I was having a conversation with my sister-in-law this evening (who is pregnant) about the differences in the way strangers treat you when you are pregnant, and I became very interested in this phenomenon. Why exactly is it that people are a little friendlier, and more likely to strike up a conversation with a pregnant woman?
I think that pregnancy, as it relates to parenthood, is something that a lot of people can relate to. If I'm standing in front of a cashier at Target, she doesn't know anything about me, other than what my purchases might tell her. But if I'm pregnant, she immediately is reminded of her own children. How she was a week late with her first and felt like she would never see her birthday come. How with her second she was so violently nauseous for a week the only thing she could keep down was ginger ale. How she had dressed her son in an outfit so similar to the one I happen to be buying now the day she took him in for his first professional portraits, and to this day they are her favorite pictures of him. These emotions are so strong, and she knows that she has this in common with the stranger standing in front of her. The conversation is just so easy and simple.
Then again I could be wrong on this theory. I show up at Target now with my hair disheveled, a cranky baby and a 3 year old who behaves in a way that has me constantly saying her name in a stern voice from the moment I walk in the door. Don't I still share those common bonds with that cashier? Why isn't she jumping at the chance to talk to me? I guess my situation reminds her of less than heart-warming memories.
I'll tell you one thing, though. My stressed-out mother self appreciates the friendliness more than my pregnant self did.