I would like to begin by wishing a very pleasant Mothers’ Day to all those mothers out there.  I hope you had a nice day and your kids were good to you.

The PSA section begins now.  It has three sections.  This is advice for men, women and children of all ages.  It is just about universally applicable and is related to motherhood (holy topical internet postings, Batman!).

Part OneWishing a “Happy Mothers’ Day” To Women Who Do Not Have Children.  The advice is exceedingly simple:  Don’t.  Just, don’t.  There are several good reasons for this.  Chief among them is the fact that they do not have children and are therefore not mothers.  As a result of this simple, biological fact, they are disqualified from being wished well for this specific reason on this specific day.  Secondly, there may be a reason that they don’t have kids.  Maybe they’ve decided not to.  Maybe they’re trying right now.  Maybe they’re not trying right now.  In any case, your encouraging “but you will be a mother someday” in response to their protestations is not going to help.

Part TwoBehaviour Around Expectant Mothers.  The miracle of birth is indeed very miraculous and yes, people do get a little bit silly around babies and this is all very fine and good and is probably an evolution in our society designed to ensure the continuation of the species because objectively, babies are sticky and smelly and have a tendency to throw up with little provocation.  When the baby is still in its damp and squishy apartment, however, care should be taken when dealing with the landlady. 

She is aware that she is pregnant.  She knows that she looks “about 13 months along” and she is not really happy about this.  You should not point it out.  Also, do not touch the woman.  Even if you know her (and especially if you don’t, honestly how creepy would it be to have a stranger come up and put their hand on any part of your body for any reason), in all likelihood she is so sick of being prodded by professional prodders (a.k.a. doctors) that she will not take kindly to your feeling of her tummy.  Besides being super-weird, you are running the risk that increased pressure on the baby will have an attendant increase of pressure on the baby’s chaise lounge (more commonly known as the bladder) and this could have consequences that are unfortunate at best.

Part Three: When To Ask If A Woman is Pregnant.  Tying the above two points both together is this valuable piece of knowledge that really everybody ought to be told as early in their life as is practicable:  Do not, under any circumstances, for any reason, regardless of how certain you are, even if you have heard it from somebody whose authority on such things you respect as adamantine, ask any woman anywhere ever if she is pregnant.  If she is not, you have just suggested that she looks like somebody who has someone else inside her at this moment.  This is far from complimentary.  If, on the other hand, she is pregnant and has not yet told you this piece of information, there is very likely a reason.  If she would like you to know it, she will disclose it at the time and place of her own choosing and you ought not to put her on the spot because either she will lie to you or be forced into a situation outside of her comfort zone and that is not a very nice thing to do to anybody, particularly somebody who may have the hormonal equivalent of a barrel-ride over Niagara Falls going on at that very moment inside her body. 

Please feel free to print this whole post and tuck it into your wallet or purse for handy reference.

or it’ll move right through me