Slate’s Dear Prudence received this letter from a reader seeking advice:
My mother-in-law is driving me crazy. My husband and I just found out that we are pregnant with our second child, and I heard she's pregnant, too. I cannot conceive of being pregnant at the same time as my mother-in-law! She has this notion that she is "too young" to be a grandma, and I am so angry with her for trying to take my spotlight. She is 44 years old, and it makes me upset that she wants to have children now (after already having three of her own) instead of just being a grandma. What should I do or say when she reveals her big news to us, which will likely happen when we reveal our big news to her?
In a word, I find this person disgusting, and I am shocked that she even wrote the letter. To possess such reprehensible, immature, and supremely selfish emotions is one thing. To share them with an advice columnist in hopes that she will somehow support you only demonstrates the woman’s levels of ignorance and stupidity in addition to her self-centeredness.
Sadly, I think I know people who would feel the same way in placed in this situation. Sad for me for knowing them, and sad for them for who they are.
Stealing my spotlight?
I can’t imagine being so loathsome of myself so as to require pregnancy to shine a light on me.
I thought that Emily Yoffe’s response was well stated and I agree with everything she wrote, but I would have added one other thought:
If you desire the spotlight, do something spotlight worthy. The stupidest of human begins are capable of becoming pregnant. Dogs become pregnant all the time. Even flies get pregnant and give birth. Pregnancy is not a spotlight-worthy state of being. Instead, find a pursuit that is honorable and admirable.
Go to work for a charity. Become a sculpture. Adopt a highway. Volunteer in a classroom. Write a poem. Produce an amusing YouTube video featuring your cat. Plant a tree. Become a Girl Scout’s leader. Run for an elected office. Invent a device that people don’t realize they need. Become an outstanding parent for your future child.
All of these endeavors would be more spotlight-worthy than nine months of pregnancy.
Common Sense and Decency