Most ladies wear their bump with pride-and so they should. However in the
Asian community we are still struggling with pregnancy etiquette.
Now I will be the first to admit that when it comes to etiquette around males in the home environment I don't have much experience of this-simply because I was raised in a single parent family and my deadbeat father didn't actually bother with me because he made a nice family for himself elsewhere (rot in help Pops). And when I got married I didn't spend much time with my in-laws and their extended lot (THANK GOD). However what I do have experience with is modesty.
Islamically, it's requested of the women that we do not show our figures to basically lure the look of men. This can also be applied to a bump situation but it doesn't mean you have to HIDE your news from the world.
There are families out there where women on their periods PRETEND to preform salat (5 times daily prayer) in front of males in their families to stop questions from them. Please ladies reading this-educate our brothers to understand that women have a body that changes and we get periods! And sisters if you live in a joint family set up please take your husband to one side when another sister in the family is expecting and explain that she is indeed on the journey to become a mother and doesn't need the men of the family constantly making her run around for things, or need the questions of 'why is she having a rest!!??'.
I've seen families where sisters are expected to cover their bump for the whole nine months so men in the family don't know what's going on. That is not modesty-that's just silly billy talk!
I'm not saying I expect my Asian or Muslim sisters for that matter to go around flaunting their bump however modesty allows for you to dress comfortably. There are plenty of maternity lines that offer practicality and modesty when it comes to your growing bump.
What I would like to see is other sisters sending duas (prayers) in the direction of expecting sisters when they find out a sister is expecting. No sisters I really don't think saying things like 'May Allah bestow you with an heir' is quite the same especially when a sister is expecting on her first child.
Jealousy is a nasty emotion that can get the best of many especially at such as magical time as pregnancy. There's sisters out there whose husbands merely got excited when they found out their wife was expecting whereas there are sisters whose husbands were excited from day one and continued with the excitement throughout the nine months becoming the envy of many. That my sisters is also down to upbringing. Let's all do ourselves a favour and bring our baby boys up to be honest, humble, hardworking pious men who indeed care for their wives, and show their feelings-Ameen! A man who can show he cares for his wife will in the long run have less problems with his wife because she will know he cares and any problem they have is a hitch they can hopefully overcome.
So my top tips to any sisters currently expecting:
- enjoy every minute as the time will soon fly
- try to involve your husband even at first it seems he's not interested. He cannot feel the changes and growing baby the way you can
- Try and involve elders in the family especially if you live in a joint family with baby related things. Maybe your mother-in-law can knit and you cannot. Why not ask your MIL to knit some booties, a blanket or three for the baby?
- Expect the unexpected and be prepared to have a birth that isn't the fairytale you planned.
- If you live alone try and prepare the kitchen for when the baby returns. This can include batch freezing meals so you don't starve or have to rely on local takeouts once baby is here
- CLEAN as much of your home as possible before baby arrives.
- If you look after the bills sit your husband down before baby arrives and explain the bill system to them. The last thing you need is to be worrying about a baby and the bills too.
- Prepare yourself for parenting as much as possible-read blogs, books and attend prep courses if you have them in the area.
- Accept broken nights sleep is what is in store for you for at least a good 8 months plus.
- Organise your wardrobes and home as much as possible beforehand.
- If you are a part of a mums group try and organise to see at least one mum visitor at least every 4 days. The first days can be scary, and if it's your first time it can also be extremely stressful. A familiar face will help you.
- Take any HELP offered to you. Don't be shy. Other mummies will know what you are going through.
- Don't feel you need to provide your guests with lavish snacks-they really don't expect it.
- Ask your midwife all the questions you have even if they are small things that you are slightly worried about after all there job is to be there for you. My Midwife Sharon was fab and a trooper for me.
- RELAX if you can-and try not to worry about the things you cannot control.
Okay so today's rant-OMG my husband unplugged my chest freezer and only remembered 8 days later.
So what was wasted: homemade keema, rolls, kebabs, tikkis, chops, daals, chicken palak plus lots of stuff Munchy loves plus uncooked meats. I am still upset after the whole experience. All that time spent cooking wasted by my husband. All he say is when can go buy them again. What about all the hours I spent preparing the food? It seems he forgets Munchy is a full time job.