How to Tackle Common Holiday Party Questions and Comments

We’ve all been there. We’re at a holiday party and someone asks the question that pushes THAT button. You know the one that sends us on a shame spiral  or that makes us feel inadequate or that is just plain rude.

If you’re like me, you take in the question or comments, stare wide-eyed at this person, and have absolutely no clue what to say. Maybe you come up with a million and a half witty comebacks… hours later, but what happens at the moment is a shy, one-worded answer followed by excusing yourself to the bathroom or the kitchen to get a drink.

Sometimes these questions or comments are well-meaning or are said because what else is there to say… Other times they aren’t. Either way you cut it, we can’t control what comes out of people’s mouths or how insensitive or triggering it is. We can have some responses in our back pockets to better manage these questions or comments and maybe shut them down before they start to nag at your self-esteem. Here are a few common holiday “conversation topics” and what you might say that gives you a sense of power instead of guilt or shame.

So are you going to have another baby?/When are you going to try for a (insert gender here)?/Anything about growing or not growing your family.

“I’m happy with the size of my family, thanks.”

“I’m still weighing my options on that one. There’s a lot to consider!”

“My body is done having children and we feel our family is complete.”

“Nope. I’m good with the tiny person (people) I have, thanks.”

“I’d love to have another but my body is done. Want to be my surrogate?”

You’re having another baby?/Don’t you have enough?/Anything related to having more children.

“Yep. I am.”

“I don’t feel like my family is complete and that is me and my partners choice to make.”

“Yes, I know more children is more work. I have definitely thought about that. Thanks.”

“My uterus, my business.”

“Yes. My goal is to birth an entire basketball team.”

Are you pregnant?

“I am not. My body is still healing.”

“No, but I just had a baby.”

“I’d rather not talk about this.”

“No. Are you?”

Simply “No.” and don’t feel a damn bit of stress over it (because they are probably freaking out about asking)

When are you going to stop breastfeeding?/Isn’t (insert age here) long enough?/Didn’t you try to breastfeed?/Anything about feeding your child by any method.

“I’m going to stop when I feel like we are ready.”

“Breastfeeding soothes my child and still provides them nutrition, so I choose to continue.”

“Breastfeeding did not work for us. We chose to bottle feed and my baby and I are healthy and happy.”

“My boobs, my choice.”

“I’d rather not discuss this.”

“This is what works for our family. Thanks for your concern.”

You’re going to feed the baby here?/Why don’t you cover up?

“Why don’t you cover up while eating?”

“Yes, I am. You’re eating too, right?”

“This is how my child eats and it is normal.”

“Breastfeeding is normal, there’s no reason for me to remove myself or my baby to feed them.”

“I’m sorry if this is making you uncomfortable, but my baby needs to eat.”

NOTE: if you feel more comfortable removing yourself from family to feed the baby, there is nothing wrong with that. Do what makes you comfortable!

Better stay active, it’ll make it easier for you to lose the baby weight!

“There are plenty of other reasons to stay active during pregnancy.”

“Thanks, but that’s not really my main concern.”

“Is that really the ultimate goal of postpartum though?” ← This is a great conversation starter if you want to dive into why weight loss is their main concern for you postpartum.

Are you sure you aren’t having twins?

“Yes. I’m pretty sure they checked that in our ultrasounds.”

“Yep. Some people just carry differently.”

“Pretty sure I would know that by now.”

“My body is the size it needs to be to grow my baby.”

Again… “Yes. Are you?”

Wow, you sure are small for (insert stage of pregnancy here).

“We are both healthy and happy.”

“This is just the way I carry.”

“Well, every body is different.”

“My birth team is not concerned about my size, but thanks.”

Shrug your shoulders, because who knows what size should be “normal” at any stage of pregnancy.

Well, (insert name here) didn’t even look like she had a baby 4-weeks out. Maybe you aren’t trying hard enough. (Seriously have heard this one)

“Every body recovers differently. I’m doing what I need to be doing right now.”

“Great for her. How is she healing?”

“Well, I did have a baby so that’s pretty ridiculous that you think I should come out the other side looking like I never had one.”

Don’t say anything. Roll your eyes and walk away.

(And for my coaches) So you help new moms lose the baby weight?

“No. I help new moms heal their bodies and feel stronger after having babies.”

“No I help new moms focus on their health post-babies.”

“No, there is a lot more to focus on with my postpartum clients”

(If you do help with that) “Sort of, but there’s a lot more to what I do than helping moms lose weight.”

Holiday parties can be really tough, whether you’re a social butterfly or an introvert. Tack on the stress of what someone else says and coming up with the perfect response to it can make it a less than enjoyable event. Hopefully keeping these responses in your back pocket can arm you with just the right thing to say when Phyllis from HR pushes your buttons.