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5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone Who’s Expecting

All my friends are having babies.  All of them, even the dudes.  Well, not really, but their wives, girlfriends, partners etc. Whatever you label the people who are my friends, they are all having babies.  Some are on their 2nd or 3rd. 

But, wait. Weren’t we all just binge drinking and having 3am street meat together? Weren’t we dancing our faces off to the sounds of Justin Timberlake and Usher in some fancy-yet-kinda-gross club, clothed in barely there body-con dresses even though it was the dead of winter?

The answer is no. No we weren’t just doing those things.  We were doing those things five to ten years ago, not last weekend as my brain tricks me into believing.  We are thirty.  Thirty-plus in most cases. 

Swap Timberlake for  Beibs, a nightclub for a trendy overpriced gastropub, and the 3am sausages for a very appropriate 7:30pm dinner reservation.   Add in an unwavering desire to be home in sweatpants an hour deep into Netflix, all before 11pm.  This is our lives now.  Well, for those of us who don’t have kids yet. 

So really, it’s perfectly normal – whatever that means. 

That being said, me acknowledging the normalcy of our changing group dynamics doesn’t stop me from saying some pretty stupid things.  Like, really putting my foot in my mouth.  

This brings me to: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Expecting Mom

Scenario 1: The Call Out

Friend:  Refuses a drink at a party.

Me: “OMG, have a beer it’s not like you’re pregnant!! LOL.” 

Friend: Was in fact 3 months pregnant and was too nervous to tell anyone.

Lesson learned: Sometimes hard-partying friends who always expect you to have a cocktail in hand don’t drink. It could be because they’re not 21 anymore, and it could be because they’re pregnant.  When in doubt, keep the comments to yourself.

Scenario 2:  The One Upper

Friend: Explaining her severe morning sickness to group of friends.

Me:  “Oh, I totally get it. I was pretty sick last weekend and barfed for 48 hours!”

Friend: Has been barfing for 48 days straight.

Lesson learned: The worst flu/food poisoning/hangover you’ve had as a non-mom will never be worse than enduring 3 straight months of gut-wrenching morning sickness.  It just won’t.

Scenario 3:  The Assumption

Friend: Announces her third pregnancy at brunch

Me: Oh, wow congrats. What a surprise! Were you trying to have a third??

Friend: Responds with blank stare and, “Um……”

Lesson learned: Don’t ever assume that even though someone has talked for a full year about how much they don’t want more children, that they don’t actually want more children.

Scenario 4: The Myth

Friend: Mentions that her and her man are actively trying for a family.

Me: “Don’t worry, I’m sure it will happen soon. But I bet all the practice is fun!”

Friend: Bursts into tears.

Lesson learned:  We spend most of our youth trying so hard NOT to get pregnant, it’s easy to assume it happens as fast as our grade 8 sex ed teachers led us to believe. The hard truth is for some people it takes years, and some people have sex once in three months and are ready to rock. For those that it takes a little longer, the fun gets sucked right out of it with all the ovulation charts and planning. It can also be terrifying. One friend said she burst into tears the first time she and her husband had sex without a condom with baby-making intentions.  Safe to say her husband was slightly confused by this reaction.

Scenario 5: The Comparer

Friend:  Has been working out her birth plan with her OB/GYN.

Me: “I heard Carol used a Doula and had a 100% vegan, organic, paleo birth – like Gwyneth!”

Friend: Doesn’t speak to me for a week.  Or Carol.

Lesson learned: Never, ever, EVER, compare one friend to another, or a celebrity who is best known for shooting steam up her hoo-ha or crushing $200 smoothies composed of moon dust. Moms will each do what is best for them, and sometimes that includes taking advice from friends who have no business giving any, and sometimes that includes giving them the silent treatment for two weeks.

Have you ever said anything supremely embarrassing to an expecting friend, or had something cringe-worthy said to you?  Let me know in the comments!

Comments

  1. The myth and the comparer….so true! I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut on a lot of pregnancy related comments anymore out of respect for someone who may be TTC .

    • It’s hard to know what to say and what not, but I truly don’t think most of us do it out of malice, which is the only redeeming thing about it lol. Thank you for reading!

  2. I haven’t really had anyone say something insensitive to me while pregnant, but it drives me crazy that people think they can just come up and touch your stomach when you’re pregnant. It’s like, Hello, would you do that to me if I wasn’t pregnant. Give a lady some space. 😉

    • I NEVER understood that. It is not okay to touch a stranger, or even someone you know without asking. Such a weird thing lol.

  3. Sooo true, I especially hated hearing the first one!! I also hated the “did you have the baby yet” question as I got closer to my due date

  4. I honestly don’t remember any weird things people saying to me. Just a lot of belly touching! So much belly touching! Lots of questions about my birth plan (which I never had!) It was afterwards that I got so much strange advice!

  5. There are 14 years between my 1st child and last child. I had a lot of my friends saying to me about my older daughter when I was pregnant, “Oh, that’s great you have a built-in babysitter”. Like that’s what I was thinking before having another kid! Smdh.

  6. love these! great article…at the time most of my friends and people around me were starting families i felt so happy for them but secretly jealous and sad as i had been told i would never have children..it was very hard and hated it when people would make comments about when i would have one..even watching diaper commercials bothered me..i knew people were only joking or commenting but for me was a hard time.. then … years later in life I became pregnant! had 2 kids 7 years apart!

    • Thank you for sharing your story! I guess we could all be a bit more respectful in those cases… you never know what people are going through.

  7. I once shared a photo of a child of a friend, forgetting that the girl I was showing it to was unable to have kids and the baby was her ex-boyfriend’s. I forgot they had dated. her response was, “Why would you show me this?” I have never felt so badly. So many things to think about before you speak when it comes to conception, etc..

    • Oh nooooo! I’m sorry that happened, but honestly we can’t remember all that stuff all the time, and I don’t think it’s ever meant with malice. We could all take an extra second to think through what we are saying to expecting women, though.

  8. I was the first of my friends (and the last of my friends) to have children, and I don’t remember a time where I said anything inappropriate, but I can remember LOTS of times that people said inappropriate things to me. It definitely taught me to think before I speak, and specifically think how I would feel if the situations were reversed 🙂

    Something else to NEVER TO SAY to someone who is expecting, or possibly expecting:

    To the obviously pregnant woman who shows big: “Are you sure there is only ONE in there?” (VERY offensive. Like why would I tell you I’m having ONE baby if I was actually having triplets? And YES more than one person said this to me with 4 of my 5 pregnancies. Its rude).

    I also really really hated it when people would touch my belly. Yes, I get there was a baby growing in there, but still my belly and I don’t even like my husband touching me most of the time, and I really hated being touched when I was pregnant. I couldn’t even stand my doctor touching me lol.

    • Oh my gosh, the “only one in there” kills me. Wow. Also, the belly touching… so weird. One of my best friends was pregnant for my wedding and my photographer wanted to take a shot of me rubbing her belly – which was meant in a sweet way – and even though we’ve been friends for 10 years I thought it was the most awkward thing.. thanks for your thoughtful comment!

  9. Great advice! I think every Mom has had the weirdest and sometimes cruel things said to them when they were pregnant!

    • I can believe that! I hope mine were more weird than mean… at least we can laugh about it now 😉

    • Luckily I am able to laugh about it now with my friends, but man did I feel bad at the time 🙁 I’m sure they will have the last laugh in a few years, lol

  10. I liked your 5 THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T SAY TO SOMEONE WHO’S EXPECTING post.
    I have heard a few people say some of these things to a pregnant woman.

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