Thursday, September 29, 2011

SMUG - A definition and opinion of those who fall in that category.

Smug - an adjective.
1. contentedly confident of one's ability, superiority, or correctness; complacent.
2. self-satisfied

synonyms: complacent, conceited, egoistic, egotistical, holier-than-thou, hotshot, pompous, priggish, puffed-up, self-contented, self-righteous, self-satisfied, snobbish, stuck on oneself, stuck-up, stuffy, superior, vainglorious

Before you read this post and take it personally, I want you to remember that this is not directed at every person who has ever given me any advice.  There is a distinct difference between offering helpful advice and tips on what has worked for them and what I am about to outline and describe below.

Smug is the best way that I can think to describe a lot of 2nd or more time moms that I have come in to contact with lately.  Whether on the internet or in person, I seem to attract this personality type for some reason.

Being smug is not a good quality.  Being smug is not a positive thing.

Here are some examples of a smug mom:
1.  While discussing parenting plans with a pregnant first time mom, a first time mom might say something along the lines of, "I don't think we will plan on co-sleeping.  I have known a lot of people who have done that and I didn't really like how their kids turned out and the behaviors that I witnessed at bedtime."   A smug mom will reply, "Oh, you have NO idea what you're going to do."   Instant shut down, and dismissal. 

Here's an example that I have personally experienced which I find incredibly unpleasant, not helpful at all and downright rude... as well as, of course, smug.
1.  I write some silly status about how I had a pregnancy melt down while at the grocery store.  I am well aware that my audience on facebook is very mixed... in ages and backgrounds and personal experiences.  That being said, I have chosen to NOT highlight each and every gory detail of my pregnancy.  This one special example, I found funny as in I'm crying out of exhaustion and then look in the mirror and realize how ridiculous I look and pull myself together type of funny.  Apparently that was not conveyed or that was ignored.  Here is what a smug mom replies... Either to my face, or behind my back, because of course, sometimes smugness does not always go along with boldness. 
"You think you're tired now... you have NO idea.

May I please be the one to point out just how that statement is a.) unhelpful; b.) rude; and, c.) smug.

Bravo to the smug moms who are able to be smug and rude to my face.  Somehow it's like some sort of hazing ritual that suddenly people who have been through first time motherhood before need to make it as miserable as possible for those who go through this after them.  Because smug moms did it to them, and they didn't enjoy any conversation that they had with any mom who had already been through it, they have to pass on the torch down to the next generation. 

Telling their horror stories in the delivery room... or their gory miscarriage details... or how they didn't get anything that they wanted at all in their birth plan...  Whatever the case may be, these smug women are rude. 

No one needs your snotty comments about how you KNOW how it is and you've been there.  EVERY pregnancy is different and EVERY baby is different.  I do NOT feel the need to tell you what I'm doing or how I'm doing because I've already experienced YOUR kind... I don't need to hear your opinion on what will or wont stop my morning sickness.

Oh I LOVE getting advice from moms who "Felt nauseous but never threw up" and they think that they can tell me to just "get out of the house and do more"  or "eat some crackers before you get out of bed."  There is NOTHING fun about running to the closest garbage can while you're walking through a crowded mall to puke in the can in front of 100's of strangers while you simultaneously pee your pants.  Um, Absolutely positively NO THANK YOU.  And by the way, I doubt that I will ever be able to just munch on a cracker again in my life.  The THOUGHT of crackers makes me gag.   My doctor has me on the maximum dose of Zofran and I am STILL throwing up... so hey, I don't think crackers and gingerale are gonna cut it for me, but thanks for being all smug and patting me on my head all patronizingly because yep, that was so helpful. 

Maybe what I am experiencing is because most of the people who are bestowing such golden nuggets of wisdom on me haven't stopped telling me all about their own pregnancy horror stories long enough to listen to what's actually going on with me... but they are an all-knowing-mom so they KNOW what is going on with me. 

Maybe it's because I'm not constantly complaining and bemoaning being pregnant... because while I am having a hard time and this pregnancy has been difficult for me, I am the first to say how shocked I am that I had no idea that a pregnancy could be like this.  But I know what it took for Jack and I to get here, and I do not feel the need to join the camp of complaining about my pregnancy at every right and left turn... which I feel like a lot of people are waiting for me to do.  I remember what Jack and I went through... which leads me to another one of my least favorite things that people have said to me.

The conversation goes something like this:
Person:  How are you feeling?
Me:  Oh, getting by.  Still throwing up.
Person:  You're still throwing up... that should go away by (insert the week after wherever I am in the pregnancy)
Me:  Oh yeah... well I'm not counting on it.
Person:  Be careful what you wish for. 

Am I the only one who finds this to be an appalling thing to say to someone who struggled with infertility for 4 years? Be careful what I wish for?  Did I complain?? No.  Did I seek you out to tell you that I was still throwing up??  No, as a matter of fact, I politely decline any and all invitations that come my way so as to not subject anyone to my vomiting.  I am stating a fact when I am asking how I'm feeling.  I'm feeling nauseous and I throw up a lot.  I'm not saying Oh god I hate this I never wanted this I don't want to do this... which is probably what anyone who didn't spend a lifetime praying for something to happen and finally get it after being told it would NEVER happen, WOULD do... but I am not that person.
Bottom line:  Being smug is not attractive... and no one finds it helpful.  Being smug is an UGLY characteristic.    

So this is to all you smug moms out there that I have somehow come in contact with... whether I know you, or not.  I can almost hear the swell of chests as women rapidly inhale because they suddenly feel convicted or targeted by this post.  Probably cracking their knuckles as they get ready to start typing out the nastiest smug mom comment that they can think of here... just to tell me... just to put me in my first time mom place.  Or they are about to run to the phone to chat with their friends or family and gossip about how I just "have no idea" and they can feel all better about themselves and how they have done in life and how far they have come from when they were just a little ole peon first time mom themselves.  And maybe, if a group of catty moms all band together, they can form a smug mom online group and they can start posting together about how stupid first time moms are and brainstorm together how they can be the least helpful and most scathing to each and every first time mom who has any opinion whatsoever. 

And also --- much love to every mom in my life who has NOT been this way... because there are a lot more of YOU than smug moms.  Somehow the stink of smugness seems to sometimes outweigh the good of great mom friends, and I am so blessed to have so many friends and family members who have been awesome to me. 

 And I leave you with this special song... which should be edited to say pregnant women (and 2nd+ time moms) are smug!!


  1. I love your post, I'm sure I will come into contact with this the further along I get. When did morning sickness start for you (because I know this may sound weird but I was kinda freakin out that I do not have morning sickness yet). I was told that you will have a good placenta when you have morning sickness.

  2. :) Happy to entertain :P
    Morning sickness started for me probably from day one of pregnancy but I didn't know I was pregnant until I was 5 weeks. So probably a good week, maybe a bit over a week before then I started feeling nauseous. And then by week 7-8 it was in full swing and since then I have thrown up every morning, except the past 2 weeks it seems to be 4-5 mornings out of the week I'll throw up and then occasionally throughout the day/night and nausea still. Count yourself blessed lady!! Don't go wishing for puking and nausea!!

  3. I was "smug" when I was pregnant for the first time when it came to how I thought my birth would go. I was pretty prideful about the fact that we were having a home birth, but then I was transferred and ended up with a c-section. God put my in my place! haha!


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