As I approach the tail end of my pregnancy, I've come to realize that this pregnancy thing has taught me many things. One I am still learning and working on is brushing off comments from people, those that are close to me and strangers alike.
So for pure amusement sake, here are some things I've had said to me that no one should ever say to a pregnant woman:
- "Is she fat or is she pregnant?"
- "You must be having a boy. Girl bellies are much prettier."
- "You've gotten chubbier!"
- "You look reallllyyy pregnant!"
- "Your face is swollen!"
- "You look tired."
I'm sure most of these comments were said with the best of intentions. But in all seriousness, when I was in graduate school for counseling, one thing my mentor/professor said in lecture that stuck with me was the importance of both intent and impact. When someone receives a comment defensively, we often excuse ourselves by saying, "Oh, but I didn't mean it that way..." (intent). Yes, we may not have intended for it to be received with hurt or offense, but I have learned both in counseling and in life, that we can't stop at intent. We also need to think about the impact of our words.
"I didn't mean it that way..."
"I didn't mean it that way, but I'm sorry if you received it that way. I am sorry my words hurt you."
On the flip side, whether these people meant to be offensive or not, or reflect on the impact of their words, I am learning to brush comments off and let them roll off my back and move on with my day. (I'm guessing this is good practice for when people start giving me their two cents on parenting, left and right.)
And while I'm on the topic of things you shouldn't say to a pregnant woman, things you should say?
- "How are you doing?"
- "How are you feeling?"
- "You look great!"
And while I'm at it,
- Tell her she's doing great
- Offer up your seat
- And... ask before touching her belly!