I know, I know, I’m not the only one who gets this kind of treatment. Being pregnant seems to leave you open to ‘fair game syndrome’ — as soon as you are showing or wearing maternity clothes, everyone seems to think that they should get to say whatever they want about your (my) pregnancy. Now, granted, I get that most people are really attempting to engage you in conversation about pregnancy, perhaps share something in common with you. Other people just run off the mouth because they are embarrassed or don’t know what else to say.
Everyone always asks when I’m due (at least in a roundabout way) and then tags on a comment once I answer. For me, the comments tend to run in one of 3 themes: 1. how huge I am, 2. birthdays, 3. how hot summers are — let’s address these one by one, just for kicks.
1. Yes, I am huge. Barn huge, and yes I have a long way to go. It is spawned from 2 different things–one being the fact that I’m overweight to begin with (which I freely admit), and the second being that I’m short as a stump and have no place to go but OUT! No variation on ‘you about to burst’, ‘are you sure it’s not twins’, ‘wow I thought you were due any day now’ and so on, is helpful in the slightest. Really. I get that I look huge, I accept it, now let’s move on. I rarely go out, so a lot of these are church people. I have no reason or rhyme to offend them, nor them, me. The rest are complete strangers, the cashier in the gas station, and so on. Now I’m not REALLY offended by the comments, because I do have a high level of education, and I CAN read people’s voices, body language, and facial expression very well most of the time. I’ve seen no malice in people’s faces. There is some amusement, a LOT of disbelief, and some concern. I think the ‘disbelief’ part is where a lot of people get into trouble. They can’t correlate what they are seeing to what they are hearing and thus… open mouth, insert foot.
2. I’m so glad your birthday is in August. I’m excited for you. However, I will NOT try and aim for your birthday, you random person, you.
3. Yes, I know I’m pregnant through the summer. No, it doesn’t bother me. If it did, what do you expect me to do about it? Give up?
There are variations on a theme, almost all of them want to know if we’re having a boy or a girl. Most people, especially the older ones, like to know that we’re having a ‘surprise’.
To that end, there are innumerable things people could say. So the next time you run across someone who is obviously pregnant….What you could say instead: I like your shirt. Those flip flops must be comfortable on your feet. I like your pedicure, that’s a nice summery color. Comment on ANYTHING other than their pregnancy. They will appreciate it.