In this column, Kristen Mulrooney writes letters to famous mothers from literature, TV, and film whom she finds herself relating to on a different level now that she’s a mom herself.

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Dear Alison,

I am forever thinking about the time Katherine Heigl made some negative comments about your character, saying that you were painted as a shrew and a killjoy, and that you and your sister seemed “humorless and uptight” while the men in your lives got to be “lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

After letting my indignance about those comments stew for over a decade, I am writing to you today to adamantly defend your honor, because I think you were painted with all the right shades of patience and resistance, all of your lines drawing boundaries exactly where they needed to be. The problem wasn’t the painting—the problem was the way we’re primed to view women, and honestly, I hate it.

Let me tell you a little about my own experience of being knocked up. I ran the whole gamut of standard pregnancy symptoms: morning sickness (and I mean a lot of morning sickness, not just the one time so my audience knows I’m pregnant), next-level exhaustion, the very specific pain known as “lightning crotch,” and a chronic urge to pee. I also suffered some less typical symptoms, like fainting if I sat down for longer than thirty minutes and varicose veins in places where I was not aware one could develop varicose veins.

My apologies if I came across as uptight or humorless during this time.

Through it all, I played this little game of make-believe where I pretended I wasn’t suffering. I had this ingrained belief that I was expected to power through with no complaints. And for some reason, everyone around me, even people who had been pregnant before, went along with it and continued to expect me to fulfill all my regular duties. You know how it is: puke in front of James Franco, then right back to work.

The only person who didn’t expect anything more from me was the guy who knocked me up, who happens to be my husband. He is not at all a manchild. He has a job and doesn’t own a single bong. Even though the chaos was a private internal hell inside my body that not even vitamin B12 and half a Unisom could touch, having a supportive partner who was willing to handle any external problem in my life helped me survive it. It gave me comfort in knowing that when our baby was here, this guy was going to put us first.

You, on the other hand, have Ben. Ben is lovable and goofy, like a big dumb dog. I love Ben! But my god is he a disappointment with his gross friends and his gross Dewey Decimal System for celebrity nipples. The same goes for your charming and adorable brother-in-law, Pete. I love Pete! It’s such a shame that his dumb ass thinks that going to see Spider-Man 3 is a God-given right.

I know too many Bens and Petes, guys who I actually like, who put themselves first every time and then wonder why their partner is so cranky. I see too many men approach parenting as a hands-off activity where anything they decide to contribute is extra. Their hobbies, whims, and last-minute plans are priorities, while their partner has to “find time” for anything special she wants to do for herself, like going to Target to buy a bra and leaving with one that only almost fits because she didn’t want to waste time trying it on. It’s like how your sister Debbie said that just because someone doesn’t yell, it doesn’t mean they aren’t mean—just because someone is lovable doesn’t mean they aren’t a total disappointment.

So, Alison, I don’t think you’re too much of a shrew. Honestly, you’re probably a little too nice. I hope you, and all women, know that expecting your partner to support you doesn’t make you uptight, and I hope we can universally stop villainizing women who refuse to put up with a lazy manchild who loves his bongs too much, no matter how fun and lovable that manchild may be.

Now, go demand a foot rub. Being knocked up is hard.