Our dad blogger, Joe Campagna, is back with his perspective on the crazy things people say when you are pregnant.
So you’re telling people you’re going to have kids! Congrats…and good luck dealing with the dumb things people say when you are pregnant over and over and over again. You’ll smile and try not to roll your eyes out of your head. I’m not even mentioning the weird stares from complete strangers and people wanting to touch your belly. WHY?
My wife and I recently had twins and didn’t go public until after our 20-week ultrasound. We also didn’t share a photo shoot or hold a press conference on social media. It was more fun to see people react directly…
We’re Pregnant! Reaction: yeah, that’s great, CONGRATS!
It’s TWINS! Reaction: oh my!; some laughed; others a simple, “WOW!”
It’s two girls! Reaction: now this varied based on who was telling the story – my wife – good luck, holy cow! That’s great! If I told the story – most laughed uncontrollably! Others said – you’re screwed! (using a different four letter word) – And those that know me best – laughter as they said, “Karma!”
But once the baby bump comes in, people will say things to you in passing or make conversation that became exhausting. Be especially prepared for complete strangers to make conversation and catch you off guard – I’m sorry are you talking to us?
Here are the more common things we heard.
You’re Gonna Make GREAT Parents!
We’re heard this A LOT! After the 1000th time, you’ll smile and thank them for the kinds words as if this is the first time someone complimented you on your potential parenting skills. No one will say – “DON’T DO IT” “Are you sure?” “Why?” “Maybe you shouldn’t” “HUH, Parents you two? I guess.”
How does anyone know I’ll be a good parent? Granted, I do relate well to children, but maybe I’ll suck at this. Maybe I shouldn’t have kids. If everyone was going to be a “great parent” why does the world suck so much? Why do boys grow up to mansplain? Somewhere every parent is going to fail and screw up their kids. I hope to do it a little less but please stop saying, “You’ll make great parents!”
GET YOUR SLEEP NOW! BANK THAT SLEEP!
Enough! This isn’t how this works. I eventually started telling people, “that’s not possible.” I get what people are saying that but it’s as if they’ve never slept before. I can sleep great but that first night of chaos in the hospital where we kept both babies in the room with us and my wife couldn’t get out of bed – 43 years of amazing sleep – cleared off the scoreboard.
Near the end I would wake each morning thinking….is that the last GOOD night of sleep for the next 18 years??? God, I hope I get one more shot to sleep well.
Are you ready?
It doesn’t matter if you’re having your first, second, third or fourth. How do you know? It always reminded me of the old military adage – No battle plan survives contact with the enemy! It might be wrong to think of your future child(ren) as the enemy but you have NO IDEA.
My wife and I were very prepared and had everything we needed. We built the cribs in the 6th month one Saturday because someone was “nesting” and had to have the cribs up in mid-September for a late December planned c-section – not that I’m holding a grudge. We had three months of diapers on hold waiting to have them ship once the ladies arrived. We registered and closed the registry thinking we were ready as could be.
Nothing prepares you for having your sweet little angle poop THREE times in a row as you’re trying to change a diaper – clean, poop, clean, poop, clean, poop – all with this blank angelic face. Oh, and when someone says only boys pee on you – LIARS! My one daughter gets me every other day.
What I’m trying to say…you might think you’re ready but you have no idea. Every child is different and everyone’s situation is unique.
Will you have more after these? Or It gets easier to have more kids!
Before Serena and Luciana arrived, we knew we were one pregnancy and done. Ask my wife now and she is more set in that thinking than ever! But it’s like asking someone, what do you want for next Christmas on this years Christmas Eve? Uh, I’d like to deal with this year first. Some people may not know if they want more and are THANKFUL it even happened this time. Be in the present.
As to how easy it is to have more kids…I would joke with people. I had a PERFECT record for 42 years. I’m fully aware of how not to have a child. We know this is it and it’s not going to happen again. I didn’t flunk 5th grade biology, obviously. I’m going to go on another perfect run!
Other dumb things you’ll hear…
- How far along are you?
- YOU look big for (insert week number)! – my wife would think in her head various explecitives!
- Do twins run in the family? – We did IVF so than we would have to explain that whole bag of shenanigans. If you want to have fun – tell people with a straight face, you’re disappointed it wasn’t triplets! They won’t know what to say.
- Your life’s over… – other popular riffs on this – you’ll never see a movie again, read a book or apparently have an adult social life for the next 3 years.
- Are you going to breastfeed? – Why do you care? How is it your business? Our stock answer – hopefully! No clue!
- I can’t wait to see how the kids change/ruin your fun carefree life. – as older parents we had a good run
- They’re going to own you. – I’m set on learning the power of no.
Shockingly many people who will say these things already have children or may be related. Know you’re not alone when it comes to hearing the same thing again and again. Congratulations and Good Luck!
Joe Campagna is a dad of twin girls. Joe is a former chef and general manager who has strong opinions on food. Although he knows his way around a kitchen, he is still learning how to navigate this whole dad thing. He resides in Chicago with his wife Jen and his two newborn daughters. You can follow his musings: @chifoodsnob on Twitter and Instagram.