From the Coalface {SQT} What not to say to women

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Head over to her blog to check out all the other Quick takes!

 

Having a great chat with some friends who are both blooming with pregnancy and growing those beautiful new, shiny souls in their tummies, we got onto the topic of inappropriate comments people make whilst pregnant.

While Western culture has its share of hang-ups about pregnant women, it can happen even in Africa.  There are plenty of examples.

It was interesting how many related to shock and size.

My friends and I have all had the following said to us.

-1-

The “Multiple birth association” comment:

“Are you having triplets ?!?”

-2-

The “Stating-the-obvious” comment:

“Wow.  You really are looking pregnant.”

-3-

The “Time keeper” comment:

“You must be due any day now” (when you are only 20 weeks)

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The “Size-does-matter” comment:

“But you’re so HUGE”

-5-

I have also had people ask me when I was due, when I actually wasn’t even pregnant.  I have probably done it myself in my foolish youth.  Off to confession.

It is almost as though there are so few pregnant women around or in public, that it is like an abnormal state of being to actually see a very pregnant woman.  Many of my friends are expecting their 4th or 5th babies at the moment, and it is just such a normal but wonderful thing to see them getting on with their lives and struggling to keep smiling amidst the “insults and (verbal) spittle” which are liberally sprinkled around these days in our Culture of Death.

It really is another way the family suffers a form of martyrdom in this time in which we live.  If you do not have a strong conviction that bringing life into the world is the most important task a person can ever co-operate with God in doing, then why would you bother?  With all the flack, it would be easy to bow out after the mandatory one or two, or not even bother at all.

-6-

It is source of great joy to me who would have loved a large family, to actually see families who do embrace the fullness of life, including the necessary cross that comes with bearing children in a culture that is hostile towards them even from the womb.  If women can end the lives of their unborn babies and have the culture fund and sanction such actions, then of course people will feel at liberty to scorn those foolish enough to have embarked upon this noble road.

-7-

So, fear not, brave families.  You are indeed walking your Calvary now, but what an abundant amount of life came from that barren hillside!  So too with you and those beautiful children you are embracing in your womb.  What a gift to be able to protect them in their fragile state and to bear their burdens upon your own shoulders, following behind the One whom you seek above all others.

And, if all else fails, you can always resort to this one:

Women

Have a great week everyone!

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6 comments

  1. You know, I can’t help thinking people have always done this–I don’t think it’s connected to the dearth of people having babies in the post-contraceptive world. I think it’s just that everybody instinctively recognizes that pregnancy is a monumental thing in human experience. People say ridiculous, unhelpful, hurtful things to anyone who loses a loved one; they say ridiculous, unhelpful, hurtful things to people who have a child with a disability. People just say ridiculous, unhelpful, hurtful things any time their psyche recognizes that something monumental and life-changing is happening to someone in front of them, and they feel compelled to respond without thinking through all the way.

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    • While I agree that people do say ridiculous, unhelpful things, I personally really appreciate it when I have that pointed out to me so that next time I am more sensitive to the needs of others and more thoughtful in what I say. I don’t want my words to add to another’s burdens, and while we must give others the benefit of the doubt, there is also a place for educating others about how thoughtless words can truly cause damage to another person as well. There are many causes for thoughtlessness but I do think that the lack of support in our current culture for families in general does exacerbate a characteristic which is inherent in sinful human nature.

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  2. Absolutely love this! This needs to be turned into some “terms and conditions” that must be read before speaking to pregnant women! – if only for the pure safety concerns of those that speak! 😄

    It just needs an extra paragraph addressing the people who ask pregnant women (normally on 3rd and above pregnancies) whether they know what causes that? (pregnancy) or that they obviously need to watch more TV!

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    • So true, Bonita. There is a whole other universe of insensitive comments specifically for families who dare to go beyond the norm, which seems now to be anything over 3 children.
      I love the concept of “terms and conditions”.. Maybe some sort of t-shirt or temporary tattoo on your forehead while pregnant would be helpful?!

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  3. I laughed as I read this, because I’m trusting God with my 6th pregnancy now. We are open to God’s gift of life. Those were all comments I have heard hundreds of times plus many more, especially the you know what causes that right?? To which I now reply with a smile, yep and my husband and I are darn good at it!!

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