Sometimes well-intentioned advice or knee-jerk reactions can come off as intensely insensitive to someone carrying a child. Here are 10 of the most common and annoying things that strangers, friends and family said or did while I was pregnant. The 10 things that drove me CRAZY:
1. People sharing my pregnancy news
If one of your friends (or acquaintances) is pregnant, keep quiet until she’s ready to spill. It’s not your news to share. And I know that gossip is alluring — especially gossip about pregnancy! — but this is bigger than average gossip. Life-changing, in fact. I wasn’t too happy when I heard that my (very new) pregnancy news was the topic of conversation at the bar one night, spreading around in a GUESS WHO’S KNOCKED UP! game of telephone.
2. Hesitating to congratulate me
Yes I was having an unplanned pregnancy (out of wedlock — the horror!), but let’s be clear about something: When someone says they’re pregnant, you instinctively say “congratulations!” with the same “do these pants make me look fat?” reflexes. You don’t hesitate and ask “uh…are you happy about this?” Or even “Well, what do you think about this?” Congratulate her for goodness sake.
3. Ask when I’m getting married
This did happen with a few of my well-meaning family members, but my friend had it worse: One night when she was waitressing with her very visible belly, a table of complete strangers grabbed her hand and asked where her ring was.
4. Offering negative advice
I’m already pregnant, and there’s no changing that fact. I don’t want to hear about how much money this will cost me, or how horrific your labor was. I don’t want to hear “well, it’ll be hard,” comments, or even confessions about your deflated breasts. Let’s keep the advice positive during those early months of pregnancy, when everything is so new and scary.
5. Asking how old I am
No I’m not a teen mom, thankyouverymuch.
6. The “Was it Planned?” question
Is it any of your business? (This is more rude for strangers to say than family or friends. Yes, I heard it from plenty of strangers.)
7. Asking about my baby’s name choices
This is always an awkward question to answer, especially because parent-to-be don’t want to hear your negative associations or have to explain their choices. It’s one of the most personal questions you can ask a pregnant woman, especially if you don’t know her all that well.
8. People (constantly) calling me “mama” or “mommy” instead of Michelle
Unless I’m already a “mama” or “mommy” to an out-of-my-body person, it’s a little weird.
9. “Are you pregnant?”
And for that, the answer is “nope.” They deserve that moment of panic for such an idiotic question.
10. “Are you STILL pregnant?”
The most annoying question a pregnant woman can be asked at the end of her pregnancy.