And now, courtesy of Parents.com, a list of ways to “prepare for baby!” (*gag*) and my rebuttals.
First off, let me say that whoever wrote this list has clearly never been pregnant or lived with a pregnant woman. In fact, I’m pretty certain the author ascribes to the stork/cabbage patch theory. And they probably have a perfectly organized linen closet. (Ass.) But I digress… here we go…
1. Reduce Stress In Your Life- This is a lovely sentiment, but I’m afraid it flies in the face of the very fact that OH-MY-GOD-THERE’S-GOING-TO-BE-A-TINY-HELPLESS-HUMAN-HERE-FOR-WHOM-I-AM-ENTIRELY-RESPONSIBLE!!! If you have any idea the magnitude of the commitment you’ve undertaken, you SHOULD be stressed. Not to mention the fact that reducing stress is much easier when you aren’t pondering questions like:
What do you mean FMLA is unpaid?
The average cost of raising a baby is WHAT?
My vagina/cervix is going to get HOW BIG?
When do I stop puking and start glowing?
What the hell is a “boppy”?
Does training the dog to prop up a bottle count as adequate childcare?
2. Increase Your Social Support Network- Another lovely idea- and yet highly impractical for the pregnant person and partner. On a list of priorities topped by sleep and food, the pregnant woman places “increase social support network” right down there beside “learn the rules of Australian football.” When you fall asleep sometime right after Wheel of Fortune and long before any prime-time programming, you’re not likely to get invited to many a supper club. Your only hope is to befriend other pregnant women and their partners at the height of some sport’s playoffs so you can fall asleep together and the partners won’t care.
3. Begin Thinking About the Birth- Huh? Was I supposed to be thinking about ANYTHING ELSE? No, seriously… after the initial elation (or panic, depending on your circumstances) of finding out you’re pregnant passes, the very next thing you do is to start obsessing about giving birth. I know, the authors are speaking of the neatly typed double-spaced “birth plan”. As they said in Clueless… “WHAT-EV-ER.” Here’s the thing, birth is nothing but a series of messy, unpredictable, big ol’ fat unknown variables which normally render the “birth plan” little more than extra toilet paper (equally scratchy as the hospital variety, too). That scares the shittola out of most women which is why the first thought after “that IS a second line!” is usually “oh my GOD- this baby has to come OUT!” So if you have to actually instruct a woman to begin thinking about the birth, she’s either not pregnant yet or she’s so far in denial she will give birth in the bathroom at the prom and get back out on the dance floor. Is this one intended for these “partners” the article mentions? Because that would make sense. I wouldn’t want to think about birth if it didn’t involve my va-jay-jay either.
4. Take Care of Your Soul- Seriously? My soul? Now does that come before or after I take care of this freakin’ body of mine that has ceased to function normally? ‘Cause I bought some of those chicken soup books and so far they’ve been terrific ergonomic footrests to help with this low back pain. But my soul? Still the same black mar on the face of humanity it ever was. (Just ask the Republicans we know.) Should I have gotten that fixed before I got pregnant? I knew I was forgetting something…
5. Explore Your Expectations of Parenting with Your Partner- Now THIS is a suggestion I can get behind! It’s very important that expecting parents agree on the important issues. Like… exactly who is the baby daddy and discipline questions like to cage or not to cage. No, seriously…got to have a chat about those expectations. For instance, do you both consider getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night a reasonable expectation? If you do, consider psychopharmaceuticals and that you may be able to save money by buying in bulk. Does your partner expect that since you are breastfeeding, you will attend to the baby every time it cries at night? If he does that’s fine, but he should adjust his expectations to include you attaching the electric breast pump to his scrotum while he sleeps. See? Compromise!
We need a practical list of ways to prepare for baby. I’ll start it off… commenters, add on for me!
Rob a bank or implement plan for hostile takeover of Trump Enterprises.
Hire a cleaning service or drastically reduce your cleanliness standards.
Build conveyor belt from nursery straight to washing machine.
Learn to sleep standing up while rocking back and forth and bouncing lightly.