Here are some questions I never asked random people when I was pregnant:
“Do I look like I’m gaining the correct amount of weight?”
“Can you tell whether it’s a boy or a girl judging by the size of my butt?”
“Do you approve of my decision not to be a stay-at-home mom after this child is born?”
I never asked those questions, but people provided their answers all the same. I hated that. But now that I am past the pregnancy-and-newborn-era and am watching women close to me going through these stages from the perspective of someone who has been-there-done-that, I find myself clapping my hands over my mouth to prevent random, unsolicited comments from escaping and annoying the sensitive ears of the gestating women I know and love.
Unlike the old biddies who badgered me, I don’t have any opinions about weight gain. Except that I don’t think gaining pregnancy weight is like getting tattooed. It’s not irreversible. (Oh wait, that is sort of an opinion, isn’t it??)
And I don’t have any opinions about staying home vs. working. Except that my kids are seriously amazing and I work, so daycare can’t be the fate worse than death that Dr. Laura seems to imply it is. (Oh wait, that seems to be an opinion, too! Oops.)
Oh, and the whole gender prediction based on butt size? Whatever. My butt grew to be the size of Wisconsin all three times, and I had two boys and one girl. So I don’t have an opinion on that, except that it’s a stupid theory. (But perhaps that is an opinion…yes, I am afraid it is.)
Oh dear. To the old biddies who felt the urge to share with me every passing thought they had about my butt, my decision to work and the fact that I outweighed my husband by the second trimester: I suppose I understand, now, where you were coming from.
You just wanted to share. That time of baby-growing is such a short and sweet time in a woman’s life (says the mom who hasn’t dealt with heartburn or Braxton-Hicks contractions in a year and a half), so you just feel this urge to connect to women who are pregnant. And sometimes the only way you can connect is by offering really annoying advice.
And to the moms-to-be, if you see me staring wistfully at you with my lips appearing to be glued shut, trust me, you don’t want to know what this old biddy is really thinking.
It’s a combination of nostalgia, sadness that I’ll never again ask my husband to run out to the supermarket at 2 a.m. to buy me watermelon (well, I guess could still ask him, but I’m pretty sure he’d say no), and the passionate conviction that yes, you really should eat that donut.
Jorie is the “Vitamom” who edits Momonomics.com. She has three kids, ages 19 months to 9 years. She relied on Yogi Blueberry Slim tea and a combination of plain Greek fat-free yogurt mixed with PB2 to return her butt to its pre-pregnancy, smaller-than-Wisconsin size, and still enjoys those treats now, on an almost-daily basis.