Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Perhaps writing this particular post for a primary readership of women is a bit of preaching to the choir, but I am guessing many of us have shared experiences when it comes to unwanted (and unwarranted) comments about our physical appearance, so I am going for it. While objectification is a very real issue, certainly for females, my actual focus here is the bizarre desire of the general public to comment on the appearance of pregnant women.

Mamas and mamas-to-be, do you know what I’m talking about? I am guessing you do. And I am also guessing you know these comments do not just come from men.

Throughout my own pregnancies, I’ve heard everything from, “You’re sure it’s not twins?” to super flattering adjectives like “gi-mundo” in reference to my growing belly. For the record, I have gained the low-end range of recommended weight with each of my babies, but even if I had gained double what my doc says, what gives people permission to throw their filters and manners out the window when they see my baby bump or any other?

I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to most of these people; many of them are just curious or drawn to a pregnant woman’s appearance because pregnancy is a mystical, magical journey. Most intend zero-harm when they utter these statements (or stare blatantly at the belly with bugged-out eyes); but can we please work together to surround mamas-to-be with nothing but love instead of comments that may incite doubt, fear, or shame?

Disclaimer: as a woman with years of carrying around body-image issues, I may be a bit sensitive in regards to this subject matter, but honestly, what woman (especially one undergoing the most natural physical development possible) wants to hear comments that could be perceived as criticism about her body? It is not acceptable.

If you tell an expectant mom she looks huge, that’s doing nothing for her confidence or comfort with her ever-changing body, which is already hard enough to handle; if you tell her she looks so tiny, she may wonder if something is wrong with her or Baby. And if you feel the need to guess her due date or ask if she is due soon and she still has months to go, well, heaven help you, because then you’re just asking for whatever snark (or left hooks) she throws your way.

Jokes aside, there is no need to comment on how any pregnant woman looks beyond telling her that she is beautiful. Because she is. Her body is working every single minute of those 40-ish weeks to grow a new person and when you fill that mama with words of love and positive attention, she can in turn do the same for her developing child, instead of worrying about how big her belly looks or wasting energy trying to fend off comments and questions that can range from rude to downright hurtful. We do not know each others’ backgrounds or histories with fertility, body image, or health, so let us not just assume that because her belly is on display, she can handle whatever words you want to throw her way.

Instead, let us be guardians of our mamas and their growing bellies. Let us tell them how happy, strong, or gorgeous they are, so they can take our love and shine it from their hearts into those of their growing families. That sounds way more beneficial, to me, than trying to compare her belly size to the local produce stand.

And mamas-to-be? I promise, I am working hard to craft some responses we can give to those who (inadvertently) insult us that involve neither sarcasm nor punching; since that is slow-going, let me leave you with this: you are SO beautiful!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jenni Welsch

A South Dakota girl at heart, Jenni has made a home in Hastings with her cool Nebraska guy and their four sweet babes. On top of being a stay at home mama, she is also a certified yoga teacher and part-time college writing instructor; writing on her blog keeps all of her roles and loves in life together. Before Jenni's oldest fell head over heels for Angry Birds, he once had a thing for dinosaurs. The Maiasaura is a dinosaur named for being a "good mother lizard" which is where she draws inspiration for her blog about mamahood, The Modern Maiasaura, in which some days are more good and others more lizard. You can read more and follow along with all of Jenni's latest kid antics, yoga adventures, and mama-isms at http://http://themodernmaiasaura.com/

Going to Church with Kids is Hard but We’ll Keep Showing Up

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young daughter in church

Going to church is hard with young kids. It used to be something I looked forward to. It’s something I’ve always valued deeply and needed desperately. It’s the one place that will always be home regardless of what location or building it’s in or what people attend. Church is my sanctuary. But it’s become a battle with the kids’ resistance, my tired mind and body, and my lack of ability to actually listen to the sermon. Going to church is hard with young kids. It’s become normal for me to lie down in bed on Saturday night thinking, with dread,...

Keep Reading

I’m Praying for My Teenager in These Challenging Years

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy holding a smartphone and wearing headphones

In my mid-40s, I began to long for a baby. We didn’t get much encouragement from friends and family. My husband is a high-functioning quadriplegic, and I was considered way too old to start a family. But our marriage was stable, we were used to obstacles, we were financially prepared, emotionally experienced, and our careers were established. I began to paint my own sublime mental portrait of parenting tranquility. What could go wrong? At 48, I delivered a healthy baby boy, and he was perfect. We adored him. The baby we had longed for and prayed for, we had. And...

