NOTE: This archive only contains Carolyn Hax columns through March 2011. Her more recent columns are located here.

She's sick of being pregnant and tired of being lectured

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By Carolyn Hax
Saturday, September 11, 2010

Adapted from a recent online discussion:

Dear Carolyn:

I am a very unhappy pregnant woman and friends/family seem to be bothered by that. I actually had a friend practically give me a lecture the other day saying that I was ungrateful.

I love children and am really looking forward to bringing a child into my family. But why do I have to be happy about being pregnant? So far it's been about getting fat, being bloated, restricting what I can eat and drink, feeling sick, etc. I would gladly adopt five kids over having to do this again. Any words of wisdom to get me through this?

Miserable Pregnant Woman

Find a few outlets who you know won't mind your complaints, and save your complaints for them. Whining about pregnancy is akin to complaining about all the hangers-on who appeared after you won the lottery; to people who struggle to pay their bills and would kill to have your problems, you sound thoughtless. So, find other lottery winners and kvetch away.

And, as annoying as this suggestion will sound, please try to find some good in what's happening to you right now. Sickness, okay, there's nothing to sing about there. But your "getting fat, being bloated" is some people's "holy cow, I'm growing a person!"

The whole pregnancy business is plagued by extremes -- the Miracle of Life extreme (but if it's such a miracle, why are there 6 billion of us?) and the Fat and Miserable extreme (but if you aren't awestruck by feeling those little kicks, what exactly do you find joyful?). The trick is, for your own peace of mind and for the goodwill of the people around you, please give at least a sporting attempt at finding the space in between.

What's happening to you is a big, fleeting deal; a moment. Your discomfort is real, for sure. But to reduce it to weight gain and (frankly, minimal) food restrictions strikes me as a tragic waste of that moment.

Just the opinion of someone who has never lost the weight.


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