I try hard to not care about your thoughts, really I do.
But there’s an underlying understanding that I need your approval. I need to be thin enough for you. Or pretty enough. Or smart enough. And you are everyone and you are everywhere. Even when I’m alone, you are still there looking through my eyes.

I want you to think I’m a really good mother. While today I might doubt I’m very good. My humanity, vulnerability, self-doubt, and need to get it right makes me easy prey for your thoughts that I am sure I can read.

How doubly heinous the world expects anything from you when you are pregnant. Like how many pounds are acceptable for you to gain during your pregnancy. The rule book ceased to apply because my body decided that in case of the plague, flood, or famine, I needed a belly fat pad the size of Norway.

When people were rude enough to point out my enormous gift of girth for my child, I proclaimed I was building a lounge for my baby. And tried to ignore their insensitivity. Now Fiona’s left the building and the lounge is still standing.

The entire time I was pregnant, I did not know how much I weighed. I just put my back to the scale and thankfully the nurses kept my secret.

I’m an approval seeker in varying degrees. I need you to like my writing enough to keep reading it. And I need friends to want to have lunch with me and to have me listen to their lives. I’d also tell them that my opinion of them didn’t matter. What they think of themselves is the most important thought out there.

If we are dependent on the opinions of others for our happiness, we are prisoners of perceptions. Their perception and your perception and her perception of us.  And we have forgotten or never knew we hold the key to freedom from this bondage. By the mere admission that we can not read or control the minds of others.

My opinion of me is the only one that matters. Your reassurances are however kind. I will be out strolling when the weather breaks. Say hey to me. And try not to look at my barf stained clothing. I’m not.

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    1. What is funny is that I did this piece in third person in my head. To represent the way everyone feels. And I realize everyone thinks I am suffering from a terrible bout of low self-esteem. Which I’m not. All of which is very interesting and how sweet you are to be there for me. and I want you to repeat that to Fiona when she’s got a head full of the media telling her she needs to change herself somehow.

  1. Shalagh, take it in stride. You just gave birth very recently. The only thing that counts is what YOU think. Ditch the rest of ’em! Please be good to yourself. You deserve it!

    1. Hey Amy, I guess my facetiousness didn’t come across well. I was rallying against even the doctors sites worrying pregnant women about their bmiS. But also the concept that we live for others approval. I’m doung quite well actually. Losing the weight easily. And about to have a celebration for the wee Fi this weekend. I forgot myself for a while. The one who likes to throw a party. But I’m back. And thanks for talking me in off the edge. Even if I wasn’t there.

  2. Hey.  (You said to say, hey.) 🙂

    All sorts of needs come with a child on the way, so I think this, what you’re talking about here is normal.

    It matters what you think, and well, it matters what others think too— but the question would be whether or not those thoughts are actually helpful.

    Helpful thoughts.  Constructive criticism, for example: I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have the ‘Follow’ button renamed ‘Stalk.’  (I get the loose humor, but…)

    1. You are a good guy. And thank you oh venerable blog man, I’m changing that as soon as I finishing letting everyone know I’m not actually out on the ledge.

  3. Someone actually commented ON YOUR PREGNANCY WEIGHT?????? Are you FREAKING SERIOUS?????? It’s a sad society that can’t even let a PREGNANT WOMAN be bigger than a size TWO. They deserved to be SLAPPED, not ignored. Bless your heart, Screw people like that Shalagh. You were GORGEOUS pregnant and you are a great mother, screw them.

    1. There were many people who said are you having twins. And I counted everyone of them as ignoramuses. I wanted to convey that all of us seem to want to judge ourselves through the eyes of others. And we will never gain a positive opinion that way. But thanks so much for riding in and bitch slapping anyone who would disparage my beauty. You are a friend.

  4. I remember that too Shalagh. For some reason pregnancy is the only time people can comment on your weight and get away with it so they do! I was so sick of people telling me how huge I was. It’s themselves they’re thinking of really, trying to make themselves feel better by saying these things to you. I also remember a tendency to be too hard on myself post baby, your other friends are right. Take care of you. The body will right itself in time, it takes time and how I would love to do lunch with you! That would be really fun : )

    1. Amen to your first thought. I think you nailed that. People feel awkward and say stupid stuff. Although the medical field and it’s standards for weight gain needs to be slapped as well. I am actually feeling wonderful about myself. All these deep knee bend with a baby strapped to me is shaping me up quickly. And big boobies are sexy! Plus I grew my hair out. I am about to throw a party for her and I’ve been thinking hard about you. Can’t wait to take pictures of it all. I am so very grateful for your care Jane. No worries for my facetious self OK? And I’d but that lunch in a heartbeat. Who knows we may still have that opportunity. When we’re 60 something.

  5. People often bring their own insecurities and experiences into their expectations for others. I always try to remember that when someone says something snarky or hurtful to me. It is often more about them than me.

    Listen to your body girl. One thing at a time.

    1. Agreed that people do bring their own stuff in and dump it right on top of your stuff.
      And again, I am doing well. I apparently don’t know how to use the right voice when I write this kinda stuff. I wanted to say I in an everybody kinda way. Maybe it’s 2nd person? But maybe only those that know me, know the tone of voice I was using. So I’ll endeavor to do some research on how to be a professional facetious smart butt. Thanks for your support all the same Tania.

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