So, this is a warning for expecting Mommas who haven't had their first baby yet. Once you announce to loved ones, colleagues, and friends that you are pregnant, brace yourself, your body will now become an object to those around you that can be discussed openly, and as if you are not there, and can be touched without invitation. Let me explain.
Once you are pregnant, all bets are off, as far as personal space, boundaries, and discussing how big you are or aren't. Now that you are pregnant, people believe it's perfectly reasonable to put their hands on your belly without asking. People will discuss if you look heavy, if you've gained a lot, if you show from behind, if baby is high or low, if you look swollen, if you look too thin, etc.
People will also treat you like a delicate flower, like you have become incapable of doing any sort of physical movement or activity. I want to share this, so, that you may better prepare yourself, and be able to, if needed, to reinforce boundaries, before your body becomes the topic of discussion for the next 9 months without your consent.
Loved ones, coworkers, friends, and strangers will want to touch your belly. It is up to you if you do or don't want this type of interaction. You will need to set boundaries, because the lure of a baby belly is impossible for many to resist. This will sound funny until you find yourself in this predicament, but here are some strategies for those of you who want to avoid unwanted physical contact. First, keep your distance, in other words, space between you and others so you are not close enough for a belly rub. Second, keep a piece of furniture between you and others (you laugh now, but this is practical). Third, verbally explain that you would prefer to not have your belly touched (the straight forward method). Forth, if someone does not understand why you won't let them touch your belly, ask if you can rub theirs. And finally, if someone rubs your belly without your consent, start rubbing their belly, and see if this puts a stop to unwanted touching.
If you love physical contact from people, by all means, enjoy, but if you don't, this is your warning to prepare yourself. Good luck, you got this Momma.
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