Florence: 10a) Part of your sacred duty is to tolerate everyone’s hands and eyes all over your body, and their incessant, never-ending comments about your size and weight.

    Yes! If I don’t listen to everyone’s advice, how else will I be able to abide by #4?

  6. Brandyish
    January 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    So agree with #8, I never thought I could get more Pro-choice till I went through pregnancy (very recently.) It made me even more determined that no one should have to go through it.

    I made a terrible pregnant woman by most standards. Most of my friends are glad that becoming a new mom has not made me lose my dark wit. My parents and sister are still shocked that motherhood didn’t magically transform me into a nice, gentle soul.

  7. Cat
    January 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Congratulations!

    Apparently now that you are pregnant and getting married your bidness is now EVERYONE’S bidness.

    Of course, if you are unmarried and childless and say that you could quite happily remain unmarried and childless then there is something wrong with you. And that is soooooooooooo everyone’s bidness.

    Cause, let’s face it, your tiny lady brain just can’t really handle all that bidness you got going on. We’re here to help.

  8. January 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    This is great. I am also currently pregnant and unmarried (but not planning on getting married before the baby is born) and I have actually been surprised with how cool and supportive everyone has been so far. Although several people have implied that a large part of why they are so cool with it is that my boyfriend and I are in our 30s and not younger.

  9. Amy
    January 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Welcome to your next iteration of your life as a woman in the patriarchy. Wait till baby is born, grows up and after. Gets worse and more fun. Good luck!

    — the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  10. abby_wan_kenobi
    January 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    This made me really happy. Anyone who can get a giggle at this will probably get another here: http://thestir.cafemom.com/column/ill_advised

  11. mickiet
    January 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    You forgot this one: Everyone is allowed to ask you if you’re breast-feeding (and by “ask you,” I mean “command you to breast feed). You will absolutely breast-feed and you will tell everyone you will breast-feed, even if you don’t want to, can’t or shouldn’t. You are not allowed to say that you’re not planning on breast-feeding, or even confess that you’re considering formula feeding, because everyone knows that women who don’t breast feed their children are cruel, ignorant, self-centered heartless creatures who don’t really care about children. And don’t forget that family, freinds, co-workers and strangers have un-restricted right to remind you of this for the rest of your life.

  12. Samantha b.
    January 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I’ve read that around 50% of pregnancies are unplanned (in the US, at least,) so a lot of people hate themselves, I guess? Why, yes, they do! Also, I would point out that recent testing of toys revealed toxins and banned substances in children’s items across the entire spectrum of prices and place of manufacture (yes, affluent European countries too!) So, no, it ain’t so much gonna help that a chi chi name is attached to it. You pretty much have to carve it yourself, I suppose? Or you could just request that these types craft something themselves for you, since they are so very helpful!

  13. Lynnsey
    January 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I’ve been hashing out the “pregnant women being policed by everybody” argument in light of the woman in Chicago who was kicked out of the bar because she was pregnant. Some people just can’t grasp the concept that they have no right to comment on my actions (regardless of their good intentions) simply because I am pregnant.

  14. January 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    It was a lot of fun to admit my firstborn wasn’t planned. Especially since the conception date was 3 days after the wedding. It is so much fun to tell the kind of people who count months on you that you made it by their standards. Not that I cared about the standards. I just found it hilarious to see people’s faces that baby #1 happened more quickly than is considered acceptable. The look on people’s faces when they start counting back and getting an answer that’s technically acceptable but brings up the question of “why didn’t you wait?” was fun.

  15. January 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    You forgot this one:

    Now that you are pregnant, you cannot be within 5′ of alcohol, or within 50′ of a bar. If you allow anyone to consume alcohol within 5′ of your person, you are committing child abuse and your children will grow up to be prostitutes and hitmen. Don’t even think of stepping into a bar, and if you do, kindly submit to the judgmental stares of all, and your forcible removal by the staff.

  16. Lynnsey
    January 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Oh, and I was a little leery of telling my now-MIL that I was pregnant before we got married (but after we were engaged…am I safe?) until my husband looked me dead in the eye and said, “I was born in June of ’76, my parents were married in January of ’76…you do the math.” :)

  17. January 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Don’t forget to decide what “gender” you want the baby to be. Everybody will ask this, and if you take a moment to try to explain the difference between sex and gender, prepare for eyes to glaze over.

