I’ll be the first to admit it.
Pregnant women be crazy!
You can take offense to that statement (or nod your head along as Travis is doing at this very moment), but hear me out. A pregnant woman is really not her normal cheery self and it’s all due to the hormones raging through her bloodstream. Hormones that protect and grow the baby, the uterus and placenta. Good hormones, when we’re talking about helping her do what she’s supposed to be doing – growing a baby. Not-so-great hormones when we’re talking about dealing with Hallmark commercials, a flat tire, the stress of Christmas shopping and/or ignorant people.
We’ll talk about ignorant people today. Realize when I say “ignorant”, what I’m describing here is someone who just doesn’t know – lacking knowledge or information. I say this because I refuse to believe that anyone would be so daring as to intentionally hurt another, let alone a woman who is doing her best to grow a child. Call me naïve.
I was offended earlier this week.
Someone (who shall remain nameless) came up to me, rubbed my belly and said, “WOW!! Looks like somebody ate a little too much turkey.”
In the list of things NOT to say to a pregnant woman, this one might be at the tippy top.
What NOT to say to a pregnant woman:
1) Please don’t comment on the size (big or small) of a woman’s belly.
Here’s why this is offensive:
Just because I’m visibly pregnant does not make it ok to comment on the size or shape of my body. In case you’re confused, a good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t say it to a non-pregnant person, definitely don’t say it to a pregnant person. If you wouldn’t go up to anyone else and comment on the fact that they were looking bigger, why would you assume that it’s alright to say that to a pregnant lady?!!?! It’s not. And it needs to stop. Whether I look big or small to you (I’ve been on both ends of this – people thought I was starving Henry in the womb), keep it to yourself. There are plenty of other things you can say to me. Comment on how thick my hair looks from all the prenatal vitamins. Tell me that you like my top or my shoes. But please don’t comment on something that I really can’t control.
You see – Pregnancy is an exercise in letting go.
You have to let go of your body, your hormones, sometimes your food choices, and most difficult of all…you have to let go of your control issues. Three times now I’ve had to grow stronger in this discipline and it really never gets easier. Whether I look 2 months pregnant or 9 months pregnant at this point is somewhat out of my control. I eat healthy foods. I exercise daily. I get 9 hours of sleep. Drink my 100 ounces of water and take my vitamins. These things I can control.
What I cannot control is what my body does with all of this. The shape of my belly, the bigness/roundness/fullness of my breasts, whether I’m carrying high or low, whether I get stretch marks, whether or not I waddle when I walk, whether or not I retain water or get cankles.
I can’t go on a crash diet. I can’t do a cleanse or a fast. I can’t exercise outrageously. And I can’t let people’s remarks get to me. A pregnant woman can only do so much…then it’s time to let go of that control.
Ignorant people are a dime a dozen. Don’t be one. Choose your words wisely (SOMETHING YOU CAN CONTROL!!) and if you can’t lift me up by your verbiage, then keep it to yourself.
Other items on the “What NOT to say to a Pregnant Woman”-list:
2) “Are you SURE you’re not having twins?!?”
3) “I think you should have ____________-type of labor/delivery/breastfeeding plan because it’s what I did and it’s what’s best!”
4) “Are you sure you can handle the pain of childbirth? You know you don’t deal well with pain.”
5) “Wait. You’re only 3 months along?!?”
QUESTION: Mamas – tell me some more things to add to the list!! Even better – let’s start a list of things we ABSOLUTELY SHOULD say to lift each other up!