Monday, March 22, 2010

Go Ahead, Rub My Belly!

One thing I have noticed lately is that once you start showing everyone wants to touch the belly.

Everyone.

Friends, family, coworkers....even random people in stores. What is it about being pregnant that makes you relinquish your right to personal space?

I don't know why this bothers me so much, but I have a few theories. With the exception of my mother, my immediate family was never physically affectionate. We are not huggy people. I can not tell you the last time I hugged my brother for example. I'm getting better about that since being exposed to my in-laws and my stepfather's family who are VERY huggy. They hug hello, goodbye, and nice to meet you.

Another reason could be I am very shy by nature. I know, hard to believe but I am. When I was growing up I was painfully shy and I still am socially awkward in situations where I don't know anyone or when I'm meeting someone new. I have always been shy about my emotions and would rather use humor than talk how I really feel. The thing that freaked me out the most about getting married was standing up in front of people and have them all looking at me. When approached by the space-invaders who rub my belly, it makes me uncomfortable to have all that attention.

I just don't like it. Some people are nice and ask permission. But what do you say to that? Permission means that there is a possibility of the person saying "no". If I say no, they look at me like "hey at least I asked". While I appreciate being asked, I hate being made to feel that the answer has to be yes. Why can't they wait till it comes out to play with it?
19 weeks
Where do you stand on the belly rubbing issue? Am I being totally weird about this? Is there a better way to handle it?

8 comments:

BookishPenguin said...

I don't think you need to justify why it makes you feel weird. People are NOT supposed to touch other people without their permission (ideally, their invitation, to be specific). I'm with you that it seems the question comes with an implied "yes". I'm glad no one has asked me yet.

So far only my mom and one aunt have touched my belly (both without asking). I'm very thankful for this because I don't even like hugging people (including friends and family) so I definitely don't want them rubbing my belly like I'm some kind of genie's lamp. LOL I only like (love) when the hubby rubs the belly b/c it feels like he's interacting with both me and the baby then.

You are so not being weird about this at all. If someone asked me if they could touch my belly, I'd be tempted to turn it back on them and look at them quizzically and go, "Why?" - appearing totally puzzled that they would even ask/want to. lol

Amanda said...

I'm right with you. There are VERY few people I can stand to have in my personal space, so you shouldn't feel bad for feeling that way.

Becky Durham said...

It's weird for people to touch your belly no matter what's in there.

Cute pic!

Kristin said...

Felt like I was just reading my own words there!! Its not odd at all for you to feel uncomfortable for someone to want to touch your belly. I don't know what it is about pregnant bellies, but people just can resist. Its like they think they are going to be able to really feel anything, unless the baby is active at that exact point, it pretty much feels like any other belly. Just tell them that you aren't pregnant and that might do the trick. ;)

MelADramatic Mommy said...

"Thanks for asking, but no." I'm the same with touching babies. DO not put your I-have-no-idea-where-they've-been hands on my kid. When my DS was little, I taught him to ask before touching a baby and only touch on the arm or leg. "This is my dance space, that is your dance space." LOL!

Angela said...

I say you rub their belly if they touch yours. Maybe then they will get the idea.

Guzzo said...

I'm sure they don't mean it in a bad way, but it's WAY too personal for a stranger to touch your bump without your permission.

But, whaddya gonna do? They already rubbed it. It doesn't pay to get angry either. They don't understand the concept of personal space and will just think you're a bitch.

Maybe you could create and wear a maternity shirt that reads "Do NOT Rub Belly!".

The Coconut Diaries said...

Try this:
RANDOM STRANGER: Can I touch your bell?
YOU: Can I take a crap in your toilet?