    This question will immediately be followed by speculation about the sex of the fetus based on your appearance, superstition and, I don’t know, unicorn farts or some shit.

    THAT will immediately be followed by the asker’s assertion that boys/girls are easier/better/more fun.

    If you smack the asker upside the head, that will be used as a data point in further speculation about the sex of the fetus.

  18. January 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    akeeyu – and you HAVE to have an opinion, and that opinion MUST be the correct opinion (mothers must want girls, fathers must want boys). And if your baby isn’t the “correct” sex, you MUST act disappointed.

    You have no idea how many times I’ve been asked if I was disappointed that my baby was a girl, or how many confused looks I’ve gotten when I said that I’d be happy with any sort of baby. Fathers HAVE to want sons over daughters, don’t ya know.

  19. January 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I think maybe the only benefit I might garner from being pregnant is ripping this “list” into tiny pieces and being a total bitch. No you may not touch me, I don’t care hold old you are. No it is not a baby just because it’s wanted, it is still a fetus. No it is none of your business how the child will be fed, raised, etc so stop asking me stupid fucking questions. Oh look there go those hormones making me cranky – not my fault *sweet smile*.

  20. Julie
    January 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I see someone already added my least favorite- the having to tolerate remarks about your weight and changing body shape. I am SO incredibly sick of hearing “Wow! You’re huge! Are you sure there aren’t twins in there?”.
    And yeah, make sure you have ten billion dollars saved up, or else you aren’t fit to be a parent. You certainly can’t find a nice diaper bag for under a couple hundred dollars and god forbid you have life insurance should something happen to your child rather than a 10,000 dollar savings account for each child. So glad this is my last pregnancy!

  21. January 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Jeff,

    My husband still occasionally gets everything short of outright condolences because we have three girls.

    When I was pregnant, my husband used to answer the “What are you having?” question “Babies, probably, but kittens would be nice, too. We like kittens.”

  22. January 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    If you don’t get pregnant, you’re a selfish bitch. But if you do get pregnant, you’re also a selfish bitch

    Oh so much the heart of it.

    Florence and akeeyu’s addendums are also spot-on.

  23. Azalea
    January 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I tell you the experience was different for me, everyone wanted me to have babies SOONER and I had my children in my early twenties. I’m pro-choice but my choice has always been to give birth if I physically could and people who KNEW that would ask me if I were going to have an abortion. I had people who tried to convince me that adopting a child of color who needed a home and having an abortion was the most selfless act. There were strangers who after noting my wedding ring would ask me if the child’s father were around (seriously people actually had the audacity to ASK that of a stranger). I was a size 12 before the babies and now I’m an 8, there are those who swore I started exercising too soon when in actuality my vegetarian best friend inspired me to give up beef and pork. I am JUST now getting to walking over taking the stairs because my 2 year old is starting to outrun me lol. Soryr for the mini-life story here but this hits home HARD. Just ugh!

  24. Azalea
    January 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    sorry that should be walking and taking the stairs over the escalators/elevators.

  25. Lynnsey
    January 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Oooooh, I thought of another good story for this post. I look younger than I am, apparently, although it’s catching up to me. When my son was very young, I was pushing him through a store dressed in pair of jeans and a cheerleading hoodie from the high school I taught at. As I passed, an older man made a comment to a woman who I’ll assume was his wife that was, let’s just say, less than kind about unwed teen mothers and a lack of education and poverty…you know the tune. I turned around to look at him (since I was the only woman with a child in the vicinity and I knew he was talking about me by the look on his face). I was in rare form that day because I confronted him and told him that although it was really none of his business I was 28 and married and quite possibly (based on the area’s statistics) more highly educated than he was.

    Moral of the story: Perfect strangers have no problem criticizing pregnant women and new mothers. Have fun with it.

  26. libdevil
    January 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    When I was pregnant, my husband used to answer the “What are you having?” question “Babies, probably, but kittens would be nice, too. We like kittens.”

