To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Time for a Public Service Announcement!

I don't often rant or complain but the following advice I feel will be most helpful. If not for you, then for me! I'm really not sure when the following questions became appropriate in our society but after 7 pregnancies and conversations with friends who have been pregnant I realize these are common occurrences (though some questions only happen after you reach a certain number) and I feel I have a responsibility to inform the public on their inappropriateness.

1. Can I rub your belly?
If you would not ask a woman who isn't pregnant to touch her why would you think it's ok to ask a pregnant woman? Honestly it has never tempted me to touch a pregnant woman's belly...EVER. I do not understand some people's fascination with this. Maybe some women don't mind, maybe some even HOPE you'll ask but I am not one of them. In my first pregnancy I had no idea how to handle this. I was uncomfortable but didn't want to be rude. I'm over that now. I'm not mean about it but if I don't know you I politely say no and walk away. If I know you, then usually I'll say ok...but understand that I would prefer you didn't. 

2. How much weight have you gained? (and other similar questions)
I realize we live in a society that encourages near anorexia and that doesn't seem to go away for a pregnant woman. There is a lot of pressure to only gain a few pounds and then lose it all 5 minutes after delivering. No consideration is taken as to how a woman carries, how big the baby is, etc. We should all be the same, look the same and if you managed to only gain 5 pounds I should be able to do the same too. Any woman who has been pregnant knows this is unfair and yet we judge still. I happen to be one of those people who does not gain a ton of weight during pregnancy. Part of it is that I lose so much in the beginning because I get sick and I get pregnant pretty quick after having a baby so there's always plenty of extra weight to lose. The metabolism boost of another human sucking every calorie that enters my body helps me lose weight too. If I had the metabolism I have when I'm pregnant after I deliver I'd be a stick. Even at my 32 week check up yesterday I was down a pound from my last
visit. But to look at me you would think I am lying. I've included and very unflattering picture of my very pregnant self to prove it (you're welcome!). I'm all belly and look like I've gained 50 lbs when actually I am only 1 lb heavier than I was before I got pregnant. So now that you know please stop asking me how much weight I've gained, if I'm sure it's not twins and if I'm positive the Dr.'s got my due date right. 

3. Are you done having kids?
I'm sure equally inappropriate is the question to those without kids, "when are you going to have kids?" Let me just say that when my family and close friends ask me this question it usually doesn't bother me if it's asked out of genuine wonderment rather than judgment. When the complete stranger ahead of me in the check-out line asks, yes, it bothers me. Whether or not a person is done having kids is not anyone's business. My having kids has no affect on anyone but Ben and I and the kids we already have. We take care of our own. We are not using tax-payer dollars to raise them, we don't outsource them to the grandparents or other family members-we do the work and are not burdening others to help us raise our brood. So really whether or not we will have more should be of no concern to anyone. And it's really no use asking us because we have no idea anyway if we are done or not so usually our answer is vague and uncertain. 

4. How big is your house?
Are you surprised this is even on the list? I am! This pregnancy is the first one where both Ben and I have EVER been asked this question...and on multiple occasions. To me it's in the category of questions like, "how much money do you make?" or "how much did you pay for
your house?". Most people have the etiquette to know you just don't ask those questions. Each time I've been asked I've not been sure what to say. I still don't know what to say. I find it such a strange question to ask. First of all whether or not a house is "big" is usually a subjective thing. What is big to one might not be to another. All I can say is there is room for all of us.

5. You know what causes that right?
Ok so you know the list wouldn't be complete if I didn't add that question because you KNOW we are hearing it often. Just about every time we leave the house. When people say it to try and be funny, I'll laugh along and be a good sport. It's the ones who say it to imply we have been irresponsible that really bother us. And truly more often than not that is the way the question is being presented to us. I don't get nearly as upset about it as Ben does. If there is anything that bothers him its this question! So without exhausting the subject I'll end it with this tip: Its inappropriate to imply ANY pregnancy should not have happened and could/should have been prevented. For a long time I struggled with just the right way to answer...till yesterday. I was reading a blog and the woman had a list of clever answers to this question. My favorite: "yes we do and now I make sure to wash our underwear separately!". LOVE IT! Just don't know I'd have the guts to actually say it!

So there you have it. My list of inappropriate questions to ask a pregnant lady. I'm sure there are others that many of you have encountered...and I'd love to hear them. 


  1. I have been asked all these questions too. And I agree that people can be pretty rude. When you don't complyto the world's "norm" mystifies people and they at times feel judged by your "doing it different". I think it is wonderful! The other day while shopping g at Sam's, an older man asked me how I managed to shop with all those kids? His jaw hung open when I told him the oldest four weren't with me. He did the have9 children? I smiled and told him that we shop just fine and I love it. :) Hang in there Melissa. You and Ben are blessed indeed. And your children are blessed to have each other. I received a great compliment at campwhen a teen told me, I love how your kids are friends with each other. Proud Mom! Giving life and nurturing life isa very high calling. Stay the course and keep giving Him glory with your smile. :)

  2. Oh, my. Next time they ask, you'll just have to refer everyone to this blog post!

    People say crazy things.
    Oh, and I did gain 50 pounds. Actually more, but I quit counting at 50. Sadly, my doctor did not. ;-)


    1. Haha...well you'd never know now to look at you! :) I did gain 50lbs with my first pregnancy...and I still haven't lost ALL of it yet! It's only been with the last 4 that I've gained very little but there's not much time for eating or sitting so...:)

  3. Thanks for the laughs! I love hearing about your family and appreciate your honesty when sharing your experiences as a mom. Even though I only have two children, I feel like we are on the same team:). God Bless!

    1. Thank you and you're right, as moms we are all on the same team whether we are raising 1 or 20. :)

  4. I find this so truthful and also so funny. Mainly because I have only 3 children (only because my last 2 were too premature to risk another one) and I have heard each and every one of these questions probably because I had them close together and for the most part I have them with me 90% of the time. I have been composing my own "public service announcement" with "questions people as homeschooled kids".