The First Visitors – Another Etiquette Post

One of the great things about having a baby is that lots of people will want to shower him/her with love. One of the worse things about having a baby is that lots of people will want to shower him/her with love. Which is why I made the brave/stupid decision to not have help and/or visitors during the first two weeks after Baby A was born. While I don’t recommend this for everyone, if you have overbearing relatives this is a MUST. Anyway, other moms told me that time at the hospital is sacred time. If you want to learn as much as you can AND make lots of mistakes under the watchful eye of trained professionals, keep the guests to a minimum. So, I did the incredibly “rude” thing of not having people come to the hospital.

Dear friends and family. We are so excited to start our family. Please allow us some time to recover and catch our bearing while we rejoice during this new and exciting time. We look forward to inviting you after the next couple of weeks.

Honestly, that was the best decision of my life. There is nothing more humbling than being a first time mom the first few days after you give birth. Those few days were exciting, terrifying, amazing… When you give birth, all modesty goes out the door. My husband saw parts of me he’s never seen (literally and figuratively. lol) Breastfeeding is not innate and it is almost impossible for an exclusively breastfed baby to not lose weight shortly after being born. (I say almost because somewhere in the universe is some lady who knows somebody). Worrying about supply, having nurses check your underwear daily, wearing mesh underwear and humongous pads, being afraid to cough/sneeze too hard, wanting to pee without someone dictating how and when to do it… it’s pretty humbling stuff. Becoming a mom makes you both helpless and powerful all at once. It’s kind of amazing.

so you can imagine my surprise when my mother-in-law was sitting in front of my house JUST as I put my new little baby down inside of his crib at home. There is no bigger hell than having to entertain people you don’t want to entertain while recovering from birth. Waddling down the stairs with stitches and a newborn baby to see a woman who hasn’t been vaccinated carrying a tiny baby with no immunities… definitely not how I had planned on spending my weekend. Said person stayed for 3 hours!!!! Which brings me to a very important life lesson: TIMING IS EVERYTHING.

For the next few weeks we got surprise visitors (ANYWAY). Others waited for us to let them know when was a good time. Some were gracious and called first. Some stayed for relatively short periods of time. Some rescheduled if it wasn’t convenient for us. God bless these people!

If you want to visit a new baby:

  1. Please ask if there are any vaccines you should get. No seriously, I never realized how big of a deal this was until I had Baby A. While I know that some people refuse to get vaccinated, please keep in mind that that new mom is going to be extremely pissed to have to take her kid to the ER because “Hey, it was just a sore throat” or “My kid’s cold is practically gone.”
  2. If you bring something, make sure it’s practical/useful. Like lasagna. mmhmmm! I had a friend call to bring us a bag of Boston Market and DVD’s (so we didn’t have to make time to read) of the Happiest Baby on the Block and Dunston Baby Language. They stayed for 10 minutes tops and left. I love them.
  3. Wash your hands before touching baby. or better yet, don’t touch the baby at all. I don’t know how many hands I had to slap because they scratched my dog, wiped their nose, etc.
  4. Call to schedule a time and THEN call again before coming. Sometimes plans change. I get it, I’ve got a baby. But if I’m juggling nap time and feedings around your visit, be courteous.
  5. Be on time. (see above)
  6. If the baby cries, soothe it or pass it. Seriously, I had a visitor hold my child and giggle as he cried. While a screaming baby may be cute to some, do everyone else a favor and hand him back to mom.
  7. Know when to leave. There are times when guests can “make themselves at home”. These are not those times UNLESS you will watch baby while mom or dad sleeps, do laundry, make dinner, be useful. It’s hard keeping a baby alive and entertaining people that aren’t dependents at the same time.

Couple things – Weirdos and Winners

Now I know it’s important to have good marriage role models BUT it needs to be said.

Double dates are a little weird.

Couples-only parties are weirder.

Planning/constantly inquiring about “my conception”, aka “when are you guys having kids, eh?” the weirdest.

On the other hand, Happy hours, a great sale, extra gas points, dancing? All Winners.

The end.

Things I Never Thought I Would Do

So I read an article from the Huffingtonpost about “the single bridezilla.” I know a lot of non-engaged people that plan their weddings. Thanks to pinterest and other blogs, it’s hard not to window shop. I can’t really judges based on my post “I secretly stalk my wedding dress.” Whether people want to talk about it or not, I thought it was interesting and worth sharing.

Fieldwork in Stilettos

girl daydreamingUpon finding myself implicated in yet another “Single Bridezilla” debate (this time written by an Australian journalist who contacted me for an interview last week) I can’t help but wonder:

How did this happen?

