Mary Panza

I have been trying to write this for a long time. Weeks. I have poor Thom dropping hints like bombs. I have been carefully piecing this along because it involves being a mother. I have three really good friends that are pregnant. I get excited about babies. I wasn’t necessarily 100% excited about my own as much as I was terrified. I got lots of advice. I got lots of unsolicited advice. Tons of unsolicited advice, as a matter of fact. I will not give you advice as much as I will tell you my story.

I didn’t think I could have a baby. I was married and tried. I was single and I tried. One day in late July early August of 2005 I had realized something: I was late. It never happened. I was always timely, which is why I had stopped taking birth control. I was also 37. I went into work on a Thursday armed with a pregnancy test. I was sure I was not pregnant so I would take the test and relax and then get my period. Nope. Two tests were positive. I did what I usually do. I called my best friend in the entire world. To protect her privacy I will call her Capri. Capri laughed until (and I have no way to prove this) she peed herself. She is the friend that, in my opinion, had done EVERYTHING right. She always did. The crease in her perfect 80’s jeans was always so crisp you could cut a steak with it. She got good grades; she was friendly and loved by all. She married well and had her children young. She made her girls her job and she does her job well. I should be so successful.

I had a healthy pregnancy physically. Emotionally, I was a mess. I still am. I had resolved myself to becoming a party girl and when my tits went south I was going to be a day drinking bar hag. I believed in setting the goals to where they could be achieved. Then I am pregnant and I feel I have more to prove. I was the one that was going to be a mother without all the books and birth planning. I figured that if utter morons had kids I was a natural. I got that only half right. I didn’t read the books. I still haven’t. I did that part right. I should tell you that my low opinion of books about mothering came from a girl that used to work with me. She is 10 years younger than me and is very driven and competitive. She brought out what was, I thought, a healthy competition in me.  Women that are that blindly driven to want another woman to fail are the embodiment of evil in my opinion. I got pregnant with no husband, no white  wedding, and no amount of really trying. I got pregnant because it was meant to happen. This girl became jealous and every chance she got she was on one website or another telling me that I am doing it wrong. She had the dream man, the dream wedding, wanted to be done having kids by 30, have a rock hard body and her own massage empire. Last I heard she got all those things and God Bless. She was a hard worker and a complete spawn of Satan. I bring her up because I let her get to me. The same way I let every freaking other bitchy woman get to me. I remember assisting a class for a local “center” and having a crew of judgmental hippies roll their eyes at me because I not only did I find out the sex, but I was having my baby in a hospital and had already planned the epidural. I didn’t do any of the classes because I knew it was going to hurt and also knew that NO amount of breathing was going to make it better. Women competing over childbirth, I thought. The truth of the matter is that all women have been shit to other women. I have been that girl and so have you. It didn’t end there. I joined a baby yoga class when my baby was nine months old. Talk about uptight, mommy manual, over the edge broads. WOW. I was shunned and I mean shunned by these women because after our first class I didn’t bring a snack for my daughter. The place was 10 minutes away from my house and I was going to feed her when we got home. I didn’t know the end of days was happening at 11:15am on any given Tuesday. One of them handed me goldfish so my girl could, and I quote, “make it home”. Oh yeah, and she said it with judgment and pity for Julia. Like, poor baby, she won’t marry a handsome prince because her mother is white trash.

Ladies, I am going to give you some unsolicited advice and then I’m going to shut up. Ready for it? DON’T LISTEN TO ANYONE. Not I, not judgy hippies, ass slammed shut better than you mom jean wearing women, not super fit annoying, website quoting bitches. If you must listen to anyone, look to your own upbringing. I usually think about what my mother would say and either do directly the opposite or reword it to take the pope out.

You will love your child more than anyone ever could. You will screw up. You will wonder what the hell you were thinking. You will get things right most of the time. Don’t rush to have the baby walk, have teeth, and learn three languages before they are ready. Relax. I know that is more than I said I would say. Sorry. I gave unsolicited advice. I’ll shut up now.