Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Baby Mamma Drama

I'm a bit nervous sticking my toes into this end of the pool. I'm not yet a mamma and there's the chance actual mamma's won't be one bit amused by my baby mamma drama. But if you've been reading long enough you should know my intentions aren't bad. Im just pointing out some areas that non-mamma folks occasionally experience a little bit of, well, drama. If you've done these please don't be offended, tell us your side! (needless to say this is just some mammas some of the time not ALL mammas, some of my bestfriends are mammas. Really)

Mamma Drama #1: The sex of the baby is a secret and I will rub it in your face. I understand if you want to wait and be surprised. I get that. I do. But what I don't get is when you know, tell everyone you know that you know but won't let them know. For purposes of illustration I share with you the following situation:

Me: Congrats on your pregnancy!
Bobeena: Thank you *rubs belly*
Me: do you know the sex of the baby?
Bobeena: Ofcourse! We found out right away. We're so happy, always wanted one!
Me: Oh how exciting! boy or girl?
Bobeena: Oh, *smirks* We're not going to tell everybody.

If you know, and don't want to share with everyone, then to the people you dont plan to divulge this news, say "I don't know" I mean, what do you gain by saying "we know but are only telling special people" You're likely not Britney Spears who has to worry lest friends run off to paparazzi with the gender of the baby for a hefty profit. All it does is leave the branded as unspecial people quite sad and a bit down and glum.

Baby Mamma Drama #2. Now this is just a misunderstanding but I've heard many pregnant mamma's cry "people keep saying how big I am" Darling Bobeena, you are pregnant sweetie. You are supposed to get big. If you were not pregnant no one would dare say "my you are getting big" even if you were in fact getting big. All we mean if we say such a thing is you look pregnant. If you thought you were hiding that fact with your protruding belly, then rest assured we can all see it.

Baby Mamma Drama #3: People who keep the pregnancy a secret way too long. Yes three months is the typical amount of time people wait before announcing it. But the reason is not because its fun keeping a secret but because most miscarriages occur in the first three months! Desis particularly, take note: after three months people share. I have had close friends tell me 6 to 7 months into their pregnancy. One went so far as when I noticed a round belly on her otherwise slim trim figure and asked the obvious she responded with an offended "NO!" Making me feel horribly awful for about two months for offending her until I learned she was infact pregnant and at this point expecting at any time. Was it worth it to make your friend feel bad? I could understand if there were some kind of questionable circumstance, like health of the baby, or you're 15 and your mom doesn't know yet... but seriously? You're a married adult and there will be no whispers of a shot gun wedding.... what do you fear?

Baby Mamma Drama#4. Playing the trump card. If you make the naive mistake of saying something that could imply you're tired, they pounce: "TIRED?! You dont know the meaning of tired!!!! Wait til' you have kids!!" Infact, anytime you mention anything like "wow i just had an exam" or "jeez I had to walk uphill six miles after my car broke down in the middle of the night during a blizzard" they reply "you think that's bad?! Wait till you have kids!" I know being a mamma is tough but some empathy to the non-mammas would be nice unless you want the non-mammas to remain just that!

Baby Mamma Drama #5. Mammas who forgot how to talk about anything other than being a mamma. This one is particularly sad to me. I had a group of close friends when I moved here. We got along great, had fabulous themed one dish parties, and I truly enjoyed their company. Now? Some I havent seen in years, and the ones I do.. it's just awkward. Why? Babies, that's why! Somehow having babies makes you want to flee from childless people with hands flailing baby under arm. Why? Do we begin to have a distinctively repellent odor? To be fair some tried maintaining the friendships but it grew increasingly difficult to find anything to talk about. I suppose its natural that when you have a baby and care for her 24/7 you obviously have baby on the mind, and the lack of sleep makes you not particularly garrulous... but its sad for me as fairly good friends went poof once babies appeared.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very cute. I'm not a mamma yet either, so maybe that's why I liked it :) No really, I've experienced a lot of these too. #4 used to annoy me sooooo much (I seem to get a little bit less of it since being married). And I can so relate to how you felt with the story you mentioned in drama #3 -- so, why did she keep it a secret for so long???!!!!

