Even though they may not have the actual baby in their arms yet, pregnant women have every right to celebrate Mother's Day if they choose, along with the rest of the moms, grandmas, stepmoms, and other parents out there. And for those who do, there are certain things to say to a pregnant mom on Mother's Day that will guarantee that the holiday will be a happy one for them.
Mothers and motherhood have been celebrated in some fashion ever since the ancient Greeks feted their mother goddesses (and props to them for having mother goddesses in the first place!). Our American Mother's Day tradition began as a way of promoting peace among the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, according to the History Channel. But no one has actually come up with a holiday for expecting mothers, or established an official position on whether Mother's Day counts for them too, so it's up to the individual mom-to-be to decide whether she wants to be part of the second-Sunday-in-May action. But it's a pretty safe bet to say that most pregnant women's reaction would be hell yeah.
So listen up if you're a partner, family member, or friend of a woman who'll be spending Mother's Day incubating a human being. It's okay to let them know that this day is for them, too, and it's even better to acknowledge their feelings and needs during this special time. If you need a little inspiration, try these phrases:
"Sleep as late as you want."
Alarm clocks should be outlawed on Mother's Day for all moms, but particularly for ones who are achy and worn out from carrying a heavy, kicking child inside them. Moms-to-be should be encouraged to lie in bed as long as they like, to take an afternoon nap, and to put up their feet in between.
"Here's your Mother's Day gift!"
Time to get on the same page, guys! A survey from EMA New Moms found that although 60 percent of expecting mothers anticipated receiving Mother's Day gifts, 60 percent of fathers-in-waiting didn't plan to give anything to their partners. Not only that, they "didn't even think about" honoring the day with a present. Come on: Doesn't nine months of nausea, swollen ankles, belly-band wearing, and Cabernet abstinence deserve even a little something in the way of appreciation?
A mom-to-be needs to hear this as often as possible, and in these exact words. As one mom told Fatherly, telling a pregnant woman,"You look beautiful" is hard for her to believe when she's feeling like a blimp. It also implies that her beauty is superficial. Telling her she's a beautiful human being who's creating something awesome... that's something else again.
"We have reservations at 6:00."
Why shouldn't a pregnant woman join the other moms getting treated to their favorite brunch or dinner on their special day? This especially applies to first-time moms-to-be, whose window of opportunity for couples-only time is rapidly closing. Whether it's a restaurant trip or take-out at home, any meal that doesn't involve anything called "nuggets" is a perfect way to honor this Sunday.
"Don't worry about the dishes."
Or the laundry, vacuuming, dusting, bathroom disinfecting, or any other household task that the resident mom-to-be might dare to tackle. But once you assure her that the chores will be done, it's on you to make sure they are.
"The kids and I are going out for a while."
If this isn't your first child, then this is the day for giving the mom-to-be a break from the usual "Mommy, I need" routine. In addition to taking over the feeding and potty duties, you can offer to take the kids out so that she can have some me-time.
Between the morning puking, the crushing fatigue, the hormonal moodiness, and the secret fear that she won't be a good enough mom, a pregnant woman goes through a lot in these nine months. Letting her know how much you admire her can go a long way toward boosting her self-image.
"I can't wait till we're finally parents."
Raising a child is a team effort, and anything that shows an expectant mom that her partner is in this with her 100 percent is a comforting assurance that she can own this thrill ride called parenthood.