Keep Reading

When Motherhood Feels Like a Limitation

In: Faith, Motherhood
Ruth Chou Simons holding book

Twenty-one years ago, my husband Troy and I welcomed our first son into the world. Two years later, I gave birth to another boy. And again two years later, and again two years after that. A fifth boy joined our family another two years later, and a final son was born 11 years after we began our parenting journey. If you were counting, you’re not mistaken—that’s six sons in just over a decade. We were overjoyed and more than a little exhausted. I remember feeling frustrated with the limitations of the little years with young children when I was a...

Keep Reading

I Obsessed over Her Heartbeat Because She’s My Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and teen daughter with ice cream cones, color photo

I delivered a stillborn sleeping baby boy five years before my rainbow baby. I carried this sweet baby boy for seven whole months with no indication that he wouldn’t live. Listening to his heartbeat at each prenatal visit until one day there was no heartbeat to hear. It crushed me. ”I’m sorry but your baby is dead,” are words I’ll never be able to unhear. And because of these words, I had no words. For what felt like weeks, I spoke only in tears as they streamed down my cheeks. But I know it couldn’t have been that long. Because...

Keep Reading

Here on the Island of Autism Parenting

In: Motherhood
Son on dad's shoulders looking at sunset over water

Hey, you. Yes, you there: mom to a kid on the spectrum. Well, you and I know they’re so much more than that. But sometimes those few words seem so all-consuming. So defining. So defeating. I see you when you’re done. That was me earlier today. I had to send a picture of a broken windshield to my husband. I prefaced the picture with the text, “You’re going to be so mad.” And you know what? He saw the picture, read my text, and replied, “I love you. The windshield can be fixed. Don’t worry. Just come home.” I think,...

Keep Reading

Round 2 in the Passenger Seat is Even Harder

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy behind the wheel, color photo

Here I am, once again, in the passenger seat. The driver’s side mirrors are adjusted a little higher. The seat is moved back to fit his growing teenage limbs. The rearview mirror is no longer tilted to see what’s going on in the backseat. Yellow stickers screaming “Student Driver,” are plastered to the sides of the car. The smile on his face is noticeable. The fear in mine is hard to hide. These are big moments for both of us. For him, it’s the beginning of freedom. Exiting the sidestreets of youth and accelerating full speed into the open road...

Keep Reading

We’re Walking the Road of Twin Loss Together

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother and son walk along beach holding hands

He climbed into our bed last week, holding the teddy bear that came home in his twin brother’s hospital grief box almost 10 years earlier. “Mom, I really miss my brother. And do you see that picture of me over there with you, me and his picture in your belly? It makes me really, really sad when I look at it.” A week later, he was having a bad day and said, “I wish I could trade places with my brother.” No, he’s not disturbed or mentally ill. He’s a happy-go-lucky little boy who is grieving the brother who grew...

Keep Reading

Somewhere Between Wife and Mom, There Is a Woman

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing alone in field smiling

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember there is a woman behind the mom. At home, you feel caught between two worlds. Mom world and wife world. Sometimes it’s hard to balance both. We don’t exactly feel sexy in our leggings and messy mom bun. We don’t feel sexy at the end of the day when we are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from being a mom all day. The truth is we want to feel like ourselves again. We just aren’t sure where we fit in anymore. RELATED: I Fear I’ve Lost Myself To Motherhood We know the kids only stay...

Keep Reading

Until I See You in Heaven, I’ll Cherish Precious Memories of You

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Toddler girl with bald head, color photo

Your memory floats through my mind so often that I’m often seeing two moments at once. I see the one that happened in the past, and I see the one I now live each day. These two often compete in my mind for importance. I can see you in the play of all young children. Listening to their fun, I hear your laughter clearly though others around me do not. A smile might cross my face at the funny thing you said once upon a time that is just a memory now prompted by someone else’s young child. The world...

Keep Reading

Friendship Looks Different Now That Our Kids Are Older

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two women and their teen daughters, color photo

When my kids were young and still in diapers, my friends and I used to meet up at Chick-fil-A for play dates. Our main goal was to maintain our sanity while our kids played in the play area. We’d discuss life, marriage, challenges, sleep deprivation, mom guilt, and potty-training woes. We frequently scheduled outings to prevent ourselves from going insane while staying at home. We’d take a stroll around the mall together, pushing our bulky strollers and carrying diaper bags. Our first stop was always the coffee shop where we’d order a latte (extra espresso shot) and set it in...

Keep Reading