First, let’s clarify, I’ve 100% said these things to other women. But I sure wish someone had written a blog, or a magazine article, or heck just said it out loud–because whether these questions are coming from complete strangers, or friends, it’s annoying. There is more to pregnant women than what’s growing in their uterus. Most of us have jobs, most of us have other stresses, most of us did watch the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries. Some of us are interested in knowing who is playing Christian Grey now that the other dude is out. And some of us, are actually concerned with the government shutdown. Sure, I have moments through out the day that I talk about the baby..but when we talked before I was pregnant, you didn’t always talk about the baby.
So here is my list **these are also statements other pregnant woman have mentioned as bothersome, so they are not all directly things that have been said to me. mostly 1 and 2 pertain to me .***
1) How are you feeling?–This could just pertain to me because I don’t have anything to say. I don’t belong to the women who hate pregnancy club, because pregnancy has been really easy. So all I can say is “Great! Thanks for asking.” Which, I feel like leaves people wanting more “Any morning sickness? indigestion? something?..anything? come on, every woman complains”..and then there’s me. No. I’m good. I just complain because my clothes don’t fit and we don’t have any money. But those aren’t things I actually want to discuss with you. Unless I bring it up.
2) Are you excited?–Listen. The only acceptable answer here is yes. And if I say yes, then what’s the rest of the conversation. If you asked me if I was excited that college basketball was only a few weeks away, then I’d say yes. The questions is really the worst coming from strangers. I don’t know you, and I’m not going to beam you a smile and say “Oh yes, what a blessing!’
Basically, this question is really a way to hide what you are trying to ask which is:
3) Did you plan it?–Regardless if someone planned it or not, DON’T ASK. They may have been planning it for a long time and it took 3 years (those people are probably very interested in answering questions 1 and 2), but they don’t want to talk to you about their possible fertility problems. Or, complete opposite, what if it was a mistake? That just makes everyone uncomfortable. And lastly, maybe it was like us..basically planned, basically happened as it should, so we don’t have anything to really talk about. Yes. We decided to try. Yes it worked.
4) Are you sure you’re not expecting twins?-Just, no. Don’t. Stop. Do I need to explain this one?
5) Not a question, but a statement: You don’t look that big!–What is THAT BIG? In who’s mind? I know I’m still skinny as a rail with a belly, but you know who feels like she looks THAT BIG–me. The fact that none of my pants fit me, I feel that big. And I don’t want to talk about it.
Questions that are acceptable to ask:
6) When are you due?–It’s a basic question and leaves room for other conversational pieces. (Just in time for March Madness!)
7) Do you know what you’re having?–I’ve seen this varied. Some people really hate it, other people don’t mind. I don’t really care. I just say we will find out in February!
Questions that I’m on the fence about:
8) Do you plan to breastfeed?–Actually, no. Move this up to questions you don’t ask. People are allowed to do whatever they want. If they want to know the benefits they can find them. This is my worst, 6 years ago, not being a mom, if you told me you weren’t going to breastfeed–I soapboxed the shit out of you. But now, upon reading..and maturing..basically, everyone’s entitled to their own thing. People in France don’t breastfeed. Yes it’s good. Yes I’m going to do it. But don’t judge someone else.
9) Have you started decorating?-I haven’t. So I don’t have anything to talk about. I would judge this by the person. I have some pregnant friends who LOVE decorating. I’m sure they are looking at samples as we speak. I wish I could get into decorating. I can get into painting. and Vacuuming. But not decorating.
10) Have you found childcare?-Again on the fence. I haven’t. Because it’s so expensive. Because I don’t know where to look. Actually, I think this is fine. It could add fuel to get me started.
Also–let’s face it. I’m so particular, I think the reason I don’t like people asking these questions is because I don’t actually feel like they are listening to me after they ask the question. They are either waiting for me to finish because they have already formulated their next thought, or they heard one part of what I’ve said and want to focus on that and only that (looking at you husband). Or all the questions they ask have expected outcomes. Personally, I think it’s okay not to be bursting at the seams every five minutes over the baby. It will get here when it gets here. And everything will fall into place.
For now, let me watch Vampire Diaries.
Updated: See, I’m not alone!! My friend Heather, who’s husband is in residency felt the same pains as I did. Read here and here.