What is it about a pregnant woman that makes every other woman want to share the turmoil and drama of her own pregnancy and delivery? Believe it or not, there’s actually a reasonable explanation in a sense – motherhood is a bond between women. If you put two women in a room somewhere who don’t know each other and can’t even speak the same language well, they will eventually bond over stories of their kids, especially if they have kids the same age.
So for a woman to share her horror stories with an expecting mom isn’t a way of scaring the life out of her, although it can be amusing to those of us already on the other side, it’s more about camaraderie than anything else. It’s a way of welcoming you to the tribe of motherhood and letting you know we understand your pain and triumphs. Of course, the biggest problem is moms who haven’t quite crossed the line aren’t quite ready to join in the fun of epidural and episiotomy stories – no matter how funny they are to the rest of us.
People love pregnant women, especially women with children. When those moms start to share with you all of their dramatic tales, you don’t really have to listen to them. You just have to know how to handle the situation diplomatically.
Your first step would be to try and tune out most of what they are saying. Smile, nod and make mummers of agreement until the subject changes and you can move on. Some experienced mothers just don’t realize how it sounds to someone still looking ahead at delivery instead of in the past. If you can just ignore it or tune it out, nobody is harmed and you didn’t even have to try very hard.
If you have a true drama mama trying to engage you in her concern over the size of your belly and the amount of amniotic fluid you might have, cut her off politely using an age old tactic – change the subject. For example, if she’s going on about how big your belly is already at only five months, tell her, “My doctor and I aren’t worried about, but maybe you can tell me – is it supposed to rain later this week?” You can put any random question in there, but avoid more pregnancy related ones unless you’re certain they are safe.
If a tale persists or the speaker just keeps coming back to the worst parts of her own delivery and every horrible story she’s ever heard, just remind her that you’ll know it all in good time. Wait for a pause in the conversation, even if it’s a very small one, and remind her, “Well, it will certainly be an adventure won’t it?” and hopefully that will tie things up nicely enough to move on. If not, fall back on a pregnancy staple - plead a bathroom emergency and excuse yourself to find better company.
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