I’ve been drowning in pregnancy and babe advice since I was about 15-weeks-pregnant (I will be giving birth any day now). It’s surprising how quickly in the pregnancy, and promptly in most any interaction, people feel compelled to share little words of wisdom.
For me, already, this well-intentioned tally includes the lady behind me at the bank, the cashier at Woolies, the sweet elderly redhead who sat beside me on the plane, and the fresh-faced girl in the pink hoodie who had an adorable child on each of her non-existent hips while standing in line next to me at the yoghurt place.
Though this lot is usually lovely, and their words are often cushioned by excitement and encouragement, much of the advice out there is cliché, overwhelming, inapplicable (for whatever reason), or even, sometimes, downright depressing. But, I have received some gems from some of the wonderful women in my life.
Heed and be happy!
Here we go….
1. “Bigger the bump, bigger the bag. Invest in some fine arm candy. It’ll make you feel glamorous when you’re seriously not glamorous.” –– Gwen R., a stylist pal who’s always kind enough to share tips
2. “Floss more than usual. Seriously. Do it.” — Jan T., my very pregnant dentist
3. “Especially once you hit the third trimester, play the pregnancy card whenever you damn please. Company bonding session you’ve been dreading? Don’t go! Three loads of laundry to conquer? One’s good enough! Bought groceries but used all of your energy loading them into the fridge? Time for take away!” — Sarah L., a mother of four (this chick knows what’s up!)
4. “Grow out your hair. You’ll be able to style it in pretty ways when you’re feeling otherwise frumpy, and ponytails are better than bobs once you have an infant.” — Jackie F., my wise and mane-savvy hair stylist and mother to the cutest, petite blonde around
5. “Prepare yourself for this already: You will not always, or maybe even often, be popular with your children. You’ll have to make tough decisions. You’ll have to protect them from things they don’t yet understand. Do it anyway. Keep your friends, and don’t rely on your kids to always understand you. It won’t happen, nor do you actually need it to.” — Melissa H., a lovely mum extraordinaire (who’s now got teens, if you can’t tell!)
6. “Buy sexy (but baggy) babydoll lingerie. That way, if you’re ever actually ‘in the mood,’ you’ll stand a chance of staying there.” — Maria B., a hot mama who’s always maintained sexbot status
7. “Name your baby whatever the hell you want and do not care an iota about what anyone – other than your partner – may think of it. Seriously. This is YOUR child’s name. Who cares if it’s popular or offbeat or strange or rhymes with something that someone could potentially, eventually, maybe turn into a playground taunt. Love it and own it and screw the haters.” — Jenny O., who maaaaay be speaking from experience that hits a little too close to home
8. “Don’t sweat the whole ‘I’ll likely poo during delivery’ thing, because I think most of us do, and who could blame us?” — Katie R., a friend (Love this lady. Like loooove her)
9. “Once you’re showing, feel free to still wear pretty heels now and again, but don’t go too high. It’s painfully nerve-racking to watch a pregnant woman teetering around. It just is.” — Kate S., a style-conscious nurse
10. “You’re embarking on a beautiful, sublime, incredibly challenging chapter of your life. Be kind to yourself, be kind to your partner, and soak it in. Someday, the stresses and imperfections of this demanding time will make you smile. Why not allow it to make you smile as it unfolds in real time?” — Becca T., a dear writer friend and mother of two (I’m keeping this one in my pocket.)
Photo: Abbey Cleland