Canadian mom, Michelle Peacock was shopping one day when the store clerk looked at her boy/girl twins strapped in their stroller and pronounced them "the perfect family." She says, "I felt a surge of anger as I stood there, unmistakably 8-1/2 months pregnant with the baby I knew would make our family perfect."
It's inevitable: as soon as your belly starts to swell, the unwanted comments swell right along with it. It will seem like everyone you encounter has an opinion or a question. "You look ready to pop!" "You are way too small, are you sure you are seven months?" Complete strangers who normally wouldn't give you a second glance feel free to ask intimate details about your personal life. "Did you plan it?" "How long did you try before you got pregnant?" Even worse, they will reach out and touch your belly, as if rubbing Buddha for luck.
Assumptions will be made about your desire for a
certain gender, and people will give you their opinions about how large your
family should be. Dealing with unwanted comments and insensitive questions
during the last months of pregnancy is such a universal experience that it
can almost be considered a rite of passage. As such, you can prepare in
advance how to handle it.
First, try and keep in mind that most people are well-intentioned and mean no harm. Many will simply find it easy to start a conversation with you because a topic seems obvious. Since pregnancy is seen as a happy time, the perception may be that you would like nothing better than to discuss the intimate details of your condition. Some women who see you become flooded with memories of their own pregnancies, and instantly consider you as a member of their "club." This may create a false feeling of intimacy with you, and the result can be that they relive their own experiences and want to contrast and compare them with yours.
who have not had children yet may be curious and ask an unfeeling
question due to a lack of knowledge. Whatever the reason, knowing that
people mean well and remembering that
insensitivity doesn't equal unkindness can help you keep your cool when
hearing these comments.
Laugh it off
A very effective way of handling unwanted attention is by using humor. You're under no obligation to provide information upon demand, but you can avoid seeming indignant by saying something lightly amusing.
older mom was frequently asked if she had planned to have a child at
her age. She
simply laughed and stated that she was "certainly old enough to know
better." This allowed her to give out no information while seeming to
be accommodating. Another mom remembered feeling besieged by strangers
touching her belly during a previous pregnancy, so the next time she
had an oversized tee shirt made up with the words "Fragile! Please
don't touch!" printed on
Understanding that people are trying to be friendly when they talk to you, being conscious of what you want others to know, preparing a response, and planning an easygoing demeanor will help you keep calm when faced with yet another question about your physical state. And, when all is said and done, this practice in facing unwanted comments will come in handy as your days of motherhood begin. You will soon discover that unwelcome remarks do not go away after the birth of your child, they simply morph into comments on your child-rearing ability. Now may be the time to take to heart Miss Manners' enduring advice by mastering the bland smile and the simple phrase "Thank you for your concern."