The Big Belly Grab
Dear Manic Mommy: I’m three months pregnant and one of the women at work has touched my stomach twice without my permission. I was talking about this with my mom and she said that I will probably encounter many people who will also reach out and touch me. I’m not okay with this. How do I tell people politely to keep their hands to themselves?
Thank you, Soon-to-be-Mom
Manic Mommy: Ooh! I love this question because I HATED when it happened to me too! In fact, I remember one time a friend of a friend touched my belly, and this is no lie, after she went at my belly and exclaimed, “Oh wow, you’re so big,” I then reached out and grabbed at her ta-tas and gave them each a squeeze and said, “Oh wow! So are you!”
Really. I did!
Fortunately, I could get away with it with this friend of a friend, and we had a good laugh, but for some people, they might really be offended if you reached after them and grabbed at some private part of their bodies.
But, wouldn’t they really “get the point then?” that your blooming
belly is a personal part of you and that you don’t want just anyone grabbing at you just because they think they can?
Now, I realize that my “I’ll-grab-you-if-you-grab-me” approach will not work for everyone, so you can always take a more cautious approach: If you sense an offender coming your way with his or her hands set and ready for the big grab (and you can usually tell), just cut ‘em off at the pass, and physically stop them from touching your belly. Put your hands out, reach for their hands, and prevent them from touching you.
Then you can make a joke about it and say something like, “Ooh, I wouldn’t
touch! Pregnancy is contagious!” Or, “Whoops! I’m feeling a bit queasy so you might not want to rock the boat!” If they think you might vomit on them, they’ll probably be less likely to invade your personal space.
I would hope so anyway.
If you can’t stop the person from touching your belly, then suggest to her that since it’s obvious she’s so eager to touch your baby, might she want to take the first week of 4 a.m. shifts when your little bundle arrives!