What you don’t expect when you’re expecting – Handling the overflow of our opinionated culture.

My husband and I walked into the bathroom together after waiting 2 full minutes in the living room for the pregnancy test to generate it’s answer. We had planned to start trying a month prior. Was I really pregnant? What if I am? What if I’m not? Questions bombarded my head as I tried to maintain a sense of peace as we approached the test. What would it say?…

We walked into the bathroom together, both took a deep breath, and simultaneously looked down at it. There it was. A big fat PREGNANT appeared on the test! Our mouths dropped….and our whole lives began to change! Waves of happiness, no – being ecstatic – rushed over us, followed by nervousness, anxiousness, and any slur of emotions you could think of.

Our pregnancy was a planned one. We had decided we were “as ready as we’d ever be” and we knew we wanted children so we decided to stop “being careful”. Whatever happened would happened. We would trust God with whatever outcome he had for us. And we were excited for the unknown. Little did we know it would take one short month for us to become pregnant. We were blessed and very fortunate in our circumstances and I thank God for that.

We are becoming First Time Parents! We are thrilled! Ecstatic! and then……people’s opinions start flooding in……our culture’s overload of “facts” come pouring over…..wooooof….
Of course, we are still more than thrilled of becoming parents and of meeting our little one! We can’t wait! But sometimes maintaining a positive mindset through all the opinions, comments, and facts can be a struggle…am I right??? Has anyone else felt this way???

Some of the “amazing” (cough..I’m being sarcastic..cough) comments I’ve encountered are:

1) Oh my gosh! You’re getting so BIG for only being this far along!

2) Ha! You better get sleep while you can!

3) You have NO idea what you’re getting into!

4) Gasp! You aren’t taking you’re vitamins?!?! – Followed by the most judgmental, shaming look –

5) Hahaha you’re having kids?! Good luck having a life!

6) You should have waited longer! You could have been rich!

7) Wow! You’re just so big for only being {insert weeks of pregnancy}! (Yes I realize this is a repeat. You’d be surprised by how many people say this)

8) You shouldn’t be eating/doing that. It’s not good for the baby.

I could go on…..

Deep Breath……..I’ve had to do a lot of teeth grinding and fake smiling through some of these comments even though all I really want to do is go prego crazy on some of these people….that wouldn’t be pretty…I’ll continue to try and contain myself.

On top of the negative comments you tend to get all the opinions that people think are facts… Those are fun to hear too…Just kidding!

How to cope?!?

1) Remind yourself – a lot of these people saying these things that only take a split second to fall out of their mouth don’t realize it comes out in a negative context. Try to see the best in people and what they are saying. Sometimes that’s harder to do than other times but grit your teeth and put a smile on. I’m gonna say 9.5 times out of 10 they mean well even if it doesn’t come out the greatest.

2) Remember the good comments! For every 5 annoying comments, I can guarantee you there is at least 1 good comment coming your way from someone! Remember those! Let the positive comments consume the negative ones! So in honor of not allowing the negative comments overshadow the positive, I’ll share some of the wonderful things people have said too!

  1. You are the cutest pregnant person ever!
  2. You guys are going to be great parents!
  3. I love your baby’s name!
  4. Becoming parents is the greatest joy you’ll ever experience!
  5. You’re going to fall even more in love with your husband once you see him become a father!
  6. It’s ALL so worth it!

3) You do what YOU think is best for YOU and YOUR baby/family! All other comments, opinions, and facts can fall to the waste side. Never forget that inevitably, you are the one becoming the parent so in the end none of this overflow really matters.

4) Don’t let others dull your shine or happiness. Of course having a baby, parenting, all of it is going to be hard but don’t forget – that despite it being hard, it’s more than worth it and you’ll never have a greater joy than this!

5) Let go and let God! My spiritual counselor reminded me of this! She said, “Picture yourself putting all these negative comments, opinions, and facts into a box. Seal that box tight. Now picture yourself handing it all over to God. Getting rid of all of it and going to your creator for the answers instead. What do you think he’d say as he took the box away from you?” I loved the picture of this and I responded, “I think he’d say, ‘You may never comprehend the vast love I have for you but you might come a fraction closer by having this child. It will be such a joy given to you by Me and I’m so happy to be by your side walking you through this. Take care of my child I have entrusted you with!'”

Wow – and that put it all into perspective for me. My heart softened to all of the hustle and bustle our culture throws at us and was immediately reminded of what was most important. That God gave me a gift! A challenging yet over joyful gift! And no negative thought, opinion, comment, or fact could ever take that away from me!

6) So last but certainly not least – Never forget the extraordinary gift God has given you and never take it for granted!

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