Don’t Touch The Belly

Don't Touch the Belly

During the time where I spent looking like this, and if you can’t tell I’m pregnant – this photo was my pregnancy with the ladybug, MANY people attempted to touch my belly without asking first. I hated it.

I totally realize that there are several women who LOVE to have people touch their bellies. I just happened to not be one of them. It was an invasion of privacy to me, and most of the time, people weren’t even touching the baby, just my belly, and well, that got kind of creepy. I even had some people who would like to touch the underbelly, and THAT was just too close to my crotch. Hey, you get the truth here.

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Here I am this past Sunday. I have a pouch.There’s no baby in there, just fat.  I’m very, very sensitive about it, so imagine my surprise when one of the members of my church came up to me (while we were in front of SEVERAL people after dismissal) and RUBBED MY BELLY while ASKING IF I WAS PREGNANT AGAIN.

-_-

If I had less melanin in my skin, I would have turned beet red. Instead, I got hot. I got embarrassed, I got mad.

Yes, I got mad. Mostly because the lack of boundaries with people from my church is one LARGE reason why I don’t feel comfortable there anymore. There’s a reason that I go to church and that is to receive the word of God, and hopefully while I’m there to feel like I am in a place of love and support, not judgement and embarrassment.

For some odd reason, women feel as if we can say and do things to another woman that we would go clean off about getting done to us. Here’s my main issue:

The person that touched my belly and I are not particularly close, so I have no idea why they would think that if I were indeed pregnant, that I would tell them before telling anyone else.

I  sat and thought about this for a while. Do I blog about it and then read the differing reasons as to why my reaction may be misplaced? Sure, why not. I mean, I basically stated all of what I’m typing now to the offender. Do I think that will stop her? Probably not. There are some people who truly don’t understand the error of their ways. Will she touch my stomach again? Probably not. If she does, I’m not sure that I would be as nice as I was this time.

But for the most part, I had to look within myself. Was my anger misplaced? Honestly, I don’t think so. I think that one should be VERY careful about approaching a woman about pregnancy. I’ve already had one person (once again from my church) approach me about being pregnant as I was actively going through a miscarriage. Life happenings didn’t afford me the pleasure of being able to stay in my house and curl up under the blankets like my mind wanted me to. So I had to go out, and deal with all of the congrats, and the hugs, and he explaining over and over again that I was in fact not pregnant.

What if the offender had been rubbing the stomach of a person who was in fact going through a miscarriage? Or who found out that once again this month they indeed were NOT pregnant. What if?

People, you must keep your hands to yourself! Unless a woman tells you with her own lips that she is indeed pregnant, don’t assume. You may be walking into a minefield, and it’s not their obligation to save you.

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 3, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Bad form, on the OTHER person’s part. I am a hugger and an arm-stroker, so I do have trouble with understanding other people’s boundaries, sometimes. Still, using some common sense goes a long way.
    Liz recently posted..Office Supply Heaven (Sort of Like IKEA, for Geeks!)My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      You know what they say about common sense not being so common though. It’s turning into an epidemic.

  • Reply
    Shelley Fields
    January 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I’ve had my share of assuming people were pregnant. I used to open my big mouth and say, “when are you due?”…Oh if I could stuff a man size shoe in my mouth before the words came out I would. I would never go for the belly though but it was still bad. On the other foot, I’ve had people assume I was pregnant before by asking me the same question, “when are you due?” or “are you pregnant?” and I would just simply reply, “No, I’m just fat THANK YOU!” I don’t know who looked more stupid…me or the other person. Now I’ve learned what it feels like and can sympathize with you.

    Speaking of common sense:
    I sent you Flickr Mail regarding your blog and I apologized for my assumption (i read your blog in the wrong order which is why I replied the way that I did) so please read if you get a chance. NOW WHERE IS THAT SHOE?

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      I’m still giggling at you. Your comments resonate deeply with me. I know that I’m teaching the ladybug not to always ask women if they have a baby in their belly if it’s round. So far, each time that she’s done it, the woman has thankfully been pregnant, but I don’t want to encourage the precedent. Even if most women will know that a four year old is harmless. That four year old will grow up thinking it’s okay.

  • Reply
    Sara
    January 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I experienced this when going through a miscarriage. I don’t blame you for being angry, and I agree that we need to have boundaries. One thing I will say is that, for the most part, people have good intentions. It’s okay to be angry, but it’s better to be forgiving.

    All that said, if someone reached out and even came CLOSE to touching my belly, pregnant or not, I’d probably reach out and smack them something fierce. 🙂

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Sara,

      I so appreciate your comment! I’ve since forgiven her, and all the other people who are probably going to end up doing this to me in the future. My entire desire is for it to just not happen (even though I know that’s a far reach.) I know that most people have good intentions, but I also believe that some really don’t know when they are doing something wrong and NEED to know that it’s not okay, especially if you think that the lady may been in the beginning stages of pregnancy in the first place. The entire situation was messy, and I think that I’m almost over it. LOL!

