If We Talked to Everyone the Way We Talk to Expectant Mothers

by Nicola Prentis February 09, 2017

expectant mother illustrations

The chances are, if you're pregnant, well-meaning friends have told you that after the baby's arrival: You'll never sleep again, you'll be so exhausted you won't remember if you've had breakfast and you'll never have time to shower. Since when did it become OK to greet good news with predictions of doom? Having a baby is amazing, they say, life-changing, the most rewarding thing you can do. Except that it sucks! They must think they're doing you a favor by preparing you for the worst. The only thing that sucked about having a baby was constantly being told how much it was going to suck. How would it be if we responded to other life news the way we talk to the newly pregnant? 'After years of trying to find work, I've landed my dream job and I start next month!' Wow! I hope you're ready, though, because dream jobs are still jobs and jobs suck. All that time you spent imagining yourself sitting in your new office, did you prepare for the pressure you'll be feeling? We're all here for you, we know what it's like to have a job. The mindless routine that sets in after the first terrifying weeks when you don't know how the photocopier works. You'll get the hang of it, but some days you'll be wondering why the hell you signed up for this. Only 18 years to go 'til you can retire! 'We're engaged to be married in the fall!' Congratulations! That's the end of your relationship AND life as you know it! And your sex life goes out the window too, of course. One of my friends had a fall wedding. She was so traumatized she was in therapy for years. Don't keep it bottled up, OK? Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce so there's always someone around to talk to if you need. 'So, we exchanged contracts and we're buying the new house in March!' Hey, that's fantastic news! It's really noisy in that neighborhood, isn't it? Say goodbye to a good night's sleep for a few years. You'll be so tired you'll barely be able to recognize which one's your front door. And, even when you do fall asleep, you'll wake up terrified something's gone wrong with the electric. New houses are so expensive too – and it doesn't stop when they get older and you need a second mortgage just to manage the bills. 'Vacation all booked! Three weeks of private beach here I come!' Have a great trip! Thank God I don't have to do all that again. The endless topping up of sunscreen, making sure you're hydrated, packing all that beach gear every time you want to leave the hotel. One of you is bound to get sick too. You think you've seen vomit? It's nothing compared to projectile vacation-puke. 'I just went freelance and I've already scored three big clients!' Amazing! But woah, I don’t know how anyone manages with three. Clients always call you up out of hours, making demands, expecting you to do every little thing for them. It's like they can't even wipe their own butts without you to hold their hand! And yours are all boys, right? I bet you're hoping you get a girl next time! Girls are far easier. At first anyway, then they're the worst too.

Nicola Prentis


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