    I’d totally steal that, utterly shamelessly, but anybody who knows me knows I don’t like kittens. They’re cute and all, but… just no. Kitten pictures? Yes. Cute kitten Youtube videos. Sure. Real kittens? No.

  27. Nahida
    January 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Me: “But I’m already well on my way to procreating, and you know, I don’t desire Man With the Visible Tattoos any less than before, so if God really meant it for that ONE purpose, then…”

    Friend: “Wait, what? Child abuse! Child abuse! You’re ABUSING YOUR CHILD and they’re NOT EVEN BORN YET!”

    Your friend totally lost me there. X_X

  28. January 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    This. All of this.

    Also the following:

    #11: Give birth in the way [I / all the women I know] prefer.
    #12: Read this book on [pregnancy / breastfeeding / birthing / parenting] or you’ll be an awful parent!
    #13: Quick, go see LOTS OF MOVIES and go out on the town, because you will NEVER DO THESE THINGS AGAIN FOR 18 YEARS.
    #14: Buy EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST or risk absolute parental failure.
    #15: What someone else said: let me touch your bump oh god I just can’t help myself please please pleeeeeease.

  29. Miss S
    January 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Number one is SPOT ON. People who think all mothers are revered and held in high esteem have never been a mother with brown skin.

  30. Lex HT
    January 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I want to know what counts as planned/unplanned. Because I’m certainly not an accident – my parents decided that they wanted to have kids together (and not be married while they did it), but my mum got pregnant much quicker than they were expecting. No one believed that she was pregnant – it’s obviously something some people make up just as a joke!

  31. January 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Riffing off what mickiet said:

    Do tell the whole world you’re going to breastfeed! Better yet, actually have the temerity to do it, so you can be told how gross, animalistic, and unsanitary you are. How breastfeeding anywhere except the privacy of your own home is just like taking a hot, steaming shit on the sidewalk.

    Because (say it once more with a feeling…) damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  32. Roisin
    January 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I was wondering about all of this today, whether it’s the norm to be so hounded because you’re pregnant. I’ve been told where I should live, what kind of house to live in, asked SO many times when I’m getting married. I get told off regularly for not putting on weight (18 weeks in and still vomiting – try that and see how much extra weight you can gain), as well as being told if I had a boy he’d probably be gay. Two things – 1, why? 2, so what?

    It’s all very frustrating, not least because it’s coming from either strangers or people I hardly associate with.

  33. January 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I had one pregnancy in Germany, then one in the U.S. Germans like to stare shamelessly, but they tended to hold the unsolicited advice until after the birth. My faves were the elderly ladies who berated me because my baby didn’t have a hat on his head on a perfectly temperate day. (You could try putting a hat on him but he’d rip it right off.)

    I would like to replace the entire next print run of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” with Natalia’s list and the choice add-ons from the comments here – strip out all the nonsense about bran muffins and replace it with this brilliant, spot-on snark.

  34. January 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    La Labu beat me to it :). I was going to say something to the effect of, “tell everyone you’re breastfeeding, but only in the privacy of the bathroom in your own home behind closed doors. never, ever under any circumstances attempt to feed your child in a remotely public spot unless you’re equipped with a full-body shield so that NO ONE will catch ONE GLIMPSE of your hard-working breast providing nourishment to your child (whom, if it wasn’t fed, would probably start fussing and thus commit the OTHER cardinal sin of being a Child In PUblic: being not only seen but heard and having feelings of less than absolute joy).

  35. January 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Oh, and if anyone is looking for a pregnancy guide that isn’t full of paternalistic and patronizing crap, I would recommend “From The Hips” by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.

  36. wasabi
    January 18, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    La Lubu: Riffing off what mickiet said:
    Do tell the whole world you’re going to breastfeed! Better yet, actually have the temerity to do it, so you can be told how gross, animalistic, and unsanitary you are. How breastfeeding anywhere except the privacy of your own home is just like taking a hot, steaming shit on the sidewalk.Because (say it once more with a feeling…) damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  

    Indeed!