  • Reply
    Heidi...
    January 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    well said! For whatever reason Christians are the worst and it isn’t always women. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Christians are the worst with a LOT of things! And this isn’t a bash the Christian post either (before I get into trouble) but saying that from a religion that is based in love and acceptance, we sure have a long way to go!

  • Reply
    Melisa
    January 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I am horrified on your behalf. Even if you WERE pregnant, it is not acceptable for someone–anyone–to touch you without asking. Oy. Now I’m riled up.
    Melisa recently posted..Get Moving!My Profile

  • Reply
    Briana McCarthy
    January 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve been on both sides of this one. People asked me a couple time and it was offensive. I have a friend that was asked that several time and it literally broke her heart. I’ve really restrained myself in that area ever since. There was this one time though, when I was certain that I woman was pregnant. She had on a maternity dress and looked at least 6 or 7 months pregnant. Long story short, I asked her how far along she was and her response was, “I’m not pregnant.” I wanted to jump off of a building. I apologized for an hour.
    You don’t even look pregnant in the picture above. That lady, who ever she was, was doing too much.
    Briana McCarthy recently posted..Zoya Introduces New Polish Called “PixieDust”My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      The thing is you learned AND you felt mortified. I’m sure that there are people out there who will think that they have done nothing wrong, even after being told that they have.

  • Reply
    tracey
    January 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    First of all, I’ve seen you and you do NOT look pregnant! Also, it is common sense that (for the reasons you just listed above) people should never ASK if someone is pregnant. A better choice is to say something like “So, do you have any kids?” If someone is pregnant and wants to share with you? They’ll tell you then!
    tracey recently posted..Dishwater thoughts…My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      I kind of prefer the strong silent types. *giggle*

  • Reply
    Angie
    January 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I have endometriosis and often look about 4 months pregnant. I am lucky to have had two sons when I was quite young, before this disease devastated my insides. But now I am infertile. After trying for 4 years to have a baby with my 2nd husband, and after the loss of 1 pregnancy, we have moved on from trying. But here I am, often bloated from internal bleeding, and looking like I’m with child. It hurst so much to look pregnant when you cannot be, but desperately want to be. I am so glad you took the time to write this post. Sometimes people don’t even touch, but they *do* ask. I wish people wouldn’t even ask. As you said, what makes them think you’d want to tell them first anyway? Oh, humanity, Just take us at our words, and love us with what we’re actively presenting. Anyway, I came here via Twitter’s Amadi, and I’m so glad to meet you. Lovely post. xo
    Angie recently posted..A New YearMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      First off (hugs) and thank you for sharing your story. THIS is why it’s important to err on the side of wisdom and just wait for something to be said. While all intentions may be well meaning, they oftentimes don’t line up with what is actually going on. One of these days, the human race will learn.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    January 3, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I am fortunate enough to not have had many belly-rubbers when I was pregnant. I always feared them, though. I can’t imagine doing that to someone. My husband told me a few weeks ago that he SWORE his co-worker was pregnant. He was checking her FB page for info and asked what to do. I said NOTHING. DO NOTHING until she tells you. She could be gaining weight for a # of reasons. He found out from a mutual friend and still waited. It’s not appropriate for people to SAY it more often than not let alone touch you while doing so!
    Andrea recently posted..Happy 2013!My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Your husband’s lucky to have such a smart woman! LOL! It’s such an awkward situation, and sometimes I can laugh it off, but should I really have to?

  • Reply
    Kris Cain
    January 4, 2013 at 12:55 am

    I feel your pain on both points! I have had a couple of people ask me if I was pregnant when I had on a certain type of dress. Yeah… that is not fun.

    AND… I have been in your shoes on the miscarriage oopsie too. 🙁 I had 3 miscarriages before I had my girls. When I was pregnant the first time, my mother who of course did not listen told EVERYONE when I was only like 6 weeks. She failed to update them 3 weeks later that I had miscarried. So… when I ran into one of her friends in a restaurant and she started yelling “Congratulations!” I turned beet red and tears welled up in my eyes. I had to explain the situation. Again… not fun.

