Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
It is easy for me to unfriend the middle school buddy who feels compelled to share her exact amount of dilation, nature of bowel movements and intimate descriptions of all interrelated side effects on her status feed. Really easy. Buh-bye overshare. What is tougher, is feeling deeply compelled to share what is going on in my pregnancy, which to me feels largely like a strange science experiment gone horribly awry.
Who on earth wants to hear this bullshit? –I keep asking myself. And the truth is, no one really does, not really, except maybe the women who troll these sites for birth control fodder (which I totally understand), but then…the information never gets out to those of us who really need to hear it.
We never get fully warned. No one really gets into the fun little details, do they? They just say having a baby “changes everything”— to which I say “Well, no shit, all I have to do is pull up the health plan premium sheet on the company share-drive to know that I lose 200 bucks a month from the vodka-fund for my bundle of joy.” How is that wisdom?
I want specifics, concrete information. Ok, what else? Daycare, sure. Another hit to the booze fund. What else? Stretch marks, right? Those must suck. Don’t they have a cream for that? And for me, this is where the pre-baby info drops off a cliff. Nada. Just a bouncing baby and hope for the best. Excellent. Like rolling chicken bones to make a decision on whether to have a kid—a great plan.
So, being a Millennial, I turn to my community online. I turn to Facebook. In fact, I will let the motivated among you do a little research if you are curious—my state has the highest population use of Facebook than any other state in the country. We love our status updates.
Armed with this, I begin to think about what would I post to Facebook, to warn those who come after me, the women en masse thinking about a baby, the women who have no idea they are about to see two pink lines, the ones who don’t realize that that will be their last daiquiri for almost a goddamn year. What would I tell them? I wouldn’t screw around with this “everything changes” garbage, that’s for damn sure. I would keep it real and tell them my experiences. Maybe if every woman did the same thing we would have a more realistic and detailed pool of information. Sales of Depo Provera would soar.
Here is what I would post.
Specifically, because I am petite, I have been in for an awakening. I have had to, quite sadly goodbye to my cha cha. Not only did it change colors, but I developed moles and freckles which my doc tells me are varicose veins (CHARMING). Then somewhere in the third trimester, I realized I couldn’t see it, reach it or otherwise communicate with Lady Divine without an idiotic setup involving mirrors and chairs that cannot possibly be safe.
Have you ever been incredibly hungry at a wonderful restaurant, and so you ate the food like you had never seen surf and turf in your entire life? Yeah you’ll enjoy it, but you won’t really be “eating” so much as “gobbling.” That’s the best analogy I can give you for how it is going down in my house right now. And don’t let Jenny McCarthy’s bullshit about how sex in the third trimester is like being a “pig in the pasture” freak you out. Leave it to a bunny to make a woman feel dehumanized when she is at her most naturally fabulous. Gobble indeed.
Meaning I won’t be able to get up from most on-your-back positions. Specifically getting out of bed looks ridiculous, and it may be necessary to tie a rope around my bureau to make it easier. You think I am joking. Try getting out of bed without using your abs. Exactly.
The idea of going through something as stressful as a pregnancy without at least a light cocktail or glass of wine now and then is rough for me. But I have it on good authority from several medical professionals (two docs and a nutritionist) that I can drink. In teeny tiny amounts. But WAIT! Here is the wonderful part no one told me: THAT WILL BE ALL I NEED. Listen, pre-pregnancy, let’s just say I had quite the tolerance. So naturally, when someone told me I could “have a glass of wine once in a while” I mentally went “whoop-de-freaking-doo”…but then I had that glass. And halfway through it, I called it quits because I was laughing at my own jokes and feeding the cat peanut butter. Amazing! So if the idea of going without makes you a leetle bit nervous…I get you. And it’s cool. Everything will be ok.
I am using my Teen Magazine knowledge from high school to remind myself that less is more. Tinted moisturizer, eyeliner, mascara, highlighter—bare bones stuff for me. I got a great haircut and that’s the best I can do. I just walk tall and remind myself about 8,000 times per day that I am pregnant, not fat and that the three a.m. milk cravings are excellent for my baby’s bones. He will be fucking superhuman, I tell myself. I mean, it is skim milk for Christ’s sake. But then I see a photo and the slight indentation indicating a double chin around my jawline…and I am out of my mind with worry. “What’s next? Mom jeans? Wearing running shoes around town for no reason? Neglecting my brows???” Men can’t understand this shit, and the crunchy women can step off—clearly I am not referencing you. Go eat a granola bar.
In short, I would keep it real and be honest with folks, because I think we deserve it. Sometimes I wonder if older generations feel content to dupe us with the vagueness of their language just so they can squeeze a grandchild or two out of us… and sometimes I wonder if it is just the hormones making me borderline paranoid. Either way, let the specifics roll forth, if even in a page or blog you administer. The details matter my friends.
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