This past weekend our family had a few different outings in which I received comments that really should just never be said to a pregnant woman (or any woman/mother for that matter). The first was from an elderly woman, who frankly should have known better, but for some reason felt the need to share her opinion.
"Wow!" She said to me as I sat down with a baby in one hand and a plate of food in the other. "When are you due?"
When I told her November, she raised her eyebrows in a dramatic fashion and said, "Really?! You must have triplets in there!"
And then she asked if this would make four children, and when I replied that it would actually make five here on earth, she again raised her eyebrows and said, "I only said four to be polite! Five! Goodness!"
I had no idea what to say to either of these comments (I have more manners than to just lambast her in front of a large group of people) and was thankfully saved by having to help one of my (numerous) children.
Later that day, our family went to the evening Mass, which while not ideal for us, has been what lately has worked due to a hectic traveling schedule. During the sign of peace another not so elderly woman (but who also should have known better) said, "You are really getting big! When are you due?"
I mumbled November simultaneously with a sign of peace, but what I really wanted to do was throw tomatoes at her (if I carried tomatoes with me, which maybe I should start doing).
I try really hard not to be too sensitive, but when twice in one day complete strangers remark on the largeness of my pregnant self (when there are still 2 1/2 months to go), it's hard to not think that perhaps I should not venture out into public for the next few months as if my mere presence is an obscenity.
My husband did not hear any of these comments, so when I told him on the way home, he was furious. "You are beautiful when you are pregnant." Now that is a man who knows what is acceptable to say.
While I'm sure most of you would never say anything but the sweetest things to a pregnant woman, take this as a lesson. Hold doors open for her, give her your seat, offer to carry her groceries to the car, ask her how she's feeling, when she's due, and if she knows what gender the baby is. Congratulate her. Do not express shock when you see her lumbering around, or struggling with her (four!) born children. Do not comment on her size. Just don't. She feels awkward enough already without having to go home and wonder how she could possibly get any bigger (because she will, oh yes, she will). Pregnant women are vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. They do not need to deal with your poor manners as well.
|My huge self at 28 weeks.|