Saturday, October 30, 2010

baby growing diaries #6 a P.S.A.

It is said that the best writing comes from one’s own life, with that being said, the following could have absolutely nothing to do with me, because nothing like this would ever happen in the real world.

Obviously, growing a baby is a miraculous, beautiful time, full of expectation and wonder, dreaming about that little bundle that is developing more each day into an amazing individual.  You dream about who they will be and all the things you’ll do together.  You read reviews and hunt down the perfect items that you’ll need for that little wonder.  You decorate their room in excitement and delight.  You study the best methods and plans for your delivery and learn as much as you can about raising a happy, healthy child.  And you spend hours considering the absolute best name for this child, because a name is an important thing.  A name is something they will carry for the rest of their lives.  It has meaning and significance and comes to hold great endearing value.  For some people, the name search can take one day and for others it lasts until the baby is already days old, whatever the case, it’s a big deal.  But in that moment when the full name comes together, a sense of knowing comes upon you and inside something says, yes, that is it.

Alas, baby growing does come with its challenges, for some the constant sickness, the aversion to anything strange or normal, the nausea, the exhaustion, the discomfort, the glucose tolerance test, and people telling you to avoid sushi and soft cheeses.   And while these things can be difficult, we gladly endure because we know the end result.

Oh, but there is another set of challenges which have very little to do with how your body handles pregnancy, we’ll call this one, the beautiful people of the world… The beautiful people of the world, strangers who invade your personal space and dare to touch your enlarged belly, when shaking hands isn’t even something you would do.  The beautiful people of the world who start a conversation about your most private body parts as if they were a cute pair of shoes.  The beautiful people of the world who then tell you stories about their most private body parts and why you should do things just as they did themselves when having children.  And, the beautiful people of the world who think that you really need their help when it comes to naming your baby, because you obviously just threw some names into a hat, picked one out, shrugged and say, well why not. 

In that moment, they believe that it matters if they love or hate the name that you have pondered and said aloud and written out over and over and over again.  They spew out rude and inconsiderate statements not even considering that you have come to love that name just as much as you love the baby growing inside of you.    And as they do this, you stand there, forcing deep calming breaths and holding back the kindest of words, as an all-together fake smile smears across your face and you find the quickest way out of that conversation.  You walk away frustrated and irritated while these people believe they have done you a favor.

It’s no wonder why more and more people are not revealing their name choices until the baby is born, keeping secrets from their friends and families, because it is more likely that the ones closest to us will be the most free with their unkind and unsolicited opinions. 

A quick Google search revealed that over 4,000,000 babies are born each year,  and after the initial questions of when are you due and are you having a boy or a girl, the next thing most people ask is, do you have a name yet? So, if this conversation happened only once (and obviously, it happens more) to each pregnant momma, that means that there is a 50/50 chance of over 4,000,000 cases of rude, unsolicited opinions being thoughtlessly regurgitated into the universe.  That is a lot of negative energy.  That is a lot of unnecessary frustration displaced onto the parents of the world, who have a very difficult task ahead of them.  And there is no reason for it.

So, if you want to make the world a better place, consider this little Public Service Announcement.

Unless a parent-to-be actually says the following words to you personally, “What is your opinion about the name we have chosen for our baby?”  then please, please, just keep those negative feelings to yourself and find something kind to say instead.  If you just need to share your thoughts on the subject, tell your spouse, or your co-worker, or even your dog, but never, ever the one with child.

These parents have spent a great deal of time choosing their very favorite name for this child, there is no need for you to accept or reject this decision.   It’s a very important and meaningful thing. It’s not about  you.  Not one bit.  I repeat, it’s not about you.  If you haven’t had children yet, you’ll get your chance.  If you are a parent, then you had your chance.  If you need to name something else, buy a goldfish or a dog.  Name your car.  Name your horse.  Name your lawn mower.  The possibilities are endless, but for the love, keep your opinions to yourself, unless it is a positive, happy, supportive, and encouraging one.  Especially if you are a relative or a friend to the expecting parent, your words have greater power to bless or frustrate and what you say will be remembered.  If you are a stranger, you’ll probably never meet that child, so what does it matter if you don’t like the name.

We’ve all been told, if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.  I am quite sure this saying doesn’t have an expiration date.  It’s a lifetime of truth and wisdom.

And on behalf of all the mommy’s and daddy’s to be, I conclude this P.S.A.  Thank you for helping make this world a happier place.


  1. I found that I wanted to share less and less about my pregnancy with people close to me in fear of negative comments. I'm so sorry you're dealing with something like this. For the record I love the names you chose for your little ones. I'm dreaming of the day I get to name Baby #2. But not yet.

  2. I feel like this should have "the more you know" logo at the end :)

    This is exactly why we told no one Hendrix's name. Obviously, it is a name we knew people would have lots of opinions about. It's different, we know.

    What was funny was someone insulting his name to me when he was already almost a year old. Ok. Thanks for that...

    Also, It's wierd, but I totally didn't mind strangers touching my belly when it was really big. It didn't really feel like they were touching me, but like they were just excited about the new life. I kind of liked their enthusiasm. And I'm definitely not a touchy person, so I don't know why I felt that way. Pregnancy is so bizarre.

  3. Well said.

    Having named my children "weird" names, I've had my share of these insulting experiences. One took the cake when my son was lying in NICU on life support and an older lady we've known forever asked what we were thinking naming him Indigo Brave?

    You have my permission to trip anyone who doesn't like your names. They happen to be most excellent names, but even if they were awful, go ahead, stick your foot out and feel free to giggle when they go flying.



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