An Open Letter to Friends of New Moms

02/12/2015 § 2 Comments

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Dear friends of new moms,

I get it. Babies are cute. And you’re excited that you’re going to have one close enough to you that you can cheek-pinch to your hearts content. But having my first baby after 75 hours of labour ending in a forceps delivery resulting in a large tear on top of a 3rd degree episiotomy and severe hemorrhoids, I’d have to say the worst part by far was the amount of annoying texts and messages I received the week proceeding and the week following my delivery. I know you are DYING to know the details, but I just went through the most painful, scary and emotionally draining event in my life thus far and the last thing I want to do is pick up my phone and respond to the dozens of missed texts, Facebook messages and comments. What I do want to do is eat, sleep, spend time looking at this new precious being I just brought into the world and get over my fear of pooing before I even begin trying to find an outlet to charge my phone. So if you’re interested in not being “that friend” and respecting the space of the mom-to-be in your life, I have three simple things you can do.

1. Do not remind them if they are overdue.  We are very aware of our due date. If we’ve gone past our due date, don’t remind us that we’ve gone past our due date. Believe me, we want that baby out of our bodies more than you do. Examples of what not to say:

“Baby?” Yes, it’s still in my uterus.

“We are waiting.” Great. I’ll let the baby know.

“When is that baby coming? Enjoy life inside too much to come out!” Haha. I wish I had a uterus to hide in to avoid comments like this.

And my personal favourite, if you see us still pregnant and ask if we’ve had our baby yet, your stupid question can and will be met with an equally stupid and/or snide remark. For future pregnancies I will not announce my due date. I may even go a step further and tell people I’m due a month later that I actually am.

2. Do not text or call us during labour. If you’ve heard through the grape vine that we are in labour or have recently delivered resist the urge to text, message or call. I don’t know if you’re aware, but going through labour is a pretty big ordeal and requires our full attention. Things not to say:

“How are you feeling?” Take one guess. This is labour. I feel like I wish I didn’t feel anything below my waist. Speaking of which, where is my epidural? Oh, and what I’m not feeling is answering your text messages.

“The suspense is killing me, boy or girl! I need to go shopping.” I waited 9 months to know the gender of my baby. And now what I need is to enjoy the arrival of my new baby and sleep. Your shopping can wait.

If you didn’t put it there or didn’t do the work to get it out, you really don’t need to know right now. In the future, my husband is going to be the only one I alert that I’m in labour. Everyone else can wait until the baby is born and I feel like sharing.

3. Don’t ask the name of the baby.  I legally have a month to name this little thing. But chances are we’ll have decided on name within the week. And no, you asking will not speed up the process. In fact, it will entice me to take even longer and tell you the name last. I personally don’t think that after 3 sleepless nights and an emotional roller coaster I’m in the best head space to choose a name that this baby is stuck with for life. I want to get to know my baby and feel out its personality. I will take as long as I need to choosing a good name that suites my child. Examples of things not to say:

“Have you named the baby.” Maybe I have, maybe I haven’t. I’ll tell you when I’m ready.

“My daughter wants to know if he has a name yet?” Right. I’m sure your 4 year old is just as curious as you are to know the baby’s name. Oh wait, you’ve just realized that you’ve asked one to many times already and need a scape goat.

“I have gifts for you if you have a name for me to write in the card!!!” Bribery. Mature.

If I have posted a birth announcement on Facebook and it has all the details but the name, chances are we haven’t decided on a name yet. Comments like, “What’s his name?” will not be responded to. Oh, and thanks for suggesting your name for my baby. As lovely as it is I think I’ll pass on Tim and Greg.

What ever happened to privacy? Social media seems to have blurred the lines of personal space. I’m not obligated to post my personal information on social networks. Sure it’s a convenient way to let every one know important details of your life, but I don’t OWE anyone anything. You are not ENTITLED to my information. I can share what I want, when I want and I can leave out what I don’t want to publicly post. And no. Not everyone feels the way that I do. But the people who want you to know, share before you can even ask the questions. They’re the people who have already done a gender reveal. They may have even already announced the name. And they just might post a picture of them in the hospital bed ready for the labor of love to begin. But for those who haven’t shared, maybe there’s a reason they haven’t. Maybe they want to enjoy their special, once-in-a-life-time moment privately. Maybe they don’t want everyone to know. Maybe they simply want to share on their own time. But please, please, please, don’t send a message if they haven’t.

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