Mom, mom, mom

[Context for this post: those of you who have been around for a while know that it is really important to both of us that Mr. Nishkanu and I are treated as equal co-parents.  And we have been discovering throughout this pregnancy how much this goes against the grain of US culture, even among those who pay lip service to egalitarianism.]

Today we went to interview a pediatrician.  It was really hard for us to find one to interview; we had gotten 5 recommendations from people and the one we went to see today was the only one of the 5 who was accepting new patients.  It took 3 weeks to get the appointment with him.  We crossed fingers and hoped that it would be a good match.

In terms of philosophy and the quality of the practice he seemed fine.  But here’s the weird thing – he made no eye contact with Mr. Nishkanu at all.  Everything he said, he said to me.  Even when Mr. Nishkanu asked him direct questions, the doctor did not look at him while answering, instead directing his answer to me.   He had a lot to say about “moms” too, that “moms” should do this and “moms” should do that.  He said “moms need to trust their instincts and not worry so much about what the books say.”  That is my philosophy, too, but, as Mr. Nishkanu said plaintively on the way to the parking lot, “don’t I have instincts too?”  It’s just not OK to me that the doctor doesn’t take Mr. Nishkanu seriously as a parent.

Off we went to work.  As soon as I walked in, I saw one of my colleagues, who looked at my giant belly, said “oh my god,” and for good measure added “I saw you weren’t in, I thought that maybe you were out for the big event!”  Two minutes later a colleague passed me in the hall and asked me how my pregnancy was doing.  Two minutes after that another colleague ran into me and said, “Oh, you are still at work!”

Folks, I am still 2 weeks out from my due date, which means the baby could come any time in the next 4 weeks – a long time to listen to inane comments like this.   Poor colleague #3  got an earful.   I said, “Please treat me like a normal person!”  I told him I was going to start wearing a button that says “Please talk to me about something besides my pregnancy.”  Yeah, I know my figure is impressive these days, but folks, I am still me.  I still have interests and activities besides gestating.  I am pretty sure that Mr. Nishkanu, who is facing just as giant a life change as I am, is not fielding queries every 5 minutes about whether he is a dad yet.

A couple of minutes later another colleague stopped by and asked me a question about… this will be a shocker… work.  What a relief!

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1 Comment »

  1. Ana said

    Agreed on both points.
    Thankfully our chosen pediatrician is a very involved dad himself & didn’t make those kind of comments when we went to meet with him…but other people certainly do—its definitely part of the culture, where “mother” is a commonly used verb & “father” not so much. My husband is actively seeking out new dads to ask for advice (so cute!) because he wants to have some more support.

    I am 6 weeks from my due date. I have been getting the same stupid questions for WEEKS now. some people have decided I am too big for my stage of gestation, though I am measuring exactly on target. Even others keep pulling the “oh are you still here?” “now don’t go into labor before you get this done”, and the endless pregnancy questions. Don’t get me wrong, I know the mean well, and pregnancy is just so exciting for everyone around, and I have wanted oh-so-bad to be where I am today for a long time, I am not taking it for granted. But still, talk to me about work, about movies, about the freaking weather ONCE IN A WHILE. There is only so much I can say about backaches & fatigue and insomnia without feeling & sounding like a whiner.

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