PODCAST: Pregnancy Etiquette and How Systems Can Reduce Stress in Marriage

by | Jul 11, 2019 | Uncategorized | 16 comments

Some practical ways to reduce stress in your marriage and also a real-talk about what's appropriate and what ISN'T appropriate to ask people about pregnancy!
Merchandise is Here!

It’s time for a new episode of the Bare Marriage podcast!

I hope you all will listen, but if you don’t have time, I’ll have some links and rabbit trails below so you can read all you want as well!

And consider this podcast “extras”. If you want to go deeper into what I talked about in the podcast, here are some more things to help you.

This week was a bit different–since Sheila’s still away on vacation, I (Rebecca) hosted this week’s podcast with my husband Connor and friend Joanna, who also works on the website. I hope you enjoy it! 

Without further ado, here’s the podcast:

 

Main Segment: Creating Systems in Your Marriage 

Back when we first launched the podcast, Connor and I talked with my mom about the huge shift that happened in our marriage when Connor started really taking ownership of the housework. That was more theoretical–so today we did a quick update as to how we’re getting systems in place to help us get ready for the little one arriving in October so we can keep our stress levels down. 

Since putting systems in place for housework, bills, the dog’s routine, and just general life we’ve found that the tension level in our marriage has dropped even further. We’ve loving figuring out new ways to “hack” our life so that we have more time to just enjoy each other. I hope this can help give you some ideas on how to make your marriage more stress-free! 

Here are some other great posts on practical housekeeping/de-stressing tips: 

Millennial Marriage: Pregnancy Etiquette

In today’s millennial marriage segment, I talk with Joanna about how people can sometimes say unintentionally insensitive things or ask invasive questions about pregnancy. Even though it all comes from a place of excitement, these things can actually be quite uncomfortable or hurtful when you don’t know the whole story.

Joanna opens up about some struggles she’s had over the last few years with pregnancy and we talk about 3 questions you really shouldn’t ever ask people you think might be trying or wanting to have a kid, and what you can do instead to help support the young women around you! 

Here are some related posts you can check out, both written by Joanna (both of them are excellent reads and so helpful): 

That’s it for the podcast this week! 

I hope you enjoyed it, let us know what you thought in the comments below–would you add any more questions to steer clear of when it comes to pregnancy or infertility? What are some systems you’ve put in place in your marriage that have helped keep stress levels down? I’d love to hear what you have to say! 

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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16 Comments

  1. Phil

    Good job with the podcast Becca, Connor and Joanna. I enjoyed it. With regard to pregnancy etiquette I would say be supportive and if your not sure dont ask any questions. Sharing your story with others always helps – from both sides. On the topic of helpful systems I say this is great. Recently due to a bunch of reasons grass mowing is now taking me longer. We need a new system but unlike the hamper idea this will take time and some money we just arent ready to spend yet. So instead we have been engaged in a continuing conversation that is planning and prioritizing on how we are going to get there. Patience and compromise here is important. Have a great day everyone.

    Reply
    • Lindsey

      I’ve had three miscarriages. My first pregnancy, which is scary because then you wonder if you will ever have kids, and then two between child number 2 and 3. Two of them were early, but one of them (#2) was at 18 weeks. We went in to find out the baby’s gender and instead we found out we were miscarrying. We buried that baby, and afterwards I went to God in prayer and demanded to know how I was supposed to “give thanks in everything” in the midst of this trial. And I heard God in my heart (that’s the only way to explain it, there was no actual voice, but it wasn’t a thought), and He told me “I have given you more children than you could have had in this physical life (my pregnancies were very close to one another, so if I hadn’t lost them, then I wouldn’t have the children that I have). After that there was no more grief – even though I wept when we miscarried again, I didn’t grieve. I will raise those babies in a much better world than this one, and I will be a much better parent. In the moments when my faith is weakest, that memory of His answering me so directly reminds me that I know, and I believe.

      Reply
      • Joanna Sawatsky

        Hi Lindsey,

        I’m so sorry to hear about your losses. Thanks for sharing your experience here – it is such a poignant, hard thing to lose a baby. I’m glad you’ve been able to find rest in God. I’m grateful, too, in the aftermath of our loss, that I can find solace knowing that our little one is with Jesus. It is wonderful to know that we have hope in Christ and that the stories are true.

        Reply
  2. A

    I’ve always felt that questions about pregnancy and having kids, etc were way to personal so I’m glad you addressed that. Another situation where people would not appreciate these questions is if they did not want children. A lot of people don’t accept that answer even if there might be a legitimate reason for it. That can lead to awkwardness, judgment, resentment or more unwanted questions.

    Reply
    • Ashley

      Yes! I chose not to have children, party to the very toxic marriage I was in—of course people didn’t understand that! I was under so much pressure to have kids, even from a former pastor. It was awful. Thanks for bringing that up, A.

      Reply
  3. Jane Eyre

    I don’t think the pregnancy questions come from a place of excitement: they come from a place of control and “putting a woman in her place.”

