Navigating the Jungle of Early Motherhood

You’re slowly, peacefully coming to terms with the grand new challenges and possibilities in front of you now that you have a child to share your life with when LOOK OUT! Here comes a tidal wave of bizarre, unfounded opinions! They seem to come at you from all directions: the family, friends, and well-meaning but irrational strangers who believe themselves to be not only justified but uniquely qualified to suggest you are an incompetent baby-destroyer.

Your Mother-in-Law
Areas of expertise: Letting infants cry because it “exercises their lungs”
Classic conversation starter: “Good Morning America just did a segment about women who fake having post-partum depression.”
Will judge you for: Refusing/accepting drugs during labor; still relying on take-out food three months after the birth; the state of your bathroom grout
Her all-purpose defense: “But I’m just trying to help!”
How to stop her: Hang up the phone

That One Woman You Used to See at the Gym
Areas of expertise: Guessing how much baby weight you still need to lose; knowing what kind of plastic surgery you should have
Classic conversation starter: “You’re drinking that? I thought sports drinks were for people who exercise.”
Will judge you for: Your belly, your thighs, your stretch marks, your butt
Her all-purpose defense: “I read it in a magazine on the treadmill.”
How to stop her: Karate chop to the throat

Single Guy at Work
Areas of expertise: Vaginal tightening surgery; labiaplasty; Star Wars
Classic conversation starter: “So are you all stretched out down there now, or what?”
Will judge you for: Your newly minted MILF status
His all-purpose defense: “What do I know, I’m just a guy!”
How to stop him: Laxative tea

Your Gynecologist
Areas of expertise: The ineffectiveness of your Kegel flexes; not making eye contact during pelvic exams
Classic conversation starter: “Still not shaving your legs?”
Will judge you for: Crying in his/her office
His/her all-purpose defense: “I’ll have a nurse come talk to you about that.”
How to stop him/her: Multiple frivolous lawsuits

The Grocery Store Cashier
Areas of expertise: Infant behavior and psychology
Classic conversation starter: “That baby’s crying because it’s hungry.”
Will judge you for: Not letting her feed your baby a peanut butter cup
Her all-purpose defense: “I raised my ten brothers and sisters after momma ran off in ‘67.”
How to stop her: Pay for your groceries with a bag of spare change

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