Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Did I Just Say That?!

Preston, Julie, and Josh Swink
My filter is shot.

You know that internal censor that says, “Don’t say that out loud?” Yeah…it’s gone. It comes with pregnancy. Like funky cravings, it’s just a part of it. I guess if you’re pregnant or old, you can pretty much get away with saying anything.

I’m usually the sweet girl who hates to hurt anyone’s feelings. And, if you need something done, who am I to say “No”? It’s generally not in my vocabulary.

A normal, non-pregnant conversation with me may go something like this –
Other: “Julie, can you work on this project?”
Julie: “Sure. Let me finish up this other one, and I’ll start on that one.”

Now, a conversation with my pregnant mouth may go like this –
Other: “Julie, can you work on this project?”
Julie: “You’re kidding, right? Do you not know that I am about to go out on maternity leave? How can you not know? No, I don’t have time for that project. I have 12 million other projects on my plate that are expected to be done before I leave!!!”

A simple “No, I’m sorry,” would have been sufficient.

Now, why do I think that I need to say exactly what’s on my mind? It’s because I’ve lost all control of my filter.

With the addition of a second child approaching very quickly, my husband, Josh, and I have started car shopping. The debate is whether or not to get the third row seat, so we can carry additional people or lay the seat down for additional storage. So, after a morning of test-driving a vehicle and dealing with a very nice car salesman who had left us alone until I went to find him, we left the dealership. We then thought we’d very quickly run through the parking lot of another dealership and peek in the window of a vehicle with a third row seat. My husband gets out of the car. My 2.5-year-old son and I stay in the car. After all, Josh will only be a second, right? Wrong. The used car vulture spotted Josh. Before Josh could get back in the car, we were caught. The vulture said that he had just the vehicle to show us if we would pull right up here. So…we did. I know. We’re crazy. But we did. Josh and I agreed that since I had the pregnant mouth on me and the ability to say “NO,” that I would get out of the car, look very quickly and then get back in, and we’d drive away.

About the time I was getting out of the car, my son said, “I’ve got to go potty, Mommy!” Josh and I looked at each other and thought, “Great. We’re both getting out of the car, we’re about to get suckered.” Josh takes our son, I take our vulture.

Approaching the vehicle, I peek inside and see that the third row seat butts directly next to the back of the vehicle. There is no room whatsoever to load any groceries, bags, strollers, etc., unless the third row is down.

Out comes my pregnant mouth:
“Why would anyone in their right mind purchase a vehicle with a third row seat with absolutely no room to store anything? What kind of dealership would even make a vehicle that doesn’t have any trunk space? So, when your vehicle is packed with people, you better not be going on a long trip because you wouldn’t be able to take anything with you!!! You can either take people or you can take stuff, but you can’t take both! That’s crazy!!”

Okay, seriously? Somebody stop my mouth!!!

Again, a simple, “No, thank you, this doesn’t fit our needs” would have been sufficient! And truly, that’s what I would have said had I not had my pregnant mouth.

My pastor at church talks often about speaking the truth in love. It’s not really about telling people what’s on your mind. It’s about telling people the truth in a kind manner. Like mama always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” My pregnant mouth functions more along the lines of a quote from my all-time favorite movie, Steel Magnolias - “If you can’t say anything nice, come sit by me.”

I’m now nearing the very end of my pregnancy. My precious daughter will be entering the world any day now. I think the people around me - especially the car salesmen – are glad to know that my pregnant mouth will go away!

But then again, I am a mom. With two kids soon to protect who knows when the filter will flee. But for now I’m spending the last moments enjoying a guilt-free filterless existence before we welcome our daughter.

Julie Swink
Sr. Marketing Specialist, Texas Health


  1. I can so identify! I'm 21 weeks and not up to putting up with much of anything. We also purchased a new vehicle and was in this same situation lol..luckily the salesman quickly saw I wasn't going to deal with the run around, showed me what I wanted and closed the deal quickly! :)