“No man can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” James 3:8
I love this verse because it really portrays how horrible our tongues really are and how much what we say effects us and those around us. We talked about our kids in my last post and how what we say to them truly shapes who they become and how they view themselves, how they see us, but even more importantly how they see and view God Himself. Today I really want to talk about how we talk to each other….. In our world of “It’s all about me”, it can be so easy to tear other people down without even thinking about the harm we’re causing…and sometimes all at the sake of just being “funny”.
Pregnancy quips….not so funny after all….
So from taking care of so many pregnant moms over the past 8 years….the way people talk to them never changes, even though it really should. I always tell them when they come in to get ready because it’s almost like when you get pregnant everyone around you thinks that it is now their job to either touch your baby (with or without your permission) and to give you all this advice and harassing because, well, I guess you just asked for it! Moms come in so beat down and frustrated all the time from things people tell them.
“Don’t you know what causes that..” is a popular one that normally guys who are uncomfortable with a pregnant mom around will say that is re-tarded at best. Obviously the mom figured that out doofus, she’s 32 weeks along!!! As if it is a disease or something you should stay away from.
“Well, get ready, your life is about to be over!” Normally this is what every first time mom and dad hear when they get pregnant. I can’t even count how many times “well wishers” told me this through our pregnancy with Harper. Life changes, that’s for sure. But if I didn’t want my life to change, we wouldn’t have had kids in the first place! My life is nothing like what it was before kids, but it is so much better….not the other way around.
“Wow, you’re HUGE, how many babies are in there?!” I actually had a patient of mine in the waiting room tell one of my staff this who was pregnant at the time. My girl responded with, “Just one” and the lady freaked out, going on and on about how ENORMOUS she was and how there had to be twins in there. Totally demoralized my girl to the point she stepped away from the desk, went to the back and cried for a half hour before she could come back out. Insensitive, uh, ya think?! Ridiculous…absolutely. Another one of the moms I adjusted throughout her pregnancy didn’t leave the house for the last 2 weeks of her pregnancy because she got so many comments about how “huge” she was that she got sick and tired of answering questions. Little hint, if you think a mom is bigger than what you think they should be….KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!
“Man lady, you look like you’re about to pop!” Nice job dingus, as if the mom wasn’t already frustrated because she is near her guess date and is feeling uncomfortable…maybe you should point it out to her again.
“Are all these kids yours??” For all my moms of 4 or more, they all get this one at the grocery store sooner or later. One of my mom who has 6 told me when they were little she got that question every time she went out. She’s super nice so she always responded with “Why yes, yes they are”…would smile and walk on while they stared at her just horrified. Me?? When we pass the 4 mark (God willing), I can’t wait for the first poor soul to say that to me…..mmmmm….fun.
“You don’t get a medal at the end for doing this natural, everyone gets a baby…” My moms that have chosen to go the natural (no epidural, no hospital) route get this a lot. It usually comes from a friend or someone they know that has had babies already and didn’t have a great experience and did go the hospital route. This really goes back to allowing people to make their own choices, natural or not, and mind our own business. When a mom chooses to birth at the hospital, you don’t hear everyone giving her a hard time or ragging on her for wimping out or something like that. But as soon as a mom declares (most of the time reluctantly) that she is either birthing at a birthing center, or at home, or just medication-free at the hospital…they get raked over the coals.
“Oh, you’re pregnant, well good luck with labor mine was awful!!” Baby showers are a nightmare especially for the first time mom because they are trying so hard to not give into fear about what’s coming up. Then they sit down next to a well-wisher who had terrible experiences who just needs someone to vent on and dump their problems on so they vomit all over this poor mom and totally stress them out. Hey ladies….if your experience was less than desirable, we’re sorry, truly….but can you keep the details out of it until after we’ve had our baby?? Thanks…that would help out….
Doctors should know better…..but no…..
I love the fact that doctors are no better usually than the general public with some of the ridiculous things they say to moms. The hard part? Since they have alphabet soup behind their name, all they say carries more weight!! Especially for first time parents.
One new patient I saw a couple months ago, pregnant with #2, stated that she had had an episiotomy during her first delivery. I asked her if she’d had any complications from this and she said “Yes, sex was horribly painful for months afterwards.” To which I replied “I’m so sorry, that happens many times because they sew the episiotomy site back up too tight.” She nodded and we talked about it and she said she had learned that recently but hadn’t realized that was the problem for awhile. She said she went to the doc that delivered her and asked him soon after if that could be the problem and he says, “No, that couldn’t be it, it’s just because you’re breastfeeding. Sometimes mom’s who breastfeed have really painful sex afterwards.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! My mom always taught me that if you didn’t have anything intelligent to say, keep your mouth shut!! That is so medically incorrect the guy should be flogged! Phew…sorry, I get all protective of my moms….I need to get a drink of water…hold on……
Ok, I’m back…cooled off. Here’s another good one, when Cindy had first became a doula and was done with her first birth, Love you Janet and Todd!!, they were in the recovery room and the doctor came in and asked what they were going to do about the Vitamin K shot and antibiotics for the baby and the parents responded (out of their own research and education I might add) that they were not going to do those things to which the doctor replied, “Fine! If you want to kill your baby, you go right ahead, be my guest!” And stormed out of the room!
Another mom recently called me really upset about her primary doc and some things he found on her daughter (which when I examined her we found were not true). As we got to talking though, she began asking me some specifics on the vaccine issue (which we’d already discussed while she was pregnant and she had read countless books and research studies and had chosen to not vaccinate to begin with and to continue praying about later). She said the doctor asked her when he came in what they had decided to do about the vaccines and she told him they weren’t going to be doing any and he says, “I’ll still see you as a patient even though you’re not doing them, but I’m really disappointed.” (Wait, it gets better).. “I think it’s horrible that you’ve believed all the lies out there against vaccines and I feel that everyone who chooses not to vaccinate is possessed with a demon.” (This is NO JOKE) “It is totally biblical to vaccinate,” he says, “and to not do so puts your baby at risk physically AND spiritually…” I don’t even know what to say to this. I actually died laughing in the room with the mom when she told me this out of shock really. My first response was….”Really, which verse says you should vaccinate?” He didn’t have an exact verse but was distorting Chronicles 6:14 which says “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” This mom was so confused and scared she was making a bad decision that they almost vaccinated their daughter right there….but she didn’t and went back with her husband and prayed about it and realized that he was being crazy.
When people say things to you out of resentment, or jealousy, or anger….take it in context. Thank them for their input, let them know that won’t be your experience, then turn around and walk away. Anything that makes you want to make a decision out of FEAR is NOT right. You should be making your decisions for your family out of peace and comfort…..
So what crazy inappropriate things have people said to you while you were pregnant or nursing or whatever….I’m sure I won’t be shocked……