  37. tinfoil hattie
    January 18, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    piggybacking on mickiet’s comment:

    If you do breastfeed, do not under any circumstances subject anyone other than yourself and your infant to this horrifying sight. Carry a blanket with you at all times and if you MUST breastfeed anywhere other than your own home, hide your baby and your dirtypillows underneath it. Do not let anyone know what your baby is doing. Breasts are not for showing to others! Unless they are in a bikini, starring in a porn flick, or serving food at Hooters.

  38. tinfoil hattie
    January 18, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    ha-ha, that’s what I get for not reading all the other comments first. La Lubu and annajcook are funnier!

  39. tinfoil hattie
    January 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    (18 weeks in and still vomiting – try that and see how much extra weight you can gain),

    ooooh, I feel your … nausea. I am so sorry! I was ill throughout both my pregnancies – until the moment I gave birth, I’m sorry to report. I just want you to know I TRULY GET that the “Hyperemesis Pregnancy Diet” is a HORRIBLE experience. I hope you pass through this phase soon.

    Now I’m finished with the serial commenting.

  40. January 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Addenendum: This was covered somewhat already, but if you are married, make sure you have a respectable amount of time after the wedding before getting pregnant, because otherwise it was obviously a shotgun wedding, even though shotgun weddings don’t tend to have two-year engagements.

    Oh, and not only are you a selfish bitch if you don’t get pregnant, but you mustn’t think of getting your tubes tied before you have babies, because YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND. YOU WILL.

  41. David
    January 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    “Hang out on feminist blogs? Child will turn out “confused about his identity” and quite possibly “homogay.” ”

    Homogay is officially my new favorite word.

  42. January 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Also, if you so much as hint that you’ll be vegan during your pregnancy, expect more invasive criticism about your diet in addition to all the marveling that you’ve survived from one week to the next living this way.

    After having a conversation about the risks of cesarean with my mother, she asked if I would get one if my life depended on it. NO MOM I’M GOING TO SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE MY SITUATIONALLY DEPENDENT OPINIONS NO MATTER WHAT.

    Sheesh.

  43. January 19, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Too funny… “Boots will also be involved.” – if I had a dollar for every time I heard that…

  44. January 19, 2011 at 7:22 am

    You just can’t have a proper shotgun wedding without some boots, is what I always figured. Blue suede boots. Robin Hood style. And antique jewelry that used to belong to my great aunt – who was a spy, we think.

    I can tell ya’ll that one of the happiest moments in my life so far was seeing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time on ultrasound. That was so cool – it made me realize that I was totally on the right path (I had my doubts and freak-outs, like a lot of people do). And when the Man first saw the kidlet, he was doing somersaults in my womb, and I had never seen the Man’s face like that, ever (I’m marrying a macho Russian guy, so those moments when he suddenly softens up are priceless).

    Still, the busybodies just never quit. And I think it’s both fun and helpful to make fun of them. I sometimes catch myself getting incredibly bothered and stressed out, because I fall into the trap of wanting to live up to someone else’s ideal – but screw their ideal, seriously.

    #13: Quick, go see LOTS OF MOVIES and go out on the town, because you will NEVER DO THESE THINGS AGAIN FOR 18 YEARS.

    Yeah, my mother does this. A LOT. It makes me want to tear my hair out.

  45. Roisin
    January 19, 2011 at 7:57 am

    tinfoil hattie: ooooh, I feel your … nausea.I am so sorry!I was ill throughout both my pregnancies – until the moment I gave birth, I’m sorry to report.I just want you to know I TRULY GET that the “Hyperemesis Pregnancy Diet” is a HORRIBLE experience.I hope you pass through this phase soon.Now I’m finished with the serial commenting.  

    Thank you! It’s nice to be understood for a change.

  46. damigiana
    January 19, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Do breastfeed. Always cover up completely when you do so: better yet, pump your milk in the washroom, so you can bottlefeed your baby without grossing anyone out. This will also avoid the off chance that you actually enjoy breastfeeding, which is wellknown to be abuse.
    Also, remember to have a socially acceptable number of children (aka 2).

  47. zrusilla
    January 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

    After reading stacks of pregnancy guides I decided I should write my own, called “Blow It Out Your Ass Dr. Sears.”

    “The Hip Mama Survival Guide” saved my sanity.