Rasha

momyblogR said...

What a great post. I am a mamma of two but totally get it. First, I told everyone all the info. I myself had, although we did not find out the sex of either of our children. And, I was H.U.G.E and absolutley loved it. The bigger my belly got the happier I was, no offense taken here, lol.

I agree tired it tired....I would NO way want to go for a walk like you discribed but if I DID, you better believe I would be announcing "I'm flippin' TIRED!!"

Lastly....I love my children more than my own life, BUT I have many friends that do not have children and I completely enjoy their company as I know they do mine and the conversation is so NOT about my kids, lol!!

Being a mamma is fabulous, there is very possibly nothing more rewarding but I completely love being just "ME" at times too!

Baraka said...

Salaam Aisha,

Having run into these ladies, I can totally relate to numbers 1, 3 & 5.

A very close friend of mine wanted to keep the chosen names private. Totally cool. But just *say* that then. Instead, whenever anyone asked if she and her hubby had picked out a name she would just ignore the person. Not cool at all - and drove us all nuts!

What I can say in defence of #3 though is that one mom I know was suffering a lot of pressure from her in-laws to stay quiet because they didn't want her to attact "nazr" (the evil eye) by announcing the pregnancy until she *really* began to show.

Another young mother's husband was unhappy at the pregnancy and forbade her to speak of it. She then suffered from depression during her term obviously so it was difficult for her to accept at all.

The most recent woman I met on Saturday. With the billowy kameez and draped shawl I didn't even know she was due in three weeks until someone else mentioned it.

She looked really embarrassed when it was brought up. It is, after all, something so intimate and private though so publically on display (kind of like the hijab!).

As for #5 - now that I'm a khala (aunt) I have LOTS of niece and nephew stories taht enable me to bridge the gab gap a little.

But having taken care of them I also understand that they are exhausting and leave you with little energy for anything else.

When we have solid affordable daycare to give women a break to nurture their minds-bodies-souls I think we'll find wide-ranging conversation blossoming naturally! :)

Warmly,
Baraka

Baji said...

"TIRED?! You dont know the meaning of tired!!!! Wait til' you have kids!!"

Oh so true! I know, I'm about to switch sides, and it is still freaking me out that I'm gonna be a...gasp...baby mama dram queen :-)

Lone Dreamer said...

Assalamu Aalikum,

Have no idea how I stumbled into your blog but I really like it. Esp. this post, I so agree!

Aisha said...

Rasha, glad you coul relate. Ofcourse before I was married, friends who got married would say "oh I havent returned your calls because I got marrid, you'll see how it sucks up your time" I am married now and I still dont get it. Yes I am more busy as a result of being married but not to the point that I wont associate with friends who are not yet married? I know that motherhood like marriage changes things but Ihope not eough to make me alienate myself from my friends.

Mommyblogr, well your blog and our email exchanges are a testament to the fact that you can speak intelligently of issues outside of simply motherhood, but yoru stories or motherhood are interesting too :)

Baraka you raise some really really good points. Thanks for showing the other perspective. I have seen that in desi culture for sure. My chachi always coyly describes pregnant women as "she is expecting" with a hushed and knowing look. lol. I guess in the US its hard to fully grasp the need to be so bashful about it.

Baji, lol insh'allah!! I can't wait till you are a mamma :)

Lone dreamer, welcome and thanks for commenting. Come again ya hear?

shaz said...

"TIRED?! You dont know the meaning of tired!!!! Wait til' you have kids!!"

LOL!! that's so me.

the others are far from me tho, I told everyone I was pregnant like the day I found out, and I told everyone what I was having like the minute I found out. :P

the thing is other moms like to talk about their kids... it makes me freaking NUTS!!!! seriously, I agree with this point, and when ppl see me walking around with 3 little ones in tow, all the questions "how do you do it" bla bla comes up... we do it! we have to. generally, when I am in company of adults, I will talk about kids, but I do not like it to be the only topic of conversation.

cute post! :)

mystic-soul said...

