Pregnancy is a strange experience, and it's definitely hard to understand for people who have never been through it. As much as friends are excited for a woman who is expecting, they just don't get what she is going through, and that can make it hard to empathize.
If someone has never had a baby before, they won't realize the crazy things that can happen to a pregnant woman and how hard it can be to get through a morning, much less make it out to a girls' night out. Standing by and watching — and feeling left out — can be really difficult on childless friends, and sometimes they have some less than generous thoughts. They can get pretty frustrated with the excuses and the drama, and even the best friends who are pretty patient can think less of a pregnant woman in her darkest moments.
Sometimes the thoughts are fleeting, and sometimes it can cause women who are in different places in their lives, sadly, to drift apart. Most of the time, though, the best friends can get closer even as they battle through these thoughts.
Here are 15 things childless friends really think of pregnant women.
15 Excuse Makers
Pregnancy can cause a lot of mayhem in a woman's life, and it can really impact her life with friends. Even the most reliable woman can end up late to every event when she is stopped by morning sickness on the way out the door. Plans may have to change when a craving hits and a new restaurant has to be visited. And pregnancy brain can sometimes mean that birthdays and girls' nights totally slip her mind.
These are incredibly real reasons in the mind of a pregnant woman, but unless you have felt pregnancy exhaustion, you won't understand why someone would rather nap than go shopping. It can seem like there is an excuse for everything — but the truth is that there is.
14 A Few Too Many Complaints
Sometimes, friends of pregnant women are a little bit jealous. No matter how excited they are for their friend, if they have been trying for their own bundle of joy, they can't help but feel the pangs of wanting when their friend is describing what she is going through.
But as much as pregnancy is a miracle, it doesn't always feel like it. Moms-to-be can't help but complain a bit.
The exhaustion, the nausea, the aching back and painful heartburn, they are all a less-than-glamorous part of pregnancy, and who better to vent a little about it than to your friends?
But when you would do anything to be in that situation yourself, you can have less-than-generous moments when you think your pregnant friend is just ungrateful. Of course, they aren't, but it's tough to hear complaints when you would go through it all yourself if you could. Most friends know that they just have to wait for their time, but it can be tough sometimes.
13 Gross Over-Sharers
Most of the time, friends don't talk about bodily fluids. Even ride-or-die friends who have held each other's hair after partying too hard don't usually talk about it too much. But when you are pregnant, your body goes through some strange and gross things, and it's only natural, albeit annoying, to want to talk to your friends about it.
Pregnant women go through so much. From the moment they realize they are pregnant they have to rush to the bathroom to avoid accidents, and some end up so sick from morning sickness. Their discharge can change day to day, and so can their digestion.
It seems gross to talk about, but when it's on the mind of a pregnant woman, she can over-share with friends.
Consider it a warm up — after the baby is born, she's going to share way more than her childless friends want to know about her baby's diapers.
12 Raging Drama Queens
There are some women who love drama all the time. But for those of us who aren't on the Real Housewives, most of the time, it's nice to hang out with our friends without any drama going on. Unfortunately, even the most mellow girlfriends can become raging drama queens when they are pregnant, and that can leave their childless friends wondering if they are auditioning for Bravo.
Pregnancy hormones can really do a number on a woman's emotions.
It can just take one off-hand comment to leave the mom-to-be in tears or enflamed in rage. A normally even-tempered woman can go through an emotional roller coaster during a night out with friends, and if you haven't been pregnant before, you can really take it personally. The drama could make things more exciting for a bit, but after a while, it can be hard on everybody. Luckily, the drama will end after the postpartum period.
After a fun night out and an early morning, women understand what tired is. Everyone has had a night or two with just a few hours of sleep, whether it's because of a late-night party or an all-night study session. But there is nothing like pregnancy exhaustion.
Even if a woman has had a full night's sleep, she can need a mid-morning nap during the first trimester when the body is working hard on forming the baby and the placenta, the extra blood and all that comes with early pregnancy.
If a friend has never been pregnant herself, she just can't understand the tiredness that comes.
They may think that their friend is a nap-aholic, especially if she hasn't started telling people yet that there is a bun in the oven. When you have brunch plans, childless friends will never understand why their friend would rather take a nap. It's just something you can't get until you feel the energy-draining experience of early pregnancy.
10 Shower Gift Seekers
Baby showers are fun, right? But these days a lot of families hold more parties during pregnancy than ever before. It can be totally exhausting — and expensive — for friends. And childless ones can get the idea that the only reason they are around is because their parents-to-be friends want more presents. It doesn't hurt that many moms-to-be spend hours talking about what the best stroller and bottles are for their registry. Then when it comes to actually getting the invitations, the weekends add up.
It's not just about showers these days. Many people have get-togethers to announce the pregnancy and another one to reveal the baby's gender. They can have a half-dozen showers before the birth, and many times childless friends wonder if they can show up sans gift.
Many times the mom-to-be just wants to celebrate her new baby, and she'd be happy if her childless friends came and had fun even without checking something off of the registry.
9 Smelly Beasts
Sometimes you can smell a pregnant woman coming. It's something that women avoid most of their lives, so their friends can't understand why they would ever allow themselves to go in public in this state ever again. Sorry, when you are pregnant, it just happens. It's not just the underarm odor or the discharge odor that can creep up on you.
Thanks to pregnancy hormones that slow digestion, there are some other smelly and noisy situations that happen when you are pregnant that your childless friends would never understand. Unfortunately, during pregnancy, farts can happen without warning. They can be loud and stinky. For others, the gas escapes out the top through burps, which can be just as unpleasant and weird for friends. Pregnant women really are smelly beasts, and their friends just can help but notice.
