Before falling pregnant I was one of those annoying people who laughed derisively and said things like, “that’ll be you soon” every time we saw a new parent struggling with a bawling child. But as I enter my third trimester, I have come to realise just how irritating those people – and those statements – are.
Based on my experiences over the past couple of months I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things I will never say to a pregnant woman again. This will no doubt help you avoid future unpleasantness, deep eye-rolls and sarcastic responses from the pregnant women in your life.
Ah shame, you can’t have this can you?
Whether referencing a glass of wine on a Friday afternoon, a giant plate of sushi or a binge at the cheeseboard, it’s excessively annoying to be reminded of the things you cannot have. I know I can’t drink and I know I can’t have that salmon sashimi or delicious Camembert, but that doesn’t change the fact that I bloody-well want to! Having every Tom, Dick and Harry remind you of the things you can’t have (which, by the way are innumerable) is enough to inspire most hormone-soaked women to commit homicide.
Jeeze that kid can scream – hey, that’ll be you soon
Probably, yes. Do you really think it hasn’t crossed my mind just how completely inept I’m likely to be as a parent? That I’m unlikely to know what my new born or three-month old wants when he starts screaming his head off in the middle of a crowded restaurant? That I haven’t considered that I’m likely to annoy the living hell out of every living creature in a 50m radius by virtue of my total lack of experience? Because I have. I’ve spent countless sleepless nights worrying about the type of parent I’ll be, whether I’ll even know how to hold my child properly, never mind be able to soothe him when he’s upset. I’ve spent innumerable hours agonising over the sheer lack of experience in my parenting resume and I really don’t need to you to remind me of it.
I bet you’re dying for a drink?
No shit. I’m fat, I’m bloated, last time I sneezed I nearly peed myself, I have the world’s shortest fuse and I haven’t had a drink in months. Of course I’m bloody dying for a drink. Idiot.
So have you had to buy maternity clothes yet?
No, of course all my clothes still fit me. I’m 10kg heavier than I was six months ago, what do you think? Moron.
So, are you ready for this?
No I’m bloody not – would you be? Is anyone ever ready to become a parent? If we waited until we were ready for these things, we’d never do them. Do you think your parents were ready for you when you were just a bundle of poop and vomit? Of course not. Even if you were the 5th kid, they were not in any way, shape or form ready for you. No one is ever ready to give up sleeping for the next 18-to-25 years, to relinquish their freedom and to sacrifice their body. What a stupid question.
Hope you’ve caught up on your sleep
You do realise that – barring when you actually have your little bundle of joy screaming at all hours of the night – during your pregnancy is probably when you sleep the least, right? There are so many things that contribute to a person’s inability to sleep during pregnancy – you can’t get comfortable, you have another human lying on your lungs, you have literally a million new things to worry and stress about, and we all know stress and sleep are inversely proportionate. Just the idea of catching up on sleep, or storing sleep – like there is some kind of magical sleep bank – is completely absurd.
OMG, where’s the baby?
It’s in there, I promise. I can feel him. He’s been riding my bladder like a pony all day. He kicks my ribs and twists my insides into the most incredible positions – trust me, he’s in there. Just because I haven’t literally spent the last 7 months eating for two, does not mean this baby is anything less that flipping huge in there!
Ah, your tummy is so…
My tummy is so what? If you’re going to finish that sentence with “huge” or “round” or anything even remotely similar, don’t. In fact, when it comes to pregnant women, don’t say anything about the size of their tummies because I promise you, nothing you say is what they want to hear.
Can I touch your—
No, you f*cking can’t! Unless you were there when this baby was put into my tummy, you may not touch it. What is it about pregnancy that makes people lose all sense of propriety? I don’t walk around grabbing people’s crotches or fondling their breasts, so why do people automatically think they have some sort of right to your body when you’re pregnant. It’s hard enough sharing your body with another human being, but to have total strangers feel they have the right to touch you – no, just no.
Shame, at least we can drink through this, you have to be sober!
Yeah, thanks for the reminder. A-hole.
Having experienced all of these situations first-hand, let me assure you, pregnant women don’t want to be reminded of the things they can’t do, the things they’re worried they won’t be able to do, or the things they should be doing. If you value your life – and let’s face it, around hormonal pregnant women, you really should tread lightly – don’t make these mistakes. Even if she jokes about catching up on sleep, or how she’s dying for a drink, don’t jump on the bandwagon. Smile, laugh even if it’s appropriate, say something like, “shame, I can only imagine” and move on to a less contentious topic – like world politics or religion.