GaGA! Growing and Getting Awesome… the Official Loving the Pregnant You Blog

Someone’s expecting? Congratulations are in order! … Aren’t they?

congratulations are in orderWe often make assumptions!

It can be easy to assume that if someone is married and over the age of 22 that it’s good news when they tell us they’re pregnant. Congratulations are in order!! (Aren’t they?)

It can also be easy to assume that if someone is unmarried, a teenager, or just lost their job that it’s bad news to be pregnant.

We all probably have examples in our lives of when these assumptions didn’t hold true. We can try – to the best of our abilities – to check our assumptions. We can even express it that way, “I’m assuming this is great news. Is that how you feel?” (Although that might leave a delighted person wondering, why would you not think this is great news?)

When we make an assumption…

Another thing to get is that we all – at some time or another – got the assumption wrong. And when we did that, we hoped that the other person would be gracious with us. And if they weren’t, we might’ve thought: “What? How can you blame me? Most anyone would think that…” So, we want to extend the graciousness we’d desire with those around us. How could they know? They are not inside our heads and hearts.

Another way to keep us out of assumption trouble is to be really curious or interested in how it is for the other person. If we’re in a place of wondering what it’s like for the other person and are actively figuring that out – so we can empathize and say the appropriate things that will support and empower the individual – then we will most likely find ourselves asking a lot of open-ended questions: How is it going? What’s it like for you so far? What are you thinking and feeling? You can see how these allow the other person to go where they want. It keeps us from laying our feelings and opinions on top of their circumstances.

And, be prepared that you might not get it. You may not understand how someone who says they want to have kids is not excited in this moment about being pregnant, especially if you and your partner are currently trying to get pregnant or spent 2 years doing so. And even something that we could “get” at one time might not be as easy to get now.

Congratulations are in order, yes. Yet, we’re not feeling how you’re assuming we’re feeling.

When we got pregnant the first time, it was our plan, it was what we wanted. And, it was scary and overwhelming for us. We didn’t know if we were ready, we were processing the new role of parent and experience a whole range of emotions. We had to try to “get: the (seemingly) over-the-top excitement of some of our family and friends. We had been married for 12 years before getting pregnant, so by that time they didn’t know if we were going to have kids. Many had assumed we weren’t. They were delighted to know that we’d now be on the parenting journey they were on or they wished for us. I could get that they were excited and assumed that we would be too. We were – yet there were so many other emotions we were experiencing as well – and some that seemed more prevalent. It served me to try to understand where they were coming from and to explain a little about where we were coming from. And, it felt odd that it seemed that others were more excited about our pregnancy than we were.

Now, when we got pregnant with our second 13 months later, we were so very excited. Yet then, it wasn’t as shocking to those around us and our news didn’t evoke as much excitement. Now we were left feeling that people weren’t getting into it enough! Ah. Interesting. So, I shared all this also to point out that I’m now in a place of usually assuming that pregnancy = excitement! The Amy of today wouldn’t be able to “get” the Amy who had just gotten pregnant with her first.

Be prepared to share about your perspective. We can’t expect others to read our minds. We might just need to spell it out. “The reason I’m not jumping up and down with you is not because I’m not excited. It’s that I’m also scared and intimidated and truthfully those emotions are stronger than the excitement right now.”

What have you inaccurately assumed about others?

What have others (or what do you think others have) inaccurately assumed about you and your pregnancy?

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