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The Question You Should Never Ask a Woman

Three times this year, I have been asked when my baby is due. Two of those times in particular, I remember very clearly.

Just so you know, I'm not pregnant. I'm also not a large woman. What I am is a mom of two who holds all of her extra body fat in her belly.

Muffin top is an issue.

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I'm small everywhere else but my midsection. It's a pain, and something I constantly say I will work on but never actually make the time to do. Apparently, my inability to tone up my midsection has given women all over North America permission to ask when my baby is due. I am not pregnant, nor do I plan on being pregnant ever again .

The first time I was asked if I was pregnant, I was at a well-known fitness resort in Tecate, Mexico. I was going up to the coffee stand to grab my morning brew after a hike, and a woman asked me when I was due. I blushed and told her I wasn't pregnant. The woman didn't skip a beat. She played it off like it was my fault for looking pregnant and isn't that a spot I should work on? Umm … yes it is. That is why I'm at a fitness resort, lady.

The second time, I was at the mechanic's, holding my toddler son. All moms know that our bodies do not look their best when we are holding 30 pounds on our hips. Everything pushes out in unflattering angles.

Not cool.

The woman who asked if I was due had the decency to be mortified when I told her I wasn't pregnant, which I appreciated. I graciously waved the incident off and told her I'm still working on those last few pounds, but it is so hard with two kids. She continued to apologize, but I told her to forget about it. I didn't want to think more than I had to about the bulge in my belly that was stopping me from looking fabulous in a bikini.

The third time I must have blocked from my mind—either because it was so insignificant or so atrocious that I never wanted to remember it again. I do know it was a random stranger, and my boys were probably with me. If I already have two boys, I must be looking to have a girl, right? Or as the mechanic gal told me—my kids looked old enough and spaced out enough that a third would be on the way at this point. I have no idea how this logic works, but, in her mind, it did.

When did we, as women, feel it was our right to assume someone is pregnant? Shouldn't we be the ones who are most cautious of asking the "pregnant" question, especially when we are not 100 percent sure? Men are supposed to be guilty of this faux pas. They have never been pregnant. They don't really get why or how a woman's body might change after having a baby. They see a belly and assume the woman is pregnant.

I remember being in Scotland with my father a few months ago and he referred to a shop gal's upcoming baby. Now, this woman was obviously pregnant. I was mortified that he would even mention it without confirming first, though. Apparently, the woman had referred to her upcoming baby, so he was in the clear. But still! Not all of us can get rid of that basketball we have been carrying, which deflated after the baby arrived but still shows up as a spare tire in certain clothing.

So, ladies, let's just band together right now and assume no one is pregnant unless otherwise stated by that woman. Give each other a break as we work on our bodies and try to get rid of the last few pounds. Or just leave them out of the discussion, because motherhood is tough enough without having to worry about the 10 pounds you are still carrying since your last kid was born.

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Just as you shouldn't put your hand on a pregnant woman's belly without permission, don't ask her when her baby is due just because she looks four months pregnant. You never know when you will hurt someone and make her already tough body issues worse.

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Image via Keryn Means

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