I want to clarify that this post does not pertain to my beloved family and close friends – people I don’t mind getting personal with and sharing details of my life with. This one is dedicated to the Nosy Nancy’s of the world who I’ve never met before and will never see again after our little “encounters”.
Now well into my second pregnancy, I’ve noticed that strangers LOVE talking to me about my pregnancy. It’s really quite baffling. I sort of noticed it during my first pregnancy, but I was just so enthralled in my new state of maternity that I didn’t mind the questions and sometimes off-putting remarks. Now that this is my second time around and the nostalgia of being pregnant has faded, some words for the wise: No, I don’t want to talk to you about it; yes, you’re being too personal, and for the love of God, DO.NOT. touch my stomach. You’ve been warned…
1. When are you due?
I know, I know – this is the inevitable question – but must we really share with these complete strangers the presumed birth date of our new baby? I always wonder – what’s in it for them? So they can quickly calculate how far along I am in the 9 month journey and then make a judgement call on if my stomach looks “about 8 months” large?
2. Are There Twins In There?
This one always comes from old men who think they’re being funny. I get it, I get it – you’re making a joke because I’m so hugely pregnant. You’re hilarious, sir…really, you should be a comedian.
3. You Look Great!
This is all well and fine, but I mostly dislike the tone that accompanies this “compliment” — which is usually pure shock. It’s as if they picture all pregnant women laid up on the couch, sitting pretty at 500 pounds and stuffing their faces with donuts. (OK, while I might not be 500 pounds, there’s been a time or two – or maybe every Sunday – when I’ve been posted up on the couch with some maple bars).
4. Wow, They’ll Be Close in Age
This one usually follows the “when are you due” question. And after the complete stranger has computed my personal life (what month of pregnancy I’m in and the age of my toddler), the light bulb goes off for them: this woman’s kids will be close in age. Thank you, Captain Obvious! And from here there’s a 50/50 chance that they’ll either go into their experience of also having children close in age and tell you stories of how well they played together or, they take the negative route and say, good luck – I can’t imagine having two under two! Big gulps.
5. Let Me Guess — it’s a Girl! (or Boy!)
I always think it’s odd when complete strangers try to guess the gender of my unborn baby. Do they think they have some sort of psychic power? I blame it on all the old wives tales like, “if a pregnant woman is carrying high, it’s a girl — low, it’s a boy” and other assumptions that make every Suzie Q at the grocery store a maternity expert. I secretly love when they get it wrong though: Nope, nosy Nancy – it’s a boy. Better luck next time.
6. You’re All Belly
I know this is meant to be a sweet gesture but really, they’re not fooling anyone. What are they going to tell me instead, “Wow, your arms are looking really FAT!” Or, “Yikes, look at the size of your thighs.” And let’s be honest, they didn’t know how I looked before pregnancy so can they really comment now on the fact that I’ve only gained weight in my mid-section? Me thinks not.
7. Have You Had Any Weird Cravings?
This one always makes me feel like they think I’m a mad woman who can’t control my eating habits (don’t look her straight in the eye or she might try to steal our bagel – these pregos are unpredictable!) And again, what’s in it for the questioner? So she can go home and tell her husband over dinner tonight that she met a pregnant woman at Starbucks who will only eat chocolate covered pickles with sprinkle on top? I refuse to be a part of the gossip chain so I usually reply with a smile, “just salty things.”
8. Your Bump is So Cute
I know this one is well-meaning but honey, I do NOT feel cute right now; carrying my 19 month old on one hip and trying to push the cart at Target with my hair disheveled and wearing my prego uniform including my husband’s baggy t-shirt and my tried-and-true yoga pants (even though I haven’t been to yoga since my daughter was born). But, thanks, complete stranger, thanks for trying. And again my question; what’s the alternative? “Wow, mam, you have an ugly bump – it looks abnormal. Really, you should get that checked.”
9. Can I Touch It?
Umm, excuse me, have we met? Can I awkwardly touch your shoulder and invade your personal space? If your answer is “no” to either of those questions, then my answer is most definitely, NO! And, spoiler alert: it feels like a basketball!