No, I’m Not Pregnant, But Thanks for Asking!

A few weeks ago I saw a distraught post from a neighbor and fellow mom on Facebook. She had been working hard to lose her baby weight, and another mom had just congratulated her at the playground for being pregnant with baby #2. Catch is, she wasn’t. And now she felt awful about herself.

WTF? I was so disgusted that anyone, especially another mom, would be so thoughtless.

I’ve seen this mom a number of times recently, and I never once suspected that she was expecting. But even if I did, I’d never actually ask someone if they were pregnant. Bloating happens. That’s why we all have fat jeans in our closets.

Then, last Friday, the same thing happened to me.

Chris and I were walking up the street to our apartment. I was carrying Mason (similar to the way I carried him over Memorial Day Weekend, left) and we were all laughing,  in a good mood because it was the weekend and Bug had a fun new toy to play with.

Suddenly some random women passes us and yells: “You shouldn’t be carrying him!”

Startled, I stopped walking and asked “Why?” I know–I shouldn’t engage with randoms on the street, but I was just so caught off guard.

“You’ve got a baby, don’t you?” she demanded.

Horrified, I responded that no, I did not.

Her reply? “Oh.” And she kept on walking, totally unapologetic for her mistake. As if we had just had a quick exchange about the weather.

Now I was the one who was devastated. I hate to admit that her comment ruined my night, but it did. Despite countless hours of therapy I still care way too much about what other people say. It sucks.

Chris spent the rest of the walk to our apartment insisting that I looked great, to ignore the rude stranger, but I was just so mortified! I’m not stick skinny, and I was admittedly looking a little bloated, but I don’t think I look knocked up.

I sent an emergency email to my trainer, and then started texting about the horrifying encounter to a few close girlfriends. Of course each one jumped to my defense, slowly rebuilding my confidence. (That’s the flip side of putting too much stock in what other people say; you feel built up as quickly as you feel torn down.)

I’ve been sucking in my stomach ever since and glancing at my profile every time I walk past a window. Must hit the gym lots this week.

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  1. by Lily

    On June 25, 2012 at 10:35 am

    This is has happened to so many close friends of mine, I can’t understand it! Who doesn’t have the common sense to know to NOT ask someone a question like that?! And you look great, so I can’t possibly imagine ever suspecting that you were pregnant. Sorry for the rude comment. It’s too bad there are so many thoughtless people out there.

  2. by Heather Morgan Shott

    On June 25, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Aw, Lilly, thanks so much…:)

  3. by Lori

    On June 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, what an incredibly rude and TOTALLY avoidable thing for that STRANGER to have done. The willful ignorance of some people amazes me.

    And honestly I’m still shocked that she felt compelled to tell you that you shouldn’t be carrying your child, even if you WERE pregnant. Wow. Just wow.

  4. by Becky H

    On June 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    After I had my first son, when people would ask me if I was pregnant. I would just look at them and say. “Nope just fat from the last one”. The look on their faces was priceless, and they have nothing to say. I waitress so it happened fairly often.

  5. by Sara

    On June 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    That happened to me after I had my son. I had lost most of the baby weight and went out to eat with friends. I had my son with me, and he was a toddler at the time, so he needed a high chair. After asking the hostess for a highchair, she asked me if he was excited to be a big brother. I asked her what she meant and she replied “Well, aren’t you pregnant?” I was like, “Ummm…no. I’m not. Just fat, apparently.” She turned beet red and walked away very quickly, mumbling an apology. I was always told, never assume a woman is pregnant…ever. What ever happened to that???

  6. [...] No, I’m not pregnant, but thanks for asking! (Parents.com) [...]

  7. by ilana

    On June 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    i had this happen to me a few weeks ago! i had baby #3 10 months ago and i have 2 yr old twins, so it’s been all baby weight for a while. i was finally getting to be proud of myself when a little old lady that lives in my building asked me if i was preggo again. i wanted to cry! (and stop eating and start going to the gym not just 1x a day like usual but 2x+)

  8. by Ildi

    On June 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Same thing happened to me, twice so far :-) My boy is 16 months but my belly’s still ‘sticking out’.
    Sometimes the abdominal muscles don’t close properly after pregnancy.

    I didn’t go to the gym so far because I’m not comfortable leaving my son with someone else.. but I got the courage now and started going to the gym every morning so hopefully soon I’ll be back to my old self with a flat belly! ;-)

    Good luck to you too.

    Don’t worry about those kind of comments, I didn’t. It happens to many moms out there. For me the most important thing is that I take good care of my son and he is a very happy little boy.

  9. by Meghan

    On July 1, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Having met you in person I can vouch for both your fitness and stylishness.

    I think there’s something about a baby in the arms (or in the highchair nearby) that makes people think about babies and pregnancy. There thoughtless little minds just go there and they say rude things.

    I work in a public library and made the mistake of wearing a shirt with a really unflattering cut…I was asked if I was pregnant almost as soon as the first patron came in. I threw the shirt in the donation pile as soon as I got home that night.

  10. by Meghan

    On July 1, 2012 at 8:44 am

    *their*

  11. by Amanda

    On July 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I just got back from Maternity leave with my first little one. When i went to the cafeteria one of the ladies (who had commented daily on how “big” I was when I was pregnant) looked at me and asked when I was due. When my co worker explained that I had just come back from maternity leave the woman turned to me and asked if I was breastfeeding and that if I was the weight will just fall off and not to worry about it. I think my jaw was on the floor for the entire week.

  12. by Steph @ Lick My Spoon

    On July 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Maybe this will make you feel better:

    My husband and I were in Italy last summer and I guess I’d been enjoying the daily gelato too much (ok fine, sometimes twice daily) because a woman REACHED OVER and actually PUT HER HAND ON MY BELLY and with a big smile asked, “Oh! Are you pregnant?!”

    Granted, she was a sweet old Italian grandmama, and we were in a tiny tiny village so maybe the etiquette norms are different…but still. Talk about shock and horror.