DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've been pleasantly surprised with how strangers have treated me during both of my pregnancies. They open doors, carry groceries, offer well wishes -- this list goes on and on.
The issue is that as soon as I've had the baby and am wrestling with the baby carrier, diaper bag, stroller and everything else that goes along with an infant, people act like I don't exist and they don't see me. I'm often struggling to just get through doors as people whiz by without a second glance.
Although I don't think there is any formal etiquette surrounding this situation, please remind your readers that moms need the most support, assistance and often patience after the baby is born, and they are trying to muddle through errands after they've finally made it out of the house.
I am not under any illusion that strangers owe me anything because I'm struggling with all of my baby gear, but the difference in how I was treated when pregnant and then with an infant has always puzzled me.
GENTLE READER: Why is it that the prospect of a new life seems ever more enchanting then the life itself?
Miss Manners is pleased to hear that you were treated well during your pregnancies -- and if the same people who showed you empathy don't understand what comes next, then she needs to have a talk with them not only about manners, but also about biology.