I get it. I’m of a certain age and in a certain stage in life, and I’ve made no secret about the fact that we might not be done having children, but can I take a moment to be blunt and flat out ask, um, everyone – can we please be done, now and forever with the not-so-subtle tummy looks?
You know what I’m talking about, right? Either because you’ve had it done to you countless times or because you’ve found yourself taking a quick peek at someone’s waistline trying to figure out if they are up or down or *gasp* preggers?
I feel like the glances at my own belly began shortly after we got married (a decade ago) and in the years since we actually started having kids, I have long been paranoid that any time I carry any extra fluff, people who quick look at my stomach are calculating the next baby’s due date, even when there isn’t a bun in that oven. It doesn’t help that I actually have had four children, so there is by nature some fluff and stretched-out-ness these days that wasn’t there ten years ago, so sure – I could potentially look pregnant on any given day; and dang it, those little downward eye flicks I see people doing don’t exactly feel like confidence boosters, you know?
Insecurities aside, I have to say again, honesty moment, because I’ve certainly been on both ends of this phenomenon. In fact, I am a total hypocrite because I have totally done this exact same thing to friends and acquaintances who I know are maybe trying or are maybe not done trying to have more kids. So where do I get off feeling frustrated with those who do it to me?
I don’t. But I can make a pledge to do better and to invite others to do the same. Hence, the call for a truce.
Can we, as a society, just take a break from sizing each other up? You can take that literally, figuratively, or both, but let’s take it, OK?
Whether for the sake of comparison or curiosity, I vow to stop glancing at people’s midriffs because, frankly, it doesn’t matter what I see there. If they have something they want to tell me or the world about their health routines or family planning, they will. And I promise I will do the same. So really, there is no need for any of us to keep trying to be so sneaky because let’s face it. Pretty much all of us suck at this maneuver, and I have yet to see what good the recipient receives unless you immediately follow up the tummy glance with some mad love and wonderment about where they got their shirt. And even then, who are we really fooling?
I get it. Habits are hard and people are naturally inquisitive. But let’s cut each other some slack and lay off the “I wonder” eye moves, once and for all. I’d much rather see your smiling face and eyes meeting my own any day.