I was in line at the bank the other day, and this dude standing in front of me turned around and did the whole face-belly-face thing. He was just standing there staring blankly back at me. I thought he might be confused so I said, “There’s a baby in there,” to break the awkward tension, and he stuttered something back at me like, “Yeah, I thought so.”
SERIOUSLY? Stop it. Am I some sort of enigma because I’m carrying a baby? Why is this so uncomfortable for people? And why, tell me why—when people are clearly uncomfortable, do they choose to speak?
Just shut up already! If you don’t have anything smart, funny, or interesting to say, please don’t pour your verbal diarrhea all over me.
I’m serious, people. It’s a situation. I’ve been the target of a ridiculous shitstorm lately, and even strangers on the street are spewing all sorts of nonsense in my direction.
Here are a few of my personal favorites.
“WOW. You’ve gotten A LOT bigger since I last saw you!”
If someone says this to you while you’re literally making a human with your body, my suggestion is to respond with, “Oh my God, thank you!! So have you! What’s your excuse?” Then just stare blankly until (hopefully) they just walk away and never speak to you ever again.
“Are you sure there is only one in there?”
If you ever say this to a pregnant woman and she punches you in the throat or murders you on the spot, you deserve it… because you suck.
“Holy shit, you’re huge!”
Hard stop. If you have ever said this to another person, we would all appreciate it if you never left your house ever again.
“Any day now, huh?”
I understand this is supposed to be endearing or something — like when people hand you water while you’re in the homestretch of a marathon, but it’s not the same.
Some women show pretty early in their pregnancy, especially if it’s not the first, and no one needs your commentary. No one.
“You don’t even look pregnant!”
Again, NO. Some women have experienced loss of pregnancy, and don’t need your stupid comment to add in the angst of whatever worry they already have.
If someone tells you they’re pregnant, they’re probably not making it up. Just tell them they’re glowing or something, and move on with your life.
“What are you having?”
I could go on all day (you know I could), but I hope I’ve made my point. Pregnancy is NOT an invitation for you to speak to me in the line at my bank. It is also not okay to say whatever horrible thing you think might be endearing to total strangers…anywhere.
So, if someone in your life is pregnant, and you have said any of the above horribly insensitive things to her, shame on you.
Call her immediately and offer to stop by with an ice cream sundae or cheeseburger, and promise to never say dumb things to her ever again. You tell her she’s beautiful, amazing, wicked smart, and uber funny.
If all else fails, just shut up.
Thanks, in advance.
This post originally appeared on JulieMaida.me in 2012. It has been reprinted with permission.
Julie Maida has been in abstinence-based recovery since May 2, 2000. She is fiercely determined to advocate for connecting ALL women with the appropriate support and resources necessary to achieve their personal recovery goals. She writes about mothering with mental illness at juliemaida.me. You can follow her on Facebook.