    Ugh.
    Kris Cain recently posted..I’m Heading to Vegas for CES! What Do You Want to Hear About?My Profile

    • Reply
      Kris Cain
      January 4, 2013 at 12:56 am

      Oh yeah! And there was a creepy guy at my job that was fascinated with the fact that I was having twins because he was a twin and he always wanted to rub my stomach. Noo!!!!
      Kris Cain recently posted..I’m Heading to Vegas for CES! What Do You Want to Hear About?My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      It’s such a crappy feeling when you’ve tried and someone opens their big mouth. So sorry that you had to endure that, and here’s hopefully to a year of never having to go through that again.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 4, 2013 at 7:51 am

    So, I’m thinking you need to come up with a line of shirts for this. Something like “Pregnant? Yup. Touch it? Nope.”

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Kelly, that’s a very good idea. Except mine would look more like: Pregnant? Nope. No, Really, I’m not. LOL!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 4, 2013 at 8:58 am

    When my aunt found out she had ovarian cancer, she looked 9 months pregnant (from the tumors secreting this green goo stuff that had no where else to go so it collected in her uterus). That happened when I was in high school, so I learned pretty young that you don’t ever ask or do that!
    Lisa recently posted..And That’s How Life Sometimes Goes – #NSNation Update – Week 49 #sampMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      You would think that this would be common knowledge. Unfortunately, we’re losing a lot of common sense and replacing it with not caring.

  • Reply
    Shelly
    January 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Wait, you don’t even look pregnant! Sorry that happened to you and I would be highly annoyed if that happened to me. I never minded anyone touching my belly when I was pregnant with all 3 of my babies but I sho nuff will slap the taste out yo mouf if you touch my hair! 😀
    Shelly recently posted..Boost your laundry and more with Borax {Review & Giveaway}My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      I like to think that I don’t look it. I HATED to be touched. Mostly because in each pregnancy there was some sort of issue that I had. I loved being pregnant, just I had things that I went through. And for someone to breach that personal space without even asking, bothered me. I was a totally different person if someone asked. There were PLENTY of people who GOT to rub my belly, but they requested it first. LOL. I’m the same with my hair too. Please don’t touch.
      Mrs. Houseful recently posted..The Houseful Does The Shedd – & Mr. Houseful Blogs About ItMy Profile

  • Reply
    MELISASource
    January 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Your reaction and emotion are were not misplaced at all. In my opinion, that was just flat-out a rude thing to do. I never liked anyone touching my stomach without asking while I was pregnant either, and I have strong feelings about my body and my personal space. Unless I know you–*really* know you like that, no one is allowed to cross those boundaries except my immediate family. (lbvs) You were totally in the right on this one!
    MELISASource recently posted..Deliverance From Being A Doormat: Reclaim Your Life With 1 PhraseMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      You always come with such sage words! I’m attempting to assess my reactions to lots of things, and this one I just couldn’t shake. I realize because it’s not meant to be shaken off, it’s meant to be discussed and taught that boundaries exist for a reason.

  • Reply
    Heather
    January 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Seriously, people kill me. It’s been almost two years since I had my daughter, but the pooch remains. Not that long ago, someone kept referring to me as being pregnant. When she finally went to touch my belly…that was it. These people would not want you asking them if they were pregnant. And what if I had been going through a miscarriage? You just don’t know, and unless you know, you should keep your thoughts to yourself. People really need to learn to filter their thoughts before they come out of their mouth…or their hands!

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      It’s a sad state of affairs. I also don’t understand what pushes someone to touch someone that they aren’t really close to anyway. Just in general, that’s not good practice. Thank you SO much for stopping through and commenting in my little neck of the woods. 🙂

  • Reply
    The truth behind the glow
    January 8, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I drafted a blog about this exact thing today. Being 5 months pregnant, I cannot tell you how much I hate strangers touching my belly uninvited. If asked I usually say sure thing, but it’s the uninvited invasion of my personal being that I absolutely despise. Back off our bellies people – preggas or not, it’s just wrong! X

  • Reply
    Dedra Brown
    January 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I read this post and then immediately thought, “Wait. Did she put her hands on you? Did Natasha just post that someone violated her personal space?” What the heck is wrong with people? I take issue with people violating my person, and yes, I consider it a violation to be touched by people with whom I share no true acquaintance. Simply stated, I don’t like to be touched. I don’t like people that talk with their hands and touch my shoulders or grab my hand. Most of all, PLEASE do not touch me and proceed to inquire about my personal business just because we are sharing the same air space.

    Some people are just rude…
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  • Reply
    Jen C
    January 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I completely sympathize with you! After my son was born I have had about 40 extra pounds and a pooch. We only planned on one child. All of our family and friends know this. But coworkers don’t. So I have had SEVERAL ask when I’m due, how far along I am and more. Each time they seem unfazed that they’ve just insulted me. One would think this would be a no-brainer!

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      January 13, 2013 at 12:45 am

      It can be so mortifying, and I don’t think people even care. Basically, the desire to be “first” to know something has eradicated all resemblance of manners in a large amount of the human population.

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