Baby Mamma Drama # 6: We didn't know as it was so accidental. (oh ya baby ! like it was all virtual)

Baby Mamma Drama # 7: We haven't thought about names yet.

koonj said...

oh Lord, I love hanging out with people without the baby and without babytalk. Otherwise I'd go crazy. And mammas who talk about nothing but babies are boring. No two ways about it. Boring.

The whole keep it secret thing is dumb. Stupid. Especially the lying about it and making people feel bad. Oh yeah, ammi wanted ME to keep it secret. But as soon as she knew for sure, she was off and away announcing that she was going to be a grandmother again. And I'M supposed to keep it secret.

It may just be the flu but all this stuff is soooo tiring. Yes, it's the flu.

Aisha said...

Shaz, the how do you do it question has probably got to get old. Sad to say but I do ask this question of mothers with more than one child under four. I seriously am in awe. To raise multiple children well is an amazing task and kudos to you for doing it :)

Mystic, well sometimes it is an accident and somtimes you dont knwo the name dont you think?

Koonj so is the secret thing to prevent nazr? I guess its a matter of different cultures than in this situation... also, i find it interesting that when we did have hang outs with lots of mammas, the men would sit speartely in another room and when we left the parties, i mentioned the incessant child discussion and he was always surprised because interestingly the men NEVER talk about child rearing with one another. Hmm. To keep up I used to have to chime in with what I remembered of my mother sharing with me of raising me. And now that I hav a nephew I try to contribute in tha tway. But its still a bit pathetic. At first I didnt mind it but now that its overwhelmingly baby talk all the time.. its a little tiring.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I can so relate to that too! Some of my married friends always ask me - how do you manage a household (cook, clean, etc)(mind you, I live in a 2-bedroom apt) and go to law school at the same time (we just have the house to deal with and barely have any time)? That just reflects how they think. Yes, marriage makes you busier, but I don't let it take over my life. If I'm busy with school, I may let the house go a little, and it's NO BIG DEAL!! Really! And like you, I still make time for my friends.

Rasha

Suroor said...

Very interesting and true post, Aisha. I have met such women although Alhamdulliah I haven't done any one these.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and some people do that with law school (even if not married). They say they can't go out at all, or talk to you because they are so busy studying. Yes, law school is A LOT of work, but even last semester with 17 credits, including law review and moot court, I could make time to go out every once in a while.

But I guess different things work for different people. I NEED to have balance in my life.

Rasha

mezba said...

If you were not pregnant no one would dare say "my you are getting big" even if you were in fact getting big.

Super lol

wayfarer said...

Hmmm, i think i may be guilty of #5 at times. Maybe not though because it seems I talk about the little man on my blog a lot but in personal conversations not as much. Would that make me a blog mamma drama but not a real life mamma drama....eh, dunno.

I can't believe there wasn't a number 6 - the ole "When are YOU going to have kids" question.

Chimichanga said...

I totally agree, with all of them, especially number 4 and 5. And pregnant women (desis) that I came across almost always lie, so I never ask them about their state of pregnancy. But point # 4 and 5 are beginning to bother me, lol!

frenchita said...

Aisha, I left a coment on your next post, the beautiful things one, hope you read it?

Anonymous said...

Hi Aisha

u took taking contract and property? dunno abt US laws, does property law include inheritance too? in India property laws are tough because there is no 1 set of laws for inheritance, Hindus,Muslims have different sets of laws, then every state has different laws for land reforms...... howeva, i just loved it ! they really challenge ur intellect.

btw, does an ethical lawyer exist in the US ?

Maliha said...

Salamaat,
Hilarious. I wish I could wait the three month secret stage, but I told everyone and their mother the minute i found out, much to my in law's consternation (they are really nice though).

I don't think I am guilty of the rest of the stuff; and I really do try to minimize baby talk...but when I get started gushing about sufyan it's hard to stop :)

Anonymous said...

...great post, aisha - can so relate as slowly more and more of our married friends start having babies...and the most annyoing question of all? "when're you planning to have kids?"...sigh...

-ash

Mia said...

That was great! So far only one of us in our crew has had a baby and she's done everything you talked about in your post. Her new thing now is to ask me when am I going to get married and have a baby. lol

The Bengali Fob said...

