In my particular department at work, I am an anomaly. It’s made up of older men or younger-than-me-by-most-of-a-decade singles and young marrieds. There are no other Middle-Aged Married With Elementary School Aged Kids people in my department.
It’s a little lonely sometimes.
The sweet gal who cubicles in front of me (yes, I just verbed cubicle) is pregnant, two and a half weeks from popping. It’s a good thing I like her; she’s so tiny at nine months preggy that she could fit inside my nine-month pregnant self back in the day. Except then she would have been in high school and that would have been just weird. I don’t know her well enough to offer well-meaning advice, but hey, that’s what a blog is for. I get it out of my system (and a post out of it!), and she doesn’t have to listen to me. Probably for the best anyway; I’m a little jaded after a decade of this.
*Take the drugs or don’t take the drugs. It’s your choice and screw anyone who gives you a hard time about it, including your husband/mother/hospital admittance volunteer. I’ve done it both ways, and if OH HOLY HELL GOD FORBID I ever get pregnant again BUT I WON’T BECAUSE OH MY HOLY EFFING HELL I’ll pass on the epidural. As hard as it was, giving birth without drugs was hells better than giving birth with drugs.
*Contrary to popular belief, there really is a Breastfeeding Police. They are well-meaning moms, but please. Tell them to go <you know what word belongs here> themselves if nursing doesn’t work for you and formula does. Looking into my Wayback Machine, I should have given up on nursing when A had so much trouble with it from the get-go. I did everything, practically lived at the lactation consultant’s office, and it was just a fustercluck. I supplemented him with formula until six months when I just said enough. Then he ate and grew and thankyousweetbabyjesusinabassenet slept. For the record, my friend Robin is not the Breastfeeding Police, she is a certified kick-ass lactation consultant. There is a difference.
*Yes, I do see the comparative irony between my efforts at breastfeeding and the current fustercluck regarding school vs. homeschooling. Don’t think for a minute I don’t see it.
*Keep written records of every.single.ridiculous.milestone.forever. Keep a binder or Evernote folder or dedicated Post-It Note expressly for Random Child Flotsam and Jetsam, starting with giving birth. I’m so not kidding here. A is TEN FREAKING YEARS OLD and I’m still asked for his APGAR score on questionnaires. I’m not saying your child will be as insanely complex as mine, but dude. Just do it.
*If you’re able to wear your pre-pregnancy clothes within three months of giving birth, keep it to yourself. Some women are vindictive about that sort of thing. Me? Noooo….why do you ask??
*You may want to divorce your husband within the first twelve months. Relax, this is normal. Just don’t do it.
*Contrary to popular belief…again…you do not have to love every single tiny little thing about motherhood. Good Lord, no. I’m pretty sure a cross-eyed baboon could read five posts here and know that I love my sons past comprehension, but I’m not motherhood’s #1 fan. It’s hard. It sucks. There is no relief. There is little appreciation. There is no handbook. The benefits are breathtaking but pale in comparison to the sheer volume of suckitude on a day to day basis (please see above comment on how jaded I am). You expect Italy, you could get Holland, you could visit me on Tatooine.
So, my dear pregnant coworker, congratulations. I can’t wait to snuggle your daughter…and then give her back.
Oh, and my last piece of advice? Don’t listen to anyone’s advice. It’s your kid, you do what’s right for her and tell the rest of the world to kick off.