I'm Not Just Pregnant
On behalf of every pregnant mama out there, can I just say, WE ARE NOT JUST OUR BELLIES.
When I used to talk to people, they'd ask "how are you?". Now they ask, "how are you feeling?". It's a subtle difference in question, but a pretty big difference in answer. It's like I only have permission to talk about pregnancy, and not the rest of my life.
Just this week:
- I went to a new mums group, and every single conversation strangers started with me revolved around me being pregnant.
- I went to a playgroup I've been going to for about twelve months now, where I am friends with a lot of people, and every conversation people started with me revolved around me being pregnant.
- I called family members, and all of them opened with a question relating to my pregnancy.
Ok, so I really, truly, do appreciate people caring about my pregnancy. But I also know it's usually just polite or small talk, and people aren't really interested. So it's awkward to actually tell you about 'how my pregnancy is going' because I know that no one really cares. But that's not all - I also have other things going on in my life. I'd love people to ask about my hobbies, or career, or what television show I'm watching or book I'm reading, or what we're doing on the weekend, or the weather. No joke, I sometimes prefer small talk about the weather than about the size of my belly.
And I want to be sensitive to other people too. I know other women around us have had miscarriages recently. I know others are having trouble getting pregnant. I know other women really aren't interested in talking about pregnancy. Please stop forcing me to talk about myself. And to those women who feel isolated and hurt when a pregnant lady gets attention, and when she complains about how tired/sore/etc she is feeling, please spare a thought for her too - she isn't trying to be insensitive, sometimes it is just forced upon her, and she hates it just as much as you do. Well, at least I do. I think it might be an introvert thing, because I know many pregnant (usually extroverted) women who can't seem to stop talking about themselves. But then again, isn't that just like women in general! Some love to talk about themselves, and some don't.
You officially have permission not to ask about my pregnancy or how I'm feeling - don't feel you need to be polite. Just pretend I'm not pregnant, and we can talk like we used to. And if you have a pregnant friend who loves to only talk about being pregnant, then she's probably the sort of person who will lead the conversation anyway.
Keeping that in mind, let's stop focusing on this bump between us, and find something in common we can both enjoy talking about.