Let’s face it, we all have unavoidable annoyances that cross our paths from time to time and make us cringe, sweat a little and sometimes push us over the edge. There’s no doubt the types of annoyances vary from person to person, but there might be some scientific evidence that suggests those irritants become extraordinarily pungent during pregnancy.
What I’m trying to say is that Pregnancy Pet Peeves are REAL and we’ve all got ‘em!
In all fairness, as I begin to reflect on my own personal pet peeves (mind you, I am currently in my third trimester – the countdown is on) I’m recognizing that my pregnancy pet peeves have layers. What do I mean by layers? The things that bothered me before I became a mom have DRASTICALLY changed since I became a mom. They’ve even changed from the time I became a first-time mom to now too- knowing I am going to be a second-time mom.
I can honestly say that I now feel a deeper, more comical connection to all those first kid/second kid diaper commercials! For instance, have you ever seen the Luvs commercial where the child in the stroller drops their pacifier in the dirt, the mom sticks it in her mouth to clean it off and then gives it back as if it’s been thoroughly sanitized by the Department of Health? Enter facepalm emoji. I can easily predict that’ll totally be me with kid #2; whereas I’d never have dreamed of doing that with my firstborn.
Allow me to peel back a few layers of my pregnancy pet peeves via the 3 P’s.
1.) Pre-parenting pet peeves:
These are my absolute favorite to commiserate with and laugh at. I categorize these as the “Easier said than done” peeves. These annoyances include unsolicited advice or offerings from non-parents, or even better, people who are preparing for parenthood. I speak with a humorous heart on this one because I was once a backseat parent with zero real parenting experience.
These pre-parenting pet peeves typically began with the phrase, “If that were my child, I would or I would never…” and often contain a laundry list of actions that include:
- Never allowing your child to act a certain way in public
- Preferred methods of discipline
- Sleeping tips that are unrealistic to an extreme
- An array of parenting promises destined to be broken
After all, it’s a proven fact that children do not come with instruction manuals and you must learn to adjust your parenting techniques with the ever-changing needs of your tiny human. Needless to say, (in my humble opinion) those pre-parenting pet peeves are best kept under wraps or only shared amongst other people who have yet to enter the parent zone.
2.) Pregnancy pet peeves:
Categorically speaking, these pet peeves more often than not offer themselves in the form of questions or comments during pregnancy that fall under my umbrella of, “No you may not!” Examples include: “No, you may not touch my belly, no, you may not reminisce about your pregnancy victories and horror stories with me and no, you may not volunteer to be my new nutritionist or life coach.” However, I must admit, I believe there are questions and/or comments that are more easily digested by a woman carrying her second child vs. a woman who is experiencing pregnancy for the first time.
With that in mind, here’s a fun tip for all you first-time pregnant moms looking to dodge those unwanted pregnancy conversations: When someone asks you, (and they will) “Is this your first?” No matter what, try responding with,
No, this is my second.
Everyone knows you’re a professional by baby #2. That response generally shuts down any follow-up curiosities and allows you to carry on with your day without further interruptions. I’ve learned through experience that it’s the easiest way to avoid conversations with strangers because they automatically conclude that this isn’t your first rodeo and that they will need to find another target for their well-wishes and endless advice. I wish I had known this secret during my first pregnancy. It would have saved me from frustration on countless occasions.
3.) Postpartum pet peeves:
Last, but certainly not least, I associate these pet peeves with the instinctual saying, “Don’t poke the bear” (especially the MAMA BEAR). These are all actions people do to mothers and their newborns that they’d never dream of doing to a mama bear and her cub(s).
Let’s be honest…
- Would you ever wake a bear from hibernation?
- Would you ever kiss a newborn baby cub on the lips?
- Would you ever tailgate a mama bear and her cubs while they’re on the hunt for food?
The answer to all of the above is, “No stinkin’ way!”
What this translates to is….
a.) If a mom chooses to hunker down and hibernate with her newborn for the first few weeks after delivery, impromptu visits can sometimes be more exhausting or disruptive than helpful. For many mothers, the first few weeks of visits feel best when done by appointment only. If you don’t want to be mauled, it might also be advisable to bring food for the hungry mama bear.
b.) Please stay a safe distance from my newborn’s face. As kissable, huggable and loveable as newborns are, kissing them on the lips or on the face can be more harmful than most people realize. Even though the intent is meant to show warm affection, there are disease, immune system and skin complications that can be transmitted through such close contact.
c.) My number 1 pet peeve of all time since becoming a mom… TAILGATING. My heart skips a beat every time I’m in the car and my “cub” is in the backseat and I have someone behind me ready to latch onto my bumper. All I can think of is, “If I have to stop quickly, the person who’s riding my rear is going to make contact with my baby first.” #BabyOnBoard. At this point, break checks are no longer an appropriate solution and all I can do is take a deep breath, pull over and allow them to pass. Nevertheless, if I can’t see your headlights in my rear-view mirror, you’re too close for comfort. Back off.