How to respond when people ask if you're expecting (when you're not)

How to respond when people ask if you're expecting (when you're not)


How to respond when people ask if you're expecting (when you're not)


Surprise, I gained weight after I had children. I also enjoy beer and tacos, along with a rockin’ carne asada. Sometimes on Tuesdays. But particularly on Thursdays.

Credit: Giphy

While I did squirrel away my pants from college to the top of my closet — since I got a darn good price on my Hot Topic faux leather pants — I know it’s likely I’ll never wear them again. But it’s a nice reminder; my lands, was I skinny then.

Credit: Giphy

I’m intimately aware of my weight gain, but what’s interesting have been the external reminders that I get by a repeated simple question. In the last few years, I’ve received it from men and I’ve received it from women.

It’s a question that has been really baffling in a culture that strays away from true intimacy in our conversations. It’s a question asked in different ways, either with a positive upbeat tone, or a genuine and yet awkward attempt at small talk.

It’s variations of this:

“Oh! Are you expecting again?” 

And, I’m not. 

I won’t lie, the first few times this happened I came home and sulked. I ate more tacos and drank more beer. I debated the pants in my closet.

I’d rethink the moment itself where I usually stumbled with a response along the lines of “I, uh, what? No.” I thought how I desperately tried to switch the topic or force a smile.

“Are you having another baby?”

No, I’m not.

Are you in the camp that think asking this is OK? Alright, come over and sit with me for a minute. Let me I’ll tell you the thing that your Mama didn’t tell you:

This is NEVER an OK question for a woman. Nope, really, it’s not ever OK. Particularly for women you don’t know well.  

I hear you: But babies are a wonderful miracle of … No. But it’s just an observation of … No. But sometimes it’s so obvious that … No.

I hear this too: Small talk is hard. More, building a connection is hard. You grasp at straws and, boy, doesn’t everyone love babies?

However, while with age comes a shot at wisdom, for me it came with something else. It’s a slow creep of that truer sense of self. As Ron Swanson would say, “I know what I’m about.”

Credit: Giphy

I decided change my strategy. Let’s make an actual connection.

I found out how to do it at the end of a very long day a few months ago. I was gathering my things after an evening meeting when an older lady asked me brightly, “So, expecting another baby, eh?”

I inhaled, smiled wide and replied, “Nope! Just like tacos.”


Cassie McClure is a writer, wife/Mama/daughter, fan of the Oxford comma, and drinker of tequila. Some of those things relate. She can be contacted at


More All The Moms