Why are people so tactless around pregnant women, wonders Tamaryn.
“Are you having twins or just carrying big?”
“Goodness me, don’t you look ready to pop!”
“When are you due? You look exhausted.”
“Have you had your baby yet?”
“How did *that* happen?”
True story: When it comes to pregnant women, people completely forget the concept of tact and subtlety. They also forget that pregnant women have feelings and are generally much more sensitive than non-pregnant people when it comes to issues of size, weight gain and how exhausted
they may or may not look.
I am beyond tired of being asked when I’m due. As if I’m a paper or a report with a deadline. I think The Kid’s teacher actually put it best when she asked “when are you expecting?” I didn’t mind that question and I didn’t feel mortally insulted by it either. I am sick to death of people pointing out to me how I’ve grown. For the record, I have not grown. The baby inside me
has grown. That’s what you’re seeing. Everything else is coincidental.
And yes, one bright spark colleague (a man) asked me not so long ago if I’d had my baby yet. I don’t even know where to begin with that
one. Another male colleague asked me “what’s going on down there?” whilst gesturing toward my midsection. “How did *that* happen?”
Honestly, how do they expect me to answer these?
Other questions that I am tired of fielding include, “do you know what you’re having?” Barring an alien probing and insemination that I’ve been brainwashed to forget – I’m pretty sure I’ll be having a human baby. Aside from the boy/girl determination I’ve been interrogated on whether or not I’m too posh to push (I totally am) and whether or not this baby was planned (NOYB). I’ve also been asked if this is my first and, once it has been established that this is, in fact, not my first, the next logical question seems to be whether or not my babies have the same father. Despite the bling on my left hand. Excuse me? How is that your business?
Right up there with annoying questions is this one: “are you excited?” This one in particular makes me want to die a thousand deaths inside. I simply can’t fake the enthusiasm that I [don’t] feel for long, sleepless nights, shitty nappies, crying babies and post-natal depression. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my son
, but the first year or so sucked.
I’ve been quizzed on my breastfeeding intentions, our chosen birth location, how many more babies I plan to have and how soon I’ll be returning to work after I’ve had my baby. It seems my breasts, my uterus, my ovaries, my vagina, my placenta and everything therein is not in the least bit sacred and is totally up for discussion – especially in the elevator/kitchen at work.
Out of the entire eight months and four days I’ve experienced of my pregnancy thus far, only one person has got it right. In the elevator, too, bless her. “You look absolutely lovely,” this stranger said to me. Red-eyed and red-faced from crying in the office loo, I knew she was lying. But still. She made the effort and the effort was appreciated.So what can you ask?
So now, I impart to you this one piece of wisdom on behalf of pregnant women
everywhere: unless she offers the information, it is not up for discussion. Unless it is a compliment such as “you look lovely”, keep your mouth shut and back away.
If you wouldn’t ask that person the question on your tongue but for the fact that they’re pregnant, zip it and keep moving. What’s the most tactless question you’ve been asked during pregnancy?