It was Sunday morning and once again my husband was off at work. That is not a complaint. He has been trying to pick up as many extra hours as he can after our various hospital visits put us in a precarious financial position, but I miss him when he is gone so often. And so, to give myself a break this past Sunday morning, post-recital craziness, I put the girls in front of a movie. Then I put my little Starman down for a nap and turned on the TV for a little mindless zoning.
After flipping channels for a while I settled in on Bravo’s Pregnant in Heels featuring Rosie Pope, “the maternity concierge to the most affluent expectant moms in New York City” according to Bravo TV’s website. After all, I am a sucker for any show that is about pregnancy. As I watched episode after episode in what I can only assume was some sort of weekend marathon, I found myself more and more flabbergasted. That show has got to be the most incongruous example of impending motherhood that I have ever seen. And try as I might to rack my brain, I just couldn’t figure out what it was that bugged me so much about it.
I do know the tipping point (the point where I just HAD to blog about it) was watching the episode where they are helping a couple expecting twins and another couple who were looking at ways they could be greener for their impending baby.
The first thing that got under my skin was the workshop they sent the woman to who was expecting twins, Twiniversity. As an introduction to what she was facing Rosie dumped out, in a dramatic flourish, baskets and baskets of disposable diapers and laundry in an attempt to impress the mother-to-be with the immense amount of work she was in for. Really? It smacked right up against the comment that experienced mothers feel compelled to say to newly expectant mothers which annoys me to no end, “If you think this is bad, wait till the baby comes.” Guess what? Spending however many ungodly amount of dollars on a pregnancy concierge to find that out was unnecessary….if she just waited a few months she would have gotten a free crash course that would teach her all she needs to know. It’s called motherhood.
The next thing that pushed my buttons was when the already overwhelmed mom-to-be (I mean she was surrounded by piles of laundry representing what she would have to do every day and mountains of diapers…who WOULDN’T be overwhelmed) was given a breastfeeding pillow and two twin babies of no relation to her and was asked to simulate nursing both of them. The babies wanted no part of this lady (Let's see, she is putting them in the nursing position and she doesn’t smell anything like mom….duh!) and she is nearly in tears by the end of the exercise. Sorry lady, no taking it back now, those twins are coming and you CAN do this!
About the time that the next woman hired Rosie’s “Green Team” (Really, who does that?) to come in and rid her house of potential toxins, I was completely over the edge. The team comes in and starts throwing out everything in the woman’s makeup cabinet (very much to her distress) and holding up what can best be described as a Geiger counter-type instrument to her microwave. When the would-be-green-mom starts looking like she is going to cry, which through the editing process made her look totally selfish for not wanting to abandon her microwave and make-up for a more earth friendly toaster oven and product-free face for the sake of her baby, I completely unleashed on the television in what can only be considered to be a full-on verbal assault.
How can we work together as mothers when the media representations for motherhood are so absolutely absurd? Again, I am not exactly sure what about this admittedly addicting show rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was the frivolity of the wealthy. Perhaps it was the absurdity of “preparing” someone for motherhood. But either way, I think that the show paints expecting women in a rather unflattering light.
Sadly, I am pretty sure that isn’t going to keep me from watching it again, Rosie is incredibly likable and she does do some really good counseling type things; helping families communicate better and giving them a game plan for redistributing domestic labor after their new arrival. But, I am pretty sure I will do so vocally and without the kids around to hear my more colorful language.