We talk a lot about pregnancy and motherhood in today’s society. We write books about these topics, devote entire websites and magazines to them.
Sometimes, like in the cases of Beyoncé or Kate Middleton, we can’t stop talking about all things mommyhood. And that’s great, most of the time.
But there are, without question, certain phrases or words that likely drive any woman who has actually birthed a human slightly insane.
Can we all just agree that these nine terms need to be put out to pasture in 2018?
It is totally understandable why two adults would choose to take an adult trip before their offspring arrive. But does it really need to be a new mandatory life event with its own hashtag ready branding?
Some people can’t afford to take a pre-baby vacation. Some women would rather not sit on a beach and watch their partner drink a pina colada while they struggle to keep down their breakfast.
There is no law that states you need to go somewhere exotic because you are with child. And if you do, maybe just call it what it is, a much-needed vacation.
2. Natural childbirth
There are multiple ways to have a baby, with medicine, without medicine, with an epidural, with a spinal block, via surgery, in a tub, in a hospital, at home, with a midwife, with a doctor, in a meadow somewhere.
They’re all great because no matter how it goes down, the end result is a human.
Can we agree that not one of these should be described as unnatural? There is no organic, grass-fed, non-GMO version of labor. Women who have babies are all rockstars, no matter how it happens. Let’s just call it childbirth and leave the descriptors out of it.
3. Morning sickness
Because any woman who has had morning sickness knows that it lasts all. darn. day. The idea that this nausea magically lifts at noon is nice, but not at all representative of what actually happens during pregnancy.
4. Mommy wars
There are a lot of controversial topics related to pregnancy and child-raising, and there is a lot of intelligent debate about these topics among women. Sure, it sometimes gets ugly, as anything debated online is prone to do. However, it’s demeaning to women to frame all of these nuanced and important topics as one big cat fight.
Females are capable of polite and reasonable disagreement. It’s a total myth that moms turn into hysterical lunatics who tear each other apart at the first mention of sleep training.
5. Breast is best
Breastfeeding is fabulous. We all know this. We all know its benefits.
But you know what else is cool? Formula. It also feeds and nourishes babies. Formula fed babies turn out pretty darn great too.
Just because it is catchy and makes for a good bumper sticker slogan, there is no universal best here. Every situation, every woman, and every baby is different.
6. Geriatric pregnancy
Because it’s just mean. And because women in their 30s and 40s have babies. All the time. Yes, there are increased risks. Yes, it is often harder physically. But do we really need to kick a pregnant lady while she’s down by labeling her pregnancy geriatric? There have to be kinder terms for this, like mature pregnancy, or foxy grown woman pregnancy.
7. Sleep training
Sleep training conjures an image of a family in matching headbands and jerseys with a detailed game plan for getting their baby to sleep. And maybe some families are like that.
But most parents would agree it’s more of a desperate, impromptu, always changing crapshoot than anything resembling “training.” The idea that there is one right way to get your kid to sleep or that it’s simply a matter of doing homework and sticking to a plan makes any parent of a kid who doesn’t sleep feel like a total failure.
Maybe we should call it “do your best and pray your child stays in the crib” instead.
8. Stay at home mom/dad
This is perhaps the most persistent and insulting parenting term that is way past its expiration date.
Any mom or dad who raises kids full time knows that the idea that you “stay at home” all day is laughable. School, errands, appointments, play dates, lessons, sports. The list of what a parent manages is endless, and we need to have a name that doesn’t conjure images of someone relaxing with their feet up. The reality is far more exhausting and complex.
9. Sensory play
It is really hard to feel like an adequate parent in the Pinterest and Instagram era. Because we can’t just play with our kids or hand them a puzzle or let them hang out in the Tupperware cabinet. We apparently are supposed to come up with Montessori style sensory play activities. And it’s just too much.
Guess what? For a child, all play is SENSORY. Why else do they stick everything in their little mouths and touch every surface of your house (especially if their hands are covered in something sticky)? So, let’s just cool it and call it play.