As I was waiting in line to get my little girl a crepe at Mother’s Day Brunch, I kept looking back at our table to make sure my two and five-year-olds were behaving for my husband. They were being so sweet and I felt so happy.
A middle aged man was next to me and asked when my baby was due. I told him I had about three more weeks to go. I smiled politely and looked down at the plate I was holding. I knew that wasn’t the end of it by the smirk he gave me.
“Is there just one in there?”
I gave him a chance to back out. I said, “Yes. ‘Just one.’ But you know, saying that to a pregnant woman is like telling her she’s big”. I was at the end of my third pregnancy and about all-done with the comments of strangers.
“Well, you are big” he quipped. He was heavy himself, not like it mattered, as I would never have started a conversation with him opening it up with his size.
I am still mad at myself for what came out of my mouth but I chirped back, “well, you’re big, too!”
Thank goodness Scarlet’s chocolate crepe was ready. I took it and and went to sit down with my family and told my husband that I told someone off at the omelette bar. I started crying.
Not because that man ruined my Mother’s Day, because he didn’t. Not because I get a comment on my size every single time I leave my house (I do – how big I am, how my face has changed, how it looks like I’m having twins or that I’m due any minute).
But because there are a few things I take pride in within myself and finding balance and being a good person are two of them.
As luck would have it, this man and his family were at the table next to us. Scarlet was on one side of me telling me my tummy was just “‘medium sized” and Matt was on the other saying I did the right thing for standing up to him.
And you know what? I can be nice and not be a door mat at the very same time. That is balance, and I don’t need to feel guilty about it.
Maybe that man will think twice before saying something negative about someone’s body in the future. He didn’t apologize even after seeing me sitting there on Mother’s Day, pregnant, with my two little kids, crying. I felt like a jerk for what I said and I don’t think he felt bad at all.
Perhaps I should wear a sign around my neck displaying my medical history. “I am 5 3/4″. Where is the baby supposed to go?”
I’m a lifelong vegetarian. I try to be healthy and I’ve gained 32 pounds in my third pregnancy, less than I did with the other two, that’s for sure. I had an eating disorder about a decade ago and I decided when I became pregnant with our first child that I’d learn and teach myself and my children balance. That food is fuel and that your size isn’t how you measure your value.
Being approached by someone every day of this pregnancy on my hugeness has hurt my feelings. I’ve overthought it. I try to dress myself nicely so that people won’t notice how big I am. I’ve tried baggy clothes and I’ve tried form fitting, thinking one or the other may look better.
I will wear what I want these next three weeks. I feel good, and I’m so happy to be adding this baby to our family and the last time I checked, every BODY is different and every BODY does pregnancy differently.
This is how my body does ‘pregnant’ and I’m happy with how I look – I could just do without all the criticism. It’s not like I’m walking around people if I look more pregnant than their niece who’s having twins. So please don’t volunteer that information. And since when did everyone become an expert on what a pregnant belly should look like at 5, 6, 9 month pregnant?
I’m writing this for a few reasons – to announce that I don’t like the unkind things being said to me about my body, and to offer a suggestion of what you should say: “You look great!”
That one’s safe every single time.
How did you handle body criticism in your pregancy?