It’s 4pm and everyone else is brainstorming in the mid-afternoon meeting. You have hours to go and your eyes are hanging heavy. That’s about when your coworker rolls her eyes and says, “Oh, look who’s slacking again.” Um, you’re not slacking. You’re pregnant and exhausted! Growing another human being inside of your body can zap the spring from your step, make you super sleepy, and take that sparkle out of your usually shiny can-do attitude. Not only are you living life in the perpetual fog that is pregnancy brain, but you also have to deal with everyone around you thinking you’re lazy or slacking on the job. Before you lose it on your coworker, check out a few tactful responses to those finger pointers.

1. “It’s completely normal to be tired in the first trimester.” Or the second. Or the third, depending on where you are in your pregnancy. Many women feel extra tired in the beginning of their pregnancies, thanks to the hormone shifts. Couple that with morning sickness and you’ve got a recipe for exhaustion. While you may perk up in your second trimester, the third trimester isn’t exactly a peppy time either. Your belly is swelling, your back is aching, and you need a nap. Hey, it’s normal. So, let your coworkers, S.O., or anyone else who thinks you’re lazy know that being tired is a normal and very typical symptom of pregnancy.

2. “There’s a person in there.” Yep, there’s something pretty special growing inside your belly. And plenty of people will acknowledge that and give you a break when you’re feeling sluggish. But if you’re not showing yet, it’s easy for everyone around you to forget that you’re pregnant. Remind them that you have a baby in there, and they might just be more tolerant.

3. “Thanks for worrying about me.” Try to say it in a completely non-sarcastic way… just try. Handing this one out with snark won’t get you many fans, but say it sincerely and you’ll get those judgy people thinking twice. At the very least, most people (the sane ones, anyway) will feel a pang of guilt and become more sympathetic.

4. “I know; I suck.” Say it with sarcasm. Heavy sarcasm. You don’t suck. You’re pregnant, and you’re trying your best. So, let’s get a little acknowledgment here. This self-deprecating response shows that you get it, but there’s also no reason for anyone to think you’re slacking. Yes, you know you’re not at the top of your game right now. It’s okay to say it. It’s also okay to let go of any guilt you might feel, and let everyone around you know that you don’t need them to point out your less-than-perky performance.

5. “It’s only temporary.” Pregnancy only lasts nine months. It’s not a forever thing. That means, eventually, you’ll give birth, take some time off from your regular life to spend with your new little bundle, and gradually jump back into the grind. Whether it’s your S.O., your BFFs, your coworkers, or anyone else giving you grief, remind them that in less than three trimesters you’ll be back to your regular rad self. That is, if the baby ever lets you sleep…

What’s your favorite response to pregnancy shamers? Share yours and tweet us @BritandCo!

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