“When I told people I was having a third girl, some asked if I’d been trying for a boy!” a friend recalled. I had group texted about surprising reactions I’d had to announcing my pregnancy, and it turned out I wasn’t alone. “Once, someone asked a mom I know who had her kids 10 years apart why she didn’t just get a puppy if she missed being a caregiver!!!” another friend chimed in. Eeep.
Mostly, people have been happy and excited for me. But then, once again proving that you never really can figure out people, I’ve gotten a bunch of reactions that have totally floored me. The winners:
“You’ll be in prison for five years, and then you’ll have your life back!”
This friend was joking … kinda-sorta. Thing is, I am not a mom who ever felt imprisoned by her young children. For one, I work in an office, and so I was out of the house during the better part of the weekdays. For another, my husband and I always went out a few nights a month, and still do. So, no, I am not at all concerned about landing in Mommy Jail when this baby arrives. OK, maybe for a few months.
“Now you’re going to have two families!”
Yes, the baby and my oldest child will be 12 years apart. Yes, much juggling will ensue when it comes to my older kids’ activities and a tot’s nap schedule. But we very much intend to be one family — one big, happy family.
“Wow, that was a surprise for me. Was it a surprise for you?”
Way to fish for information on how we conceived! Also? This is not about you, this is about me.
“I don’t think I could go through all that again, but I’m thrilled for you!”
Whoa. Just, whoa. Exactly the reassuring words you should be sharing with a woman expecting her third child. Also see: “This is not about you, this is about me.”
“Oh, we thought you’d given up!”
Um, nope. But thanks for that vote of confidence.
Obviously nobody meant to be offensive. As with most things in life, people filter what you tell them through their own experiences and reality. Still, the only initial reaction to hearing “I’m pregnant” should be “Congratulations!” and “I’m so happy for you!” or similar. Breaking my big (and getting bigger) news has been a real pregnancy thrill for me; it’s the payoff I get for keeping it secret during that looong first trimester. I don’t want anyone to burst my bubble.
But the bottom line is: When I’m sharing bliss like this, all I want from people is bliss in return.More On