    My SIL was such a royal B to me over vacation that we left early, and I cried when looking at my body every single day, so that is maaaaybe influencing my views.

    But I feel like a walking inkblot test for women’s own insecurities. The ones who never had careers (or had ladylike jobs) are busy telling me how I need to give up my (high paying, flexible hours) career. The ones who don’t like their bodies stare at my stomach (I’m athletic) and shine a spotlight on my nonexistent pooch.

    The women comfortable in their own skin are so, so warm and wonderful.

    11 weeks in and I already hate it. It’s like wedding planning all over again: nasty opinions where they don’t belong from people who don’t have the place in your life to merit giving them, and kindness from the people who aren’t a walking pile of issues.

    Sorry, harsh?

    Reply
    • Becky

      I hope you’re feeling better now, Rebecca! First trimester can be brutal. I couldn’t even go on Pinterest when I was going through it the first time, because even just looking at pictures of food made me sick.

      On a slightly more humorous note, here’s what not to do based on my experience…

      1. ESPECIALLY don’t ask a woman when she’s going to have the next baby while she’s sitting there with a baby that’s less than a month old.

      2. Also, don’t tell a pregnant woman that she looks like she’s ready to pop, especially when said pregnant woman is your daughter in law and you know her due date is still over 2 months away!

      Reply
      • Rebecca Lindenbach

        HAHA! YES both of those questions are very very important to avoid! 🙂

        (And yes, Becky, feeling much better thank you!)

        Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      Oh I’m so sorry, Jane! That’s horrible! I definitely think some people are just straight-up mean people who ask these questions for straight-up mean reasons. From Joanna and my own experience, it tends to be from people who are really really well-intentioned but simply don’t understand how invasive or uncomfortable some of these questions are. So I think like with most things, there are definitely examples of both.

      I hope you are able to surround yourself with people who are encouraging and accepting!!

      Reply
    • Cristi Schwamb

      I appreciated all your thoughts about being sensitive in regards to pregnancy. May I add one more? I’m not a millennial but it really bothers me to hear an expectant mom say, “I don’t care if it’s a girl or a boy, as long as it’s healthy.” While I wish there weren’t ever any sick babies, I cannot imagine our family without our youngest child who was born with a congenital heart defect and who has had dozens of hospital stays.

      Reply
  4. Natalie

    I love how you refer to your future child as “the kid”. 😂😂😂 Cracks me up.

    Also, when people ask me boundary-crossing pregnancy questions (my prim & proper 85 year old nana is notorious for sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong and giving her opinion on everything), I just go full blown awkward on them and give them all the details. For example, after 3 months of marriage, my nana who I’m not super close to (& really don’t care for very much based on how I’ve seen her treat my mother over the years) asked if we were trying. I did exactly what you mentioned and said “Yes nana, we tried last night. Do you have any positions you’d recommend for conceiving?” She got SOOO red in the face and couldn’t change the subject fast enough. 😂 It was priceless! Of course, that strategy isn’t for everyone based on their situation and backgrounds & wouldn’t work in all contexts, but I found it very successful & hilarious for me.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, my gosh, just back from England and reading old comments and saw this one, Natalie. That seriously cracked me up!

      Reply
  5. Heather

    Within three months of getting married I had people asking if I was pregnant! When I said not yet, they would often ask, ‘oh, don’t you want children?’ At that time I was able to consider the ridiculousness of that question so early on, and laugh it off. Now three years and two fertility-related operations later, I’ve been asked enough to now have answers ready that don’t lead to further questions. Thankfully our families are good at not asking, and they know they’ll get the news when there is any news!
    Another thing to consider is for families going through fertility treatment. We’ve met with doctors and had the necessary tests, so treatment will start in a couple of months. My husband isn’t so private about this stuff, so a fair number of people know this. It’s encouraging to hear the stories of other women who had to wait etc. but they always end up with ‘just don’t think about it and it will happen. I knew so-and-so who waited X years and when they relaxed and did IVF/adpotion/gave up, they got pregnant themselves’. Wonderful story! But how do I not think about the thing I want most! And how do I stop thinking about it when you ask how things are going every week!

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    It’s also a painful question for anyone with vaginismus and dyspareunia. It’s literally a question about your sex life, and when sex hurts that badly, you have no sex life. But I’m not going to tell most people, “Oh, we’ll start trying sometime after my years of drs appts makes sex not excruciatingly painful.” 😛

    The questions for me started the day after I got married. I ended most of them because I lost my cool and exploded at a family gathering after the last question, when I told the questioner that I have value apart from making babies.

    Reply
  7. Katherine

    Hey! I love hearing your podcasts and how you make marriage work! I was wondering what advice you have for couples where the husband is a shift worker. I would love to have less stress when it comes to things around the house but I have no idea how to get my husband involved. He will do things if I ask but I struggle to have to tell him and explain what needs to be done every time I go to work and he’s home. So any advice and suggestions would be awesome!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Great question! I haven’t written about shift work in a while, though we have lived a lot of that in our marriage. I’ll try to work in some good posts about that soon!

      Reply

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