Feel like everyone is breeding? A quick guide to handling your, sometimes sensitive, pregnant friends.
Babies, babies and more babies! I guess it’s to be expected that at my age (a very young 30) my social media feeds are filled with baby-bump pics, pregnancy announcements, and “welcome to the family” posts.
Was there some sort of petition going around for couples to stop using birth control last year?
Anyway, when three of my close friends announced their pregnancies I decided to stop being confused by it all and embrace this joyous coincidence.
What have I learnt? Well for starters, if you want to actively be involved in your friend’s journey into parenthood there are some things you should and shouldn’t say:
Don’t say: “Enjoy your freedom while you still can”
You might mean well, but for a highly hormonal preggie friend who can’t enjoy her wine like she used to, or be able to get out and about without feeling uncomfortable, or needing to hurl everywhere, this is about as useless as it is frustrating.
Rather say: “Can I come and visit you once a week, just you and me, for a catch up? Also, can I rub your feet and tell you how much you’re going to enjoy being a mom?”
Never say: “Stop stressing so much”
I dare you to say this to a pregnant friend (just kidding, please don’t). While her hormones are at an all-time rage it’s better not to point out the fact that she might be behaving like a bit of drama-queen. Choose life.
Rather say: “I’m sorry you’re going through (insert potential national crisis). It’s difficult, but you’ve got this. What can I do to help?”
If you want to live, don’t say: “Oh my word, you are HUGE!”
It shouldn’t take too much intuition to know how well aware a preggie friend might be of her size. After all, she’s the one who’s having to eat, sleep and move around with a little human in her body.
Rather say: Nothing at all!
For an automated death stare: “Just eat/don’t eat, you’ll feel better”
Do you remember what it felt like when you were a kid with a tummy bug and your siblings were stuffing their faces with all your favourite things while the mere mention of a food item would bring your stomach to maximum levels of sick? For your preggie friend, “just eating” when and what she wants is like forcing a chicken to eat a chicken burger. For another pregnant friend, eating that 3rd cupcake or 4th chicken sandwich might be the only thing that is keeping her sane.
Rather say: “That sucks, my friend. Is there anything you think you could eat right now? I’ll make it for you.”
And for the love of all things still living, don’t ever say: “YOU wanted a baby”
Yes, she might seem miserable all the time, yes, she complains a lot. And yes… these 9 months of nonstop moaning about being incapable of doing anything right really bugs you. It’s tough but if you’re the kind of friend who can put up with it for a few hours when you see her, the joys of seeing her happy once her little one is born is far more rewarding.
Rather say: You can do this, I know how strong you are. It’s all going to be totally worth it!