The What Not's

Today’s Blog Post is brought to you by the Letter ‘P’ and the number ‘6’, as this is apparently an educational blog (though you would have thought that most of this was just plain common sense).

I bring to you an abridgment of something I feel I should title: “What and What Not to Say/Do to A Women, Especially Those of the Pregnant Variety”.

Now, before I start I want to take a moment to make clear to the general population that I absolutely adore being pregnant. I really do. While yes there are some things I could do without (aches and pains), overall it’s an amazing and humbling experience that I feel so privileged to have. I love being the sole provider for my little girl, feeling her kick/move, seeing the changes in my body and attitude. It’s an incredible journey and very special to me.

Now with that being said…

I’m not exactly sure what it is about being pregnant that all of the sudden make’s it alright for people to break (crush/shatter/demolish) all social norms.

What do I mean by social norms? I’ll give you some examples:

Normal: Asking someone if they like watermelon.
Not Normal: Asking someone if they ate an entire watermelon whole (all the while staring at their belly).*


Normal: While standing in the ice cream section of the store commenting to a stranger that ice cream is delicious. Or simply remaining silent.
Not Normal: While standing in the ice cream section of the store commenting that no one loves ice cream more than a pregnant lady and continue to laugh hysterically while exclaiming ‘don’t eat the whole store!’. **

See? Social norms. Things that you would think most people would just know by instinct not to do/say. But like I said earlier, apparently there is something about being pregnant that just makes all common knowledge leave a person’s head.

Thus I feel I must take it upon myself to educate the populace (though I apparently am not the first to try – all you need to do is google ‘things not to say to a pregnant lady’ and you can have all the reading materials you need for a lifetime).

Let’s begin.
  1. “You’re going to explode!” – Again you would think it was common sense not to say something along these lines, but I have seen/heard this countless times. Tell a pregnant lady she looks like she is going to explode and she will – whether by yelling at you or breaking down, she will explode (it just may be in her bed later that night).
  2. “Well aren’t you tubby!” – This is never okay to say to anyone. Pregnant or otherwise. You may feel you are being funny and making a joke but trust me – it’s not a joke to the emotionally tired lady who may or may not already be thinking this thought to herself.
  3. “Holy cow! When are you due!?” If you got rid of the ‘Holy Cow!’ bit and the look of horror that always comes along with this comment then you would be just fine with this question. If you really are so concerned about the pregnant lady and when she is due, leave the horrified look at home or she may drop the kid right then and there just to spite you.
  4. “You look just like I did when I delivered my baby!” – Unless I am 40+ weeks along this is not an okay comparison. Yes logically I know we all carry babies differently (some stick out, some carry long) but I don’t know if you know that, thus your comment has either just made me feel large in general, or that I might have a 15 pound baby – both of which I’d rather not think about right now.
  5.  You’re so big!” – This is probably my least favorite of all because it is said the most often. On what planet is it alright to tell someone above the age of 8 that they are ‘big’? Would you like to be told you are ‘so big!’? I’m guessing not. If you must comment on how large a pregnant lady’s belly is, try instead to not generalize on her overall ‘biggness’ and instead say something along the lines of “your belly is growing!” or “your belly really has popped since last I saw you!”. Basically avoiding the term ‘big’ would be your safest bet. You don’t know how much that word can rock a person’s moral and make them feel like the largest, ugliest thing on the planet.

 All in all I feel I can laugh most people’s comments off, but some days are just harder than others.

While I could go on to discuss the many other comments you should avoid while talking to a pregnant women or a soon to be father and mother (yes, trust me, we know that newborns don’t sleep and will thus make me and my husband not sleep either), I’ll refrain  and instead say if pregnant women make you uncomfortable and you aren’t sure what to say – saying nothing is better than trying to say something clever that just comes out cruel.

And remember, pregnant people are still people – so keep in mind this one little rule, if you wouldn’t say it to any other person nor would you like it said about yourself, don’t say it to a pregnant lady.

*Yes this did happen to me.
**Yes this did happen to a friend of mine.


Kelly Jean said...

Haha. Love it. So true!!

Yeah - I had a random guy at Jiffy Lube look at me and ask, "Twins?" I was like, "Nope!" -- it's like, seriously??? Why would you just assume someone's having twins!? haha. Yeah, this is a time in life when a healthy dose of self-confidence + a sense of humor comes in handy. ;)

Brittany said...

Haha you read my mind with this post. Except you were much nicer than I would have been. I never realized how many people feel the need to always make some sort of comment to a pregnant lady. Especially strangers. Even if it's nice, it's still weird for a stranger to walk up and say something about your pregnant state. Because if you weren't pregnant, you know you wouldn't be having that weird convo in the first place.

Karissa said...

I know, right?! I've heard people say the craziest things to pregnant people. Social norms go out the window when people know you're undergoing infertility treatments wouldn't believe the things people used to ask me! Maybe I'll blog about it one day, haha.

But, for now, I want you to read this post that my friend who had twins wrote when she was pregnant. It's similar to yours. It's kind of hilarious in a, why-would-anyone-ever-say-that sort of way. :