Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another.
In light of the good news we shared earlier this week, I feel the need to make a plea to Brooklyn, or perhaps all of society, to reconsider how we speak to pregnant ladies.
Last week, when I was at just eleven weeks, the lady at the dry cleaner’s asked me if I was pregnant. I was still a mess of worry at that point, so I wasn’t thrilled about her asking. I wondered if my answer would be the same the next time I came in.
Now that we know the baby is doing well thus far, another thought comes to mind: If she can tell at eleven weeks, how huge will I be at forty?
I’ve posted about this before, citing some cringe-worthy examples of things friends of mine have heard. These ladies all had perfectly normal pregnancies and baby bumps. It seems that sometimes people just don’t know what to say around women with child. When we consider that pregnant women comprise one of the most hormonal/emotional sectors of the population, I think we would all do well to think a little more before we speak.
Here’s a kind of primer to get us started:
Things NOT to say to a pregnant lady:
1. Are you expecting?
Unless it is very clear or you have heard the good news from a trusted source, just don’t ask. If it’s obvious, there’s no need to ask a question which implies, “Or are you just fat?”
2. Is it twins?
If it is, and you need to know, she’ll tell you. Please don’t guess how many people are in there. Consider how often twins are born, compared to how often a pregnancy is with a single child. You are suggesting to this woman that she is committed to birthing somewhere between ten and sixteen pounds of human. No one wants to think like that.
3. You look like you’re about to pop!
Do you have any idea how often I heard this in my seventh month? They say you get bigger faster with subsequent pregnancies, and so far that is true for me. I don’t want to imagine how big I could possibly get, so let’s not talk about it, okay, stranger?
While I was encouraged and inspired by how many people were fascinated or excited about my first pregnancy—strangers in particular, that’s really as far as it needs to go, in my book. Perhaps I’m too much a fan of personal space, but there are boundaries that just don’t need to be crossed.
Rule of thumb: Don’t guess things about a woman’s pregnancy, unless you’re family or a close friend.
This time around, if I am so lucky as to be asked something like “How much do you weigh?” I hope I can address the question with grace and offer a bit of perspective. Happy mamas make for happy babies, and happy babies make the world a better place.