Parenting is hard work, people — there’s no denying it. And the process of bringing our children into this world (aka pregnancy) can be just as hard. But strangely, one mom-to-be recently came under fire for admitting just that.
Luissa Zissman is a British mom, successful retail entrepreneur, and reality television personality with half a million followers. Last week, Zissman took to Instagram to post a raw and honest look into her pregnancy and her less than magical feelings about carrying her child. But the Internet was not having it.
In the photo, Zissman can be seen lying in bed with a less than enthused expression on her face. “Feeling sick in bed with Ellie … hate growing babies literally don’t enjoy anything about pregnancy,” her caption reads. “It goes on FOREVER too, I mean feels like I’ve got ages. Shouldn’t moan I know but it’s no fun, thank god I adore giving birth.”
The reality TV star, who is expecting her third child later this year with her husband Oliver, was probably just trying to post an honest account of how she was feeling at the moment. After all, pregnancy isn’t always enjoyable — and that’s a fact. Yet a lot of the ire over Zissman’s post came not from women who have reveled in those “magical” 9 months; rather, many of the backlash came from women who’ve had trouble getting pregnant or were never able to conceive in the first place, which was understandably devastating.
In fact, there were more than a few women who felt they needed to remind Zissman of this fact.
“I was never able to conceive,” one commenter replied. “I’m sorry that you are sick but I would have loved to be pregnant. I hope things get better for you.”
“Please be grateful @luisazissman some us can’t conceive,” wrote another. “2 years in trying and I’d give anything to be feeling like you.”
“Never ever moan about been pregnant,” one more chimed in. “My poor sister gave birth at 28 weeks with a 2lb 15oz girl in intensive care. You keep cooking your baba.”
“I had two miscarriages at 8 weeks and now I’m 17 weeks pregnant with my third attempt,” yet another comment read. “Every day I go to bed so grateful I havnt [sic] had bleeding or cramps or any signs anything has gone wrong. Every time I feel sick I love that its a sign my baby is actually still alive.”
Another declared: “I wish I could be pregnant, lost baby last year and since then can’t get pregnant.”
And another: “I find this very self centered and selfish! It should not matter!”
And another: “I would give anything to get pregnant. Funny u have two healthy kids third on a way and still find a way to complain.”
The comments are heavy, and at times difficult to read. But I feel for both sides.
It took me a long time to admit that I didn’t like being pregnant. I felt guilty and ungrateful. But here’s the thing — you don’t have to be running through sunflower fields while sketching pictures of newborns sliding down rainbows to want to be a mother. For some women, pregnancy is all they have ever dreamed of, something they feel born to do, and they love every single minute of it. That is amazing for them.
But that does not mean it needs to feel the same for someone else in order to start a family. I, like many other women, didn’t enjoy being pregnant and/or experiencing complications during pregnancy. It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy being a mom. It also doesn’t mean we are immune to what others are going through. The two are not mutually exclusive.
The truth is, you never know someone else’s story from a snapshot shared on Instagram, and a brief one-liner about someone’s day. And while many commenters posted messages of solidarity and understanding, the barrage of criticism heaped upon Zissman was fierce and unwarranted.
If this story going viral does one thing, I hope it reminds all of us to be kind to one another no matter what we’re feeling personally. You never know someone else’s struggles, or heartache, or history. So let’s put down the pitch forks, shall we?