Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Relax; la deuxième partie

Thank you Google Translate, first of all. I'm no Francophone -- I know bonjour, merci, and adieu. Oh, and baguette. Definitely baguette.

Speaking of which, if you're ever in France, never actually speak to the French unless they are speaking to you first, and if you are speaking to them, always say bonjour first. This is some kind of ingrained weird French thing where if you don't say bonjour they basically hate your fucking guts, regardless of whether or not you are a stinking American (said in French accent).

Related: Why are we all so fricking terrified of the French? We are terrified of rude people, is that it? And why are the French so off-putting? I mean, stereotypically, anyway. I've known perfectly nice French people, and I assume they are the exceptions.

I'm off topic, as usual. What I'm writing about today is this book I'm reading. It's called "Bringing Up Bebe; One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting." I realize it's utterly ridiculous for me to be reading this, since I have zero children and my womb is still empty. I should be reading more books about how to have sex and make babies, right? (Speaking of which: Kudos to the asshole anonymous commenter in my last post who asked if I'm "fucking enough." There aren't enough capital letters in the universe to express how I felt when I read that comment. But I'm going to give it a shot, anyway. DO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME I'M SUPPOSED TO BE HAVING SEX IN ORDER TO CONCEIVE A CHILD?! I THOUGHT IF MY HUSBAND AND I HELD HANDS AND RUBBED OUR EYEBALLS TOGETHER THAT WOULD DO THE TRICK. NO?? If my sarcasm does not make it clear, I will now be blunt: Fuck the fuck off, and do not come back.)

Well, I figure one way or another, I'm having a kid. Doesn't matter how. And I have been hearing and reading so much about this book, that I just had to read it. The author says French kids are well-behaved. They sit quietly at tables in restaurants and eat regular food; not deep fried "kid food," they are polite, and overall they are the masters of the universe. I wanted to know how and why. Because American kids are nuttybars. Everywhere I go people's kids are going batshit insane. There is no quiet meal. There is no peaceful play. Everything is crazypants.

And I'm learning a lot. Some of it I agree with and some of it is bull shit. But early on in the book, something the author said struck a chord with me. She wrote about how American women obsess over things. Everything, really. And pregnancy, especially. An American woman gets pregnant and she's got to read every damn thing ever written on the topic to make sure she doesn't do anything wrong and eats all the right stuff and does the right exercises and buys all the right things. Unsurprisingly, the French are much more laid back about pregnancy (and everything, really. It's difficult to imagine a French person getting overly-excited about anything).

And I realized I, myself, have been crazypants over this whole having a baby thing. Sure, it's been a long time since I initially started trying, and yes, there was a miscarriage, and holy shit yes it does make me anxious being 33 and not having any babies. Zero. I had to go and read every book and every web site and every blog ever written on the topic. I know way too much about every possible female reproductive issue that exists. I know way too much about cervical mucus. I charted temperatures and peed on sticks every day for months and, perhaps not least of all, I started this blog with two other women who were (and still are) in similar situations.

I've toned it down considerably, and it makes me feel so much saner. Things work out; they just do. Even if it doesn't seem to work out, it does. I haven't even been able to read any more books on fertility. I scaled my read-list of fertility blogs down to a select few women who I feel close to now. Ironically, they've almost all managed to get pregnant, although not all have stayed that way. I don't chart temperatures, and when it comes to the dreaded mucus, I simply take note and carry on. There is certainly no peeing on sticks, except for once a month when I do break down and take a pregnancy test. My period usually starts about ten minutes later.

My whole point, if there is one in this diatribe, is we all need to relax. I know. I've gone and said it. I'm not saying to put your head in the sand and act like pregnancy is just going to happen out of the blue. I'm just saying all this over-learning and obsessing isn't helping anything. At all. It turns us into basket cases. I want to relax for a few more months, and if nothing's happening, it's time for plan B. But I'm not going to obsess over plan B. I can't. Plan A made me nuts and there's no more room for more insanity in my brain than I've already shoved in there. So let's relax for a bit, eh? Oui? 


  1. I agree that the over-learning and obsessing just makes us crazy pants! There's a fine line between knowing what we need to know and knowing too much! Relaxing is just as important!

    That said, a friend of mine lives in France and is in an American moms group with the woman who wrote that book. She says that it's all pretty much BS. Firstly, the author has a nanny, housecleaner, etc. and mostly is hanging out with other Americans. And French kids DO throw food, throw tantrums, etc. Kids are kids. I haven't read the book myself but I was glad to get perspective from someone I know!

  2. This is good advice about life. I like it!

    And also, most of the French people I have met have been nice. I was there as a summer exchange student and have gone to stay with French friends and the majority were nice to me.

    The kids were brats though.

    Just like ours.

    C'est la vie!

  3. So, I should or shouldn't read this book?

    It is not in my nature to EVER relax unless vino is involved but you are right about it making us crazy.

    Your niece is scrumptious by the way! :)

  4. I just snorted water up my nose over your caps lock comment to the anonymous commenter. Good job, you.

  5. I thought pregnancy only happened of you really want it. That isn't right?

    Oh, and the magic ring stuff.

  6. Apparently you're not f***ing enough or you'd be in a better mood!
    I didn't say f***. I said f*** as much as possible! Everyday, for goodness sakes! And even more frequently if you're husband can handle it.
    Don't save F***ing for certain days or special occasions. The chances for a young healthy woman who doesn't have fertility issues to conceive is only 20 percent per f***.
    A weird diet, praying to Buddha, etc. are meaningless if you don't f*** often enough.
    BTW, great blog. I really enjoy reading it and good luck in your quest to reproduce.
    And remember f*** and f*** often. Cheers!

  7. Alrighty. I can't not say anything anymore.

    If you think this is a great blog, show the authors and the other readers some RESPECT. This blog is about having trouble reproducing. About infertility. About some of the most personal, painful, and emotional things out there.

    For you to flippantly comment that these people are not having enough sex is belittling their struggle and the struggle of the many women, men, and families who struggle with this.

    Finally, if you're going to be so spiteful, sophomoric, and ignorant -- and least have the balls to not post anonymously. In terms of compassion, you're an epic failure.