Al e-mailed me today to see if we could do lunch. We had been trying to work it into our schedules to get together, and we finally managed it today. Of course, I’m a little disappointed because I had a few things to give to her that I left at home – but as that only means we have to meet up again another day, it’s not a tragic thing. She, however (because lunch was her idea), had what she wanted to pass along to me. [sigh]
Al is 16 weeks along, just 11 weeks behind me. It’s so weird to think that when she is as far along as I am now, there’s a good chance my baby will be almost ready to be born! We commiserated a bit over our Vietnamese and Thai food – she, of course, feels self-conscious about her little bump, but after I told her that I had a bump like that when I was only 14 weeks along, she felt a bit better. I think it’s cruel to make comments or pass judgements on a woman’s size when she’s pregnant. For one thing, we all have different frames. I happen to be 5’1″ and normally a size 2. Al is about 5’8″ and normally a size 8. Neither of us are particularly huge to begin with (well, I feel like I am now), and each pregnancy affects each woman differently.
We also chatted about our encounters with well-meaning ladies offering all sorts of advice on child rearing. I told her about one woman I’ve encountered who had all sorts of comments to make on the fact that we’ve already signed up for day care. It’s almost as though this woman looks down on my decision to return to work. I happen to like my job and I really like the company where I work… in fact, I liken it to having a job at the Chocolate Factory! It’s such a great, nurturing environment, and I absolutely love it here. And, as it turns out, day care costs less than my annual salary here, so…
Basically, we agreed that parenting (motherhood specifically) is going to be hard enough without having other women give us grief or try to make us second-guess our decisions to work or not, to breastfeed or use formula, to make baby food from scratch or not, to have our children sleep in a separate bedroom from day one or not. I’m sure the advice is well-meaning, and I may one day agree with such advice. But isn’t it okay for me to want to learn some lessons the hard way?