  48. ks
    January 19, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Don’t gain too much weight, because then you’ll have well meaning people going on and on about how huge you’re getting. I mean, wow, really, really big. And this is especially true if you were fairly thin when you got pregnant and then gained a ridiculous amount of weight while cooking the kid.

    And if you then don’t lose all of it after (because you come from a long line of people who start out thin and then fatten up after making babies and this happens to *everyone* in your family one only needs to see your mother, aunts, sisters, cousins, etc., to see that this is true), also be prepared to have the tiny people in your husband’s family make snide comments, just within your hearing range but not to your face, about how you used to be so thin and pretty and how sad it is that you’ve let yourself go since having kids.

    Also, make sure the kids are the same color as you, because otherwise you’ll have confused people asking you what country you adopted said baby from and then acting shocked and surprised when you say that, no, that kid did in fact come out of you. Because the sight of a white woman with a brown baby apparently causes difficulties in the brains of perfect strangers. And then when that gets explained, there will confusion and guessing about the dad’s ethnicity, because everyone must know that important information, even random people in line at the grocery store.

  49. ks
    January 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Just thought of another:

    If you do choose to breastfeed your child and also be public and practical about it (because the kid does have to eat and the breasts full of milk are *right there* and you don’t want to miss the conversation/movie/dinner/whatever it was you were doing before the kid got hungry), DO NOT also admit that you don’t enjoy breastfeeding at all, are only doing it because you work part time and have the time to do it and it is cheaper than formula and readily available, and are very much looking forward to the day when the pediatrician gives you the go ahead to feed the kids cow’s milk and you can stop. Because while only horrible, shameful hussies will be practical about breastfeeding and not hide it away, only horrible, unnatural women who shouldn’t be mothers actually admit that they’re only doing it for the good of the baby and really would prefer to not do it and wouldn’t if formula were even a little bit less expensive (and what with disliking pregnancy and admitting to that and procreating with a brown person and breastfeeding in public you’re already skating on thin ice there).

  50. Stephy
    January 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

    And don’t EVER EVER EVER imply that you won’t be abandoning your own non-Christian spirituality, in which you’ve been blissfully happy for years, because children need church, especially the brood of an unmarried women who isn’t planning to breastfeed and who spread her slutty legs for a brown man. It doesn’t matter if your religion works for you–the babies need Jesus!

  51. January 19, 2011 at 11:40 am

    akeeyu: Jeff,My husband still occasionally gets everything short of outright condolences because we have three girls.When I was pregnant, my husband used to answer the “What are you having?” question “Babies, probably, but kittens would be nice, too.We like kittens.”  

    Love the response there. Does he get the shotgun jokes too? I get WAY too many of those, and I’m not entirely certain how to respond.

  52. January 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you. Standing ovation. And thank you some more.

    This could be an entire series, though. It so doesn’t end just when you get knocked up… women’s rights are being violated everywhere from the delivery room to the workplace to the local restaurant, and I’ve yet to see most mainstream feminists shout loudly about it.

  53. January 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    AHAHAHAHA! “You should have thought of that before spreading your legs, ho.”
    I don’t know why I thought that was hilarious, but thanks for the laugh! So many good points.

  54. Ariana
    January 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Also remember that it is rude not to find out the sex of the baby. This inconveniences everyone and they have every right to tell you so. Please don’t explain to anyone that the sex or gender of your child doesn’t matter. This will fill them with rage. They are going to withhold the obviously sought after baby gifts because they wont know whether to buy blue or pink, and gender neutral clothing will confuse your child and society, and probably make your child even more gay than breast feeding is going to.

  55. Carla M
    January 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    akeeyu: Everyone plans their baby. People who don’t plan their babies are acting like animals. Animals poop in the woods. You don’t want to be gross like that.

    That is awesome!

    I hated when I was pregnant that suddenly it was ok to just openly and freely talk about my weight. Awesome.

  56. January 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Carla M:

    Erm, how did I get connected to the pooping in the woods quote? That wasn’t me. :)

    Ariana,
    Damn straight. I gets worse after the birth. If you fail to dress your child in acceptably “gender appropriate” clothes, strangers get pissy and will (FSM, I wish I were kidding) actually ARGUE WITH YOU about whether your child is male or female based on the color of their onesie.