I think it's a fact that mum's always talk either about the kids, cooking, or their husbands. On some special occasions (RARE) they will talk about the biggest gossip in town. Ex. Saddam's hanging.

At least, this is what I've observed at the brown parties...

Forgot one more thing! Bollywood!

Aisha said...

Rasha you made me have a lightbulb moment there about how you can have the house relaxed when things are more hectic etc and its fine. I am the same way and same with cooking but I guess marriage can be time consuming and overwhelming if you hav ea more demanding spouse. i have friends who are expected to have a new meal each day including a new meal for lunch, who have the burden of keeping the house clean unless theyw ant to face reprecussions, etc. so I guess we are lucky that it doesnt take over our lives to that degree. With law school I also try to be balanced as wlel, I think its how each person handles their time. Though I admit there are a lot of calls I need to return that I feel law school's stress keeps me putting them off :(.

Mezba, lol :) well its true!

Wayfarer yes I thought about that for #6 but its even nonmammas who ask me that question!! :) Also- you are definitely not one of those moms AT ALL. I love having great conversations with you on a variety of topics including the little one but much much more too :0)

Chimichanga, why is that? the nazr thing??

frenchita and anonymous, questions that are not post related or questions that are a tad too personal I typically dont answer on such a public setting.

Maliha, please dont think I mean I hate it when people gush about their babies! I love kids and used to gush about my STUDENTS! lol. That's why my gripe was not moms who talk constantly about their babies, its moms who talk about being mama's all the time! you know, like diaper changes, food preferences, teething, sleep schedules. All that is fine... but as a not yet mamma how can I contribute to this conversation??

Ash tell me about it!! but it comes from everyone, that question. The most stupid one was a girl who came to my house and looks around and says "where are your kids" UGH!!

Mia. Someone needs to come up with a good comeback to this!!!

Bengali Fob, indian movies and me dont mix but luckily that doesn tcome up much in converstion! lol. and yes its sad that the convesrations have to be so limiting when the convos of dads are not as limiting.

wayfarer said...

whew (wiping sweat off the brow) lol...

Tee said...

I've never really had female friends in real life so I haven't had to deal with all these issues. LOL.

Having been pregnant twice myself it's interesting to see it from another point of view though.

#1 is just rude. You're right. She could have said, "We're not telling", and left out the part about telling only certain people.

#2 being a heavy woman when I'm NOT pregnant, I didn't mind being called big when I was pregnant - because atleast I had a good excuse. LOL. I can see how some figure concious women might get offended - especially with horomones messing with your emotions - but you're right, you're supposed to get big. I think maybe when you're pregnant there are just days when you just don't feel like being the freak show with the huge stomach that everyone has to comment on. LOL.... It's hard for me to remember anymore. It's been 5 years since my last.

#3 On this one I think in general it's the woman's perogative to keep it a secret as long as she wishes. That is a really uncomfortable situation that happend between you and your friend though. At that point it would have been nice for her to let you in on the news. I would have felt AWFUL!

#4 I don't think I ever made these kinds of comments when I was pregnant or otherwise. I don't like when people try to top each other in general for ANY reason. When someone is telling you how tired they are they just want sympathy. It's not a competition...

As an aside, there were times in my life I thought I was tired. I would be going on just a few hours sleep. I had school, work and every other available hour was spent training in the martial arts. That was the most tired I had ever been..... until I had a baby. LOL... Now my kids are 8 years old and 5 years old and while there are times I get "baby fever" and wish I could hold one, I will NEVER EVER miss the complete and utter exhaustion of taking care of a newborn 24/7.

#5 That's weird because I thought it was the other way around! I felt like all the single people I knew abandoned me when I got married. And then all the childless couples I knew abandoned us when we had kids... Maybe there is some distancing on both parts?

Interesting. :)

Anonymous said...

I totally get what you're saying and am not offended in the least. But being a baby mamma myself, I also see the other side.

Having just finished being pregnant maybe I can explain #2... it's not that pregnant women don't know that they are big or that they are supposed to get big. For me, it was just such a shock to be actually BE that big!! I gained nearly 60 pounds with baby #1 and remember feeling HUGE all the time... its kind of a surreal feeling. You feel like you are in someone else's body or your body has been hijacked. Suddenly, you can't squeeze through a small space, or get out of bed or a car without an olympic effort. Every move you make seems to remind you that you're gigantic. That's what those comments are about... for me at least.

