Thursday, May 26, 2011

Back Off!

OK…make way for the hormones.  What is it about pregnancy that brings out the rude side in a lot of people?  Is there a sign hanging from my baby bump… “Say whatever pops into your head!  I’m pregnant!  It’s allowed!”?  Somehow, pregnancy triggers people, often complete strangers, to suddenly feel comfortable with randomly commenting on your size, your looks, or your parenting choices.  Like I said, maybe it’s the hormones making me extra sensitive; maybe it’s that something out of the norm like pregnancy makes it difficult for people to make socially acceptable small talk.  I don’t know.  But since most of the time I’m not the kind of person to give an honest response (and return the favor of making them as uncomfortable as they have just made me), I’m going to do it here.
Here are some examples of the things that have been said to me this pregnancy, including my actual response and the one I wish I had the nerve to express…
Comment:  “You’re enormous!” 
Response:  Smile, uncomfortable laugh, nod in agreement.
I should have said, “How do you get your foot in your mouth like that?” or “My excuse is pregnancy…what’s yours?”
Comment:  “Are you having twins?”  (This is really just another way of saying, “You’re huge!”)
Response:  Smile, uncomfortable laugh, “That would be quite the surprise.”
How uncomfortable would it have made this already uncomfortable situation if I would have started sobbing and said, “Do you really think I look fat?!”?  Maybe I should have just said, “Hmm, I wasn’t aware you are the authority on pregnant women and size.”
I started to write more of the comments, but I’m realizing they are just different ways to say, “You’re large!” (i.e. “You’re due any day now, right?” or “You always carry more weight in your thighs and rear end with a boy.”)  My response is always the smile and uncomfortable laugh. 
The thing is some days I might feel huge, without the confirmation of a stranger.  But most days, I’m in love with my baby bump, and I’m savoring the beauty that is pregnancy.  I don’t really need anyone to try to squash those feelings like bug.  So if you’re struggling with what’s acceptable to say to a pregnant woman, ask yourself, could I say this to someone who isn’t pregnant without offending them?  If the answer is no and you still choose to comment, be ready.  And seriously, if you pass a pregnant woman, don’t be afraid to tell her she’s glowing or that she looks adorable.  Those are the comments she deserves and most likely is not hearing often enough.
OK, these swollen feet are stepping down off of the soap box now.  :)

1 comment:

  1. Haha you're hilarious ReAnna! I think you look beautiful pregnant and not pregnant! I love reading your blog!