Where’s the filter?? Featured on The Blog up North
When I became pregnant I was not prepared for the fact that I had apparently become public property! Had I forgotten about a tattoo that I had on my head? Was I wearing the equivalent of a kiss me quick hat? Although I was eager to show off my blossoming bump, I’m pretty sure that none of my clothing choices had slogans such as “Feel free to touch” or “Feel my bump!” What makes strangers think they have a right to touch your stomach and offer random bits of information? Without encouraging conversation I got, “How’s the pregnancy? If it’s good you’re going to have a bad labour!” ok, thanks for telling me. “How’s the heartburn? It’s obviously got a lot of hair!” and then they move on to the most gruesome birth stories ever! All these things happened to me in an elevator with complete strangers!
I wanted to find out the sex of baby number 2 as I already had a beautiful daughter. I was equally excited to find out that she was a girl. Instead of congratulations I got “ah, another one” with sad face and “oh you must be so disappointed she’s not a boy!” and my favourite – “If that’s a girl, she’s a really big one!” I genuinely mean it when I say, I truly did not care about the gender as long as the baby was healthy and two girls were exciting for me as an only child, I loved the idea of sisters growing up close together.
Even once the girls arrived, people still make comments. Just this morning we went to the playground and the chit chat started. “How old is she?” They enquired after Dolly. 3 I said proudly. “Oh she’s beautiful”! And your other baby? Almost 8 months I said. My reply got, “oh, she’s huge!” And I don’t want to offend you but she looks like a boy! I wanted to use a barrage of 4 letter words in a sentence that ended, well, she will grow hair, but you’ll always be a beatch…, but instead I reverted to my reserved British self and mustered, “yes we are lucky she’s so healthy and uh, uh she doesn’t have a lot of hair yet” I wouldn’t dream of informing someone that yes their BUM does look big in that and it’s going to take ages for their little one to grow in to their features!
Everyone has an opinion, Is your eldest in pre-school, if not why not? Is your youngest in swimming, gym, music class? When did it become essential to have each child under the age of three in a different activity everyday? Can’t kids just have some time to be kids? They vocalize, on everything from feeding to sleeping, potty training to tantrums! Is she crawling yet, does she have teeth, she’s not sleeping through the night, oh…
It’s not a competition people and although I’m all for sharing information and getting advice from friends and family it’s not at the expense of making the other person feel belittled or lacking in some way. Strangers, if I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it! Seriously, where is the filter? We all too frequently open our mouths without engaging our brains. Can we think before we speak? There are people and feelings involved.