"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dear Stranger, I Am Not Pregnant.

Dear Stranger,

When you admired my children in Walmart, I was happy to share their joyful spirits with you.

I even smiled and agreed when you laughed and told me the obvious, "You have your hands full!"

But when you patted your belly and pointed at mine so you could ask when my next one was due, you crossed a line.

A big one.

Dear Stranger, NONE of these women are pregnant.

I went home and cried that day, just like I do anytime someone asks me that question.

I cried for the obvious reason. You pointed out the weight I haven't lost. No girl likes to be called fat.

I cried because that weight you pointed out is from constantly putting myself last. It's another sign of the lack of self care that I've promised myself I'd commit to and then quickly dismissed when everyone else needed me.

I cried because part of me honestly wished that I were pregnant. Not that it's any of your business, but I'd love to add another little one to our family.

I cried because in the two seconds it took for you to blurt out that question, you ripped open a wound that has been trying desperately to heal. Your insensitive question forced me to think of all of the reasons we have to avoid getting pregnant, and even though I'm trying to be patient, it totally sucks being reminded of those things in the middle of Walmart.

The truth is, I do not regret the generosity required of my body for pregnancy and nursing. In the battle between tight abs and my awesome family, my family wins out every time.

But if you could just spare me--and every other woman on the planet--that dreaded question, I'd really appreciate it.

If you could just see my bump and assume that it's an unintentional badge of motherhood instead of insisting it's an obvious sign of pregnancy that would be great.

People need to recognize that a mother's body comes in many shapes, and all too often her body will resemble the shape it first took to hold life.

People need to realize that the woman they are speaking to could very well be suffering with infertility or a recent miscarriage, and your words could sting far worse than they ever did for me today.

The truth of the matter is, good intentions or not, the contents of a woman's uterus is not a conversation she should have to have in the check out line at Walmart or at the park with her kids or in the waiting room at the doctor's office or anywhere really.

While it is my hope that people will look at my family and see happy children and an openness to life, that certainly isn't an invitation to automatically lose your filter.

So, dear stranger, unless a woman brings the topic of her pregnancy into the conversation, can we just agree that it's not polite to ask?

Much love,