Once you become pregnant, everything changes. It’s not when you graduate, get married or actually have the baby, but the exact moment you start to tell or start to show – you’ll notice the behaviour of people around you shift completely. This applies both to the ones you know, and the ones that you meet on the street, because, I’m sorry to tell you, people will look less into your eyes and more towards your belly. Some will feel like they need to talk to you. And this is understandable.
Pregnancy is awkward. It’s okay not to know how to behave towards someone carrying a child inside of them, especially if you haven’t been through the experience yourself, or have someone close to you go through it. But from a pregnant person’s point of view, it’s fun (and at times annoying) to watch how people behave towards you.
1. The “I-Respect-You-Now”.
Now this is usually someone you already know. And I’m sorry for being sexist here, but it’s also usually the men. I’ve had two examples of these species, both that used to put me down and treat me a bit below their level, until they were told the news. All of a sudden, I could get my voice heard, although I have fought hard for it before. What annoys me here is that, for some, what only matters is still not how much effort you put it building yourself, but what your status in society is.
2. The Elders.
These are the people you both do and do not know. Your family. Your parents. Their friends. Random ladies in the street. What you must bear in mind is that they wish you well. But gosh, they’re full of advice dating back to the times when their only nappy option was using the washable ones, soaked in a bucket overnight. They know the sex of the baby just by looking at your belly or counting your pimples. You should ask THEM for any advice, because they’ve been through it all. The truth is, although you can usually lean on them, they will give you directions when you need them the least. Like, when you’ve already bought the cot you liked (Ooh, is this the highest the mattress can get?).
3. The Always Positive Ones.
Again, these are both people you know or you don’t. God forbid you complain about anything to them. They look at you with a I’m in love with your belly smile and tell everything is wonderful.Oh, sure you’re feeling sick, but you’ll forget all about it soon. Oh, look how beautiful you look. Do you feel the kicks yet? Aaaawwww… Do you talk to your baby? It’s important to talk to your baby! (and then THEY start talking to your belly).
4. The Ones That Don’t Care.
They could be your friends that keep forgetting you’re pregnant. They continuously ask you out to parties or for a round of drinks, long shopping sprees and lead you up endless stairs. They eat, all the things you’ve told them repeatedly you can’t, in front of you. As for strangers, they’ll just glimpse at you and ignore your state. If you’re in a bus, they’ll make you stand. Or be the last in line for groceries. Or even worse, push and shove you in the crowd.
5. The Petrified Ones.
They are afraid to look at you, talk to you, walk past you. Eye contact makes them panic. If they’re trapped in a conversation with you, they’ll either talk about something completely unrelated to the pregnancy (which is a fine for a change) or ask you questions that you know come from the depth of their scared imagination. If you care about someone like that (e.g. it’s your friend that’s behaving so), try to make them comfortable. Talk about your pregnancy without being asked to. Be the one to propose that they touch your belly. Usually, they will end up grateful for making it easier for them to be around you.
So, if you believe that people around you are treating you differently, you’re probably right. But it won’t last forever, trust me on that, and try to make the best of it, learning something new about the people you thought you knew 🙂