Sitting comfortably? I sure am.
Feet up. Water. Blood tester. Phone. Crochet box. Fiction. Non-fiction. Belly. iPad testing out birth playlist (not pictured). Ellie at kinder (also not pictured).
I'm not getting up until Owen does.
So, before I get back into sewing in the ends of 96 granny squares (24 down, 72 to go!), now with the exciting bonus of THE RIGHT SIZED NEEDLE (gah!), I thought I'd share a thought or two.
Today's thoughts come courtesy of this article, which I came across twice on my FB newsfeed today.
For those who are all, "MORE reading??? Girlfriend, I ain't got time fo' dat!!", first of all, stop speaking weird. Second, relax; I'll summarize.
Point #1: People are so rude. They say the dumbest things. Here's some of them, so you can get all outraged all over again. Preggos love that.
Point #2: You are so much cleverer than those dumbos with their dumb comments. Here are some witty comebacks, for the purposes of dazzling them with your sarcastic brilliance.
That is all.
I'm not here to have a massive go at this article, or any of the three squillion like it. I know this is how a lot of people feel - and not just around pregnancy. People say the dumbest things. ALL the time.
But you know what? Generally... they mean well.
And isn't that lovely? I think the awkward conversation with the checkout guy is kinda funny and nice. You know the one:
"So, not long to go, eh?"
"[longer time frame than he had in mind]."
"Oh. Wow! I thought you'd be due any day. Because... Um... Never mind. Have a nice day!"
Points for trying. It's clearly not his area of expertise.
Oh, and the ladies at the shops who look at my kindergartener and toddler and belly, and go, "Ooh, looks like you're going to have your hands full! Hur hur hur!"
Yeah, that's a funny one.
Thing is, I'm not into getting annoyed about these comments. The well-intentioned "Wow, you're HUGE!!!" from people who haven't seen me for a little while... The "Oh, you're definitely carrying a boy / girl / football team," from every self-proclaimed expert... The lovely "How are you feeling? Looking a bit tired today, aren't you?" from an OB (on one of my highest-energy, chirpiest days of the third trimester so far, of course)...
They mean well. They're happy for me. And it's one of those things people can't ignore - trying not to talk to a pregnant woman about her very obvious baby belly is probably the origin of the phrase "the elephant in the room".
(HAHA!!! Elephant... Even I'm rude about me.)
And I love it. It's entertaining, endearing, and a handy bring-me-back when I drift too far off into pregnancy-brain la-la-land. Not everybody is pregnant - therefore, not everybody knows exactly the right thing to say to a pregnant lady. (Hint: There Is No Right Thing. Your average pregnant lady is hormonal, tired, emotional... and ready to react accordingly to whatever you say.)
But that person went out on a limb and said something. What would you say to them, if they were the one in some kind of impossible-to-ignore-but-emotional-minef
Because as I said before, it's not just pregnancy-based. There's always going to be someone who says something. And that something is sometimes going to be a real clanger.
I'm sure we've all been on the receiving end of something dumb someone has said to us at a vulnerable time in our life, which has sent us away feeling furious, or miserable, or wishing we'd had that cleverly sarcastic one-liner ready to fire at them. I'm sure in most cases, the perpetrator doesn't even know. Right?
And on the flip side of that, I'm sure each and every one of us has been that perpetrator. More than once. "Not me," you scoff? You have. You just didn't know it.
And before you go racing off on a Tour of Shame through all the moments you've said something awkward and now realize may have been worse than you realized for the other person...
Let it go.
We're human people. That's all. We're not mind-reading word wizards, able to to turn somebody's situation around with a single sentence - no matter how well-intentioned. We're all going to say something, wanting to reach out and make contact with someone, and sometimes that something is going to be something that someone doesn't enjoy hearing.
Still with me?
My message is this: to the pregnant ladies, and all other awkward phrase recipients... They mean well. Smile. Be the one to say something to put them at ease. Go laugh about it later. Try going "Awww," rather than "Grrr," and see how different it feels.
And to the dumb things sayers (and that's all of us): Keep up the good work. Be brave. Keep saying stuff. Because the alternative is to say nothing. And that's pretty sad.
Let's forgive people for saying human-people-things. And let's forgive ourselves for our past (and future) acts of human-people-ness.
Articles about what NOT to say don't help. They just make one side feel guilty, or embarrassed, or looked down on, and the other side feel vindicated in their self-righteous ire, and thus even more annoyed than before. Pregnancy is beautiful, except for all the times it's not. Being human, likewise. Let's not be weird with each other about it.
Oh, and for the record...
"So, how long have you got to go?"
"Um... She's over there in the pram."
... was my favourite ever. No kidding, I laughed for about a week straight, every time I thought of it. Thank you, Dude Who Shall Not Be Named.
Come on, people. Relax. This stuff is funny!
Top left: Definitely a boy. Or a girl.
Bottom left: Wow, HUGE!
Right: Looking so tired, feeling so good.