A few weeks ago, I stood at my daughter’s side as she got her hair cut for a new spring look. I smiled at her as she was perched up on the booster seat and swimming in the pink plastic “cape.” I pondered on how my baby girl got so old and also how on earth she had such better hair than me.
She smiled back at me as I snapped a picture of her to send to our family–her dad was going to be so surprised that I had lobbed off so much of her beautiful blonde hair. (What had I done??!)
As the stylist snipped away, she shot a sideways glance my way, where I stood, a bit awkwardly, holding a bundle of coats in front of me.
“So you’re due, huh?” she said, pointing her scissors my belly’s way and snapping her gum between syllables.
My mouth dropped open in shock. Although I am definitely not a dainty pregnant woman and have grown accustomed to rude pregnancy comments throughout the course of my now four pregnancies, this was definitely a new record for me.
I was only 15 weeks.
And the truth is, I sputtered and blushed and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. But I didn’t stand up for myself or make some stranger feel badly for making me feel badly about growing another human being with my body, and frankly, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of people thinking they get a free pass to comment on my size and my weight and my puffiness and my general appearance simply because I’m pregnant.
So today, I’ve decided–I’m not going to take it anymore. And the next time someone wants to drop one of these rude comments on me, I’ll be ready…
1. Are you having twins?
Why, oh why, does everyone and their brother ask pregnant women this question? It’s as if the world has never seen what an actual full-term woman can look like at 40 weeks. It’s a baby in there, people. I’m not sure what you expect your stomach to look like with an 8-pound, or in my case, a 9-pound infant shoved up your insides. I’ve decided the best answer to this is simply, “Why yes, I am!” and then to move on quickly. Heck, go for quadruplets if you’re feeling up to it!
2. Any day now, huh?
I get this in some variation starting from about six months on. Except, obviously, with this pregnancy because apparently at 15 weeks I’m defying the limits of pregnancy. This one usually comes to me in the form of the cashier scanning my groceries at the store, bringing me extra frustration because 1) She’s rude and 2) I’m hungry. So I’ve tried the following in varying forms of success: 1) Stare silently, 2) Tilt head in confusion, and 3) Say, very slowly and seriously: “I’m not pregnant…”
3. Wow, you’re getting big!
So my little story got even more exciting when, after I assured the stylist cutting my daughter’s hair that I was not, in fact, about to pop, she commented, “Well, you’re sure getting big then!” Besides wanting to punch her in the face, I should have just replied, “Thanks, so are you!” as cheerfully as possible.
4. Aw, you look tired!
We all know this is a euphemism for “You look like crap,” so why don’t we just call this one for what it is? The next thing someone wants to comment helpfully on your pregnancy insomnia-induced lack of perfect appearance, feel free to return the favor right back to them with a “Yup! And at least I have a good excuse, right?”
5. You just wait!
People love to remind you of the pain that is to come. Why? I’m not really sure. Perhaps it makes them feel better about their own crappy parenting skills or makes them feel superior to you, but whatever it is, we get it. Pregnancy is hard, birth is hard, and shocker–parenting is hard too. Honestly, I don’t think there is a response to this one that will be worth your time or energy. Just smile and nod politely, then get the heck out of there. You got this one, mama. And really, it’s not all that bad.
6. So are you done now?
Pregnancy = time for complete strangers to judge your reproductive choices. Love it! I especially enjoy being out in public now, pregnant and holding the hands of my 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 1-year-old. It always makes for a good time. The judgment! The stares! The outright rude comments! But, really, the only way comments like the ever-popular, “You know what causes that, right?” or “Wow, you’ve been busy!” can get under your skin is if you aren’t confident in your choices as a parent. So smile sweetly and own it. Take your pick of: “No, I don’t–can you explain it to me?” or “Yup! You should see my husband, then you’d understand!” or “Heck no! We’re trying to out-do the Duggars!” or my personal favorite, “Of course, we love our kids–don’t you love yours?”
7. You look too young to have a baby!
Ah, yes. Along with the terribly rude comments on your personal appearance and choices in the bedroom, we have to round out the list of rude pregnancy comments with the age judging. Being a young mom (I’m 27), I get this a lot, and I have to imagine that older moms have to deal with this too. For whatever reason, some people have decided that there exists out there, the “perfect” age for pregnancy and childbearing, and heaven help the woman who goes against it.
And while the “You’re so young!” comments really used to bother me, nowadays, I welcome them with a big smile and a, “Thanks! That’s because I am young!” Because at the end of the day–I’m still going to be young. And they’re not.
What’s the rudest thing anyone has ever said to you while pregnant? Do you have a great comeback I can add to my list?