Monday, June 15, 2015

Stop Asking Me That

After I got married I noticed a new phenomenon in my life; I couldn't be around certain people without them mentioning babies. Are we pregnant yet? What's the hold-up? Why aren't you pregnant yet? Are you pregnant?

Now, some of them were not as overt as that (but a lot of them are). A simple mention to the person sitting next to them that we don't have kids yet. Or talking about another couple who just had the cutest baby ever in a tone of voice that suggests we are missing out on something.

This drives me crazy for several reasons. I'm going to send out a desperate plea to EVERYONE to stop talking about babies, or having babies, around folks who do not yet have children for the following reasons;

There are people out there, right next to you right now even, that desperately want children. But, for various reasons, they can't have children. Each mention of babies or children is extremely painful to them. You can NEVER know if you are saying something to this person. You also never know if this person is the one sitting next to you but not part of the discussion, or at the table next to you at the restaurant trying to have an enjoyable night out, or is even across the room at a family event hearing every word you are saying about having babies.

Some people don't want children. And that's fine because it's their choice. Did you hear that? It's their choice, not yours. Stop trying to guilt trip them into something they don't want, and don't pass judgement on them for following their path, not your interpretation of what their path should be.

Finally, I'm going to advocate a little for my generation here, some of us are not ready for children yet for various reasons. There's a lot of time and energy and commitment that goes into having a child. Not to mention money. Some people are waiting to pay off student debts, or to get a job that has insurance that is good enough to help offset the medical costs of being pregnant and giving birth. Some just need a little more time to learn who they are as a person before making the decision that parenting is right for them.

The ONLY exception to this rule is if you are pregnant yourself and you want to share the news. After that, let them initiate baby related conversations. Why? Because, again, they may be in one of the situations above (especially the wanting but not able to have category) and conversations about babies and nothing but babies can be causing them huge emotional pain that they have to keep buried until they get to the privacy of their own homes. Don't be the person to cause them that pain, please.

I can hear some of you  out there, "But we want to know! We want them to have babies and all the joy that goes along with it! It's our right as mom/dad/aunt/cousin/sister to know the SECOND it happens!"

No. It's not. It is entirely up to the couple when they have children, and when they start telling people that they are expecting. It's THEIR right to do it THEIR way. When they are ready to let you know, they will. And for various reasons they may delay telling you. (Such as having an extremely high risk pregnancy and not wanting to have to tell people about it if they mis-carry, or not wanting the entire world to know until much later in the pregnancy {yes, there are people who cannot keep a secret, especially pregnancy related ones}.)

Finally, IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. And in the future, if you bring up babies around me and whether or not I'm expecting, or when we are going to start trying, or anything like that: Be Prepared to receive an earful.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. But it doesn't stop there. I was so surprised by the large amount of people who do not have a filter on their words! When you go on a second date it's, "When are you getting married?" when you get married it's "When are you having children?" When you have children it's "When are you going to stop having children?"!!!! Do they not understand how personal they are getting? Especially people you barely know! There really SHOULD be a pregnancy etiquette we all should follow. I usually respond to those kind of questions with a terse, "It's up to me, my husband, and the Lord." That usually makes the point but not too angrily. Of course giving them an extremely offended, shocked look then saying, "Seriously!??" works pretty well, too.