Literary and Pregnancy Dos and Don’ts

This adore this Romance Heroine’s Don’ts List.  It’s quite amusing.

I thought I’d create a list as well. 

So inspired by the birth of my friends’ first child two days ago, here is my Friends and Family of an Expecting Parent Don’ts List.

Please feel free to suggest additions to the list. 

1. Don’t tell an expecting parent that he or she will never sleep well again.  Just because you gave birth to a monster and/or are ineffective at managing sleep cycles doesn’t mean that you should damper the excitement of expecting parents.

And if you aren’t sleeping, may I suggest HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK.  I have only read one baby-related book since my daughter was born, and this was it.  And to be honest, I only read about a third of it.  But it was the important third. 

2. Don’t tell an expecting parent that he or she will not see the inside of a movie theater for at least five years.  Non-crazed, emotionally mature parents are perfectly capable of hiring a babysitter or asking a grandparent to watch the baby a few times a year if seeing a movie is something they enjoy.  I’m seeing my fifteenth film of the year today, and while we had babysitters for some of them, many of them were watched at the drive-in while my daughter slept quietly in the backseat. 

3. Don’t criticize a name choice after it has been made.  If the expecting parent requests an opinion on a potential name, be honest.  If the expecting parent is informing you of a naming decision, say something nice or nod approvingly while laughing inside at the stupidity of the choice.  Only arrogant, self-righteous jerks openly criticize a name choice once it’s been made.

4. Do not comment of an expecting mother’s decision to eat tuna fish, run a marathon or drink a glass of wine.  We do not live in the Stone Age.  Between doctors, nurses, books, magazines and the internet, expecting mothers are aware of the possible complications associated with such decisions but also understand the concept of moderation.  If they aren’t driving on the wrong side of the road without a seatbelt while smoking crack, keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself.

5.  Do not ask an expecting mother how much weight she has put on during her pregnancy.  Actually, you should never ask anyone about their weight, but the weight of pregnant mothers seems to garner a great deal of interest from idiots and fools.  Do not lump yourself into one of these categories.

6.  In general, don’t say ANYTHING negative about parenting or children to expectant and new parents.  I am baffled by the obsessive need of some people to play the role of the harbinger of death, warning parents about the pitfalls and perils of parenthood.  Old standards from this particular breed of malcontent include:

“Sleep now because you won’t be sleeping soon!”

“Start saving now, because the cost of diapers alone will break the bank!”

“Oh, you just wait until he is crawling!”

“You think it’s easy now.  Wait until she can talk back to you.”

My standard response to such doom and gloom remarks goes something like this:

“Why would you say something like that to me?  Is your own existence so miserable and pathetic that you feel the need to bring me down?  Does spreading despair and misery make you feel better about yourself?  Take your negativity somewhere else, because I love my wife, I love my daughter, and I love parenthood, goddamn it.”

Feel free to use this response.  It generally puts these pests in their place.