Here we go again. I’m pregnant. Yes, after two years of sleepless nights, dirty floors, and full hearts, we decided to go through the circus again and have a second baby. Congratulations are in order to you because you got the job done on the first attempt, a fact which I know brings you great pride. But as you sit around a corner table clinking beers with your colleagues at Happy Hour tonight, toasting those super-fast, mega-strong swimmers of yours, please don’t forget that your portion of the program might be over, but mine is just beginning.
So, before we get too far into this thing, let me remind you of the things you seem to be forgetting. Even though my last pregnancy was only two years ago, we seem to be on two very different pages right now and that’s just not going to work. And, since I’ve already lost my temper with you a few times and I know neither one of us likes that, let’s take a moment to go over the basics here.
1. I feel fat and it’s your job to tell me I’m not. If I complain about my swelling middle or the thighs I meant to tone up before I got knocked up, please do not tell me you’ll watch the toddler so I can go to the gym. If I want to go to the gym, believe me, I’ll let you know. If I’m just complaining, all you need to do is tell me I’m beautiful and keep it moving. Let that incident last week be the very last time you make this mistake again, because I haven’t even gained any weight yet and I’m already feeling huge. We’ve got six months to go here.
2. I will always make sure the child is taken care of, but I can’t promise the same for you. My main job as a stay-at-home mama is to take care of her and ensure that she’s clean, fed, happy, and healthy. While it’s my pleasure to also cook dinner most nights and tidy up throughout the day, I am 100 percent DONE picking up your crap off the floor. I hereby solemnly swear that not one more time during this pregnancy do I plan to hunt down the remote for you after you’ve plunked down on the couch to watch sports when I still have laundry to do. And speaking of laundry, if you leave another sweaty gym tee on my kitchen floor in the next six months, I’m going to burn it.
3. Going out with your friends is a privilege, not a right. Here’s the thing: I love going out with my friends, too. But those days are over for me right now, and since I’m planning to breastfeed the newborn and will still have a clingy toddler on my hands when the baby arrives, my girls’ nights are so far off I can’t see them even when I squint at the horizon with all my might. So, while I don’t mind if you go out with your buddies to blow off some steam from time to time, it can’t be once a week. And it definitely can’t leave you incapacitated the next day because if you get a night off, I feel I should get a morning off! Boom.
4. Please don’t ask me one more time if I’m “supposed to be having that.” Trust me, mums know by this point every single thing we are or are not allowed to consume during pregnancy. From OTC medications to types of fish, not only is my doctor crystal-clear, but so is the Internet. And then you’ve got your critics at mummy group. If I’m putting something in my mouth it is because I can. And yes, I get that this is your baby too, but I promise you I will not poison it with anything on the “no” list, so will you please shut it already?
5. I don’t feel like myself, so I can’t be expected to act like myself. Now that we’re exiting the first trimester, my energy is still super-low and I’m nauseous most of the time. Once this lets up, it’ll give way to heartburn, back pain, an unruly bladder, and swelling from face to sad, puffy ankles and feet. I know you have a lot going on, too, but growing a human hurts. And I can’t do all the preschool drop-offs, grocery shopping, and entertaining that I usually do. Please just step up and take over some of it — and stop expecting me to host your mother for anything. If she wants to see us, she can invite us over and serve me for once.
6. Everything makes me want to cry, and I need you to cheer me up. Thanks to the hormones, my emotions are completely out of whack. I’m going to need to get more hugs and hear more kind, reassuring things. Yes, I still want to watch all our favourite TV shows together, but please don’t suggest a channel change if I start crying, even at the commercials. You’re dealing with an alternate version of me right now, but luckily, tissues and ice cream go a long way. Please have plenty of each on hand at all times.
7. I might be a baby vessel right now, but I’m also still your wife. The bigger I get in the six months to come, it might be harder for both of us to remember to maintain some semblance of a sex life. But, I am still the woman you married and would appreciate you acting like you want to get me in bed even when it might not always happen. When in doubt, a dirty text can along way!
Thanks for listening and lots of love,