Being pregnant for the first time, without having had much experience with pregnant women, I have searched out books and websites to gather as much information as possible about everything I can think of. Part of this information seeking has involved signing up for a few mailing lists, specifically from BabyCenter.ca (it still bothers me that BabyCenter Canada doesn’t spell centre the Canadian way) and What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I get emails from BabyCenter once a week, and What to Expect once a day. Some of the links they have sent me have been interesting, helpful and informative – I really enjoy the BabyCenter email because it tells me about the development stages – but there is something I’ve been noticing about the What To Expect emails that has really been getting on my nerves.
The What To Expect emails seems to include topics like this every day: “10 Ways to Boost Your Body Image and Feel Sexy,” “Beauty Tips for Busy Moms,” “Q&A: Safe Sex.”
Seeing these topics day after day makes me feel as though there’s something wrong with me for being more worried about the baby and what the baby needs and my health and getting ready for the baby and the birth – and also work – than about how sexy I feel or how I’m supposed to look.
It annoys me that these emails that I signed up for hoping to get help with this one aspect of my life seems determined to let me know that I am failing at being a sexy, vibrant, beautiful pregnant women.
If I wanted beauty tips, I would probably turn to Cosmo or Glamour or Marie Claire or another one of the many magazines that I stopped reading because I was sick of the focus on beauty and sex, hair and make-up and men, because they just stopped speaking to me. I did not sign up for the What to Expect While You’re Expecting email newsletter to get these tidbits, to remind me of one more thing I’m too busy and confused and bewildered to focus on. I do not want to read these tips and look at my husband – who seems perfectly happy, and tells me just that – and wonder if I am missing something, if my focus on the pregnancy is already taking away from my marriage. It’s added pressure that I could do well without. So I say, screw you What to Expect While You’re Expecting, you’ve lost a subscriber.