This weekend, we went to our first kids’ birthday party since I’ve been pregnant. We’re no stranger to balloons, cake, and little kid shenanigans as we are one of the last holdouts in our family and friend groups to trade in our DINK cards. But this little bump sticking out from under my sweater invited an avalanche of advice and awkward conversations about money in less time than it took to crack a piñata.
“Feel free to ignore all the free advice.”
In the twenty weeks that I’ve been pregnant, I’ve learned a few things about growing a human. Basically, the fabled pregnancy glow might be the greatest lie anyone has ever told and just say no to chicken, at least for the first few months. Something else I’m learning very quickly is that when people say things like, “Feel free to ignore all the free advice,” they are about to unleash more well-meaning free advice, real-life case studies, and anecdotes about poop than your brain could possibly process in one sitting. That was the opening line of this party, and true to form, the advice runneth over.
“Just accept the fact that you’re always going to have way too much stuff.”
The subject of hand-me-downs came up, and we both agreed that we would gladly welcome whatever castoffs people wanted to share with us. Then I joked that I had to restrain one friend who was already trying to box up toys that Half Penny won’t be able to play with for another half decade at least.
Three moms pounced right away:
“Scoop them up.”
“Keep them in the basement. Just accept the fact that you’re always going to have way too much stuff.”
As a former Stuff-o-holic, I can most assuredly tell you that while this baby will likely not want for anything, we will not have too much stuff. I am not going down that road again. Come hell or high water, this kid is going to have exactly one closet.
“You should really make the decision to nurse now.”
Growing up, I could never understand how my mom was always so confident and self-assured. Now, I suspect that it is, at least in part, due to becoming a mom. This roller coaster ride has forced me to swallow my dignity in a way I never thought possible. Truly. The search history on my phone would be enough to silence the most outspoken individual. Some days, it feels like if we all make it through this, there’s nothing I won’t be able to do or say or ask.
I’ve also largely accepted the fact that people are going to be all up in my business whether I like it or not. But that still hasn’t prepared me entirely for on-the-spot comments like, “You should really make the decision to nurse now.” I’d like to make a lot of decisions now. For example, I’d like to decide to be a multi-millionaire who lives on passive income streams while her newborn baby sleeps through the night no matter how many dogs bark. But I don’t know that I want to publically declare them in a room full of people I hardly know. And something tells me, there are some decisions that you can’t control entirely no matter how hard you try. So instead, I’ll wait and see.
About the nursing thing. I’ve obviously got the multi-millionaire thing in the bag.
“You would love an Apple watch.”
One family swore they spent $30,000 on two kids in daycare. In one year. In the time I’ve been pregnant, I’ve missed sushi and I’ve missed lunchmeat, but I’ve never missed alcohol all that much. Until that number came out. At that moment, if I could have strapped myself to a tap somewhere, I would have. And I hate beer.
In the middle of a heated conversation about childcare and other stomach-churning costs, an Apple watch lit up. In a handful of minutes, someone had mentioned how hard it was to pay all their bills as a family and someone else said, “You would love an Apple watch”. Knowing that purchase just isn’t for me, I simply held out both my wrists that are still enveloped in Sea Bands. The only thing these wrists will wear until this nausea stops is pseudoscience, thankyouverymuch.
Curious what awkwardness you might have missed? Check it all out here.
So Tell Me…What do you do when you get free advice?