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Pregnant Teacher Devastated After Baby Shower Thrown For Younger Coworker, But Not For Her

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Being pregnant is a major transition in a woman’s life, and the idea that “it takes a village” really enters that woman’s life long before the baby comes.

In situations where a mother-to-be doesn’t feel supported, especially compared to someone else, feelings of hurt and isolation may develop.

One mom-to-be began to feel this way when going to work because her coworkers selected to celebrate one of her coworker’s pregnancies, but not her own.

The OP (Original Poster) “jo8674309” shared her feelings in the “Am I the A**hole?” subReddit, asking if she was in the wrong for feeling the way she did.

The OP asked the thread: 

“AITA (Am I the A**hole) for being jealous of my pregnant co-worker?” 

The OP explained that she and one of her coworkers are very different, but they still get along. 

“So I’m (31[Female]) a teacher at a private school and my co-worker (21[Female]) is an assistant working toward her teaching degree. We get along great even though we’re in different places in our lives. I’m married and happy to live more of a quiet life and she’s young and enjoys going out, being with friends.”

Much like their differences, the two women also approached announcing their pregnancies differently. 

“My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for several years and I’m due in September with our first. I was so excited to share the news but I waited until 12 weeks to announce because I’ve had miscarriages in the past.”

“My co-worker (we’ll call her Kayla) became pregnant at the same time and she announced at five weeks before an ultrasound or doctors visit. I was happy for her and thought it was cute that we were pregnant together.”

They’re also very different regarding how much they’re comfortable sharing. 

“She shares a lot more about her pregnancy than I do. I’m more of a shy, private person so I don’t like to talk about morning sickness or any other symptoms. Plus I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk details about our bodies around the kids.”

The OP’s lack of sharing led to some repercussions at work. 

“Because of this, some of our co-workers have accused me of being ‘snotty’ about my pregnancy, meanwhile Kayla gets little gifts and compliments. She also posts regular bump updates and nursery pictures on social media while I don’t really post at all.” 

As it turned out, there were greater repercussions than the OP expected. 

“Anyway, on Friday the school threw Kayla a surprise baby shower and everybody brought gifts and food. I knew about it and contributed to the cash fund for a stroller and I brought a few story books for the baby.”

“I honestly assumed that maybe they were throwing a shower for me as well since I’m due two weeks before her. But it was just for her, which was fine because I thought she should have her moment.”

“When I quietly asked my principal later in the day if they were throwing anything for me, since my husband said he would stop by if they were, my principal replied that everybody assumed I wouldn’t want one.”

“I instantly began to cry and I felt very rejected. I thought it was really unfair and cruel to throw a baby shower for one co-worker but not the other. Some of the other teachers heard I was sad about it and tried to comfort me by pointing out that I’m in a better place financially than Kayla and I don’t need gifts.”

“I don’t think it’s about the gifts, it’s more about celebrating. I would be fine with no gifts at all. Maybe I’m being oversensitive but I’m dreading going into work tomorrow because I feel so hurt. AITA?” 

Fellow Redditors wrote in, rating the OP’s reaction on the following scale: 

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some Redditors were very disheartened over how this group of teachers handled the situation.

“It’s heartbreaking. The OP has worked with these women longer and she gets overlooked with the excuse of ‘you haven’t told us all the details so we figured you wouldn’t want to celebrate’.”

“And then for people to make excuses about how they thought they didn’t do anything because she didn’t need a gift haul? What kind of people are teaching in our schools?”sweetjacket

“If she were mad at her coworker for sharing about her pregnancy I would say she’s being the asshole – she has a right to share if she wants to. But it definitely sounds like her issue is actually with the other people she works with, so NTA.”

“It’s completely insensitive of them to throw a party for her coworker and just assume that she wouldn’t want one. I think anyone would be upset in that situation.”KATEWM

“You know, I was NAH until I read your comment. I was mostly thinking about how at work, I’m a private and reserved person myself. I could see how some people would interpret that (correctly, in my case) as not wanting to be the center of attention at an office party. You’re right though, there was always the option to ask rather than assuming.”faydaletraction

Others agreed and said it would have been easy to ask if the OP wanted a celebration or not.

“NTA your principal should have at least asked you how you prefer to celebrate (if at all) instead of allowing assumptions. You would think a building full of educators would be a bit more savvy about how to treat colleagues in the workplace.”MagnumHV

“In every school I’ve worked in, the person’s group (grade level or department) plans the celebration. So OP’s group is the AH for not doing this whether she was quiet or open about her pregnancy.”Kellyjb72

“Yeah it’s not hard to say ‘hey I don’t want to put you on the spot but do you want to have a little work baby shower?’ I know I would feel weird about celebrating one pregnancy and not the other.”Mayofbreath

A few Redditors theorized that the OP wasn’t thrown a shower because she didn’t “overshare” about her pregnancy.

“I’m guessing someone in that group is a Nosey Nelly and mad that OP didn’t answer all of her intrusive, personal questions.”

“I think reading between the lines someone told the principal OP didn’t want a party and they are trying not to name names.”Cayke_Cooky

“NTA – They should have asked what you wanted. I get why they may assume you have boundaries (e.g. maybe you wanted a smaller group of people or don’t like baby shower games).”

“Society has decided how pregnant women should feel and act. It’s fine not to talk a lot about your pregnancy at work. What they did was wrong! They are the a**holes here.”imjustamermaid

“NTA. Congratulations and hugs!”

“It’s terrible how people see introverted and private and jump straight to the conclusion that you’re standoffish and rude.”FanofYeuFei

“Everyone is so addicted to oversharing every moment of their existence these days that anything but full on gushing about your baby all the time could be interpreted as not being excited for the pregnancy”Triptaker8

It can be difficult to gauge what’s appropriate to do on a personal level in the workplace, but these Redditors stress that consistency is key.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.