When I announced my pregnancy to the world, little did I know that I was opening myself up for unsolicited advice and the vilest of comments. There are basically four types of reactions I got, which I thought should document for posterity.
You? A baby? Seriously?
This young girl in my office tells me, Ha ha.. your life is over. Congratulations! This, btw, is a twenty-something equivalent-of-bonehead who has never been married.
Another reaction from someone I share my workspace with was Really? I never thought you were the family type of girl! This, mind you, was the same person that once told me I didn’t look vegetarian “because you are so outspoken and you drink and like bikes also”. The worst was this – Wow, I thought you were too old to have kids! Did you have to get some special treatment? Bitch please. I’m 33, not a fossil.
Let me tell you how it’s done.
You should put up pictures of bal gopal (baby Krishna) in your bedroom, she said, and I laughed so loud I spat out the coconut I was munching on. I’m not putting up pictures of a random baby in my bedroom hoping that my kid will look like them. Well-meaning relatives and colleagues have been directing advice and criticism (mostly criticism) my way. You shouldn’t be sitting/eating/breathing like this is now part of my life, whether I like it or not.
You have no idea how much your life is about to change.
There were people who wanted to make sure I realized the gravity of the situation. I got comments ranging from What if you have twins to Labor is painful, you know. More painful than you can imagine to beware, you’re going to put on a lot of weight, don’t panic.
Clearly none of these people understood how anxious I already was about the changes that my body is going through.
Your troubles are nothing compared to what I went through, so stop whining.
People are hell-bent on telling me horror stories from their childbirth experience. I have heard heart-rending details about how a woman who had a tattoo on her lower back got an epidural and some infection spread, leaving her “weak and immobilized” for a whole month. Another well-meaning woman described in great detail her breastfeeding experience. And believe me, she kept saying the same things over and over again, and it’s worse than listening to Arnab Goswami’s relentless badgering on TV.
What about you? Have you been on the receiving end of such “advice”? Or worse, have you ever given such “advice”? Do I seriously look like a drifter or “not the family type”? How would you react to these things?