For some reason everyone thinks it is their business as to when a woman will have children, if she will have children, and how many she will have. I think this is insane and we all need to stop asking women about their plans to have a baby or not.
I have to start by giving a little backstory as to why this question bothers me so much. It all starts the day you get engaged. My husband and I were engaged in 2008, right before I graduated high school, and almost instantly everyone was asking when we were getting married and having kids, as if the two go hand in hand. My answer was the same for 3 years, I have to get out of college, then we will worry about planning a wedding.
Fast forward to 2011, and my last few months of nursing school. I planned my wedding while I was finishing up. I graduated from nursing school in June 2011, and we were married October 8, 2011. During my bridal shower I can’t tell you the number of times I was asked how many kids I wanted and when we would be having kids. Even on our wedding day there were comments of “now comes the babies” and “when are you going to have kids?” and this puts a lot of pressure on us. I was still studying to take the NCLEX and working part time. I didn’t have health insurance and we couldn’t afford to have a baby.
Until we announced we were pregnant our answer was always the same to these questions though, “we are just having fun practicing”. The sad part is, even announcing that we were pregnant didn’t stop the questions. I was so sick during my pregnancy that I just wanted to make it through to delivery, and people were asking how close we wanted our kids. I will never forget, we had a visitor and my daughter was only 5 days old, one of the first questions out of her mouth was “are you ready for another one”. I politely said “no”. What I was thinking though was:
“Heck no I’m not ready for another one! I just got rid of the nausea and vomiting that I had for the last 9 months. I am tired. My breasts hurt and are engorged, not to mention they shoot out breastmilk every time I move. I am tired. My stomach is cramping. I am bleeding and my downstairs hurts in ways I never knew possible. I still remember all the pain of delivery and my episiotomy repair. Did I mention I am tired?”
It’s crazy how people think they have a right to know what your plans are, but they don’t have a right to know. If you are one of those people please stop asking! I will give you 5 great reasons to stop asking!
- She may not want kids. Gasp! Did I just say that? Heaven forbid that a woman not want to have kids. You know what though, that is her choice and she should not have to justify it to you, and she doesn’t have to justify it.
- She may not be able to have kids. People don’t think about this. Sometimes your questions hurt because she doesn’t want to admit that she can’t have kids and she may feel like she failed as a women. Women struggle with infertility and it’s not easy, so don’t make it harder on her.
- She/they may be trying and don’t want you to know. When my husband and I decided to start trying to get pregnant we didn’t tell anyone except my sister in law. We knew if we told family that they would constantly call and ask if we were pregnant yet. We didn’t want to feel like they were in the room with us when we were “doing the deed”.
- She may have had miscarriages. Miscarriages are painful. If you haven’t experienced one, it is hard to explain the pain, but if you have ever been pregnant you know how you fall in love with the baby almost instantly, then to have that ripped away from you is just horrible. It is hard to get excited about any pregnancy after a miscarriage because that is always in the back of your mind.
- She could be pregnant and not want to tell yet. If she has had a miscarriage in the past, she may not want to tell yet. Even if it’s the first time she has ever been pregnant, most women wait until 16 weeks to tell, that’s 3 1/2 months into the pregnancy. If you are not her immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents), you may have to wait longer.
- She’s just not ready for kids yet. Yeah, there you have it. Just because you are married and have a great job doesn’t mean you have to rush out and get pregnant. Let her have kids in her own time and don’t pressure her. If she feels pressured to have kids, she may regret having them so soon in the future, and you don’t want to be the cause of that.
- If she has a child or children she may not want more or be able to have more. All of the above reasons also apply to women who already have kids. She may not want more or be ready for more kids. She may only want one child, not two or three. She may also not be able to get pregnant again or have had miscarriages.
In short, everyone should just stop asking women about when they are having children. It is none of your business, and take it from someone who has been asked at least once per week for the past 4 years, it gets annoying.
Were you ever asked about your plans to have kids? Feel free to tell me about it and how it made you feel.
Article by Cassie
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