Being pregnant is hard. Yes it's exciting, but it's also trying and anxious and hormonal and, hey, guess who's in the front row of dealing with it? That's right: your beloved partner. The person who very likely got you into this mess in the first place. So you better believe there are moments during your pregnancy when your partner should praise you, because you deserve it (and, honestly, they very likely owe you).
I'd like, if I may, to continue to address my comments to those partners: folks, I feel you. What you have before you is no easy task. I have enough self-awareness to know that, as a pregnant woman, I was a little bit extra, but not quite enough self-awareness to care to do all that much to really curb it. I mean I wasn't a soul-devouring demon or anything, most days, but I know there were emotions and Big Important Talks I Wanted To Have that I couldn't necessarily contain and needed some support throughout.
It's not that I had a metaphorical "Fragile" sticker across my forehead for the duration of my pregnancy, but there was probably one that said "Handle With Care" or "This End Up" or "Do Not Bend" or something to let you know, "Hey, be a little bit gentle with me, world." A great way to do that was to shower me with love and adoration and empowering words of praise. But what situations require such affirmation? And what can you even say?
I've got you covered.
When The Store Didn't Have The Right Ice Cream & You Only Cried A Little Bit
You wanted Peanut Butter Fudge but unjustly had to settle on Peanut Butter Cup and I am so proud that after a mild tantrum in the freezer aisle you dried your eyes and accepted reality like a big girl. Look at you! So grown up! So calm and collected! You're amazing!
When You Put On Pants Even Though You're Not Leaving The House
You didn't have to do that, but your sense of propriety is matched only by your elegance and grace and of course it doesn't matter that the pants in question are pajama pants. You went the extra mile because that's just the kind of dignified, refined woman you are. We stand in awe of you.
When You Nobly Decline A Beloved Food
Oh wow. WOW! We know how much you love that particular item, but you said "no" because you want to eat healthy foods for your growing baby. How loving! How selfless! What saintly and virtuous behavior! What a shining example of maternal sacrifice you are, my good woman. You're like Mother Theresa and The Iron Giant combined.
When You Pop A Button
Brav-O! That was tremendous! That button was in the wrong spot anyway and through sheer force of your gloriously expanding belly, bursting forth with new life, you told that button, "Begone! You are not welcome here!" If you think about it, this is really a piece of performance art symbolizing woman's fight against oppression and Patriarchy. You're a genius!
When You Indulge In A Particular Food
Because good for you, girl! Treat yo'self! Don't you let "society" tell you what to do. They're not your master!
When You're Puking
It just keeps coming! A lesser woman would have stopped minutes/hours/days/weeks/months ago, but not you. No. You somehow find endless stores of inner strength inside of you to keep it coming. You're an inspiration.
When Someone Says Something Rude
(Alright, time for some serious talk. If someone talks smack about your pregnant partner then you go balls to the wall with effusive praise because she deserves it.)
When You Do Literally Any Chore
What is this witchcraft? How did you... I mean.. pick up a broom?! Push a vacuum? Wash a dish?! In your delicate condition, you somehow managed to do all that (or, like, one of those things)? Madam, I applaud your tenacity and free spirit but you must rest yourself or surely you will be too exhausted to give birth! You musn't overexert yourself!
When You Pee Your Pants
It's not that you didn't make it to the toilet, it's that your urine is too magnificent to be wasted on a toilet alone. The world (and your underwear, and maybe also your pants depending on how much we're talking here) deserves to experience your pee, too.
When You Nest
*dabs eyes with handkerchief* You are doing so much to get ready for this little baby. They are so lucky to have you to watch over them. And, yes, they totally need their sock drawers organized by color and then also alphabetical by name brand. That's what separates us from the animals.
When You Eat A Particularly Large Meal
I didn't know it was possible for a person to eat that much on their own, but here I stand, gobsmacked and slow clapping among the ruins of your conquest: an empty bucket from KFC, a pie tin, a cup that once held a milkshake, and microscopic crumbs from an artisanal baguette.
The poets shall sing of this feat for centuries to come. Our children and grandchildren shall read of you in history books.
When You Start To Waddle
Claim your space, my love! Move with purpose and style! You're like an adorable but determined penguin, scuttling across the Antarctic waste! You are a fearsome cowgirl, striding into the town's saloon to seek justice! You are a noble duck who knows she's hot sh*t.
Waddle on, my precious waterfowl!
When You Fart
It is music to my ears, my delicate flower.
When You Fall Asleep Before 8:00 P.M.
Shhh. Rest, my slumbering princess.
(But no, seriously: these opportunities will not continue for much longer and you should for real take advantage of them when you can. Besides, growing a human is exhausting.)
When You Haven't Shaved In Months
When You're Super Emotional
You're emoting for two now, my dearest! Let forth your angst and joy and the feeling you can't even name when you see a baby animal that's so cute it's making you cry. You're never more beautiful than when you're inexplicably crying over a cute baby animal... and you do that a lot, lately, so I've never been more enraptured by you.
When You're Vocally Insecure
How. Dare. You. Even. Think. Those. Ugly. Thoughts.
You are a treasure, a vision, and beautiful in every conceivable way. In these times especially, you deserve nothing but admiration and praise.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.