If you’re a female clown in your child-bearing years, you may want to give some thought to whether or not you will continue clowning while pregnant. I have clowned through three pregnancies, though it’s always been part-time. It is not always the easiest–the ups and downs of those wild hormones, morning sickness, fatigue, sore back, and a giant belly to contend with. Your own choice about whether or not to clown through pregnancy should be well thought out ahead of time. You don’t want to have to make a last-minute decision. Here are some things for you to ask yourself, and decide what sort of sacrifices you’re willing to make:
- Do I suffer from morning sickness while pregnant? How severe is it? How long does it last?
- Do I get tired very easily while pregnant, especially in the first trimester?
- Am I dealing with any conditions that are exacerbated by pregnancy–diabetes, etc?
- Do I think that a pregnant clown looks grotesque? Yes, there are people who think this.
- How much physical activity will I be capable of? Will I have to temporarily change the things I do while clowning?
- Will I need help loading and unloading my equipment? Is there someone who could help me?
- Do I have a clown costume that would be suitable for me to wear throughout the entire time I decide to clown?
- At what point do I want to take a break from clowning (perhaps a month before the due date)? How much time after the baby is born do I want to take off? Think about how much sleep you will be getting for the first couple of months.
After thinking through these questions, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea about what you’d like to do. If you really struggle in the first trimester, then just plan to take that time off. If you feel like you’re related to a beached whale in the third trimester, then consider taking that time off. It’s totally up to you, and no one is going to ream out a pregnant lady for taking some time off. If you decide to continue clowning while pregnant, keep the following things in mind:
- Only do what your body can handle. Don’t agree to a long engagement if you feel your body saying no. If someone offers to carry or lift something for you, thank them. (Whether or not you let them, is up to you. I’ve heard this can be a bad idea because of liability issues.)
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Take potty breaks as needed. Nobody in their right mind would deny you a trip to the loo.
- Eat small snacks frequently so that you don’t feel nauseous.
- Wear good, supportive shoes.
- Make it mandatory that you have a shaded spot.
- Sit if you need to. Again, you’re supporting extra weight. Don’t feel bad for giving your feet and back a rest.
- Figure out ahead of time what you will tell the kids who point out your big tummy. Did you eat a watermelon? Do you like donuts and ice cream a little too much? Is there a baby clown in there?
- Let clients know ahead of time that you are pregnant. They will go out of their way to make things easier for you, and be more cognizant of your physical needs.
I realize that there are not a ton of pregnant clowns out there, but I hope that this has been helpful to some of the younger lady clowns.