Thursday, January 5, 2012

I don't look like I just had a baby BECAUSE I DIDN'T

Oh hello, RANT ON.

As the biological, adoptive, and foster mother to three lovely children all with different birth mothers, I should be used to nosy strangers, prying questions, and comments that are supposed to be encouraging or admiring, but instead make me want to kick even the sweetest little old lady in the shins. I am talking to you, changing room attendant at Old Navy. Shut up and go back to handing out plastic number tags. There is nothing to see here.

Let me explain.

You know those people who ask women when they are due, and the women AREN'T EVEN PREGNANT?

Bad form, my friends. Very bad form.

Unless the woman in question is holding a positive pregnancy test and jumping up and down with JOY, shut your trap vis a vis pregnancy, and all related topics. For your own well-being, if nothing else. Because when my son was born and I was still 60 pounds over my normal weight, and hadn't slept in weeks, and my hair was sticking up funny and I had 38J boobs - someone asked me when the baby was due and I hit them in the head with a package of newborn diapers.

But we can take this rule even further. The same can be said for a woman holding a brand new infant.

Unless you saw with your own two eyeballs the actual live birth, do not make assumptions about anything. A brand new infant in arms does not mean a uterus in belly. It does not mean anything other than that woman is holding a baby. And the details are none of your damn business, unless she is asking you for child support.

To summarize:
If you see a woman who appears pregnant, shut the fuck up and wait for her to announce her news.
Don't ask her when she is due. Don't say congratulations, or ask who the father is, or if she is having a boy or a girl, or how many other children she has or whether she plans to breastfeed. Because you might not like the answer, and she might not like your invasive questions.

If you see a woman holding a baby, say that the baby is sweet, or cute, or breathtaking if that is the only way to describe it without giggling or gagging.

If you didn't visit her in labor and delivery, or get a message announcing the baby's arrival, or watch her go through her pregnancy and know for a fact that she just gave birth with her own vagina, you don't know where that baby came from. Don't ask her how she lost all the pregnancy weight, or how her delivery was, or how breastfeeding is going, or anything else even vaguely relating to childbirth. Because A. It's none of your goddamned business and B. None of that may apply.

And my very favorite comments are the ones where people tell me that my daughter looks just like me - because while she might bear a slight resemblance, it's purely a coincidence. A lucky one, but still. I have given birth to one baby in my life but I have been a mother to many. Stop worrying about the details.


Anonymous said...

wow... maybe people are just trying to be nice...

Amber, theAmberShow said...

My dearest friend in the world has a new, adopted little boy, about four months, and I can't get over how much he looks like both her and her husband when he smiles. It's stunning. I think he's learning his smiles from them.