Last weekend I had a very rare entire weekend with no plans and I took full advantage, I did some reading, house organisation, enjoyed a lovely warm bubble bath with a magazine, watched strictly (my favourite TV show) and movies while eating a takeaway pizza, had a Sunday roast – you name it. I decided to share some snapshots on Instagram (as you do) to share what a lovely weekend I was having and then I had a few comments and then messages from people saying things such as ‘oh enjoy It while it lasts’ and ‘oh your in for a shock when that baby arrives’ and it really got under my skin. This wasn’t the first time I’d come across comments like these, being a lover or beauty and fashion I have lost count of the amount of times I have heard ‘you will have to give up your make-up when baby arrives’ and even ‘you might as well sell your entire wardrobe as you’ll never wear a nice dress again’ and ‘oh you’ll loose your love for all that silly stuff when you’re a mum’… (yes these are all direct quotes).
Now – the first thing that irritates me about this is the condescending nature of these comments. Do they really think that in the process of trying for this baby that there was no conversation between me and my husband about the change to our lifestyle? We have had 7 years together just us two having a fairly self-indulgent time, and we are under no illusions that things are going to be pretty different looking in 6 months’ time but we are ready for that and it was discussed before deciding to try for this baby 18 months ago.
Also, I do not believe that you have to give up the entirety of who you are to become a mother. Will things change a lot, yes. Have I signed up for a lobotomy on the side of my birthing experience, no. I like to think that being a mother will enhance who I am as a person but will not be the only thing that defines it. I am pretty sure I can still like wearing lipstick and snake print boots and be a great mum. It is why I look up to people online like @thisismothership and @Hannahgale who have spoken about how it might be slightly harder to juggle those two sides but they don’t disappear.
The other thing I’ve noticed is around the tone of the comments that people are making – it is always painting the picture of motherhood in a negative light and focusing on the things that you are giving up. Don’t get me wrong, when you give them a look its then usually followed up with ‘oh but it’s worth it’ – but here is a shocker… becoming a mum for the first time is scary and daunting enough (a whole post on that one coming soon!) as it is without constantly telling us newbies about giving up their self, weekends, time and general life to have a baby. I am not saying that everyone has to paint it in a glorious light or hide the reality – I’m talking about being mindful about it and giving those insights and opinions when they are asked for – not when commenting on people’s lifestyle.
I am not sure if people think they are being helpful but I can tell you from one persons perspective that you aren’t – your scaring us and making us anxious and even angry that you think we’re naive enough to not understand the grand scale of the life change that is upon us. If you have made one of those comments, just think back to before you had your baby and how it would have made you feel. If you want to talk about pregnancy with someone – why not ask what parts of motherhood they are looking forward to and worried about and then you can talk about your experiences in a constructive way!
You never know – I could be writing a retraction in 6 months’ time going ‘oh man now I get it – I was talking crap’ but you know what, if that is the case, let me figure it out for myself – that’s all I ask.
I may be alone here and would love to know if anyone else finds themselves frustrated at those comments too – share below!