written by Anneliese Lawton
This piece was originally posted on Her View From Home.
That’s it. It’s time to call you out.
Yes, you. The person who feels the need to interject their commentary on strangers in the grocery store, post office and yes, even in a public bathroom.
I’ve met you before – about a year ago – when my belly was busting at the seams and my ankles were overflowing from my shoes. You were astounded by my size and convinced there wasn’t a baby, but in fact a toddler swimming around my womb. And if I recall correctly, you rubbed my belly…just to be sure. Thanks again for that.
Now here we are again, a year later. My belly not quite big enough to draw your attention, but my situation appealing nonetheless.
You see us – me (pregnant belly and all), my husband and my one-year-old son – and instead of smiling at our beautiful (and exhausted) young family, you share a critical piece of information we may not be able to live without:
You know, you’re going to have your hands full. Smirk, smirk. Giggle, giggle.
It’s cute. It’s innocent. It drives me batty (that’s not the hormones talking).
I’m not quick on my feet to come up with a witty-response to your well-meaning comment. That’s why I’m taking it here – to the internet – to rant in all my glory.
Look, I get it. We’re going to be busy and I’m terrified. But, that whole having a newborn thing? I’ve done it. I know exactly how hard it will be and exactly what to expect. I may not know how to manage a baby on the boob while keeping my toddler Picasso off my walls or change a wet diaper while my older one decides my grandmother’s antique bowl is a potty… but we’ll figure it out, just like we did the first time around.
I love when you approach me and comment on how beautiful my son is or how my pregnant glow reminds you of a Christmas display. I’m not screaming, “Stranger danger!” when you come my way. But I’m not sure what the criteria is for the other type of comments. Is it seeing a parent with one misbehaving child? A family with two, three, heck, four kids? How many kids does it take to demonstrate a mastery in the art of multi-kid-tasking? (When I figure it out, I’ll let you know).
Whatever it is, please just try to smile and nod the next time you feel a parent is downright doomed (we kind of feel that way already and it’s always the last thing we want to hear).
Now, to the parents. I know you’ve heard this before. Hit me with your best comebacks!