Mind your bump!
As part of one (of my many) job roles, I have to deal with people, a lot of people.
A lot of people that I have to be nice to despite their, sometimes, rather unpleasant natures.
Mostly I have to endure people complaining about the food they have received, or the service they have received or any other number of (mostly unfounded!) complaints that one has to deal with when working in the service industry.
These types of comments and complaints I can deal with by solving a problem or shaking off at the end of the day.
Today I encountered the worst comments I have ever had to deal with. Comments that very nearly broke my, usually unfaltering, service industry standard smile.
Comments made about my bump.
I am 28 weeks pregnant now. I have just about 3 months left to go, and have a ‘healthy’ looking bump in tow (and bum apparently – for balance, obviously!).
Until today I hadn’t payed much mind to whether I thought my bump was big or small, low or high, wide or narrow. I had just accepted that bump was bump, and my ass was massive!
As the rest of me has remained relatively the same (except maybe a few additional pounds thanks to my pregnancy sweet tooth!).
I had just accepted that this wasn’t a bad hand to be dealt in pregnancy and was subsequently felt quite smug about the whole situation.
However, following the comments that were made about me today and on reflection of other comments during pregnancy; I have suddenly been giving myself a good look in the mirror and google-ing ‘bump’ pictures for comparison.
Here are a couple of examples from today:
“My hairdresser was wearing exactly the same dress as you yesterday, and you look about the same size too! When are you due?”
“3 months to go now!”
“Wow! She’s due in 3 weeks! You’re going to be big aren’t you!”
“Surely you should be on Maternity leave by now. You must be due any day now!”
“Not quite, I still have 3 months to go”
“Oh you poor girl, your going to be as big as a house!”
“So when is the happy occasion due?”.
“In July, so a couple of months left”.
“How much bigger can you get?! You’ll be huge in July if you’re this big now!”
“Aren’t you a bit big to be wearing heels? You must be very uncomfortable being so big! I’m worried you might topple over forwards!”
What makes these comments during pregnancy infinitely worse, is that people making these comments obviously think that they are saying them as something nice to say.
They don’t think that what they’re saying may be deeply upsetting to the pregnant woman they are saying them too. The woman who is now desperately questioning how big she must look to other people, and if she is doing something wrong in her pregnancy, as she clearly is now as big as a whale.
Big bump or small, they’ll shame them all!
I know that the same happens to those women who support small baby bumps. They are not immune to the same derogatory comments during pregnancy that us bigger bumped ladies receive.
They suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of questions as to whether their baby is OK, if its growing properly and if it has enough room in there.
Because they are saying them with nice intent, you can’t even get away sticking your middle finger up at them and telling them to f**k off. You simply have to force some sort of smile and simply hope that you can remove yourself then and there from the conversation.
There is no winning in pregnancy (or motherhood!)
Basically there is no winning in pregnancy, EVER (spoiler alert; it doesn’t stop when your thrown into motherhood either).
Whatever you’re doing, planning to do, or not doing or not planning to, there will be someone close by to tell you you’re doing it all wrong.
Someone sees you devouring a triple-stack burger with chips and onion rings: “You’re not meant to eat for two anymore you know!”.
Someone sees you eating a salad: “You have to eat for two you know, baby will never grow if you don’t feed it properly!”.
What is the perfect pregnant shape?
I am yet to find out what the perfect pregnant woman shape is.
A bump that’s not too big, not too small, not too high, not too low, not too long, not too wide, not too round, not too tall, not too wonky, not too lopsided, not too misshapen, but just the ‘right’ shape and size of bump.
As if us ladies didn’t have enough pressure on us to look ‘perfect’ in our bodies when we’re not pregnant.
We now apparently have this added pressure to look ‘perfect’ during our pregnancies too. At time in our lives that we have very little control over what we end up looking like.
Seriously society? Give us all a break here!
So, if you can’t be directly rude back to these people and their completely unfounded and unwanted comments during pregnancy, how do you go about saving your sanity and responding to these wonderful human being’s comments?
Quite honestly, you will find your own style but here are a few suggestions to get you started:
So, how do you respond to unwanted comments during pregnancy?
Practise your sarcastic smile:
Possibly the ‘nicest’ and most professional response to an unwanted comment during pregnancy. A technique that I am now having to use more and more often.
You know that forced, sarcastic smile you might pull when someone you really don’t like pays you a ‘compliment’?
That smile, use THAT smile!
Don’t say anything and then walk away.
Simple, clean, effective.
Then curse them under your breath as you walk away. It seems to make me feel better!
Find a kick-ass comeback:
Find a comeback you like (or a choice of several!).
Memorise it, and keep it at the tip of your tongue to use in response to any unwanted comment during pregnancy.
Feel free to try one of the following:
- “I’m pregnant, that’s my excuse, what’s yours?!”
- “I’m not pregnant” (Seriously, watch them trying to back track their way out of their comment!)
- “I had no idea I was pregnant! Thanks for letting me know! I should really get checked out!”
- “So when are you due?”
- “I’m just pretending to be pregnant to research the behaviours of horrible people towards wonderful events.”
I had so much fun making up and looking up brilliant comments to a whole range of pregnancy comments that I had to write a whole piece dedicated to it – check it out here!
Provide a list of legitimately nice things to say to a pregnant woman:
Yes I know that it’s very unlikely that you will carry around a list of ‘approved comments’ to provide to people before they start talking to you about ‘Bump’, but hey, it’s a nice idea!
Maybe education on what is actually a nice comment to say to a pregnant woman to the general public will do the trick?
Maybe another nice thought, but lets try! Spread the word about these ones!
- “Being pregnant suits you”
- “You’re glowing”
- “There’s no way that baby number 2 (or other number)! “
- “What a lovely bump!”
- “You make pregnancy look easy” (during one particular event I was hosting I was wearing ridiculously high shoes and to be told I made it look easy and that even un-pregnant ladies daren’t wear such shoes was a lovely compliment!)
- “You’ve got such a neat bump!”
Bear it all on your t-shirt, literally:
I saw a picture of a mummy-to-be with a simply brilliant, informative and ‘unwanted comment or question preventing’ t-shirt.
It detailed on it her due date, whether the baby was a boy, girl or of currently unknown gender, what baby number it was and instructions not to touch the bump.
I have been meaning to get out my vinyl cutter and make myself a similar t-shirt to wear (or maybe 7 of them so I have one for every day!) as it looked like such a good idea!
Whatever your size or shape, own it!
Remember that your body is doing something incredible; its growing and preparing a whole new person to bring into this world.
It takes a lot of time and effort on your body’s part and the fact that is has been doing its very best for you and your baby is the best that you can hope for; some women aren’t as lucky as you are right now.
I bet you that most people who make the comments you don’t want to receive haven’t been pregnant (or at least haven’t been in the last couple of decades) and therefore have no idea what it is like to be you right now.
So be proud, very proud, of yourself and your bump and don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise!
Whatever comments you receive during your pregnancy, wanted or not, remember that you are a SUPERWOMAN!
Stand up tall, stick you bump out and put your best foot forward into walking through your pregnancy, secure in the knowledge, that you and your body are AMAZING, and part of an amazing process that will shortly result in you meeting the little person who will steal your and the worlds heart.
Brush off those comments – only an idiot would tell you anything other than what an amazing job you are doing.