I determined my favorite part of being pregnant!! It is a barrier breaker. Strangers touch your belly (I admit the first several months I had a major aversion to people touch me- In fact, I cried when Adam touched my belly and it wasn’t happy tears)- Needless to say, I have come a long way :) People I may not normally interact with are now sharing their most intimate stories. Grandmas-to-be approach me and share their first grand baby is due in March, or a mother of a six month old reflects on her time being pregnant, their pregnancy/labor experience, the ups the downs, I get to hear it all and I love it!
How come we wait to approach people until there is an evident reason to have a conversation? Some of my new friends, I have worked with for extended periods of time, and we have not taken the step to actually get to know one another. Pregnancy is allowing people to go off script, get intimate and real. It is inviting people in.
As Adam and I are house hunting, one of my priorities is to live in a neighborhood. Where kids can play with other kids and we can chat with the neighbors. Very 1950ish. Bringing jell-o molds to the new residents, having block parties, etc. The ironic thing Adam pointed out to me, is that when we did live in a neighborhood, I would get home, open the garage door, pull right in and call it a day.
When out doing yard work and people would walk by, it was Adam who would have the lengthy conversation with them, he knew their life story. I just gave a simple smile and wave. On a mission to not only show that a neighborhood is an important variable in the house hunt ;) but to more importantly to break down the barriers. To really let people in.
Is it really the belly that is more inviting? Partially yes- I can say that with confidence because when I am with Maple or my niece it prompts all sorts of conversations that otherwise would not happen. The other part is, I might not be making the space for those conversations prior to pregnancy. I know when I am working at the hospital I hustle around, or in the store, or day to day. I am task oriented. Exhibit A) the reason I set some of the intentions I set for October. Take a breather, Katie, embrace the moment.
Once the belly is gone (hopefully) and the baby is no longer small (another welcoming factor), I want to welcome the dialogue of getting to know strangers, neighbors and loved ones on a deeper level. The commitment starts with embracing it. Stepping out of my comfort zone and really getting to know people beyond the hello or one line connecting convo! Meeting people where they are at, sitting with the discomfort, celebrating the milestones, taking the time to learn who they are and helping one another out- whatever that means for each individual. All things I embrace professionally and allow to slip in my day to day personal life.
No more pulling the car straight into the garage. I am ready to slow my life down- the tasks can wait, the interactions with human beings can’t!