Oct 22, 2012

Unwanted advice

When you’re pregnant, many people are naturally curious about how you’re doing/feeling and some have a lot of questions or advice for the baby. So far, most of the advice that I’ve gotten is fairly positive, but recently I’ve been getting some unwanted “tips” about pregnancy and childbirth. Here is one scenario that happened at the checkout line at Trader Joe’s:

Checkout Clerk (male): So, I see you have a bun in the oven.
Me: Yes, I’m due in December.
CC: Wow, you must be getting really nervous.
Me: Actually not really, I’ve been doing pretty well.
CC: Do you like to sleep?
Me: Yes. (I could already tell the conversation taking a turn for the worse. Who doesn’t like to sleep? What kind of a question is that?)
CC: Well, get ready to not sleep at all! My wife and I have an 8-week old and she never sleeps.
Me: Yeah, that must be tough. (During all of this, I’m just continuing to bag my groceries and trying to give short responses to stop the conversation. TJ’s employee is oblivious to these social cues.)
CC: Are you planning on breastfeeding? (Umm…this is really awkward, coming from a man who is just ringing up my groceries.)
Me: Yes. (While I said this, I wondered if I should have said something like “don’t you think that’s a little personal?”)
CC: Well, I don’t recommend it. You’ll get a lot more sleep if you just use formula.
Me: Oh, OK. (I get really awkward in situations like this. At this point I just swiped my credit card, took my groceries, and left.)

While I think that my encounter at Trader Joe’s is actually pretty funny, it is weird that strangers give you so much personal advice when you’re pregnant. Also, people love to share scary stories about childbirth and I just don’t want to hear them! While it’s important to be knowledgeable about childbirth and the labor process in general, it’s not going to do me any good to think about how horribly wrong it all went for some stranger’s Aunt. I appreciate it much more when people tell me things like, “oh, it’s not as bad as everyone says it will be” or “my friend’s baby sleeps well and they’re still able to go out to dinner with her”. Even if this isn’t the case and Baby Anna has really bad colic or never sleeps, I’ll deal with it when it happens! No need to think of all of the worst case scenarios that may or may not happen right now. So, in conclusion, if you have constructive or positive advice about pregnancy I’m happy to hear it, but please save your negative stories for someone else!

Do you have any funny/awkward stories about unwanted advice?


  • Well, this advice wasn’t from a stranger…it came from my mother-in-law. She told me to blow in my 6-week old’s face and then dunk him in the water to make him a better swimmer! A 6-week old! With no head control! Let’s just say I didn’t follow that advice! We may have lost the chance at having the second Michael Phelps…

    • Shanyn, that’s hilarious! I think you made the smart choice with not taking this advice, even if it means that your baby may never make it to the Olympics, haha.

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