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Friday, February 19, 2010

Top 10 Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

I knew the next time that I got pregnant; I would have to deal with ignorant comments about my growing belly. During my first pregnancy, absolute strangers who wanted to know all the details about my blossoming baby bump fascinated me. At first, I welcomed the questions, until they started to become insults. I was so appalled by some of the comments that I decided to keep track of the worst insults that can be directed to a pregnant woman.

1. Is that a linebacker in your belly?

2. From your husband or significant other, “Babe, can you cook me something to eat?”

3. Is your due date tomorrow?

4. Lady, are you packing twins?

5. You should hold off on the fries, because your baby doesn’t need anything else to eat.

6. What are you eating now? Geez, you sure do eat a lot.

7. Are you pregnant again? Every time I turn around you’re knocked up!

8. Your ultrasound looks like an alien.

9. You’ve got a big head. Your delivery is going to hurt!

10. You’re about to bust! (When in actuality, you are only 5 months pregnant, with one child in utero).

There are over 80 million mothers in the United States. Instead of saying something that may land you in the “hot seat,” try to say something in a kind way. For example, “Congratulations, you look really great!” Or try, “You’re glowing and look so good!” Instead of being an annoying baby bump gawker, please turn your harsh ridicule into positive affirmations. This will not only protect your feelings from being hurt, but will also shower joy upon a woman who has to carry a child for 9 months, and most likely deal with other people’s inappropriate comments.

Published Click on Link: Southwest Parenting Magazine

Bringing Sexy Back After Baby

Southwest Parenting Magazine
Staring in the mirror at my brown, naked body after having my son frightened the heck out of me! I was so appalled that my once somewhat shapely, high school sprinter and college homecoming sorority queen figure had gone caput. This image staring back at me in the mirror looked like Shrek, a “cute” monster. I tried to style my hair differently, wear make-up and show some newly developed cleavage, but nothing could help my 211-pound figure. Bottom line, I needed to lose weight.

Before I had my son, I weighed in with my shoes off at 163 lbs. A twenty-eight- year-old, 5’5 ½” tall woman, is a pretty huggable size. My husband liked my new post baby figure, but he wasn’t toting around the extra weight. A trainer at a nearby gym checked my Body Mass Index (BMI) and said that I was borderline obese. I cried and continued to eat. My mom tried to console me by recommending nutritional foods to eat, and sending magazines ads and literature on “Ways to Tone Your Abs” and “How to Get
J’ Lo’s Buns.” The materials started collecting dust on my shelf.

One day, I woke up and decided that I was going to beautify these new stretch marks, flabby middle, and discolored neck. I created a schedule for myself with a daily routine to bring sexy back and unleash my inner “hot mama.” Maintaining my enthusiasm, I also decided to do the following: post a calendar in my bathroom to keep track of my weight daily, create a motivational board, post positive quotes in my office, and seek advice from a professional trainer.

Kimberly Isom, a certified International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) personal trainer, advised mothers to be consistent with their workout regiment. She stated, “Exercise and eating healthy goes hand and hand to shed those unwanted pounds. Eating healthy lends itself to some very tasty options and there are several ways to substitute bad ingredients for good ones to whip up a very tasty dish. You should commit to at least two-three days of resistance training and cardio per week and clean up those cabinets for healthy food and snacks, but always remember to read the labels and stay away from the processed items, high sugar, and sodium foods. Drink plenty of water, and you are well on your way bringing sexy back!”

My son will turn two years old in June. I’m now weighing in at 145 lbs. I would like to lose 10 more pounds, but I’m a lot happier now with my weight than I was after I had my child. My best advice is to do your best and stay the course. It will take some time to get into a routine. After a couple of weeks, you will start working out unconsciously and will be looking finer than fine in no time!

Cussing Out Our Children

“Shut the F&%k Up!” A mother yelled at her young son and snatched him up by the collar. “I’m gonna tear your butt up when we get home,” she continued verbally abusing him. Oblivious to the people sitting around her, she tore him in half with her ugly words of hatred and disrespect. She left him physically shaken and confused about what just transpired. It was a lesson unlearned and probably he would repeat again.

I tried to focus on the novel in front of me, but my eyeballs starred in the direction of the abuse. My glasses became foggy and my uncontrollable stare met her eyes. She didn’t connect to the energy I was sending her, as she continued the assault.

Her son looked helpless clinging onto his orange chair, which linked to mine. I yearned to hold him like my own son, and rock him in my arms. I became internally infuriated.

I thought to myself, no she didn’t just curse her child out in front of me! I became upset about the situation. But what was I to do?

Being taught to “mind my business” was instilled in me from my upbringing. I was also taught to speak truth to power. Voices of long ago hovered over me stating, “Children belong to all of us. They have no power. Children do not control the means of production. It is our duty and responsibility to make sure their needs are met.” I told the mother not to use the fowl language in front of me. I also said something insightful and rattled of statistics about how children are affected when verbally abuse. I wanted her to think twice before she verbally abused him again.

Sadly, this wasn’t the first time that I overheard a parent curse out their child. As a parent, to step back and reassess a situation in which a child is verbally abused is crucial. The repercussions of verbal abuse can leave a permanent impact on the development of a child. The cycle will undoubtedly continue and live on through one’s first teacher, the parent.

In voicing for the voiceless, advocates looking for assistance can help children by calling toll-free help lines. Prevent Child Abuse is Georgia's confidential, toll-free statewide HELPLINE (1-800-CHILDREN). As parents and advocates for children, we need to speak up for their well-being. We should never mind the “mind your own business” attitude. As a community, we should confront the issue of verbal abuse against children. It is morally wrong to commit this act. I sincerely believe it is our responsibly to protect all children.

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