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10 New Mom Insights I Learned From 'Sex and the City'

When someone mentions “Sex and the City,” the first topics that come to mind are usually shoes, fashion, New York City and, of course, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. Pregnancy and parenting aren’t typically anywhere near the top of that list.

Despite the show’s flaws—the transphobia, the overwhelming whiteness, the stereotyped portrayals of non-whiteness, the materialistic gluttony, the movies (ugh!)—I think that SATC’s depictions of pregnancy and parenting get a lot right.

In fact, back when I was a single girl myself, the show taught me a thing or two about having and raising kids. Here's the collected wisdom from hit show:

1. Pregnancy makes you gassy.

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Before pregnant Miranda “pulled her own finger” and referred to herself as a “walking whoopee cushion,” the only pregnancy symptoms I knew about were morning sickness and big bellies.

I first watched this episode with the man who would become my husband and the father of my children. Thanks to Miranda giving voice to the gasses, he and I were prepared for three very farty pregnancies.

2. Pregnancy makes you horny.

Though I’m embarrassed to admit it, I once believed the myth that you couldn’t have sex of any kind when you were pregnant. Watching SATC helped to dispel that myth. (And my husband and I thank the show for that.)

Pregnant Miranda felt voluptuous. She might not have always felt sexy, but she wanted to have sex. She did have sex, too. She even referred to herself as “horny.” Seeing a pregnant person have sex on the show was one thing. But seeing a pregnant person claim their sexual agency was quite another.

3. Morning sickness doesn’t always happen in the morning.

“Why do they call it ‘morning sickness’ when it’s all fucking day long?!”

Miranda couldn’t have said it better. This SATC quote became the tagline for every first trimester I experienced.

4. You don’t have to do the whole “you can do it—push, push!” thing during labor.

Miranda calls on Carrie to keep everyone in the room calm during her labor. She doesn’t want any cheerleading. She doesn’t want “any of that, ‘push push—you can do it’ shit.” She just wants quiet. Defying the “out-of-control, raging woman” trope so prevalent in pop culture, Miranda is indeed quiet, calm and relatively in control during her birth.

As someone who’s had three weird first meetings with my own babies, I know that these moments have their own sort of poignant beauty.

When I first saw this episode, I was years away from having children. But I knew then that I would want a quiet, calm and “push-push-free” atmosphere when I gave birth someday.

5. The moment you meet your baby can be weird.

“This is weird. It’s like there’s a giraffe in the room,” Miranda says when she first holds her baby, Brady.

When parents see their babies for the first time, there aren’t always fireworks of joy and adoration. There isn’t always a feeling of love at first sight. Sometimes the moment is just plain weird. And that’s OK.

As someone who’s had three weird first meetings with my own babies, I know that these moments have their own sort of poignant beauty.

6. Babies make it hard for you to carry on adult conversations.

No SATC devotee can forget the moment when Miranda, breasts protruding out of her nursing bra, attempts to carry on a conversation with Carrie and nurse her new baby at the same time. Miranda is frantic and unable to follow her train of thought. Carrie is nervous and unable to stop looking at Miranda’s “huge” breasts.

“That’s what parenting a newborn is like every single day,” my sister told me before I had kids. “You see that panicky look on Miranda’s face? The lack of focus and concentration? That’s it. Right there. Every single time you try to have a grown-up conversation.”

Years later when I had a newborn of my own, I remember finding comfort in that panicked expression on Miranda’s face. It was an expression that I grew to know well, and used often, as a new mother.

7. Pregnant bodies don’t immediately bounce back to their pre-pregnant form.

Postpartum Miranda didn’t instantly fit back into couture. Her clothes were loose and her body was round.

In a culture where celebrities get entire magazine cover stories lauding them for “getting her body back” mere weeks after giving birth, it was wonderful to see a television character embody—quite literally—a bit of reality.

8. Non-parent friends might not “get it” after you have a baby.

The “it” is the overwhelming, exhausting and mind-melting work of caring for another human being.

Sometimes non-parent friends can help you in ways that been-there, done-that parents would never dream of, with the most marvelous, hysterical acts of love.

On SATC, Samantha has an especially difficult time appreciating Miranda’s transition to motherhood. In Carrie’s words, she doesn’t realize that Miranda is “drowning.”

9. But they can still be there for you in the most wonderful, unexpected ways.

Though she might not “get” just what Miranda is experiencing as a new parent, Samantha still finds her own way to support Miranda. She lets Miranda take a coveted hair appointment. She watches baby Brady while Miranda is gone. And when Brady’s vibrating seat breaks, Samantha uses her new vibrator to keep it running.

Sometimes non-parent friends can help you in ways that been-there-done-that parents would never dream of, with the most marvelous, hysterical acts of love.

In my own experience, one of my non-parent friends brought me a six-pack of beer and a bar of dark chocolate after my first baby was born.

“I know it’s not the usual baby gift,” he said, “but …”

“Say no more. It’s perfect,” I assured him.

And in the most marvelous, unexpected way, it was.

10. And the very best of friends will stick with you even after you have morphed into your new-parent self.

After becoming a mother, Miranda is still snarky, driven and fiercely intelligent. But she’s also beholden to a new set of values, priorities and experiences. She has a baby. And that baby has changed her.

Carrie sees this change. And, as she kisses Miranda goodbye before leaving her apartment, she says, “Miranda, you’re a mother. But it’s OK: I won’t tell anyone.”

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Like any of us who have become parents, Miranda is still the same person. Having a baby simply transforms her into a new version of the same person she’s always been.

And like any good friends, Miranda’s friends still love her no matter how much parenting has changed her.

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Image via HBO

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