You’ve reached the third month of your pregnancy and you can finally tell everyone.
It’s clear that everyone congratulates you. Or?
I’m not a mother yet
Typically, a woman is pregnant for three months without her family, friends and work environment knowing. After this time she reveals the joyful secret. Now there are both expected and surprising reactions. Depending on what type of person you are or what state you are in at the moment, you may find the comments pleasant or they may make you uncomfortable. In contrast to dads, expectant mothers experience their role as mothers for the first time when they are already pregnant. This can cause a discrepancy because the baby is somewhere in the “tummy” and is initially invisible to the mommy and perhaps not even noticeable. So it can be strange for you if some people suddenly call you “mom” and project the entire spectrum of mother clichés onto you. Please don’t take this personally. Most people give zero thought to your pregnancy. In addition, they have no idea about the mixed emotions of an expectant mother.
Congratulations and hormones
The most common and somewhat neutral reaction from other people to your pregnancy in our culture is congratulations. The default is to assume a happy event. Please note that people with children are often much happier because they are in parenting mode and because they can still remember the overwhelming rush of hormones when their baby was born. This really feels like true shared joy and will make one or two anxious moms-to-be breathe a sigh of relief.
Bad conscience from the boss
“Then I guess I’ll have to look for a replacement for you now” – followed by a theatrical sigh. That was the reaction of a superior when the mother-to-be “confessed” her condition to him, with mustered courage and after two years of in-vitro strains and disappointments. He has two children himself. More months of comments followed, which the woman endured with tears in her eyes but bravely in her Covid home office. Unfortunately, it is not an isolated case that pregnancy at work is seen as a burden on the team. Hopefully that will finally change when mommies and daddies share the child labor and the job more evenly. Then superiors at work can get upset about the lack of men and women. Or we can all finally learn to shut up and be happy that we as humanity are not dying out.
Come to the world
Multi-year parents may also exhibit cynical reactions. With a little empathy they will say it behind your back: “She will be born, grin”. This doesn’t mean your unborn child, but you. Tired parents can be forgiven for this, because they know exactly what to expect with a baby. This creates the silent wish that fellow human beings should experience the state of exhaustion and irritability in solidarity. Typical example: The 40-year-old party buddy who doesn’t come to the family brunch on Saturday because he “has to sleep until noon.” When he announces that he is becoming a father, his friends’ malicious thoughts are inevitable. But don’t worry, when the child is here, the tired parents will also be happy to finally welcome their lost party sheep to their parents’ planet and will help wherever they can. First the schadenfreude, then the solidarity.
Pregnancy means change
Pregnancy is a private matter and should not be judged or commented on by anyone. But the information triggers a rat’s tail of thoughts for most of us. Because it is a big, archaic change and people have a hard time with change. The next time a woman tells you she’s pregnant, it’s best to say, “That’s good to hear, how does that make you feel?” In my opinion, the best comment – let the expectant mother share her feelings with you.