Monday

Let me do it myself

Let's play a game. Which of these things is not like the others?

Cancer, limb amputation, blindness and pregnancy?

If you guessed pregnancy, you are wrong! The answer is: they are all the same! Thanks for playing.

Apparently, pregnancy fits into that list of disease and disability. Or one might think so considering the way pregnant women are treated. It seems some folks consider pregnancy a condition that renders women in need of constant assistance. While it may be a nice gesture, it can become overbearing.

I have grown tired of being infantilized just because I am pregnant. Now in my 30th week, more than ever people seem to think I am incapable of completing my daily functions without aid. You may think you are being helpful, but really it is irritating.

Offering to carry my grocery bags is nice. Insisting on pushing my cart, opening my car door and guiding me there by holding my elbow is not. I've adjusted to my size, I can handle walking thanks. I'm like a Weeble. I may wobble, but I won't just fall down.

Even those who keep their hands off tend to exaggerate their concern. Puppy dog eyes and a pat on the hand accompany "Really, are you ok?" After that moment comes the list of no-no's.

"You ordered coffee? Oh no, you shouldn't have any caffeine."
" You need to wear shoes with better support."
"You shouldn't be pumping your own gas. Or driving at all for that matter."

People take on the tone of a kindergarten teacher when speaking to a pregnant women. A giant list of "should and should not's" tied in with excessive hand holding. The intention is genuinely appreciated, but the result is certainly not. Your desire to help translates into "Here, let me. I know you're incapable of doing this yourself."

We have doctors to give us our guidelines of what is and is not acceptable during our pregnancies. And the majority of that advice is to live our lives. Pregnant women can drive, exercise, work and do whatever they feel fit to do. Some women may love taking advantage of the worriers out there, but I'm not one to fall into my best Scarlett O'Hara voice of "Oh, how will I evah open this door all by my lil ole self?"

All I ask is that people read the signs- if we are attempting a task on our own, don't simply jump in and demand we sit down while you finish. Offer. Ask. A simple "Can I help with that?" will suffice. We'll let you know our preference.

All I'm looking for is the same courtesy I received pre-preggo. Because my lips are highly unlikely to ever utter the words, "Oh thank God you were here to wipe my nose for me. Who knows how my large pregnant self would have managed without you."

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