Strategies for Not Getting Your Belly Touched at Work

Thank you guys for all of your sweet help and support. I think it was just what I needed, and while I’m still pretty scared about the adjustment, I’ve been trying to slowly practice just coming out with it to store patrons I’m more comfortable with, etc. You know, when they give you that pointed, “How are you doing?” with the just-a-little-too-long-glance at your belly. I’m trying to use those as an opportunity to practice sharing my good amazing news. Also a friend came in and already spilled the beans in front of a bunch of them, so I think the cat’s officially out of that bag.

Plus, I’ve been practicing two important maneuvers to avoid the belly-rubbing that I know will ensue:

Stop. Hammertime.

Stop. Hammertime. Thanks Google Image Search!

1) Hide behind the counter. Don’t come out. Put large boxes in the walkway by the entrance to the counter so people can’t get in without it getting even more awkward than before and them probably falling over. Basically, I’m perfecting the art of the barricade. Also, sitting in the rolling chair provides extra maneuverability while simultaneously keeping me a little further out of arm’s reach.

2) Movement. When not behind the counter, move quickly from room to the next, never slowing down. If they can’t catch you, they can’t rub you. Adding a lot of twists, turns, and sudden movements to regular walking might make you look positively bonkers, but it’ll add an air of confusion about which way you’re going next and seems to make people less likely to risk touching you, in case they might catch whatever crazy you have. Obviously, this tactic is going to get less useful the further along we get, but I’m planning on milking it while I can.

So as you can see, things are going pretty well in the adjustment department and I’ve only become a half-crazed tactician. I’ve only momentarily considering faking a terrible cold and sneezing at anyone unwelcome who gets too close. I think I’ll save that for the worst of the trouble-makers. Perhaps I should practice my fake sneezing now though, since I’m kind of a natural flailer when it comes to sneezing. A-ttractive.


The only prayer request I have left to make (other than continued prayers for baby’s well-being & little soul, of course) is that I might have the opportunity to tell one patron in particular personally before she finds out from someone else. You see, this lady is sweet and well-intentioned as can be. She had been asking me EVERY WEEK since August or September whether I was pregnant. Which, of course at the time, I was not. And which was exceptionally painful since she wouldn’t let it drop, even after I explained that we would love to be, but were struggling badly with infertility. She was clearly oblivious to the pain that she was causing and thought it was some kind of a joke how I would get frustrated with her after she asked me each week. She genuinely didn’t get it and had probably never considered what it would feel like for someone who wasn’t sure that she would ever be able to say yes to be asked that question constantly.

So, finally, a few weeks ago, I mustered up all of my confrontation-hating courage and pulled her aside to explain in no uncertain terms how hurtful it was for someone in that situation to be asked repeatedly whether she was expecting (and to be told that she looked like it on top of it.) I didn’t get very far before she nearly burst into tears and said that she was so sorry and hadn’t realized what that had been like for me. She was so sweet and she’s never brought it up again. I wish I’d realized how much more direct I needed to be with her earlier. It would’ve saved me several months worth of heartache.

So now, I feel as though I owe her sweet self a personal announcement, especially after having confronted her about her questions regarding my fertility issues while actually 3 months pregnant. I’d just rather her not hear it from someone else first. I’ll admit that I’m a little nervous that she’s just going to start dancing around telling me that she was right and all I needed to do was keep praying, and forget about our earlier conversation. Because she would do that. The dancing, I mean. Possibly the second part. But I really want her to remember how much I meant our earlier conversation. It’s important. And I don’t want any other women she knows to get hurt unintentionally like I did. So, dear friends, would you please keep that intention in your prayers for me? That I can a) get the opportunity to tell her personally first and b) that I can get enough words out before she excitedly starts talking over me to convey that I still meant it?

Thanks, you guys are the best. 🙂