How do you adjust your relationships to your new “pregnant life”? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry: Anita Naik has been there and has a few helpful tips…
When Anita was pregnant with her first child, she found herself incredibly stressed and busy: the weeks went by in a blur of relentless activity and she struggled to mix her everyday life with her social life and her new “pregnant life”.
She then turned to every pregnancy book, magazine and website on pregnancy she could find, desperately trying to find solutions to everything – from the painful stuff, to the weird stuff and the everyday stuff – that was driving her insane. Problem is, she didn’t need a thousand different sources telling her a thousand different things: what she needed was helpful and calming advice from experts, other pregnant women and mums, as well as specialists in the field of exercise, relationships, styling and beauty.
And that’s how The Lazy Girl’s Guide to a Blissful Pregnancy came about. Anita wrote it to answer all those worries a midwife can’t always help with: anxieties and annoyances such as “Why am I in a bad mood all the time?” and “How come I’ve forgotten how to do my work/get dressed/drive properly?”.
Life, Work, Friends and Pregnancy
There are a variety of ways to approach being pregnant. For most of us it’s a mixture of the following. Firstly there is the Mumzilla road to motherhood, which involves trying to absorbe very little detail there is to know about being pregnant, giving birth and having a baby. Then there is the I’m-just-going-to-wing-it technique, which means not picking up a single book and assuming that just because people have been having babies infields for eons it will all be second nature. And finally there’s the a-baby-will-just-have-to-fit-in-with-my-life method, which involves pretending pregnancy won’t change your life at all and you can go on just as you are. Of course, these are all radical ways of dealing with being pregnant, and most women fall between a few of these approaches. What you need to know if you’re in the throes of working out how to handle being pregnant is that research shows that when you’re pregnant what pays is to walk a middle path; that is, don’t let being pregnant takeover your life, but at the same time don’t pretend it isn’t going to affect your life.
The good news is you don’t have to read everything and do everything the books/leaflets/midwives say when you’re pregnant, especially if you’re keen to carry on as normal for as long as possible; however, it does pay to be informed. So, be informed about what being pregnant means for you, your life and your new baby. Why bother? Well, because whether you feel physically fine or not, pregnancy is a condition that will affect your life and the people around you. This doesn’t mean it will rock your life to its core, change your personality and forever put you in ‘mummy-mode’ but it does mean that on some level you have to accept that things are a-changing. Physically, this means that your body is going to change whether you like it or not, so get to know what changes to expect and understand them for your own peace of mind and sanity.
Being pregnant will change how people respond to you in your private life, social life and work life. This is because we all have our own agendas, so when someone we know says she is pregnant (be it a friend, family member or work colleague) we have a subjective response to it, whether it is happiness, boredom, jealousy, excitement or regret.
Understanding what makes the people you know tick when it comes to pregnancy can help stop you feeling crushed by an indifferent response or freaked out by an over-zealous one.
5 tips for friendships while pregnant
- Remember, pregnancy is like an exotic holiday, only 100 per cent interesting if you’ve been there or are thinking of making the trip.
- You may be feeling consumed by your pregnancy, but your friends lives are carrying on as normal, so make sure you listen as much as you speak.
- Share your pregnancy as much as you can by asking your very best friends to be back up birth partners, godmothers or even helping you to arrange a baby shower.
- Be honest about how you’re feeling. Don’t think you have to pretend to be happy about the pregnancy all the time.
- Make time to do things you used to do (within reason); after all, you’re pregnant for only nine months, then you’ll really need your non-pregnant friends again for sanity, post-baby.
5 tips for your relationships while pregnant
- Don’t make everything about being pregnant.
- Ask your partner how he’s feeling about being a new parent.
- Talk about your backgrounds and how they have affected your view of parenting.
- Ask friends who are parents for pointers on parenting and relationships.
- Have some fun; once you have a new baby you’ll be too tired to go out.