Once we announced our early pregnancy, my husband and I noticed a strange trend among friends, family, and strangers. People say the weirdest and dumbest things when they find out you’re expecting a baby! The most common pieces of pregnancy advice was “Oh just wait for…” followed by some super negative thing. People had to point out how little sleep we were going to get, how “life was going to change for the worse,” how we’d better go to movies and concerts now, how my body was going to change, and how much pain I was going to experience during birth.
Why do people lose their filters around couples expecting a baby? Why do people feel the need to dwell on the negatives of pregnancy advice and parenting, while ignoring the positives? And how do you deal with these negative nancys during early pregnancy and beyond who want to tell you their birth horror story, touch your belly, or regale you with some awful tale of stray poop or years of sleep trouble?
My husband and I used to sit around and think of clever comebacks, but I never could get up the courage to use any of them. Here are the top worst things I was told during pregnancy, and the comebacks I wish I would have said:
1. OMG, you’re HUGE! Are you having twins?
“No, but your butt does look really fat in those jeans.”
2. Just wait until the hemorrhoids kick in!
“I’m more excited about my baby girl, but hemorrhoids are something worth looking forward to as well, thanks for reminding me.”
4. You’re having a girl? Good luck, I don’t want one!
“We’re actually really excited, but next time you have exciting news, we’ll be sure to crap on it too.”
5. Ugh! Being pregnant sounds awful.
“Yea, being single at your age sounds awful to me.” Sorry, this one is a bit harsh, but what’s the difference? I would never say that. But, for some reason, single girls feel that it’s okay to say how awful my choice seems to them!
6. You’re never going to get any sleep once the baby gets here.
“Yea, but having a baby is so worth any loss of sleep.”
7. Are you scared of the birth? My mother was in labor for 48 hours…(or insert other scary birth story here)
“Seriously? You think it’s a good idea to tell a pregnant woman a horror birth story?”
8. You want to give birth naturally? Yea right, you’ll never make it past one contraction!
*Scratches nose and raises middle finger*
Maybe current parents feel the need to “warn” future parents of the difficulties. Maybe they see a happy couple expecting a baby and remember how happy they once were, and feel envious. I have no idea.
Bottom line, I think it’s best to laugh this stuff off. I let people get to me for a few months, then eventually realized that this phenomenon can be quite entertaining. Everyone wants to give you pregnancy advice, even people without kids. I honestly don’t think people know what to say to you. They have their set of common questions: Girl or boy? Name? Due date? Then after that, they’re at a loss.
Everyone has a different experience, different baby, and different way of handling the situation. So, try to just laugh at people’s stupidity and decide that YOU are the one creating your experience of your new baby.
I’m curious to hear what others think. Why do you think people lose their filter around pregnant women and expecting parents? What’s the dumbest thing anyone’s said to you and what do you wish you’d said to them in the moment?