If all goes according to plan, I’m 8 weeks from delivering my son. It’s my second, so I shouldn’t be surprised at the weird things people say to pregnant women. I was starting to think it was just me, so I checked around with some of my pregnant friends. I found out, it’s universal; people say really weird things to you as soon as another human being starts growing in your stomach. Maybe people just don’t know what they should say, so, on behalf of pregnant women everywhere, I am here to be your guide.
1. Don’t Say “You’re Not Showing at All!” People say this to you at all phases of your pregnancy, whether it’s true or not. People said it to me during the first 18 weeks or so and, at that point, they were probably right. At that point, the phrase itself is not that bad, it’s what often comes after. You’d be surprised how many people say “Are you sure the baby’s still in there?” That’s an insanely weird thing to say to someone, especially someone who is concerned about miscarriage, complications, etc. It gets weird again when you’re CLEARLY showing and someone says it. I had someone say it to me about 2 weeks ago – and, this kid is like a soccer ball with fists bulging out from under my clothes. It doesn’t make me think I look thin – it makes me think you’re an idiot. Just say “you look great” and call it a night.
2. Don’t say “Wow, you’re getting really big!” I’ve had a couple people say this to me in the last couple weeks and, while I know they meant absolutely nothing by it and I feel no ill will towards them, I could do without the reminder. We get it, folks. We get it everytime we put on a pair of (elastic waist, bump-covering) pants. We get it everytime we try to sneak by someone’s chair and end up whacking them in the head with our belly buttons. We get it when we have to ask our toddlers to pick up items we’ve dropped on the floor. We get it. My neighbor is pregnant with twins and people keep telling her “you’re getting bigger every day.” She knows, folks. In this case, once again, stick with “you look great!”
3. Don’t Comment on What We Eat You wouldn’t make a comment everytime your co-worker ate a snack at work, would you? Or everytime your husband went for a midnight snack? So, how come people feel the need to comment on every single thing a pregnant woman eats? Most pregnant women do not overeat; most realize we’re not really eating for two. But, everytime you try and eat your breakfast or lunch, someone has to say “woah, eating for two, huh?” It’s weird. Sometimes, we eat because we have insane, burning, gurgling heartburn and need to give our digestive system something better to do. Sometimes, we eat because that’s what human beings do!!! So, keep the comments to yourself and let a pregnant woman eat!
4. Don’t Feel Bad This is a weird one that (hopefully) not too many women have to deal with. But, it’s something I’ve encountered frequently this time around. I have a son at home already and I’m pregnant with another boy. Do you know how many people say “awww” with a tinge of sadness, or say “I’m sorry, I’m sure you wanted a girl”? Quite a few. Listen, folks, I’m happy just to be having another baby. There are a lot of people in the world who can’t have one; it wasn’t easy for us to have the first one OR the second. Either share in my joy or keep the pity to yourself. I don’t think it’s a boy thing, either. My sister has two girls, so people probably said it to her. Don’t assume everyone wants one (or 6) of each. Don’t assume everyone wants something different. Just share in the miracle it takes for the pregnancy to take place at all – and, wish us well.
I probably sound like a bossy pregnant lady – but, you should know, I was bossy long before I was pregnant. We’re the same people – just with additional people camped out inside us for 40 weeks. You can ask questions, you can share well wishes, hell – I’ll even let you rub my belly for luck if you ask nicely. But, please watch what you say. Following these four simple rules will make life easier and more pleasant for all of us.
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