Mamas need sunshine too

Thursday, May 3, 2012

With just 12 days left until we meet our new baby boy, I'm feeling the whole mix of emotions that comes along with being pregnant...

and yes, uncomfortable.

BUT I try my hardest not to complain for three reasons:

I have a few friends who would make the most amazing mothers, but for unknown reasons are unable to get pregnant.  I have watched them go through infertility treatments with such hope, only to be left heartbroken.  I have seen them share in my joy of being pregnant so wholeheartedly, while inside they are crying tears that while I sympathize, I have never known.  In my futile attempt to put myself in their shoes, I can only imagine what I would feel like if I heard a pregnant woman complain about how hard pregnancy is.

I have been so fortunate to have been pregnant four times now, and as long as all goes as planned in a week and a half {insert prayers, well wishes, and positive thoughts here please!}, will have four healthy children.  And all of this without any real morning sickness.  While I have tried my hardest to be sympathetic to friends who have had a miscarriage or a difficult pregnancy, I have not known that pain myself. 

I am grateful for this squirming blessing inside my belly.  Am I sad that I am having a boy when I already have three boys and everyone knows I'm a bit of a girly-girl?  Absolutely not!  I have never once said that I was "trying for a girl" with this or any of our other pregnancies.  Our boys are EXACTLY who they are supposed to be.  I am grateful beyond anything that words could express that we are welcoming a 4th boy into our family.  I adore our boys, and I know that our baby boy is meant to join our sweet bundle of boys that I affectionately call The Gallamore Circus :)

All that being said, there is one thing that I've got to get off my chest... 
what is it with strangers and their weird/rude/insensitive comments to pregnant women???

Today I felt good {and quite UN-I'm-as-huge-as-a-house-ish} because I actually had time to straighten my hair that thanks to pregnancy is a crazy, frizzy mess without my Titanium Nano whatever it's called.  And I was wearing one of my favorite prego shirts along with my this-is-my-only-pair-of-pants-that-fit... which reminds me I need to wash them RIGHT now because I'm totally not kidding.  
I'm wearing them tomorrow.

I was also feeling good because I finally figured out what to do for our boys' AMAZING teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.  

Armed with my budget-friendly shopping list in hand, along with just one cute little shopping assistant {a miracle in itself since I have three cute little shopping assistants normally} we headed out to shop.  A total of four stores were on the list and we had made it through three stores {between leaving home and coming back home, that's TEN times in and out of the car seat for Luke, plus the shopping carts, check out lines} and in we walked to our 4th and final store...

Since the location we went to is a stand alone store and we parked in the very 1st space in the parking lot, I figured we'd be in and out in a total of mere minutes so even though my little shopper was getting weary, I thought he'd like to walk and hold my hand.  As we walked in, the scents were exhilarating and with Luke holding my hand and Baby Brycen snug in my belly we were immediately approached by a store worker who said, 

"Well hello, you... I would say three, but I'm not sure if there's only one in there or two."

And JUST like that, my pleasant morning drifted far off in my memory and her words stung me.  In my mind I wanted to snap back, "I'm having a baby in 12 days... what's your excuse?"  but of course, I did not.  That's just not me. 

 Instead I asked her if they had anything in a strawberry scent.  She said no and directed me to a lotion with a black label that said nothing about strawberries and smelled nothing like strawberries.  So I asked her, "Well, do you have anything that says berries or fresh picked?" as I told her that it was for a Teacher Appreciation gift and that it's going in a berry basket with a label about "picking" a great teacher.  She responded that no, they have nothing like that at all.  

So off I go with my little helper and immediately we find this...
Wow, really?!  Is it me or is this a bit ridiculous?  And it was displayed at an ENTIRE table of "Fresh Picked" products... Fresh Picked Lemons, Fresh Picked Raspberries, Fresh Picked Watermelon... you get the picture.

Off we go to the loooooong check out line.  My adorable little helper is now in rare form known as "TAKE ME HOME NOW" mode which involved throwing a bottle of soap on the floor along with his pacifier.  As I tried to hold his wiggly noodle-like squirmy 25 pound, super lanky body, along with my purse, my 9 month {so big no one can tell if it's one or two in there} belly and my four {imaginary because they sell NOTHING like this} bottles of "Fresh Picked Strawberries" soap in my sweaty hands because I feel eyes from around the store planted right on me, the same lady who already hurt my feelings when I walked in the door took her time wrapping each bottle of lotion individually for the woman in front of me while the two of them had a lengthy conversation about my squirming toddler and how they are 
"so grateful that they are past that stage of life."

I do realize that I'm a pregnant hormonal crazy person here, but even when I'm not, is it just me or do you agree that have some women forgotten what it's like to be an expectant mom and/or a mom with young children?

Yes it is a JOY to raise children, 
but along with the joy comes the trials...

the embarrassment you feel when "that loud child" happens to be your child at that moment,  
the sheer exhaustion at the end of a long day at home alone with kids, 
the guilt that makes you feel like you are never accomplishing quite enough, 
the pain that you feel when your child struggles,
the never-ending to-do list,  
and yes,
the comments that people made when they were pregnant that surely hit a nerve with them.

