FYI: This post is mostly just for fun. I don’t really get easily offended, so if you’ve said one of these things to me, don’t fret. Chances are, you just made me smile. Take it all as a friendly reminder- with a grain of salt- and keep it positive, folks! 🙂
Dear well meaning soul,
Some of you are friends and family members. Some of you are complete strangers at the store. Some of you are coworkers who we really, truly like. Some of you are middle-aged men who have never borne children in your life. Whoever you are, there are a few things we need to talk about.
I’m not having this conversation solely because I’m moody and unpredictable, but because I love you and don’t want you to end up with missing teeth because I socked you because I’m moody and unpredictable.
Hear that? This post is because I love you.
First things first. I know I’m as big as a house and then some. I know my belly has stretched beyond what should be physically possible. I know I’m swollen and waddling and whatnot. No, my midwife is not changing my due date because I’m so big. Yes, I’m sure I’m not carrying twins. Though I do get how you could perceive it that way.
I’m probably also carrying extra weight. Yup, probably 16 pizzas in there. Would you like to tell me how much you’ve gained over the past seven or eight months? No? Why not?
Are you curious about my stretch marks? I’d be happy to show you. You should show me your varicose veins and cellulite while I’m at it. Then we’ll both be nice and bonded and comfortable with each other. (And since we’re so bonded, you should know that if you rub my belly, I can rub yours too. Fair is fair.)
There, now that we’re nice and close, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: I know how this happened. I took 7th grade science class, and I bet you did too! And guess what else? I also know that there’s ways to prevent this. Kindly spare the graphic and grotesque commentary on the matter. That’s not really nice or civil or considerate. Just sayin’.
Did you know, by the way, that I had kids because I wanted to? (And even the woman who didn’t actually want to end up pregnant is still doing a beautiful and brave thing by choosing to carry and mother her baby. Perhaps she’d prefer not to be discouraged or embarrassed by unsolicited commentary.)
Kids, believe it or not, can be a good thing. I’m not actually in a predicament. My husband was – surprise!- in on this too. I know this may seem slightly deranged, but we had this idea that we wanted to enjoy our lives together with kids.
Yes, I suppose they will keep my hands full. It might require some hard work and some sleepless nights. It looks like they might keep me running. I’ll admit it- I’m tired. Oh, alright, I’ll give. Maybe I’ll return the kids and get a different job instead.
What??? I can’t? That means I have to have a baby?!? But then I have to go through labor! And you’re telling me that labor will hurt? Oh wait, I’ve done it twice before. Naturally. At home. I’ve got this. Phew, I almost forgot. (And no matter how a woman gives birth, she’s got this thing.)
Wait, before you go, can you please give me some advice on how many children I should have and when? Because we really can’t decide for ourselves. And I know that whatever I choose to do will likely cause permanent psychological damage out of suffering due to my children’s places in the birth order.
Look, if you want to discourage and offend a pregnant woman, just keep telling her how huge and tired she looks. Keep reminding her how her kids are going to ruin her life. Keep telling her horror stories. I guarantee you can successfully make her day miserable.
Or, you could try the following:
- You look great.
- Do you know what you’re having?
- How are you feeling?
- Your children are beautiful.
- You’ll do just fine.
- You’re doing a wonderful job.
- I know it’s hard sometimes, but it’s so worth it.
- Can I help you with anything after the baby is born?
I dare you. Try it. See if it helps to soften that awkward communication bump-in-the-road that you’ve been noticing.
You could even think of a happy story to share that might help her on her journey. Encourage her. Teach her to trust her instincts. Help her to love hearing from other parents, instead of dreading it. Help her to want to ask for help and talk through her troubles- not run from it for fear of being chided, embarrassed, or bossed.
If all else fails and you can’t remember these suggestions, remember the golden rule:
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
And keep it positive, folks. 😉
Your local resident pregnant mama.