Title TK and a Note To Future Me

23 Jan

There’s this thing growing inside of me. Okay, it’s not a thing. It’s a baby. After a couple of false starts I’m 6 months pregnant and due in May.

Don’t feel too bad about the false starts. I got a lot of frequent flyer miles paying for the hospital visits with my American Airlines card and now I’m a gold status member. So it was really win-win.

Pregnancy is odd. There’s a ton of pressure to feel fantastic about it. My husband’s mother keeps insisting this is the most wonderful, beautiful thing I will ever experience which is downright depressing. I feel fat. I can’t run. I sleep best sitting up which isn’t exactly comfortable. Sex has become a negotiation, where every move has as much chance of feeling bad as feeling good. I can’t drink, which I really miss. And really, I don’t feel great when my doctor says “you’ve only gained five pounds, good job!”

But listen, we get a kid at the end of this. A cute, probably short, definitely nerdy kid who we will no doubt embarrass even though we have spent a lot of nights trying to figure out how to minimize the humiliation. He has no idea what he is in for – he doesn’t know we want to take him out of school for 7th and 8th grade and travel the world. He doesn’t know that he isn’t going to be able to watch TV for awhile but he’ll be forced to play drums at an early age. Right now all he knows is that I like spicy food and he better damn well get used to it.

So why am I blogging this? Two reasons. One is that I’m about to direct a movie about virginity and the fact that I may be very very pregnant on set makes me laugh. And two, because I’ve been collecting some rules. Rules to Mom By. Or at least, Rules I Hope I Remember After This Thing Gets Out and Proceeds to Punish Us With Shit Filled Diapers.

The Rules I Will Try And Live By

1. Nobody “needs” to meet the baby. When people say that it kind of creeps me out. “You need to meet the baby!” Like he’s the only priest in the world with the power to forgive me for my sins. It’s a baby. If you wanna meet him, that’s awesome. But you will still be my friend if you never meet the baby.

2. People with kids don’t know that much more than people without kids. At least, not enough to dispense advice without being asked first. I get that I have never done this. But I should probably be able to post a video of a cute kid on Facebook without getting advice from people on how to sleep train the baby that hasn’t arrived yet. I know it comes from a good hearted place at least 54% of the time (the rest is just people being self-aggrandizing idiots.) But if you’re looking down the barrel of parenthood for the first time you know what you want to hear? Nothing. I want to believe that I will be fine, that I can get through it and that if and when I ask I won’t get judgement but help.

3. Pregnant Ladies Are Not Mentally or Physically Handicapped. So I don’t really need to know how bad the frozen yogurt is from a complete stranger (who was, incidentally, standing in front of the oreos). Mothers are not mentally or physically handicapped either so I don’t expect special treatment. And I won’t be dispensing any.

4. Don’t start any sentence with Just Wait Till You’re… unless it ends with drinking again. I’ll get there. Freaking me out about the shit rolling downstream at me is douchey. (also applies to “You’ll See”)

5. Pregnancy and Weddings. More in common than you think. When I was getting married it quickly became clear that the advice I got was not about me, but about the mistakes the advice giver got. Same with pregnancy. I’m guessing same with child rearing. Advice reflects the advice givers experience, and usually only that. One more way they are similar? I never wanted my wedding day to be the most important day of my life. Same with pregnancy. I want the kid to be the experience. The pregnancy is just a cruel joke on how we get there.

6. If you really want to stop teen pregnancy, show teenage girls the bullshit clothing options they have. It ain’t cute.

7. Not being considered sexy anymore is a loss. I don’t care how you cut it. Not that I was like Sexy in the go to the front of the line at a club way. But I had something. It was mine. And now… it appears to have left the building and I’m just hoping/praying I get it back soon. It is missed. I miss it.

8.  I love my friends because they are my friends, and I don’t want to change my friends because I’m joining the mommy cult. This one is hard. It may be the hardest. Like a lot of people I have friends at almost every walk of life and I love that about them. I love the single straight ones, the engaged gay ones, the married and childless by choice ones. And it seems like via parenthood/impending parenthood means I have some sort of obligation to change my friends. I don’t want to do that.

9. Holy Fuckballs The Mommy Cults Are Everywhere. Lactation obsessed. Montessori obsessed. Attachment Parents. Emotional Parents. They are all just waiting to tell you that their way is the only way and that to do anything else is child abuse. In California the lactation thing is INSANE, I have never had so many questions about what I plan on doing with my boobs. Which leads me to the final rule…

10. YDIWers ruin the party for everyone. Coined by Dan Savage (of course) YDIW stands for “You’re Doing It Wrong.” He was using it to talk about the super judgy BDSM people who were shaming some awesome person for the safe word but it has universal applications. Before you tell someone they are making the wrong choice, be damn sure. Double check your work. Has your kid graduated from Harvard at 16 and saved the world from a deadly virus while also maintaining a healthy social life? No? Then, I’m sorry but your data is incomplete.

And look, this blog isn’t going to become a Mommy Blog. There are so many women out there trying to talk about parenting and I hate crowds and long-lines too much to get in there. This is more a note to future Beth to remember the moment before the kid gets here when you could still think critically about your behavior.

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