Right.  I wrote a blog post about my grandmother’s wedding dress.  Then I said yes to Marie Claire, yes to Good Morning America and the rest is history.

But I don’t care this time.  If 204 people want to waste their time calling me and the other “Single Bridezillas” crazy, that’s their prerogative.  Especially because the jokes on them (take a guess who’s traffic has just quadrupled.  Actually it hasn’t even quadrupled.  It’s eight-drupled.  Is there a word for that?)

Nonetheless, I’m amazed.  Becoming the poster child for “Single Bridezillas” everywhere wasn’t exactly the reason I went to college (or went on to grad school to complete my MA in anthropology).

Then again…

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Every Bride Is An Iceberg: an Open Letter to Wedding Guests & Friends

Today one of my very outspoken friends went on Facebook and bashed a newly engaged acquaintance for deciding to get married. She called them a coward for essentially making a decision that she was clearly “too enlightened” for. I won’t get into specifics, but I immediately cringed at the thought of such a public display of shaming during a time that should promote encouragement and positivity. I’ve never shared this on my blog, but the process of wedding planning was completely humbling for me. The path to “we” can at times leave a newly engaged woman feeling isolated and lonely. I lost my stepfather to diabetes and my best friend to advanced lung cancer all within months of my wedding. I fell into a deep depression and yet people still insisted on having their voices heard about my seating arrangements, food selections, choice of venue, etc…

I wanted to post some of our conversation, mainly so that I don’t forget it, but also to remind anyone planning a wedding that it is ok to be afraid or confused. Marriage is a huge decision and the process isn’t always perfect. I also wanted to post this to remind those attending weddings that it is NOT ok for you to impose your opinions on what could arguably be the most stressful period in a woman’s life.

Here goes:

“Please, don’t be that person that puts people down for their life choices. Those choices or mistakes are what helps them become who they were meant to be. I know you have a more direct style that encourages people to “check and be checked”. However, when I got married, it really highlighted my support systems. Discovering that so many people were willing to (un)consciously ruin that experience to assert their own insecurities or agendas, is both heartbreaking and eye-opening. I vowed that I would never do that to another bride, regardless of my own feelings.

As I will openly share, I did not enjoy wedding planning. It was overwhelming and I lost two of the most significant influences in my life due to various illnesses. However, BEING married has been a truly profound experience for me. I used to make rash judgements about people’s life choices, and then I started making my own complex adult decisions. We only see the tiny elements of people’s lives that are shared with us. Underneath is an entire iceberg we know nothing about.

I’m telling you this out of love…whomever it is that you were disappointed with – if they are really your friend, be their friend. They will remember it long after their wedding day. Please, don’t shame them… Let them make mistakes without self-righteous judgement. I know that if I were getting married again, I would want that. I would need that”.

Warmest regards

While I realize that many of my posts are quite tongue-in-cheek, I write everything that I say with love. I would never publicly humiliate someone for my own personal enjoyment. Like I said, getting married can be a humbling experience. Someone’s gotta stand up for these women without fear of being labeled a bridezilla. I’ve got no fear! 🙂

Don’t ask me about babies

When you ask me this, I want to punch you in the face. Seriously, that is just waaaaaaaaay to personal of a question. Here are some awkward, yet totally realistic reasons why you shouldn’t ask anyone this question:

