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Awkward Pregnancy Conversations In The Grocery Store and How To Turn Them Around!

Awkward Pregnancy Conversations In The Grocery Store

It isn’t something I can, or would, hide.

I’m pregnant.

This, on it’s own, seems to be enough to invite all kinds of comments and questions from perfect strangers.  Most of them are pleasant enough and polite and I understand.  A new baby is an amazing miracle.  It doesn’t seem to matter how many people we see who are expecting.  Somehow, knowing that a new life is growing, even inside a stranger, fills us with wonder and awe.  It certainly is something to be celebrated and enjoyed.

Awkward Pregnancy Conversations In The Grocery Store... And How To Turn Them Around.

The questions we often get are the ones you’d expect…

  • When are you due?
  • What are you having?
  • How are you feeling?

These sorts of questions are just fine.  I’m quite happy to share the joy and excitement.

It’s the follow up questions that start to become problematic.

Another Gift For You!

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What is it about pregnancy that encourages people to pry?

A few weeks ago, I was out shopping with my girls (I have 4 of them) and the cashier pointed to my rather large belly and asked “When are you due?”  I smiled because her face was beaming with excitement for this new little life.  “April 3rd,” I replied.  “Oh, that’s coming up quick, isn’t it!  Do you know what you’re having?”

Now, there’s a sarcastic, snarky side to me that sometimes wants to come out and I dearly wanted to say “Well, it isn’t a llama!”

Instead, I smiled again and told her that we were expecting a boy.

She immediately eyed my four girls and then looked back at me.  A different expression on her face.  “Are you happy about that?”

I always wonder what makes someone ask a question like this.  Should I NOT be happy because I have four girls?  Should I be EXTRA happy because I have so many girls?  I would have been happy if it was a girl and I’m happy that it’s a boy.  I’m happy that we’re going to be welcoming this new sweet life to our family.

“We are all very excited,” I replied.

On our way out of the store that day, she parted with this gem: “Well, at least you finally got a boy!”  I have to admit I was grateful she hadn’t said that earlier in the conversation because that thought is always followed with “Are you done having kids now?” and in this case, she didn’t have time to ask.

Awkward Pregnancy Conversations In The Grocery Store and How To Turn Them Around!

The Phrase I Used that Changed The Conversation

Yesterday, at a different store with a different cashier (and the lady who was kindly bagging things for me) the conversation started very similarly to the one I described above.  Only this time, when she asked what we were having, I accidentally used this turn of phrase:

“We get to welcome our first boy to the family!”

These two ladies both paused for a second and, like the cashier from weeks before, they eyed the four girls with me.  I saw them take notice of the big smiles on those sweet little faces and the ladies quickly smiled, too.

“Oh, how exciting!  Your first boy!”

[tweetthis]You see, with that one phrase, I accidentally answered all their follow up questions. [/tweetthis]

You see, with that one phrase, I accidentally answered all their follow up questions.  That phrase showed our joy and excitement.  And it showed that we may or may not be welcoming more children into our family in the future.

There were now awkward follow up questions.  There was no prying or pushing for an odd grocery-store confession.  We all just shared a moment of joy and excitement for this new life.

And it was lovely!

Why does this kind of thing always happen to us at the grocery store?  I’m not really sure.  How have YOU handled awkward conversations like this with strangers?

About the Author Sandra Modersohn

Sandra Modersohn is a devoted wife, mother, and homeschooler. She loves great graphic design and has a passion for creating beautiful and useful printable materials for children. Little Learning Lovies where she shares her creations with the world. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest and, of course, at the Little Learning Lovies Blog and Store.

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Leave a Comment:

Laura says 6 years ago

I really needed to read this. We’re not currently pregnant, but it’s a definite future possibility. We have seven here on earth and two more saints in Heaven. We were blessed with secondary infertility between our third and fourth children which lasted for seven years…and I remember so well the heartbreak of having someone I had known my whole life say to me, “Well, you don’t really need any more children. Three is a great plenty.” It never stopped the longing in my heart, and it never stopped the immense joy I felt while pregnant each time after! We’ve beheld stares, endured questions, tolerated counting….and thankfully, when we announced that we were pregnant with our youngest, one relative responded with, “After seven comes eleven!” –I take that to mean we’ll at least get positive responses from that person from now on! 😀

Cynthia G says 6 years ago

I actually had this very question a few weeks before my son was born and I finally had my fill of it that the last person to ever ask me, is it a boy or a girl, that I replied to this mean old woman who was actually looking into our grocery carts and making comments on the food we ate, and did this every week that we were in the same grocery store at the same time, that I said no, we’re having a male Vulcan. My husbands got black hair and is very logical because his father is Spock from Star Trek so we’re thinking of naming the baby Saurek after his great grandfather. I do admit that it annoys me to no end when people call an unborn baby an it or a thing, they are a real live human being for crying out loud!

Sheri says 6 years ago

I think that is a wonderful response!

The one I have heard that I don’t really like is, “We’re going to keep going until we get an ugly one.” Well, eventually, you’re going to stop having kids because of nature. Does that make your last one ugly? Or what if you are blessed with a child with a deformity?

I think you did a great job, and I’m sure the Holy Spirit was guiding you!

(And I HAVE responded to “what are you having” with, “Well, it better be a BABY!”)

