A first pregnancy is a fruitful time for advice, I was soon warned after the stick turned blue.
My friend continued: “You don’t have to take or even listen to it, unless you want to,” and I’ve held onto that memory for when people DO give advice. Sometimes it’s a sweet summer memory, sometimes it’s a shield.
Times that it’s just a sweet summer memory:
“You are the best person for this job of raising your child.” I like the idea that, even with all my of inadequacies and fears, I’m still the best qualified to raise her. Also encouraged is: “You are going to be great.” Just more reassurance that, if I do my best, which I will, that will be adequate. I will be enough. I can do enough. And that includes taking care of myself, as well, and not sacrificing myself to the Altar of Childrearing.
Times that it’s a shield:
“Just you wait for …” or “Better do fill-in-the-blank now ’cause you’re gonna miss it!” or “Better get used to…” None of these things make me feel any more confident or knowledgeable about the task before me, and it just incites more fear of the unknown, of shit that MAY or MAY NOT happen. ‘Cause I’m not freaked out enough. I can barely read a pregnancy book, let alone hear stories from people, because I’m so anxious about it. Plus, I’ve read this script, and telling me “just you wait” is only setting me up for a later “See, I told you!”