In defense of #4... when you are so sleep deprived that you can't hardly focus your eyes or manage to complete a sentence before losing your train of thought, it's just hard to sympathize with someone who is tired because they missed one good night's sleep.

And #5 - I stay at home. My life is a three year old and a newborn. It is my life and so temporarily, it is what I talk about. I know it's probably annoying to non-parents, but it seems to be pretty normal... it's hard to not get obsessed with baby stuff, especially for a first time parent. And for me, I didn't mean to pull away from non-parents, it just suddenly became harder to keep the same pace as before I was a parent.

Anyway, that's my two cents. :)

-Summer

khonika said...

I share your sentiments, Aisha.
I don't understand why women don't want to disclose how pregnant they are. What's up with that?

After having kids, the converstaion topics are limited to babies, and babies only. Nothing else matters. I too, have lost friends this way. :-(

Anonymous said...

Anyone who loses friends because of a baby needs to try to take some responsibility in the whole thing. Its not because "nothing else matters" - its because a baby changes your whole world, and rightfully so.

Shabina said...

hilarious! i'm such a stinker, whenever someone who's preggo says she knows the sex of the baby but isn't telling people, i always smirk and say, oh, it's a boy, is it? (and it always is :D)

frenchita said...

Aisha i'm sorry, didnt mean to offend u.

Anonymous said...

i thought the longer i waited thats more 'insurance' for things to go well. i also thought that about baby showers too. much to my dismay, everything went horribly wrong with me at almost six months into it. sucked rotten eggs. i guess the moral of the story is if its gonna happen, it's gonna happen at Allah's designated time, no matter who you've told or havent told.

also, don't ask me if i'm pregnant..you may luck out by catching me at a time where i am...or you may not- in which case i will be more than happy to punch you in the stomach for calling fat in a not-so-subtle way.

Aisha said...

Wayfarer :) I emaild you btw

Tee you are right its the womans perogative to keep it a secret or not but I guess it can be hurtful when the person was who you thought a good friend of yours... thats interesting about your experience with #5! I wonder if it is indeed a little bit of both!

Hey Summer! Thanks for giving your input. That is why this wasnt a "the essential facts of life" but simply my perspective. You actually helped me see the other point of view actually. I also dont blame any mother who does talk about her kids all the time or has nothing else to talk about.. I dont think its a bad thing, but its just that you now have different focuses so I it is natural but slightly sad. Maybe once the not yet mammas have children the friendships can reconnect :)

Khonika :) glad you coul relate

Anon, please see comments to my friend Summer for a response to your point which I agre with.

Shabina how strange b/c for me the pretenders end up having girls. I began thinking it was the usual gender related issues....

Frenchita, you have not offended me at all!

Anon, are you who I think you are? In any case, thanks for sharing your perspective and that is certainly a good reason to keep it under wraps. And I really hope you share who you are as I dont want to hav ethe misfortune of asking you when youre not pregnant and then get punched in the stomach!

Anonymous said...

I know you don't blame the mothers for talking about their kids. It is sad though... in fact, it's sad for the mamma's sometimes too. :) I know that there are times that I wish I had a litle more going on in my life than what color Lucy's poop was today! Ha ha.

Actually, I think that's one reason I keep up with you blog. It keeps me thinking about new things. :)

- Summer

Anonymous said...

Aisha,

u took contract and property? dunno abt US laws, does property law include inheritance too? in India property laws are tough because there is no 1 set of laws for inheritance, Hindus,Muslims have different sets of laws, then every state has different laws for land reforms...... howeva, i just loved it ! they really challenge ur intellect.

btw, does an ethical lawyer exist in the US ?

Anonymous said...

LOL!Ok,am guilty the second time around.You see,when I got pregnant again, I told everyone so it ended up in a MC. So,the time I found out was expecting again,we just kept quiet until I had my first ultrasound and everything was fine.Ok, I would love to have single friends(all are back home).I believe that every woman should have friends who are, married, not married, working, not working. Atleast it keeps your *life* interesting knowing that not everyone is like you and you can have some *spice* in your friendships. :) sf

Jane said...