Awkward Pregnancy Conversations At The Grocery Store | Life Lovers says 6 years ago

[…] Awkward Pregnancy Conversations At The Grocery Store […]

Heather says 6 years ago

I am expecting my seventh daughter, and I have one boy. I think I have only ever had one, very long, conversation with a lady who assumed it was her responsibility to tell us we shouldn’t have any more children. I have never taken offense to any of the other comments. I’m sure if I had mostly boys people would think I should try for more girls. Children are precious and beautiful, and I am happy to share that joy with them. Why take offense? I just tell people we love children!

Nicola says 6 years ago

My mother was the youngest of 11, and the 8th girl, so I have a huge extended family. Even in our huge family we have situations of awkward conversations like that. My one cousin now has 3 girls, but her brother and his wife just had their third child, which is a boy. She was asked at our family party at Christmas if she was jealous and going to rush to try for another baby so she can finally have a boy!

There is just something about our society that still places high value on male children.

Anyway, congrats and good luck with the big day! May labor be short, and the nurses be kind!

    Sandra Modersohn says 6 years ago

    What a sweet blessing you just bestowed on me! 🙂 Thank you! And isn’t it terrible that sometimes, the odd comments come from family? Much harder to handle than strangers!

kmr267 says 6 years ago

I have 2 girls and we just welcomed our first little boy in July. I am sad to say that comments about will I try for a boy started before I even birthed my first daughter! It always hurts my heart what kind of message that must send to little girls. When I was pregnant with my son and people asked if we were trying for a boy I answered with “no, we were trying for a baby”, lol! I could write a book on rude comments I recieved, but I feel so blessed with each and every one of my children!

    Sandra Modersohn says 6 years ago

    Yes… That “llama” comment from my post ALWAYS pops into my head when people ask what we’re having or what were we hoping for etc. So far I’ve managed to keep it inside my head. 🙂 Congratulations on your new sweet little angel! How blessed each of your children are to have such a grateful mama! ♥

    Sandra Modersohn says 6 years ago

    Yes… That “llama” comment from my post ALWAYS pops into my head when people ask what we’re having or what were we hoping for etc. So far I’ve managed to keep it inside my head. 🙂 Congratulations on your new sweet little angel! How blessed each of your children are to have such a grateful mama! ♥

Jennie C. says 6 years ago

The questions don’t stop when the baby is born. You have to have another, just to show them that you weren’t “trying” for a boy! 😉 At least, that’s how it worked for us. Or you can just wink at the girls and tell the gawkers, “Yup, we finally got our boy!”

“One girl is worth more use than 20 boys.” Peter Pan

    Sandra Modersohn says 6 years ago

    Jennie, I told Sam that pretty soon after we found out it was a boy… I said that now we HAD to have another or everyone would assume we were trying for a boy! lol Not a great reason to have a baby, but I wouldn’t mind a dozen more, so we can pretend that’s the reason. Lol ♥

Rosa says 6 years ago

Classy response! Nicely done! 😀

I’ve found that some folks don’t need an invitation to give me their opinion. We have a girl and a boy 15 months apart, and plan at least one more pregnancy in the near future. I’ve had people look at us and say things like: “One of each! Now, you don’t need any more!” … “You’re all set now! Some people are just so greedy to want to have more kids when they have one of each already!” and … “Well, thank goodness you got your complete set right off the bat!! Now you don’t have to worry about getting pregnant again at your age!”

*sigh* I still don’t know how to answer any of those in a nice way. I’m going to have to come of with a >>polite<< list of responses for when I get pregnant again :-/

Keep up the great work. You're a wonderful example of grace.

    Sandra Modersohn says 6 years ago

    I got a similar response when we had twins. They were both girls, but folks assumed that two was the limit so I should be thankful that I ‘got it all done’ at once. Not sure what sort of sense that was supposed to make. We proved ’em wrong by having our third just 11 months later! lol

    Jennie C. says 6 years ago

    Dear Rosa, as a mama of eight children, I can say that there is no end to the rudeness of people! I can also say that they honestly have no idea they’re even being rude. When they say, “Are you done yet?” I say, “Children are a blessing and we look forward to how ever many God chooses to bless us with.” When they say, “Are you trying for a boy?” I say, “We’re trying for a baby, so we’re going to get our wish either way!” When they say, “You’ve got your hands full…” I say, “Better full than empty!” (Careful: that one often elicits tearful confessions.) And when they say, “Don’t you have a TV?” I say, “If you think TV is better than s**, you must be doing it wrong.” (I don’t hear that one too often, thankfully!) Occassionally, they even go so far as to ask, “Are you Catholic?” That one still baffles me; we’ve been the largest family in every parish we’ve attended since the fifth child. Being Catholic doesn’t mean large family anymore!

    Most of the time, strangers don’t mean what it sounds like they mean.

    Enjoy your growing family!

      Cynthia G says 6 years ago

      My parents almost always go the same thing, so don’t feel bad. I’m the youngest of six and people would ask if we were Catholic and my mom would turn around and say, ” No I’m Jewish, when G-d told us to be fruitful and multiply I took it to heart, as well as my father since I’m the 9th of 12.” They’d more often than not, just bug their eyes out and run along because we are right smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. I know even as a small kid I always chuckled at the audacity of complete strangers who think they have the right to say things like that.

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