The worst offenders are other moms, but not exclusively. It starts out innocent enough, I go to bed too late (wasting time on the internet), get woken up in middle of the night by a deranged three year old (who wants to read books in one very specific part of my bed) and have trouble falling back asleep. Fast forward to 4:00 PM (and at least two cups of coffee later), I’m at the kids school for pick-up doing the whole this-is-my-only-social-life chatty thing with other moms. I casually mention how I’ve been SO tired lately (because of the deranged three year old). What do I get in return? Sympathy? NO. I get a well placed glance at my stomach with a knowing smirk. “Maybe you’re pregnant?” She says, not really meaning any harm. If I thought I was pregnant, even a teeny tiny chance of it, I wouldn’t be kvetching about my fatigue in the carpool line. Why do I need to be pregnant to experience discomfort? I’m not pregnant, I’m tired.
My husband doesn’t get suspecting glances every time he complains about something. He gets advice, or a sympathetic ear (well, usually I just ignore him, but that’s because I’m still working on the “good wife” thing). Well I get the “maybe you’re pregnant glance”.
I have this thing, if I’m the passenger in a car and I haven’t eaten in the past half hour I tend to get nauseous. I once hopped out of the car to meet up with a friend and I was (as usual) feeling a little nauseous so I asked her if she thought it was normal that cars made me nauseous like that. What do I get? You guessed it! The glance and smirk. Aaaargh.
My back hurts. Glance and Smirk.
Stomach bug. Glance and Smirk.
Fatigue. Glance and Smirk.
Eat too much Ben and Jerry’s (every day). Glance and Smirk.
Have a craving (G-d forbid this can exist outside of gestation). Glance and Smirk.
Ladies. If I want you to know I’m pregnant, I’ll tell you. Otherwise, either way, I just want a little sympathy. I want to be tired and nauseous and achy and whiny without being overly aware that I have a flabby stomach.
On a more serious note, the habit of writing off a women’s health concerns as “how cute, she’s prego” is dangerous. We need to be taking our own health more seriously and taking symptoms and concerns to the doctor. We need to be more validating to eachother and make it easier to voice worries without fear of judgment…or smirks.
In the meantime, let me make it clear. I’m not pregnant. I just have this condition called human, which causes me to (shockingly) experience some of the symptoms of being pregnant while not being pregnant.
However, if you do, at any point, see me turning down a glass of red wine. Glance and Smirk away.