I will never understand these things.  
But these things are not for me to understand.  
These things are lessons to me on 
how I do NOT want to live my life.  

Even though I tried to push these feelings aside and not let one person ruin my good mood today, when my boys are grown and I don't have muddy footprints to wash off of the floors or dirty fingerprints to scrub off of the walls, I want to remember exactly how I felt today.  And when I see that mom struggling with her child, or with a pregnant belly, I want to remember what I felt like today so that I can hopefully be a bit of sunshine in that Mom's day by... 

 -lifting her up with a positive comment about how precious her children are 
-telling her what a blessing her baby will be, regardless of whether it's her 10th boy or 10th girl or whatever it may be because EVERY child is a blessing, regardless of whether they wear muddy rain boots or twirly tutus
-being the one that says something NICE 

We make choices every time we open our mouths.  Fresh picked strawberries are only possible with some sunshine shining down on them, just like every Mama out there needs some sunshine in her life too.

Unknown said...

Well said Laurie! You are a bit of sunshine in MY life! :o) I want to kick that woman to the curb!!! (But I won't because I'm nice too.) ;o) I think people seriously do forget what it's like to have small children the way they look and judge sometimes. YOU, my friend, are beautiful inside and out. Love you!! xo

Taryn @ Design, Dining + Diapers said...

I'm so sorry you went through all of that today! I just don't understand people sometimes, you would think she would be extra helpful rather than be more difficult! And what a trooper you are for getting out and about with only 12 days to go. Sending hugs!

Rebecca @Time to Simplify said...

Bless your heart! I have two myself and my youngest loves to run off or yell when we are in a store. Fun! Someone should have let you get in front of them so you could check out faster. That's what I will do when I see someone who needs to get home with their little one. Our world would be a better place if we showed a little empathy for one another.

Michelle said...

Those comments are so frustrating! I will never understand why people feel the need to comment on pregnant people's bodies. It never makes you feel good. I am impressed you are out there shopping for teacher appreciation week when you are about to have a baby! What are you making with that adorable soap?

Mdegraeve said...

I too can not stand when people are extremely insensitive. One of the worst comments ever (I have four girls) "oh no, another girl" or "to bad,poor guy"-that would be to my husband....
Its beyond me why people feel the need to say hurtful things!
Hope your day gets better :)

Melanie Daffin said...

Laurie- You are one of the most amazing mamas I know. You bring so much sunshine to everyone you meet.
It breaks my heart when people are mean or rude to you, because you are so caring and nice. And your boys are some of the best, well-behaved boys ever. It was so nice of you to not say anything to that woman, I know how hard it is to not say anything, (I am still working on that). :)
You are such an inspiration in all that you do. I think you are AWESOME !!!!!!

I hope today is a better day. I cannot wait to meet the little man soon :) Take care :) ~ Mel

Jen McClintock Alvarado said...

Oh Laurie, sooooo not a pregnant rant, although who am I to judge ;) Just yesterday, in the grocery store, a woman said to me, "you're about to pop any day now aren't you?" And I have 9 weeks to go still! Sadly, it ruined my good mood too, and I wished I had something clever/rude to say back. But, like you said, I dont want to stoop to her level...I'd rather be nice too :). You are so not alone on how you feel...I've been getting comments for months already questioning if I'm having twins (one evil person (a teacher!!!) even had the balls to suggest that it was triplets!). I've been asked too if I'm sad that it's another girl, and I'm aways in shock that anyone could suggest I'd be sad about the blessing of having another baby?!? WTH?! I appreciate what you said about being empathetic to other moms too, that's a great reminder to all of us! Loved loved loved this blog! Good luck with Bryce's arrival :)

The Jenson's said...

Hang in there Laurie! We love you and can't wait to see litle Brycen in less then 2 weeks now! Wahooo!

Erica - Life at the Clubhouse said...

i hate that you went through that!! i highly suggest speaking to the manager of that store. cause that converssation should have NEVER happened. I affectionatly call my daughter hurricane (insert her name here). because she is a WILD child! i love her to pieces but man can she have a meltdown. everytime i have "those eyes" (the ones that make you feel like everyone in the entire world is judging your parenting style) i try to remember being on the other side and watching someone else who has a kid melting down. its never fun and as long as you are verbally or physically abusing your child in the process i am always more than happy to lend a hand. i hope your day gets much better!! congrats on 4 precious boys!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

so nicely put and so true! I always tell my boys people will remember manners, kind words and hard work - anything else doesn't matter - thank u for thinking of all of us that struggled to have a family too - it does hurt so much still when I hear people complain about pregnancy - a true miracle of the world and not given just to anyone - plus I think me being a girly girl too boys just rock - I don't think I would have learned 1/2 the things I have about sports, mud and bugs without them


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