etiqutte for speaking with a pregnant lady

during my recent season as a pregnant lady, i have made some observations that i would like to pass along. there are some things that it is okay to talk about with a pregnant lady- and other things that just aren’t necessary.

one thing that i’m sure i’ve been asked a thousand times in the past 9 months is “is it a boy or a girl?” now why is this important for everyone to know? and since my husband and i have decided to wait until the birth to find out the gender, we have had to come up with creative answers. here’s an example

“what are you having?”
“a baby”
“are you having a boy or a girl?”
“what is it”
“a boy or a girl”
“but which one?”
“i don’t know, but i’m pretty sure it’s not a puppy. i really don’t want a puppy.”

and then people want to know what my preference is. like it really matters- i plan on keeping whatever comes out- i don’t have much choice. and it is automatically assumed that just because i have 3 girls i’m trying until i get a boy. and then everyone has to tell me how abused a boy would be in a house full of girls. sometimes i try to explain myself- that we will take whatever we get- every baby is a blessing; and we’re not trying for anything in particular- we just want lots of kids (at least 5); and just because some siblings don’t get along doesn’t mean ours won’t- isn’t it possible to train kids to respect each other. i don’t assume life will be easy with lots of kids, but i’m pretty sure God promises to be with me, strengthen me, sustain me, etc. i’m just not worried.

i wish people would just save these silly questions til after the baby is born. “is it a boy or a girl?” (see for yourself); “did you want a boy or a girl?” (it is my child- i want it no matter what- i’m not sending it back). i believe children are a blessing- not a curse. i’ll take as many as God will give me- He has promised to take care of them as well as me (psalm 37:25).

i think if you are going to have a conversation with a lady about her pregnancy, you should focus more on the woman than on her unborn baby. so here are some things i feel it is fine to talk about with a pregnant women. (if you don’t feel comfortable talking about these things with a total stranger, then maybe you should mind your own business).

-“what have you learned about yourself during this pregnancy?”
-“what is something you’ve gotten away with because you are pregnant?”
-“what is something you are proud of yourself for doing even though you are preganant?”
-“tell me something that you did before you were preganant that you look forward to doing again?”
-“what could i do to help make your life easier?”
-“what would be a good night for me to bring dinner over?”

any encouraging words are always appreciated, such as “you don’t look that big”; “you’re sure a trooper”; “you are amazing!”

i am totally annoyed when people ask how i’m doing. for crying out loud! i’m pregnant and i’m trying not to have a pity party- don’t encourage me to whine. i want to be pushed to continually have a good attitude. i want to be someone that people want to be around- not just a complainer. (oh yeah, i guess i could just lie and say i’m fine… but… nah).

anyway, i’m really looking forward to this kid’s ‘birth’day. i mean, i want to know just as much as the next guy, what this kid is going to look like, if it’s a boy or a girl, if it will have red hair. and though i realize that all these people are just showing that they care i just wish they would put a little more thought into what they are going to say before they say it. it sure doesn’t help to hear repeatedly, “you’re still pregnant?” i just want to stay home when i know that people are going to put that kind of pressure on me. i’ve started telling people that i think i’ll just stay pregnant ’til christmas- i don’t want the baby to come out yet.

okay, i’m done ranting and raving. i’m not mad or upset at anyone in particular, i just wanted to vent some frustrations that have been building for awhile. and the next time i see someone who is great with child, i hope i will remember to use my “etiquette for speaking with a preganant lady”.

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  1. ok, so we’re pretty much all guilty. i don’t know that the questions bothered me much. don’t know if i’d want to answer some of your questions spur of the moment in passing. but since you do. why don’t you give us your answers?

    what have you learned about yourself?
    what are you looking forward to doing again?

    you are a wonderfully beautiful pregnant women, we all wish that we could look so good while pregnant (i always felt slobbish, probably because i didn’t get cute clothes). enjoy the process that God has created for you in pregnancy and we will try to be more considerate when we speak. thanks for your thoughts.

  2. thanks for taking the time to comment, maggie.
    i’ve learned not to be so hard on myself during this pregnancy and i look forward to being able to hold my kids on my lap again soon.
    i hope i haven’t offended anyone- especially you- during my venting. thank you for your kind words. (this comment was a lot longer the first time- before someone erased it, but i don’t remember all that i said before).

  3. man deb,

    you do look good when you are pregnant. sorry you were annoyed. thanks for commenting. it helps to know this stuff!

    i wish i could look as good!

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