Killjoys

This morning, I was relaxing under a nice hot shower at the gym after my water aerobics class.  One of my classmates came up to me and said, “Better enjoy your shower.  Because you won’t be having any long, hot showers for a long time after the baby comes.”

Why is it that people who are parents, when they are confronted with a 9 month pregnant woman, go out of their way to tell said woman about how their joy in life is soon to be over?  My classmate is by no means the only one, for the last couple of weeks I have been inundated by parents telling me about how I will never know peace again and to enjoy everything I am doing now because the baby will make my everyday pleasures impossible.   I don’t get it.  Even if it is true, why would you go out of your way to make other people feel bad about a major life change that is about to come upon them?  Do they think that if they don’t warn me that things are going to s*ck, that I might not notice on my own?

What’s worse is even people who know that we have been trying to have a baby for years, have gone through all kinds of suffering and extreme treatments to get one, and were crushed and depressed for years at the thought that we would never have a family, now that we are about to be on the brink of finally having a kid, still say “better go to the movies now, because you won’t have time for anything like that after the kid is born!”  Who the h*ll cares, I have had 5 years of going to the movies and doing all kinds of adventures that would be impossible with kids, all while getting more and more sad and desperate that that was all my life was going to be.  In any case, I really don’t think one more shower or one more movie at this point is going to make much of a difference.

The whole thing makes me wonder.  Imagine that your neighbour has been unemployed for 5 years.  Through no fault of her own, job prospect after job prospect  has fallen through.  She got to the point where she despaired of ever being employed again.  It ate at her self-esteem and triggered a deep depression.  But then… a miracle happens… she tries “one last interview” and finally does land the job.   So what do you say?  “Better enjoy your last days of vacation, it’ll be h*ll from here on out” – “You’ll see, you won’t have any peace any more, they will be calling you at home when you are on your hours off” – “do you know how tiring it is to work 40 hours a week?  Well, you’ll soon find out!”?

No, you say “Congratulations, I am so happy for you!”  So why is it so hard for parents to say that kind of thing?  What’s with the sharing the doom and gloom?

This afternoon, one of my colleagues came into my office to once again express the ritual astonishment that I have not given birth yet (although we are still pre-due-date).  He started, “I remember when my son was born…” and I braced myself for yet another h*ll story about the weeks after birth and the huge change in your life and the “you better enjoy your freedom while you have it.”  Instead he said, “It was so wonderful that finally I got to take care of him too, not just my wife.  It was such a great adventure.  You are in for a treat.”  Now that’s what I want to hear…

 

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3 Comments »

  1. Amen, sister. My favorite is the comments that I’ve gotten from a somewhat well-known infertile (well, at least in the IF world) who you’d think would be a little more tactful… nope! She’s just as rude as the rest of ’em. So much for IF and sensitivity training… lol

    My most recent favorite was husband’s SIL, who recently gave birth after a successful IVF cycle, telling me that breastfeeding ‘HURTS!’ and that I’d better get some cream. Oh, and also, that I most likely will want to have an epidural, don’t even think that you’ll be able to get through delivery without modern medicine.

    So helpful, n’est-ce pas?

    For some reason, none of these comments have gotten me as riled as they normally would. Yeah, whatever… and I go back to looking to my own vision of how it’s all goin’ down.

    Ignore the turkeys. They mean well, even if they are clueless.

  2. […] Loved Nishkanu’s post this week about inappropriate comments. I’ve gotten loads of them, and man, are they annoying (although no one has pissed me off yet.) Whatevs. […]

  3. Ana said

    Oh yes! What is with people’s need to constantly “remind” you of how “hard” parenthood will be. Its a curious mix of the fawning over pregnant women & being oh-so-excited for you & then the frantic warnings about whats to come.
    Do they think we don’t KNOW what it will entail? Sure, you don’t really KNOW until you experience it, but I think by this time in life, we’ve all experienced our relatives/friends/etc… having babies, we’ve read about it & seen it on TV, I mean its not a SECRET that its hard & that babies don’t sleep through the night, is it?

    I was so used to it that when I heard today “Of all the things you’ve ever done, you’ll find this is…” my mind filled in “yeah yeah yeah, its the hardest thing I’ve ever done”, but no, she said “the most wonderful, you’ll enjoy it so much”.
    Aaah. Nice to hear a positive comment for once!!

    I have used the same analogy about the job, or graduate school, or any other thing someone has longed for that has eluded them…no need to rain on the parade people!

    And it is so true. I’ve gone on lots of vacations & seen lots of movies, lots of dinners out, etc… We’re ready to move on…we can’t wait 🙂

    That was a long-winded way for me to say…”right on, I totally agree”

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