  57. January 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    wasabi: taking a hot, steaming shit on the sidewalk.Because (say it once more with a feeling…) damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    And then tell them that you plan on breastfeeding past the age of 1. That in fact, you will be allowing your child to self wean, and that it usually occurs between the ages of 2 and 7 (we wouldn’t be breast feeding until 7, though, I don’t think I have the stamina for that).

    Then listen to them tell you that you are a pervert, that you will be abusing your child, that you are an abomination, and that you should be ashamed. Even though the WHO, UNICEF, and the AAP reccomend it.

  58. Jill P.
    January 19, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    You also must be over 35, at the very least, and preferably college educated. If you aren’t a frumpy middle aged housefrau with gray hair and crow’s feet, then you need to sew your vag shut because you’re obviously too immature to be a parent and will probably lock your baby in a closet so you can go clubbing with your besties.

    In addition, do not not engage in any vaguely strenuous activity whatsoever. Don’t carry your own groceries, pick up your cat, walk up stairs, or stretch. Otherwise you are clearly irresponsible and probably trying to kill your baby, or just too rude to accept the simply well-meaning help from perfect strangers who go into spasms if you try to open a door on your own.

    Give birth to your baby alone in your bathtub or else you are a brainless slave to the medical establishment. Have a scheduled Cesarean or else you are a smelly hippie who is out to win a medal for most painful birth in history.

    Have only one child or else prepare for comments such as “oh my gawd, you’re pregnant AGAIN?!” and “got your hands full, hurr hurr hurr.” Have MORE than one child or else prepare for comments such as “so when are you having another?” “are you sure you don’t want another?” “come on, wouldn’t it be nice to have OOONNNEEE MOOORRREEEE BABYYYYY????” “and don’t you want to try for a girl/boy/porpoise/toaster?”

  59. January 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Ahahahahaha! I love this post times a million, and I can’t even try to relate if I wanted to. That’s how kickass it is. This rocks and I’m giving it to all the pregnant ladies/moms I know.

  60. Kristin
    January 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    The breastfeeding discussion makes me think of the, um, big breastfeeding bib-type thing that Michelle Duggar uses for breastfeeding in public. I wish I could find a clip on Youtube or something, but it’s… It’s a horror, like a wrap-around bib that goes nearly down to her waist (I’d worry about suffocating the baby).

    Anyway, great post, Natalia. :)

  61. tinfoil hattie
    January 19, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    “YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND. YOU WILL.”

    Ha – ha ha haaa, FTW. Yes, YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND UNLESS YOU ARE AN UNNATURAL MONSTER OF A WOMAN WHO IS IGNORING HER GOD-GIVEN ROLE!

  62. tinfoil hattie
    January 19, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    “YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND. YOU WILL.”

    Ha – ha ha haaa, FTW. Yes, YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND UNLESS YOU ARE AN UNNATURAL MONSTER OF A WOMAN WHO IS IGNORING HER GOD-GIVEN ROLE!

  63. Chloe
    January 19, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    akeeyu:
    Damn straight.I gets worse after the birth.If you fail to dress your child in acceptably “gender appropriate” clothes, strangers get pissy and will (FSM, I wish I were kidding) actually ARGUE WITH YOU about whether your child is male or female based on the color of their onesie.  

    Absolutely — particularly if you have boys and they aren’t wearing primary colors.

    Also — under no circumstances give your child a last name that is different from your own (which must be the same as your partner’s, of course). If you do not your child’s teacher will never be able to connect you with him/her even though your name is on all of the kid’s paperwork. This has to be the most ridiculous advice I received — my response, we’re hyphenating our kid’s last name, I think that the teacher will be smart enough to realize that Mr. Miller and Ms. Ruff are the parents of Little Kid Ruff-Miller.

  64. de Pizan
    January 20, 2011 at 12:22 am

    ks: Also, make sure the kids are the same color as you, because otherwise you’ll have confused people asking you what country you adopted said baby from and then acting shocked and surprised when you say that, no, that kid did in fact come out of you.