Oh darlin, you'll understand it all when you become a mother.

Seriously, nothing other than a near death experience changes you as much as becoming a parent. You'll do things that used to annoy you, you'll say things you swore you never would. But that is part of the game. Being a parent isn't supposed to be all fun. But it is all responsibility.

Personally I never had the chance to get to three months without the whole world knowing I was pregnant. My mother cannot keep her mouth shut and I start showing early.

And between you and me I do bore of all the kid talk sometimes. I may be a mother but that's not all I am.

Ayesha said...

yeah i am guilty of #5. but it really is because this is my entire life now. 24-7 in the way nothing else is 24-7 (At least in other full-time jobs you take a break at night to sleep!). and esp this being my first i am so worried about doing the best for him and not doing anything wrong (like leaving out pieces of broken pottery for him to grab and eat and bleed and go to the emergency room and get stitches, like last week). if you're not on call every second something like this will happen. so it's hard to talk about other things... but i remember being on the other side and finding it hard to relate to the mommas who were talking with each other about all this stuff. just bear with them, sis! it is a trial for them, for their identities to be so changed, too. i am thinking once musa and whatever other kids i have are older and i can give some of their time to other teachers and take some of mine back, i will have other things to talk about inshallah... i hope!
(ps i realize this was a humorous post and i didn't mean to come off sounding so serious. probablyl because it is 1:23 a.m. and i am still up because he went to bed at 11:30ish but has already woken up crying twice, so what was the point of even trying to go to sleep?? oops there i go again :) i tried to blog about some other stuff but it doesn't work too well.. )

Aisha said...

Summer, I'm glad my blog keeps you thinking, I always find that funny when anyone says that since I dont think I discuss very deep issues but thanks anyhow. Its tough to be a mother though and I know that when I become one I will probably come back and post that I am eating my words on all these gripes I have anyways :), I have a nephew and the amount of attntion I give him and focus on him when we visit.. if thats any indiciaton of what kind of mom I will be... this will probably turn into a blog of the little one's pictures :)

SF I am sorry to hear you had a MC and that is understandabl to stay low after such a traumatic event.

Jane, I think from your blog and th content on it you dfinitely think of issues outside of yourc hildren but ys children do chang things and your priorities particuliarly when they'r so young and helpless and require 100% of your energies.

Ayesha, yah and its not a bad thing to be 24-7 about the baby, plus if I'm not mistaken you have a true baby dont you? I mean read Shabana's blog too and sh talks about baby a lot and so does dooce.com etc. Its not that i'm against baby talk or issues if my friends are going through that I am intrested in hearing about it. ITs when there is nothing els talked about. And when you try to talk about you, your issues are belittled becaus they have a baby and you do not so you have no right o complain of stress. It may be true. But it leads to a rift in being abl to communicate! I hope you nded up getting some rest :(

Ayesha said...

aisha -i agree! i and would never belittle anybody's stress. heck, for me the process of getting married was a lot more stressful than baby!!! :) anyway, that stress never looked up at me from nursing to smile right in my face and say "ba bay dede tu bayoo!" :) there's so much blessing in it too...

Anonymous said...

Okay, so you're not single-handedly trying to solve poverty around the world, but I do think you touch upon some good issues... or at least new ideas or a new perspective (to me). For instance, I didn't know what Hajj was until I read your blog (which prompted me to read a little more). I also hadn't heard much about the earthquake in Pakistan after the wave of media coverage died down... you reminded me that there are still people who need help. Things like that...

That's what I mean about you giving me new things to think about.

-Summer

Anonymous said...

Okay, so you're not single-handedly trying to solve poverty around the world, but I do think you touch upon some good issues... or at least new ideas or a new perspective (to me). For instance, I didn't know what Hajj was until I read your blog (which prompted me to read a little more). I also hadn't heard much about the earthquake in Pakistan after the wave of media coverage died down... you reminded me that there are still people who need help. Things like that...

That's what I mean about you giving me new things to think about.

-Summer

Post a Comment

I love to hear from you!