Olivia Wilde is no stranger to trending in social media. This week, Ms. Wilde lambasted fellow New York City subway riders for not offering a visibly pregnant woman (that would be her) a seat. She was probably tired and walked too many blocks before she headed underground to ride the train. She might’ve been crabby, and her ankles were probably blown up like puffer fish. She’d hoped to sit down. I don’t blame her. But if someone had offered their seat, would she have taken it? I might not have.
Olivia Wilde called herself a “GIANT preggo.” (Sidebar: I detest the term “preggo.” Tomato sauce has the copyright on that one). Therefore, I’m assuming she is in her third trimester. I have been in my third trimester twice. And I might not have taken an offered seat. Unless I was falling over from physical fatigue, I rarely asked for special dispensation while pregnant. To me, it just seemed like a way out. I am fine, and I am strong. I just happen to also be growing a human being. There is no need for special treatment.
I believe women are reluctant to ask for help. We want the world to perceive us as in control, capable, and competent. And we ARE. But it’s OK to ask for help when you need it. To the momma who has kids who have been absolute terrors all week — ask your mom, your friend, or pay your babysitter to entertain the wild rhinos for an hour or two so you can do what you want for 60 to 90 minutes of uninterrupted time. Hey, stay-at-home mom who has made 15 meals and 47 snacks this week? Order takeout tonight. Mommy-to-be who is feeling pains where you never knew you had muscles? Ask that guy if you can take his seat.
So for all of us, next time, Liv, just say to that person sitting comfy in the orange train seat, “Hey, do you mind if I sit?” My guess is he or she will stand up in a flash.