So I was thinking about things today. I have had this conversation with at least one person and sometimes many, many more each day since I was around ten or twelve weeks pregnant. It can be someone I know, the waitress at Cheddar’s, the check out girl at Wal-mart, anyone really.
Here’s the most current version:
Person: “So, how far along are you?” or “When is your baby due?”
I say, “24 weeks.” or “Halloween.”
Person’s eyes widen. At this time, they may pat my belly or at minimum laugh out loud. “Wow. Only twenty four weeks?” Or, “Not until HALLOWEEN?” And then, “Are you having twins?”
I say, “No.”
Person says: “Are you sure?” More laughter. Maybe a hug or a belly pat.
I say, “Yes, I’m sure. Just one baby. It’s my fifth and I tend to have large babies.” I always believe that giving a little information will shut down the conversation, but it just doesn’t. Ever.
Person will then say, “Wow. I’d say so!” Or “No way is that just one baby.” Or “I’m sure it’s twins!” Or, my personal favorite “You’re going to be HUGE by Halloween!”
And for the record, I don’t mind belly rubs or hugs or inquiries after my pregnancy. I am excited about my new baby. I’m excited about her movements and about what she’s going to be like. Go ahead, rub the belly, get excited. But please don’t bring up how giant I am. Believe you me, no one knows better than I do how big I am. The time for commenting on how big someone has gotten ends after about twelve years old. Hormonal, uncomfortable, sweating in the sweltering heat mothers to be who are decidedly NOT glowing do not need the input. Thankyouverymuch.
And while we’re on the subject, here are some other subjects that are not really up for discussion.
“So, when are you going to have a baby?” This is a private matter between spouses. Why do the reproductive habits of others have anything to do with you?
“Oh my gosh, you’re having ANOTHER one? Don’t you know what causes that?” See above. And may I also add, mind your own business. The number of children a family has is between spouses and God alone. Some families are called to many, some are called to few, some are called to one or none.
“Here, let me give you some unsolicited breast feeding, child birth, child rearing, bottle feeding, epidural, natural child birth advice….” No thanks. I’ll ask if I want your advice. I’d like to make my own decisions about all of those things. And then I’d like those decisions to be respected. Not too much to ask.
Women put so much pressure on themselves. We have such expectations of ourselves in motherhood. Putting in your two cents where it’s not welcomed may not help, it may harm. What works for one mother may not work for another. We are all different. Our children are all different.
So, I guess now that we’ve reached the end of this bitchy rant…I’ll leave you with this. Think about what you’re about to say. Is it going to edify? Encourage? Breathe life into another? We have the ability to lift spirits or dampen them. Words are powerful!