I was walking out to lunch with my boss. A recent co-worker had announced her pregnancy. And months before she had taken a trip to Rome and other European cities.
"I wonder if she tried to get pregnant in Europe," I said to my boss, trying to make conversation about the exciting news.
"I don't know," my boss replied. "And I'm not going to ask. There are just some things you don't ask about or say to pregnant woman."
I reflected on her words.
"And when you're pregnant one day, I'll be happy to give you advice if you ask for it," she said. "But only if you ask for it."
A few months later, I found myself reading my friend's blog post about pregnancy. I was absolutely shocked at the awful and rude things people would say to her.
One woman told her she was killing her baby for eating Jimmy Johns.
Seriously. Even strangers think they can hand out advice and hurtful words to pregnant woman.
So before I was even pregnant, I knew that I'd probably have my fair share of run-ins with people expressing their opinions, providing unsolicited advice, and leaving me with snarky one-liners.
Listen, I know this my first pregnancy. And I know that people out there who have more experience with pregnancy and parenting than I do. But that doesn't mean I'm an idiot. And that certainly doesn't mean I'm not actively talking to my doctor and doing my research.
And when I want advice, I'm not a shy person - I'll have NO problem asking for it!
But for crying out loud, be kind and thoughtful about what other people are experiencing and feeling.
Everyone is different.
And no pregnancy is the same.
No one has the right to judge another woman for the way she handles pregnancy or parents her children. Now clearly, I don't support doing meth or binge drinking while pregnant. But...
It doesn't impact me if a pregnant woman eats Jimmy Johns.
It doesn't matter if a pregnant woman drinks soda.
It does not impact me if another woman uses cloth diapers.
It does not impact me if another woman makes her own baby food.
It doesn't impact me if another woman breastfeeds until her child is 18+ months old.
And guess what, most of the time- it doesn't impact make you either.
I'll use this personal analogy to paint a better picture. Prior to my pregnancy, I blogged a lot about fitness, health, running, and losing weight.
But you NEVER saw me running around blasting people on Facebook or handing out advice when people didn't ask for me.
I didn't comment on someone's picture and tell them they shouldn't be eating that if they wanted to lose weight.
I didn't see someone running outside and give them tips on how they could run better, faster, and longer.
Because if they want my opinion or if they want my advice, they'll seek me out. They will ask me questions. They will ask me for tips. And even when people did those things, I was still super cautious to say something like, "I'm not expert, but here is what worked for me..."
Justin and I wanted Baby Sieb so badly...and there is nothing that I will do, eat, drink, wear, or be around that I (or my doctor) finds harmful.
I'm still very early in my pregnancy, but I've had a few moments when people have been rude or insulted my intelligence in a way that just brought me to tears.
I vented to a close friend and she offered up this advice:
"Oh girl, preach. People are the worst.... It is so easy to let it get to you, too. So so so easy.
It stays this way after the baby is born. I hate telling you that, but it is true. Especially when the baby is tiny and every is all "you should let him cry it out," "you shouldn't eat dairy while you're breastfeeding," etc.
I don't have a solution other than to keep in mind that you know your baby better than anyone else (even Justin! But he is a close second). Moms are the queen bees of their families. Don't let anyone shake your hive. Sting 'em if you need to!
I instantly felt better.
And I feel better after finally blogging about this topic. It's been weighing heavy on my heart and mind for weeks. I don't any negative comments, likes, or even messages about this blog. I just needed to get this off my chest...because this is how I cope. Writing is how I deal.
I'd like to confirm that I AM NOT SAYING I don't want anyone to send me cute ideas, fun outfits, baby tips, mom tips, or any other article, picture, blog, etc. I LOVE getting emails and messages with interesting articles, research and news. It shows people are thinking of me and care! And I've purchased (or plan to purchase) a number of cute items from the articles my friends have shared.
Rather, I'm just saying be mindful of your words and the situation in which you offer up your two cents.
And if you don't...well then, I'm ready to sting like a bee.