Being pregnant in public feels like you have a big neon sign above your head flashing all kinds of words at any given moment. And it’s all completely out of your control. People see you pregnant, and then they see whatever sign it is that they relate to pregnancy. All of a sudden you are more approachable, and people want to talk to you about whatever it is they are thinking, whether their input is wanted or not. Most people are nice, and want to know how you’re feeling and whether this is your first baby, etc. Some people just start rambling and venting about their kids and whatever is going on in their lives. A few will tell you, in detail, about their birth experience…TMI. And many others will just give you varying looks of joy, fondness, hesitation, skepticism, or a mixture of many unidentified emotions. It can be very confusing and awkward because these looks and emotions are directed at you, but really have nothing to do with you.
Now, with my first pregnancy, I was very much aware of this neon sign, and how people were reacting to me differently. It was quite a shock to be bombarded with other people’s emotions and thoughts, when I was already dealing with my own boat load of hormones and emotions about the unknown of having a baby. But then on the flip side, I preferred the people who just babbled their thoughts to me, rather than stay silent when the expression on their face told me that they clearly had things they wanted to say. With my second pregnancy however, I was much more confident since I was already a mom, and I was somewhat used to the sign and awkward public interactions. Now with my third, I am a veteran, and almost look forward to hearing all the weird crap people say. It has become more amusing than awkward.
I will say, however, that with this third pregnancy, the public reactions are really falling more into two categories. When Nate and I are out together with the kids and they are happy, people are amazed and proud for us for daring to have three. When it’s just me with the kids trying to run errands, and one or both of the kids are having a meltdown, people look at me thinking, “Wow, should she really be having another kid!?” I’m telling you, the judgement is palpable. It actually took me a minute to figure it out because it’s new to this third pregnancy.
Here’s the thing though, when you see me pregnant in public with two unhappy toddlers, take your judgement and turn it into empathy. Hell, I’ll even take pity at this point. Because being pregnant means I’m already physically feeling like crap in one way or another. And, no, it’s not pleasant when my kids are screaming at each other in Target at the top of their lungs. And if I had any energy left, I might even feel embarrassed. But mostly I’m just trying to stick to the task at hand, which is picking up food to cook dinner for my ungrateful children, and my amazing Hubby who’s been at work all day, all while not having a colossal freakout of my own.
So like I said, keep the judgment to yourself. Or better yet, that’s when you should be proud of me. Like, “Damn, she’s got a lot on her plate, look at her go!” Because that’s how I really feel most of the time. I feel proud and excited to be having a third. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment every day that I keep my kids alive. Seriously. So don’t rain on my parade, because I’m perfectly happy with the utter chaos that you are seeing. I am fulfilled.
And just for laughs, here’s a video of Mav when he was about a year and a half old throwing a small scale tantrum.