“So how much weight have you gained?”
“Seriously, you’re not going to find out the sex of the baby?”
“Are you ready?”
“You’re obviously having a boy. I can tell by how you’re carrying.” “You’re obviously having a girl. I can tell by how you’re carrying.” (Alright, well clearly one of you is wrong…)
Those are just a few of the charming things people felt compelled to ask me when I was pregnant with my daughter, Reagan. What is it about a baby bump that makes other people lose all sense of boundaries and ask completely personal questions? Would you be making ANY reference to my weight if I was not with child?
I worked as a retail manager during my pregnancy, and while I had mostly pleasant interactions with customers congratulating or complimenting me, there were some real doozies that left me scratching my head after they left.
While ringing out one customer’s purchase when I was a little over halfway through my pregnancy, she started asking the typical questions: Is it your first? Do you know the gender? etc. etc. She then got to the most common question: When are you due? When I responded with “March” (which as I mentioned, was still several months away) she gave a dramatic stage gasp and said “Is it twins?!”
“Thanks lady, but no. It’s one child. Thanks for calling me a heifer, and thanks for shopping at Gap…”
Below, more real moms share the head scratchers they heard when they were busy growing their tiny humans.
Carri: “Did you plan it?” “Were you trying?” Those were always the favorites.
Christine: “Wow, you could go any day!” “Did you want them that close together, or was it an accident?”
Megan: “Oh, you’re one of THOSE parents” from a Target cashier when she asked if my baby was a boy or a girl and I said “we’ll find out when it’s born”. Which I do not understand…It’s not like there are 25 options!
Bailee: I work with students with disabilities…after winter break I had really started to show. One high school student kept staring at my belly, then he blurted out “Ms. Bailee- why is your belly sooo much bigger than it was last week? Do you have a baby in there? Or did you just eat WAY too many Christmas cookies??” I was able to answer his question with a straight face. Then the speech pathologist and I took this as a teachable moment to discuss social norms and how that question could have offended someone.
Ashley: “You don’t even look pregnant, just looks like you drank a whole six pack of beer”…ummm okay?”
Angela: “Was it on purpose?”
Margo: My boss used to always cover her mouth whenever she talked to me because she thought I must be sensitive to smells and she loved to eat onions and garlic. (No matter how many times I told her I was fine and that I love the smell of onions.) I also had a few people tell me during my first pregnancy that I was too small and I must be starving myself and my baby…
Stacey: An older lady in a grocery store asked if I was having a girl (I was about 7 months along). I told her I was, and she responded, “I thought so. With boys, you carry in the front. Girls, you carry in your butt…” then she patted me on the rear!
Erin: I’ll narrow it down to three…1. I was probably five or six months pregnant, and a man I hadn’t seen in a few months was doing a training at my work. He stopped – looked at me – and said, “wow! You’re fatter than last time I saw you!” I was honestly speechless. 2. I was VERY pregnant, in line at a grocery store, when a woman asked how far along I was. When I told her – she said, “Oh boy! Had you started accidentally urinating yourself yet?” Uhh…NO. 3. Probably the most annoying thing I very frequently got during my pregnancy was when people asked my due date, and I would say December 27th. Instead of “oh, congratulations!” I would get “Oh! What a terrible due date! Right near Christmas!” So incredibly rude! I was thankful to even have a baby, I didn’t care what day it was born!
Heather: I work part time for a property management company, and one day I was giving tours to complete strangers. At the end, the lady reaches out both hands and starts to rub my stomach all over. COMPLETE STRANGER! It was awful I didn’t know what to do. I wanted her to stop but I was at work and worried about being rude. Another one: someone noticed my belly button had started sticking out. They looked at me and said “the turkey is done…”
Emmalee: A good friend of mine is pregnant with her second, and people keep asking if “this one was planned” or not. She’s so frustrated by it, and like, uhh…none of your business?
Katie: Guy in the elevator to me at 36 weeks…”are you having triplets?!?!” Nope…just one in there, and I thought I looked great tonight, thanks.
Bridget: The most annoying that I have heard MULTIPLE times since we announced that we are having another girl…”Awww…poor Scott (my husband)!” or even worse “Ohhh (with a face that for some reason looks like the person is uncomfortable) well you know what they say, 3rd time’s the charm!” Um…no a**wipe, I’m pretty sure that my first daughter was a charm, this daughter is also a charm, and please do not feel sorry for us!
Andrea: Guy with a beer belly: “I don’t know what’s bigger, yours or mine!” I said – “At least mine’s temporary…”
Jennifer: I was working at a preschool and had a four year old tell me I was pregnant with my first a week before I found out! Or when people found out I was having a second boy, and asked the good old question “When are you going to try again for a girl?”
Dawn: “I can’t believe your doctor is okay with you gaining so much weight!”
Jennifer: “Hey, I heard you’re pregnant! When are you due?” Me, angry face: “uh…two freaking weeks” I mean, I’m fat, but not nine months pregnant fat!!
Cassandra: I was outed in front of my boss by someone I had just met 5 minutes earlier. And I was only 10 weeks pregnant at the time, and not telling anyone. Yup, took me a good 30 seconds to decide if I was going to lie and make the woman feel horrible or tell the truth. I told the truth…but it was unbelievably shocking and awkward. My boss and I had a good laugh about the whole thing later.
Samantha: I am a stay at home mom. I bartend twice a week to make some extra spending cash and to keep my sanity. I was working behind the bar and pregnant with my second child. Someone asked if this baby was my first, and I replied no it’s my second. He followed up with “same fathers?” My response was, yes, my husband of four years.
Ashley: When I announced my third to my aunt-in-law, she said “what does Rod (my husband) think of this?” As if I had tricked him…
Rachel: Co-worker straight up asked me if I was pregnant or just fat. (I was 8 months at the time) He was wayyy fatter than I was.
April: From a high school student: “So…did you get pregnant the old fashioned way?”
Ashley: I could write a book! Having gone through it four times, I feel like I’ve heard it all! The worst are the “You are HUGE!”, “Are you sure you’re not having multiples?”, “Haven’t you figured out how that works yet?” Also, don’t forget the mothers who just gave birth. I used to help a customer every single week. I had my first baby and enjoyed twelve weeks of maternity leave. She came in the week I returned and asked when I was due… Also, six days after delivering baby #3, one of my mother’s friends asked when I was going to start exercising to get my pre-baby body back…no joke.
Gillian: I have a funny one and a surprisingly awesome one! The funny one was I walked into a friend’s shop after I was showing and had not seen him in a while, wearing what I thought was a cute dress. He said “horizontal stripes, good choice” because he clearly had no words to describe how unrecognizable I was! The awesome one was when I was really far along and at a farmers market, and a little elderly lady sidled up to me. I thought she was going to say something rude like I was in the way or something, but she said I was glowingly beautiful and that I made HER day!!! (Awww!!)
Hannah: Said to me on a day I was particularly emotional: “Are you sure you’re not having twins? Because one can hide behind another on an ultrasound you know!”
Jen: I can pretty much give you the most awful answer…I was working at the credit union when I was pregnant, and a man actual told me “he wished the baby was his”…my face went BLANK!! Insert nervous laugh…
Can’t anyone understand that when we’re pregnant we just want people to feed us and tell us we’re pretty? It’s a pretty simple concept…