When we revealed our baby news to our friends and family, there were some very common reactions. Most of them were sweet, sheer excitement, and elation while a handful were…well, not. No one was outwardly rude about it, but sometimes a backhanded compliment is worse than an outright jab. Thanks, tell us how you really feel.
A few of the common backhanded compliments and loaded questions you should avoid, no matter how you feel, when your friends tell you they’re expecting:
- “Yikes, better you than me!” — I get it. It’s a shock to everyone, but when a close friend or family member responds this way, it feel a bit like a backhanded compliment. I’ll admit that my reaction was not all positive. In fact, I was much more ambivalent in the first few days than I was excited, but twins are as much a blessing as singletons and you’d always expect your support system to support you, not slap you in the face when you’re already feeling anxious and scared.
- “Was it planned?” — I’m not even going to get into this, except to say that you should just say: “Congratulations!”
- “Are you getting married?” — Gone are the days of shot gun weddings, right? One life change at a time, people.
- “But you’re so tiny! You don’t look pregnant. Are you gaining enough weight?” — Pregnant woman just can’t win. Either you look like a whale and should be more careful about what you eat or you’re too thin and you’re endangering your unborn babies. All woman gain and carry weight differently and I can assure you that we don’t need anyone reminding us about the “weight”. Being too small can be just as stressful for a pregnant woman than being too big.
- “What about your job?” — This is one of my favorite loaded questions on the block. The assumption is that you must be quitting, right? A woman who plans to return to work will automatically be put on the defense, What about my job?
- “Twins? Were you taking fertility treatments?” — Twins may be a phenomena, but this is a biological phenomena that does occur naturally. While fertility treatments can increase the chances of a multiple pregnancy, there are plenty of natural ways this occurs as well. The bottom line, it doesn’t matter how the twins came to be, just that they did and…it’s really none of your business.