Spoiler alert: there are some downsides to being preggers during the holidays. I won’t dwell on them here, but in the interest of full disclosure, let’s just agree that it can be tough to be pregnant during some of the most stressful times of the year. Oh, and there’s that pesky little thing about abstaining from alcohol when everyone else around you is downing festively-colored cocktails that you normally think are kitschy, but suddenly find so appealing because they’re forbidden, and usually you can just keep it out of your mind, kind of like that tray of cupcakes you made for the holiday party sitting in your fridge and would anyone really notice if you took one? Even if you took two, it wouldn’t be…. But, stop! Let’s not go there. Instead, let’s go to a happy place. You ok? Alright. Here are some reasons why it’s better to be pregnant on holidays:
This is the most obvious positive. Come on, you’re carrying a growing human being during a time when everyone’s inner gourmet cook comes out. So while other people struggle to stick to their diets, you get to indulge your taste buds without fear of judgment. Have a second (or fifth) cookie? Don’t mind if I do! Try that interesting new dip your sister made? Yes, please! And everyone wants to keep the pregnant lady happy. No matter how many hors d’oeuvres you take, they’ll keep offering you more while telling you how fabulous you look. It’s a win-win!
Blackmail opportunities fall into your lap
You don’t get to partake in the drinking of those aforementioned holiday cocktails, but perhaps that’s for the best. While everyone else lets loose, you’ll keep your wits about you. Pretty soon the inhibitions will be gone and people might start dishing their dirty secrets to the trustworthy pregnant lady. Not only are you able to scoop up all the juicy gossip coming your way from drunk co-workers and relatives, but you can also hold it over their heads as blackmail when they sober up and realize what they’ve told you. You may never have to be in charge of the Saturday morning soccer practice carpool again.
You get to relax during cleanup
No one is going to make the mother-to-be stand on her feet and do dishes after a holiday dinner. If you feel guilty about that, let me rephrase: no one is going to let the mother-to-be do dishes after a holiday dinner. Offer to help as many times as you want, but you’ll most likely be shot down every time. That way, when you’re propped up on the couch with an extra plate of cookies while every else is up to their elbows in turkey grease, at least you can feel good about the fact that you offered. Then again, you have been standing by the hors d’oeuvres table all night. Your legs are pretty tired.
Holiday shopping advantages
While it may be exhausting to go holiday shopping when you’re pregnant, a visible baby bump is a decided advantage. No one is going to pull your hair in the grocery store to get that last honey ham or cut in front of you at Target for those discount Harry Potter DVDs. Or if someone does, you can at least be comforted by the thought of that person roasting in hell. But for the most part, people will be respectful and tip toe around you, even offering you their spot in line. Also, they’re sure to underestimate how quick and stealthy you are. Thank you, prenatal yoga.
Comfortable wardrobe choices
Let’s be honest, everyone is going to tell you that you look amazing all night. It won’t matter if you’re wearing a garbage bag or a dress made of raw beef ala Lady Gaga. So why not keep it comfy? Let all the other women kill themselves in high heels and tight skirts. You can stick to spandex. Or come Christmas, how about an ugly holiday sweater? They’re baggy and festive! Also, if you decide to switch into some sweats the second dinner is on the table, no one will care. They’ll all be too jealous to say anything.
The get-out-of-jail-free card
Ladies, no matter how you feel about playing the pregnancy card, the fact is you have it at your disposal. Can’t stand the thought of going to your frenemy’s annual Valentine’s Day tea party? Don’t want to stay at your company’s holiday gathering past eight? Not feeling up to small talk at your neighbor’s cousin’s Fourth of July barbeque? All of these problems have a simple solution: the pregnancy card. A pat of the belly and a vague excuse about being tired or having leg cramps is sure to get you out of anything without anyone thinking less of you. My advice? Play the pregnancy card early and often. It’ll feel good.
Double the presents, double the fun
Let’s do some basic math. One mama plus one growing bundle of joy equals two. Since you are carrying around another person, you should probably be entitled to double the presents. But just for the major holidays like birthdays, Hanukkah, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, President’s Day, etc. Since the little one isn’t able to enjoy material objects yet, the gifts should probably be things that you can appreciate. Wouldn’t the child that you’re giving life to want you to have that pair of shiny earrings or that massage gift certificate? Of course he or she would.
You have a go-to conversation topic
A lot of the time, holiday get-togethers are annoying because you have to make small talk with distant relatives or complete strangers. But you’re in luck! A baby bump is the ultimate conversation starter. Sure, you might be sick of people asking you when you’re due or if you know what gender the baby is, but now you have something to talk about besides the weather and how good Aunt Sally’s seven layer casserole was (or wasn’t, depending on how honest you’re feeling). In all seriousness, talking about this exciting time in your life is a fun and positive way to connect with other people. Just be careful not to overshare. Nothing kills the holiday spirit faster than graphic details of your upcoming water birth.
About the Author: Eileen Sather is a staff writer for HalloweenCostumes.com, where you can find cute maternity costumes for any holiday or occasion.