There are some women who handle pregnancy like a champ, but others can feel sick pretty much every day for nine months.
A lot of people know about morning sickness, but a lot of the time moms-to-be are suffering from the worst of it during the first trimester when they haven't told all of their family and friends what is going on with them.
So friends who are in the dark can wonder if their friend is a hypochondriac when they haven't gotten over their illness after weeks.
There are other issues that arise later on that can also make it seem like a woman is always faking being sick. Some women get stuffy noses that can make it hard to breathe and leave them constantly sniffling for months. It makes their friends wonder why they are always complaining of a cold when anyone else would get over it after a few days. Pregnant women aren't faking it, though. It really is like being sick for way too long.
7 Picky Eaters
Once most people pass the toddler stage, it usually isn't so hard to find something that they like on the menu. But when a woman gets pregnant, she will all of a sudden not become so much fun to go to a restaurant with. In the first trimester especially, certain foods can cause her to run for the hills, and throughout the nine months, her changing food cravings can have her plan one restaurant earlier in the day only to have her insist on something entirely different by meal time.
There are a ton of rules about what to eat and what not to eat when you are pregnant. Deli meats are out, and so is sushi. A number of soft cheeses and other choices are also off the menu for a mom-to-be. A wine pairing isn't happening either, so she may not be as fun for a foodie night out as she was in the past.
She may seem picky, but a mom-to-be is just trying to be healthy for her baby, but it may not be as much fun for her childless friends.
6 Plan Ditchers
While it may not be fun to figure out a restaurant with a pregnant woman going through food aversions, the worst is when she ditches her friends altogether. Unfortunately, it can happen a lot when a woman is pregnant, and her childless friends may not understand. It happens the most in the first trimester when an all-day shopping extravaganza is too much for an exhausted and emotional mom-to-be to bear, especially if she isn't planning on telling her friends until the second trimester.
In the second trimester, the mom-to-be might be ready and willing to hang out again, but by the time she gets to the third trimester, she may feel like a fair-weather friend again.
Some days her aching back and swollen feet can't take a girls' night out, and she isn't interested in being the designated driver while her childless friends party all night long.
Priorities change during pregnancy, and after the birth too, so sometimes childless friends have to deal with the mom-to-be backing out on plans.
5 Name Obsessed
Imagine a book club when one of the members gets pregnant. All of a sudden, every conversation will stop when a new name is introduced — sometimes the mom-to-be will stop in mid-sentence to just think about how that name sounds and what it means. Other times, she'll start to ask questions and repeat the name again and again in multiple versions. That's because moms-to-be become obsessed by names while they are trying to figure out the perfect one for their little bundle of joy.
It can happen in any conversation — a childless friend will be ranting about a co-worker who did her wrong when all of a sudden the mom-to-be starts obsessing over the person's name. It can be distracting and distressing if you haven't gone through it yourself. Some childless friends play along with it, but for others it can be annoying.
4 Nesting All Day Every Day
Even for women who were also ready for a night out on the town, there is something about pregnancy that can cause them to be a homebody.
That's especially true during the third trimester, when a fun party for her is staying at home and nesting.
For women who still want to hang out with their friends, that means inviting them over to put together a crib or clean the baseboards.
This may not seem like a party for a childless friend, but sorting through clothes, washing and putting them away sounds like an amazing afternoon to moms-to-be that were even the biggest party animals before. Between getting the bottles organized and the changing table set up, there is a lot to do to prepare the home for the baby, and childless friends won't get it, but that's what the weekends are about in the third trimester.
The time before a woman actually becomes a mom is full of research and decision-making. Most moms-to-be have a while before they have to worry about discipline, but they are reading about it in their books and so they talk about it with very definite opinions to their friends.
They go on and on about whether or not they will breastfeed and if they think it is right to have an epidural during childbirth. Some childless friends have their own opinions, but even if they agree, it can be hard to take the sancti-mommy opinions of their pregnant friends. Everything seems like a big deal when the birth of a baby is imminent, so many women struggle with going with the flow, and their friends bear the brunt of their strong opinions, especially when that's all they want to talk about these days.
2 Emotional Hot Mess
There are a few times in pregnancy when a mom-to-be really needs her friends. Her partner is great for being there at doctor's visits and running to the store to cater to her cravings, but there are days when she definitely needs other women around her for support.
And her childless friends are usually great and supportive, but they must think that she is a total emotional hot mess.
There is no warning when these times come. Sometimes it's after a harrowing doctor's appointment or after a tough day at the office or a fight over the baby name with her husband. It's when the stresses of the pregnancy and the anxiety about the birth and all of the other obligations all come to a head. On a normal day, it would be a wine night, but while she's pregnant, it's about ice cream and letting out emotions. Even if the mom is a hot mess, she can feel better after a few hours with her friends.
Pregnancy is obviously a strange and exciting time for a woman and her friends. Watching it from the outside can be confusing and hard to comprehend, especially for friends who have never gone through it themselves.
But in the end, everyone is experiencing the miracle of bringing a new life into the world, and that means that everyone is blessed by going through it.
Whether the pregnancy journey is smooth or a roller coaster, friends can't help but see the mom-to-be in a new light. They see her strength and beauty, and they can't wait to see the next part of the journey when she is a new mom. Whether they have their own children or not, friends of pregnant women no doubt can see just how #blessed the mom-to-be is, and by extension they are blessed to be a part of it as well.