It seems that there is something about pregnancy that empowers people to ask and do you things that they wouldn’t if you were not gestating child. A woman in Target rubbed my belly last week, unprompted and uninvited and asked me how far along I was. And then of course commented on how small I am, because no one can quite get past that. I can only imagine that if I approached her in the vitamin aisle and rubbed her belly she would’ve been offended, but somehow, I’m supposed to feel loved and doted on.
I do not feel that way.
Most of the questions I get asked each day are well intended and concerned with how I’m feeling and how things are going, but there is one that just keeps popping up in conversations all around me and I am baffled at how people think this is an acceptable thing to ask.
How much weight have you gained?
Are you kidding me? My grandma is the greatest perpetrator of this crime and she asks me every single time we speak or see each other. In a phone call today, the conversation went like this:
Grandma: “How are you doing?”
Me: “I’m doing really well grandma, how are you?”
Grandma: “I’m feeling pretty good. How much weight have you gained?”
I’m not even kidding.
My standard answer is that I don’t really know, I let my doctor monitor that. But my grandma never fails to remind me that she only gained 8 pounds in her first pregnancy and that I should be watching what I eat.
But it’s not just her. Last week my mother-in-law was commenting on how small I am for this stage of pregnancy and while I know her tone was a little different, she asked the very same thing. And once again, I dodged the answer, simply because I do not feel that I should ever have to disclose my weight or weight gain with anyone. And the week before a coworker asked too, as if that was acceptable lunch table conversation. Hint: IT’S NOT.
If I was not pregnant, that question would never be acceptable to ask, no matter how noticeable a weight gain might be. If I was not pregnant, people would have the common courtesy to mind their own business and make polite conversation about something else. And yet, because I am pregnant, the rules are gone.
Maybe I’m overly sensitive with these hormones (hard to imagine, given how completely reasonable I am…not), but it just seems like people need to mind their manners every bit as much with pregnant women as with non-pregnant women.
How about if I promise to never ask you how much weight you’ve gained or touch your belly without permission if you promise to do the same. Seems fair to me…