  1. You’re Thinking About Us Having Sex? Gross!
    EVERYONE knows it takes 9 months to cultivate, plant, grow, and ugh… harvest(?) a baby. That means that you are actively trying to figure out the timing of my unborn baby‘s conception. That means, that you are thinking about my husband and I having sex, and THAT could only mean that you are a sicko. Seriously, do I come over to your house, walk over to your cubicle, run into you at the grocery store, and ask you when you and your husband are going to have sex? Well, the answer is no, because that image will burn in my brain every time I see you. “I saw Jack and linda at the store today, they are totally having baby-making sex now”. What is this high school?
    .
  2. I May Not Like Children.
    Do I really have to tell you that I don’t find babies “totes adorbs?” Now you have outed me to the world that I hate children. Great, now I’m a bad person according to you and society. Now I won’t be invited to family gatherings and etc. Some people don’t like children. Some people would rather not hold that baby when he’s offered up at parties, but instead do the awkward laugh and uncomfortable smile so that they aren’t publicly shamed.
    .
  3. We May Be Infertile.
    I may have received devastating news and here you are to remind me of it because you want to picture my husband and I having sex. Now, not only do I think you are a sicko, I think you are an insensitive bitch. Period.
    .
  4. I May Want To Adopt...
    There are many reasons one could adopt. There are many reasons one should adopt. It can also take a very long time to get approved for it, not to mention the overwhelming disappointments that adopting couples may face.
    .
  5. I May Like My Body And I Can‘t Risk The Trauma.
    I’m worried I won’t “bounce back”. I hear it takes a long time to bounce back after a baby, well… what if I’m just trying to bounce back from 25 years of life right now. Do you know how much work it takes to maintain “all of this”? *mimics the shape of an hourglass figure in the air using hands*  Now, “all of this” might not be a perfect hourglass yet, but one can dream. Also, I do know some women that look like they have never had children and look great! I have a strong feeling that I haven’t the genes or willpower to do the same.
    .
  6. We Just Got Married.
    Anyone that has experienced the first year of marriage knows that it ain’t a honeymoon all the time. Apparently, I don’t handle stress with poise and grace.That first year is a complete shake-up of reality vs. expectation. People should really process one big life event at a time if possible. Also, if planning sex/a baby is like planning a wedding, no thanks
    .
  7. I’m Afraid The Sex You Shouldn’t Be Thinking About Will Stop.
    Everyone says that when you get married your sex life changes… and then when you have kids, you have to plan it. I just planned a wedding…Can I be married? Can I live? Can I enjoy the few (or many) years we have of spontaneous sex, without the fear of someone walking in and interrupting. Seriously, this is why we stopped living with our parents.
    .
  8. I’m Not Ready.
    SOME people might enjoy the idea of getting a full night’s sleep and being able to leave home for hours at a time without fear of child protective services calling them because they want to go to happy hour… or get a new piercing? Random Fact: I don’t have any piercings… yet.
    .
  9. I Like Being Selfish. I actually have a guestroom where I house all of my clothes. I’ve decorated it and it’s very girly. It has an exceptional pillowtop mattress and smells of Lavender Febreeze. It is my sacred “no husband” place. My husband has an entire basement of his own, with all of his music and the stuff he likes. BUT when baby comes, my room will be the first on the chopping block and “the sanctuary” will be no more. Do you really want to evict me out of my own sanctuary? REALLY? Do you really want me to share this story with you and expect you not to judge me? Do you really think someone so selfish is ready to have kids? nope.
    .
  10. I Can’t Afford It.
    I have two dogs and a husband, I probably can’t handle being responsible for anyone else. Life in general is expensive. Babies are an 18 year commitment with the expectation that we will pay for college. AND if the economy is anything like it is now when they enter and graduate from college, I’ll be supporting them an additional few years. So in other words, this may just be a life sentence of debt… you know the debt my husband and I are working so hard on eliminating being as we have our own student loans. We’d be members of Broke-Phi-Broke but we can’t afford the dues. lol

So in other words, just don’t ask… and if someone does, give them a straight face and try out some of these awkward conversation-enders for starters.

People With Weird Diets Shouldn’t Be Allowed In Receptions.

So far I’ve got:

  1. 1 girl allergic to onions
  2. 1 girl allergic to life
  3. Several “no meat, will eat fish
  4. 3 “no chicken, no meat, not fish, no dairy, no eggs” (thank you assholes, but I know what VEGAN means!!!)
  5. 1 no citrus
  6. 1 no parsley… not allergic, I just don’t care for it
  7. 1 Can we have a chocolate cake for once (bitch, get married and buy your own cake).
  8. 1 fine with everything, just no dairy… or chocolate

I have come to the conclusion that people with weird dietary restrictions should really just stay home. I mean, you know that you can’t eat anything, so why act surprised when the only options offered are chicken and fish.

Planning a wedding has made me officially despise the idea of throwing a dinner party in my personal life, but I’m not supposed to say that… but let’s face it, picky eaters are really only cute when they are small children.

All about The Pear & Weight Distribution

I absolutely haaaaaaaatttee talking to women about weight.

I hate empathizing about rolls. I hate bonding over “why I shouldn’t eat that cupcake”. I hate it all.

I’m actually one of those rare women that actually likes my body type. I am a pear/spoon

The Pear/Spoon/upward triangle Body Type

It seems the consensus is that:

  • Pear shaped people  have broader bottoms compared to the top
  • Hips are ‘two inches’ or more larger than the bust and waist is less than 9.25″ smaller than the bust.
  • The distribution of fat varies, with fat tending to deposit first in the buttocks, hips, and thighs.
  • As body fat percentage increases, an increasing proportion of body fat is distributed around the waist and upper abdomen.
  • The women of this body type tend to have a (relatively) larger rear, robust thighs, and a small(er) bosom.

