Friday, August 16, 2013

Sometimes-Always-Never: Utah Motherhood Trends

So my Happiness Project last week took me through books, pinboards, documentaries and blog posts about all things motherhood: pregnancy, childbirth, infant care and even parenting philosophies. A lot of the material I found was awesome. I'm only mildly terrified now. But there was so much ridiculous stuff that was just... too.... Utah for me. And I'm FROM Utah. I love Utah. But we've got some problems, you guys. So I thought I'd offer some help. Here are my rules for motherhood.


Unique names. My name is DANICA. Sure, it's more mainstream now. But it wasn't 23 years ago. And I love my name. Wouldn't it be boring if the boys were all named Jason and the girls were all named Brittany? (name that movie) HOWEVER. This is a SOMETIMES.

via Pinterest & Buzzfeed
  • Follow the rules of freaking phonics. They exist for a reason. Take an English class. 
  • If you name all 8 of your kids crazy Utah names I solemnly promise to call them all by the wrong names. "Oh how's Timpanogos doing in day care?" "... Um... it's Tiyara." "No... I'm pretty sure it's Timpanogos."
  •  Picking a common name - Kylie, for instance, and spelling it "Kieleiygh" does not make you unique. It makes you hated by teachers, food service industry workers, and anyone else who has to be corrected during the course of your little one's lifetime. 
  • I could keep going, but this article hits it out of the park. Read it for an LOL.
That being said - if you have a unique name, especially a family name, that is phonetically non-idiotic and can belong to someone who is 40 and a CEO, good for you. Go for it. 

Post ultrasounds. The Beard is very vocal and opinionated about this. He thinks it's super gross to see the inside of someone's uterus. He thinks it's super inappropriate to post that on something so public like Instagram or Facebook. I don't really care that much. I don't like the super realistic, 3D looking ones that show like eyes and noses and stuff. Yikes. The grainy black-n-whites? Not so concerned. I can never see anything so I don't care. HOWEVER. FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS DECENT AND PURE --- DO NOT CIRCLE, OUTLINE OR DRAW AN ARROW TO YOUR BABY'S TINY JUNK. Please. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease. Someone in my Insta feed actually did that a few months ago and I was horrified. We believe you. It's a boy. No need to outline his little weeny in bright red. No thank you. You realize that kid is gonna be like 16 one day and that photo is horrifying?


Do what is right for you, and more importantly, your baby. I already had people telling me that I shouldn't drink Diet Coke when I get pregnant. My friend's family was pressuring her into a natural home birth. There is a plethora of information out there. But like I've said before - people have been doing this for hundreds of years and childbirth is a NATURAL thing. My friend, also named Danica incidentally, emailed me and basically said "All your baby really needs is food, diapers and sleep. It's not rocket science." We can do this, even without the internet and library. Make the informed decisions that feel best to you and keep them to yourself. No one should tell you what to do (except maybe medical professionals, probs) and that also means you shouldn't tell anyone else what to do. {Obviously don't smoke or drink or get in physical fights or crap like that. Goes without saying.}


Posting pictures of your naked, stretch-marked belly for everyone to see is gross and weird. I'm so proud of you. It's amazing. It's a miracle. But for pete's sake just keep a shirt on.

Take this photo for example - a couple of things I really like about this
  1. Weird orb of a belly. You can't look away. It's like a car wreck. I can't help but picture the baby bursting out Alien-style.
  2. Sexual boob cleavage. Classy. Perfect for a maternity shoot.
  3. A dainty flower indicating.. well I don't really know. Fertility? Natural childbirth? It's just something for her hands to do instead of constantly stroking the giant belly?
  4. Whenever I see a pregnant belly button it makes me think of sausage and that's uncomfortable for everyone. 
  5. The only thing we're missing here is the dad doing something really weird like laying his head on the belly or grabbing it weirdly from behind her. Maybe also naked. 
How do you take photos of your baby in such ridiculous situations? Just take NORMAL PHOTOS.

Headbands are so cute on babies. I love them. This is pretty above and beyond. Do we need flapper headbands and YARN WIGS? Too much. Amiright?

All I see here is the baby having an explosive blowout in this bowl of fruit loops and it makes me gag a little in my mouth.

 Can we all agree that these rules are reasonable and will improve society? If you agree please pass along to your pregnant and one-day-pregnant friends so we can take control of this terrifying trend cycle. I know we can make a difference.


  1. Alright, I'm with you on most of those things. But if Eva had a yarn wig, I'd make her wear it 95% of the time because that's just hilarious/adorable.

  2. Hercules?? Is that the movie? Haha!
    I'm with you on this post. You just get me, Danica.

  3. I guess I fall into the unique spellings as I like Welsh names....
    Our Fairy Tale

  4. i agree with all of these! some women use pregnancy as an excuse to do, well, anything, and it's just not ok! keep the shirt on and the awkward photos off of facebook! and the names? seriously, give your kid a freaking normal name. and don't spell it with nineteen additional letters.

  5. Oh, I'm so dying over this post! Yes, yes, yes! Utah moms are sometimes crazy. :)

  6. Oh my gosh Danica! This is the best. I love this whole post. It's like you're reading my mind. Hilarious. and true.

  7. You hit everything right on the mark! I remember when I was about to get my maternity photos taken and looking around to get ideas - seeing the naked mothers covered only with sheets and I'm thinking, "Ok, yes pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it's in no way sexual! Sure, your boobs will probably look the best that they ever will during your life, but keep to yourself and your hubbie! I just don't get it and do they plan on showing their kids the picture, "Hey, look, Tommy! That's you inside of Mommy!" And Mommy is all naked! Yeah, not happening. I also gag at the mom with the husband hugging from behind both making a heart with their hands on the belly. This has been done a MILLION times by everyone! It's so cliche and just makes them look like a high school couple.

    1. oh my gosh, the hands in a heart on the belly.... so awful!

  8. Bahahaha. Although I must admit that it's pretty entertaining to take pictures of your baby in rediculous scenes/costumes/huge headbands

  9. Hahahaha. I love this post. Have to agree with all of it...especially the completely unnecessary highlighting of "tiny baby junk." haha!

  10. Some of this stuff I agree with, some of it is dumb. Don't post a picture of your stretch marked belly? If someone is feeling confident and beautiful, I don't think they should be worrying about whether or not you like their belly button. And the yarn wig- it's a halloween costume. And one of the cuter ones.

    1. Just because I feel confident in my pretty bra doesn't change the fact the people might consider it indecent if I snapped a picture and put it on Facebook. She's not saying to skip the picture entirely, just don't put it online. If you wanna do a belly shot to post online, there's no reason you can't wear a fitted shirt.