As anyone in a long term relationship will attest, there comes a stage in every couple’s life when at each and every family or social occasion, someone will say, “I suspect it won’t be long until we hear the pitter patter of tiny feet?!” or the more threatening alternative, “You’ll be next!“
Now, I won’t go into my well-trodden rant about why that line of questioning is just so inappropriate and insensitive (at least not yet), but as newly pregnant parents-to-be, 7 weeks in, it’s getting harder and harder to hide it.
Unhelpfully there are a wide range of clues during the first trimester that can send your nearest and dearest into pregnancy rumour overload; a sudden drop in the mum-to-be’s alcohol intake, an aversion to certain foods, leaving parties early, an unusually weak bladder and of course the hard to hide affects of her ever growing morning sickness.
So, to help all expectant parents keep their pregnancy secret a secret, I have compiled my top 10 tips on how best to throw your friends, family and work colleagues off the scent until you are ready to announce your happy news in your own sweet time.
Disclaimer: while the following recommendations are predominantly for the mum-to-be to action, each requires you and your partner to work as a team if you’re ever going to pull them off!
1. Misdirection through social media
Everyone lies on social media, or at least most people’s online posts project a much more glamorous version of life than reality. So, while your pregnant partner may be feeling bloated, be in bed by 9pm and smell a bit ‘vomity’ most mornings, your social followers don’t need to know that.
Channeling Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell in 80s classic movie Green Card, take photos of you both dressed up for a night out, and post them on Facebook labelled DATE NIGHT!!, Instagram photos of a table full of cocktails with the hashtag #letsgetwasted and don’t forget to Tweet about your ‘epic hangovers’ the next day. Nobody needs to know you actually spent the night on the sofa watching Netflix in your pyjamas.
2. Get your pregnant partner to drive to every social event
The perfect excuse for why your other half is not drinking at a social gathering…but you may have to fake a ‘lost Oyster Card / bus pass’ or ‘early meeting the next day’ as a reason for driving in the first place.
This plan has a few added perks for dads-to-be who can enjoy a guilt free night of drinking with a free taxi ride home!
3. Mix your own drinks at parties
If you’re at a party or have people round for dinner, suggest doing spirits/cocktails rather than beer or wine. Just make sure that you, the dad-to-be, takes charge of mixing the drinks all night, ensuring that you ‘accidentally’ omit the spirits from your pregnant partner’s glass.
The ruse works even better if your partner shouts “make mine a double” every time you head to the bar.
4. Develop an intense and vocal dislike for children
This tactic works best for those expectant parents who aren’t the broody type in the first place. Whenever kids are in your vicinity or the subject of having children comes up in conversation, turn up your nose and pull your ‘I’ve just smelt a fart’ face, exclaiming “Oh God, I couldn’t think of anything worse” or “Nightmare children – they’ve put me right off!” Little do they know how excited you are to be growing your own at this very moment!
5. Create a false timescale
If, however, everyone already knows that you and your partner want kids, it won’t be long before the rumour mill starts grinding away. So rather than denying it, simply throw people off the track by suggesting a longer timeframe than reality.
The following phrases have been tried and tested by me and work a treat…
“It’s much too soon to start thinking of having a baby – we haven’t even been married a year!” or “We definitely want kids at some point, but we’ve agreed not to start trying until after the summer.“
6. Climb upon your pregnancy high horse
Initiate rant accordingly…
“I hate to be confrontational but asking anyone if they are trying for a baby or, indeed, when they are likely to start, is wildly inappropriate and incredibly insensitive – for all you know, I might have been trying unsuccessfully for months, have suffered a miscarriage (or multiple ones) or be on the waiting list for IVF. For all you know, by asking such an insensitive and nosey question you might be opening up a serious emotional wound for my wife and I, making us relive a hugely painful experience. As it happens, we’re not pregnant but I think it’s probably best you keep those questions to yourself in future, don’t you?!!“
Feel free to amend accordingly and add your own expletives for a more personal touch, but I find this generally does the trick, especially with any overzealous work colleagues that you particularly dislike!
7. Kick start an imaginary diet
You can either do this together or individually but taking on a new imaginary but hardcore diet plan is another excellent excuse for staying off the booze, while also explaining a sudden change in your eating habits or any weight loss linked to morning sickness. The 5:2 diet or (more manly) Marine diet are good ones to mention as both recommend cutting out alcohol completely…
8. The classic – I’m on antibiotics
As everyone knows, you can’t drink while taking antibiotics, so this excuse is universally effective as a means of disguising any sudden abstinence from newly pregnant mums. But remember, the average course of antibiotics lasts only a week, so be careful stretching out the lie too long or you will definitely raise suspicion!
9. Arrange a sushi party
A sushi party I hear you say? But you can’t eat sushi when you’re pregnant?! Exactly – hence why there’s no better way to throw the gossips off the baby trail.
For any friends and family that you fear are getting close to discovering your secret, why not try organising an event such as a sushi making (and eating) party, to infer to one and all that you are definitely NOT ‘with child’.
Better yet, organise the party to take place after your 12 week scan, so that you can use the event to reveal to all your nearest and dearest that you have been secretly pregnant all along! At this point, feel free to scrap the sushi theme – your baby news will more than make it up to your guests for the change of menu.
10. Take up a dangerous hobby
Of course I can’t condone actually taking up a dangerous life-threatening hobby, least of all when you are pregnant or an expectant father, however that shouldn’t stop you talking about doing so.
Whether it be planning an epic bungee jump, learning to skydive or taking up couples’ knife throwing, just the thought of it will bring doubt into the minds of anyone wanting to ask if you’re pregnant. For added effectiveness, try roping in some of your mates too to make the dangerous ruse even more believable, at the same time as winning some serious ‘man points’ for the size of your cojones!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog. If you have any other top excuses you have used to hide your pregnancy news, please do share with the group in the comments section below!
Good luck! 32 weeks and 3 days left to go.