Now I get that some might be not favor the large rear and “robust thighs”. Other women might appreciate a larger bosom, etc. In fact, I was at a concert and a “friend of mine” points out one of those very skinny, traditionally feminine and lovely girls. This particular woman had had a child and had bounced back to pre-baby weight. Said “friend” leans over and says to me, “she’s got a baby and looks like that. What’s our excuse?” I just shook my head… but what I should have said was, “no, maybe YOU should go exercise. Why do women feels it’s acceptable to put each other down for fun. FYI, please don’t lump me in your pity party group because you don’t like you. I like me”. yeah, that’s what I should’ve said.

Anyway, I’ve been avoiding the conversation about weight, until I tried on my wedding dress. I have a high cut back which isn’t a very flattering cut on most brides. As I turned in the mirror, I realized this dress makes me look like I have back fat. Normally, I wouldn’t care, but women are horrible critics of each other and that is one fact you just can’t avoid. Am I gonna stress about it, no? but I will contact a seamstress and tailor to suit my body. Maybe.

Stop giving me advice

Now, Our deacon said that you shouldn’t fight past 10:00. He said that that was a pretty good rule to follow if you want to keep peace in the house. I agreed, I thought the idea was fabulous UNTIL:

  1. I went over my constantly inflating guestlist. (I really wanted a small wedding but I’m marrying a socialite disguised as my handsome fiance).
  2. I found out said “social hubby” knew of at least 4 people that didn’t receive an invitation on his mother’s side and forgot to mention it… weeks later… after seeing them and talking about the wedding.
  3. I remembered that his mother was the devil
  4. I got overwhelmed by planning and he asked me what’s wrong.

Now, I have to say that I wasn’t born with the idea that being a bride was super awesome. WE channel is just ok and Martha Stewart is not my idol, though I have mad respect for the woman’s skills. I do not cream over the idea of linens and centerpieces an d showers… actually, I don’t really know anyone that does. I don’t officially have a maid of honor because let’s face it… I think they could all be honorable maids? ooh… that was awkward, better practice that before I say it in public. Anyway, to say that I know what I’m doing would be a huge exaggeration. Lucky for me, everyone and their mother has PLENTY of advice.

Top 10 tips I smiled politely at while internally  figuring out whether HULU Plus was a good investment.

  1. “Natural Family Planning is God’s way”… and getting rid of my acne, regulating my period, eliminating PMS, reducing my chances of ovarian cancer, and keeping my svelte (exaggeration) body with YAZ is my way. Seriously, we were required to sit through two hours of Pre-Cana on basal body temperature, monitoring “female mucus”, and vinegar douches… I’ll pas thanks. Because if there’s anything that scares me more than getting married, is having babies and dropping my Yaz. I need it? *rocks back and forth
  2. “All brides go on diets” or “watch what you eat so you can fit in that wedding dress”. Are all brides self loathing? No one tells the groom to lose weight, they buy him beer. Me on the other hand, I keep getting asked about whether I’m going to work out or reminded about fitting in my dress. And why did you wait for “the happiest time of my life” to just tell me I was fat. asshole!
  3. “Communication is key”: this one comes mostly from my single friends and people who have no idea what marriage is like. (i.e. my good friend’s baby mother). Plus, our communicating is what led us to break Mr. Deacon’s advice about fighting after 10:00.
  4. “It will all pay for itself”. umm… are you offering to chip in? I refuse to spend an extravagant amount of money on 1 day… More interested and invested in the actual marriage. Quiet down thanks.
  5. “this will be the best day of your life”. Really, because I’ve spent a lot of time crying, afraid, and slowly watching my funds deplete. And if this is the happiest day of my life, does that mean it will only get worse from here? If so then maybe we should just prolong this whole engagement. Apparently, I’m really good at being a girlfriend.
  6. “Personally, I would____ but It’s your day“.  Ok then… stop giving me advice. Also, I’m not marrying myself, I think my fiance is going to be there.
  7. “Trust me, you want a short engagement. That man could change his mind”. Are we really friends.
  8. “Please don’t have a destination wedding, it’s such a pain to pay for the flight”. Wait… who said you were invited?
  9. “You should meet with your bridesmaids one day and have each girl decide on a dress”. NOOOOOO! I refuse to sit for hours hoping that a bunch of girls, with different body types and personalities are going to come to an agreement in 30 minutes or less. I chose a $99 Satin David’s bridal gown that I would wear again and they ordered their size. Done!
  10. “You should really send an invite to_____” No, you should really mind your business.