    No kidding. My sister, white, was married an African man. They had two kids together. Several times when she was breastfeeding in public, she would get asked by total strangers if the baby was actually hers (no, she’s just filling in as wetnurse??).

  65. evil_fizz
    January 20, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Don’t forget, it is your absolute responsibility to sort your child into clearly identified gender-binary apparel. If your daughter does not have a lot of hair or you have failed to dress her in all pink and random people are unable to immediately identify her as a girl, it will be your fault for not piercing her ears and gluing bows to her forehead with toothpaste. Likewise, if baby apparel does not involve construction equipment or sporting goods, you have failed your son because no one will know he’s a boy!

    And we all know that the wrong pronoun for an infant is instantly fatal.

  66. January 20, 2011 at 12:35 am

    de Pizan:
    No kidding.My sister, white, was married an African man.They had two kids together.Several times when she was breastfeeding in public, she would get asked by total strangers if the baby was actually hers (no, she’s just filling in as wetnurse??).  

    Alternatively, if you are brown and your kids are white, then if you are a lady, you are the nanny, and if you are a dude, CHILD ABDUCTOR! Police are on their way.

    Jill P.: You also must be over 35, at the very least, and preferably college educated. If you aren’t a frumpy middle aged housefrau with gray hair and crow’s feet, then you need to sew your vag shut because you’re obviously too immature to be a parent and will probably lock your baby in a closet so you can go clubbing with your besties.

    Of course, if you don’t have a kid before you’re 35, then you’ve selfishly waited too long (didn’t want to make the noble sacrifice of your career? tsk tsk) and will now pay the ultimate price: disabled babies. Because nothing is worse than disability, right? Right??? And if your uterus is decrepit, why aren’t you adopting? Do you hate children? It’s selfish not to adopt!

    and on and on and on and on…

  67. ks
    January 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    No kidding. My sister, white, was married an African man. They had two kids together. Several times when she was breastfeeding in public, she would get asked by total strangers if the baby was actually hers (no, she’s just filling in as wetnurse??).

    Yeah. My husband is Sri Lankan and very, very dark, and I’m glow in the dark white. My kids are not as dark as their dad, but still pretty brown. They’re 8 and 5 and I *still* get asked where I got them from (pretty much those exact words, too). The husband jokes that he’s going to get me a shirt that says, “Yes, they’re mine. My man ain’t white.”

    My sister, also really pale, has kids with an African American man, who she didn’t even have the decency to marry. She gets asked the same damn question about her brown children, plus even more scandalized reactions when people realize that not only did she reproduce with somebody of a different color, she didn’t even get official license to do so first.

  68. Kyra
    January 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    So what number are we on now?

    Never work out. Especially, never ever touch weights, because your uterus will immediately drop (whatever that means) or be sprained, or you will damage the baby by working too hard. Luckily, though, gyms are stocked to the gills with men who know this and will hurry right over to remind you that you are pregnant and thus liable to blow the baby right out of your uterus like a potato out of an exhaust pipe if you try to do a bench press.

    Also, don’t do any cardio, because don’t you know this is NOT the time to be trying to lose weight (the only reason women ever do cardio)? You’re having a baby, you should be resting and avoiding activity . . . while making sure not to be lazy.

  69. January 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    akeeyu:
    Damn straight.I gets worse after the birth.If you fail to dress your child in acceptably “gender appropriate” clothes, strangers get pissy and will (FSM, I wish I were kidding) actually ARGUE WITH YOU about whether your child is male or female based on the color of their onesie.  

    TRUE FACTS!! I had someone ask me how old my little boy was.. when I pointed out she was a girl they were all ‘A Girl? But she’s wearing blue!’

    Uh.. yeah. A blue DRESS.

  70. Dae
    January 20, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Kyra: So what number are we on now?Never work out. Especially, never ever touch weights, because your uterus will immediately drop (whatever that means) or be sprained, or you will damage the baby by working too hard. Luckily, though, gyms are stocked to the gills with men who know this and will hurry right over to remind you that you are pregnant and thus liable to blow the baby right out of your uterus like a potato out of an exhaust pipe if you try to do a bench press.Also, don’t do any cardio, because don’t you know this is NOT the time to be trying to lose weight (the only reason women ever do cardio)? You’re having a baby, you should be resting and avoiding activity . . . while making sure not to be lazy.  

    Yup. Someday I’m going to ask my mom how much crap she got for running six miles a day and hiking/skiing while pregnant with me.

    Add in: If you’re a woman in academia or an engineering profession, you should be ashamed of yourself for being pregnant at work (because obviously you can’t be getting much done). However, you should also be ashamed of yourself if you are in the office until your due date and if you try to get anything done on a laptop while at the hospital/at home recovering, because then you’re a terrible mother. (Basically, you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to do Manly Things and Womanly things simultaneously. But if you don’t ever have kids, you’re a selfish career-shark and you will die cold and alone and miserable.)

  71. Shannon
    January 21, 2011 at 10:24 am

    ks: Also, make sure the kids are the same color as you, because otherwise you’ll have confused people asking you what country you adopted said baby from and then acting shocked and surprised when you say that, no, that kid did in fact come out of you.Because the sight of a white woman with a brown baby apparently causes difficulties in the brains of perfect strangers.And then when that gets explained, there will confusion and guessing about the dad’s ethnicity, because everyone must know that important information, even random people in line at the grocery store.  

    Yes! A thousand times yes! My daughter’s father is of Mexican descent and my daughter inherited her gorgeous coloring from him rather than from her fair-skinned, green-eyed mom. I’ve been asked (by a stranger!) where I adopted her from. My mother, while out shopping with my daughter, was asked “What is she?” as if her brown skin made her….what? I don’t even know. And don’t get me started on all the comments I got as a pregnant vegetarian. “You need meat or your baby will be brain damaged!” or “Will you make your baby eat vegetarian, too? Do you really think that’s fair?” Well, what I think isn’t any of your business, frankly, and along those same lines, what you think is of no interest to me.

    And yeah, my daughter will be 8 in April. But am I still bitter? Um….okay, maybe a smidge.

  72. Mimi
    January 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I’m not a Mom, just a very friendly kid-loving Aunt, and I can’t tell you the weird comments I’ve gotten while out with small children.

    My sister’s kids look very much like me, but one of the first times I had my niece out with me for the day, we were sitting at a table eating pizza together and having fun, and I had an older couple come over to me and tell me how wonderful they thought it was to see a Mom and her baby having so much fun together! I was like, oh no! This is special treat time, I’m her Aunt!

    My cousin’s kids don’t look like me, my cousin, or even each other – they’re both adopted and one is Hispanic and the other is black. I had some old white dude come up to me when I was in the Discovery Museum with them and ask if “anyone was with that little girl” because clearly the three-year-old black girl was going to cause a problem of some sort? One of the Moms nearby heard him and came over after and was like, that was about the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard! I have four kids in here….somewhere. I’m like, I know! I was sitting in a chair monitoring the girl playing with stuff on the one side, and the boy playing with stuff on the other, and reading my book. I’m like, I’ve got one right there, and one right there, I’m on it!

    People are so weird about kids.

  73. Ryx
    January 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Never been pregnant (or around many pregnant people, really), so I can’t comment on most of this. HOWEVER: I cannot tell you how many times my mother or I got asked if I was adopted when I was younger. Indian dad+very white mother=vaguely brown child. You’d think the fact that my mom and I had the exact same unusual eye color would be a hint, but noooo…clearly I was adopted because I was the wrong color.

    (Also, way to introduce small children to the concept of race. I had no idea as a small child that it was strange for people to be different colors until others started to make a big deal about it.)

  74. Jennifer
    February 3, 2011 at 9:04 am

    If you work, know how unfair your maternity leave is to your colleagues. Your boss will say in meetings “no more pregnant women,” and you will be told to not go out on leave early. Other life events taking people away from the office (sick family, deaths, etc.) will not be complained about. Why? Because you could have kept your legs closed, ho.

    The same people bitching about you will also be annoyingly paternalistic at other times, making sure you eat and rest properly, and suggesting that you not work so late. Don’t like the sound of that? Well, keep your legs closed.

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