Firstly, how rude. Since when is it ok to badger someone about such a personal topic? Of all the topics* that a person can choose to discuss at a party / baby shower / at dinner / at an office, this is the topic they choose. Have these people ever considered that things like infertility (I’ve actually stopped counting the number of my friends that have fertility issues), marriage problems, financial problems (kids cost money you know) or other health complications are real.
Secondly, what is it to you? What impact will it have on the person opposite me if I do or don’t have another child? I want to ask: “Were you an only child & really missed siblings?” Or, “Do you want more kids because you enjoyed having siblings?”
Having another baby is something to me though. Another pregnancy & child will most certainly have an impact me, my health, my sanity, my body. Sure, my husband will also feel it in his pocket & in his life, but I am likely to be the one suffering through nine months of pregnancy (again). I will be the one dealing with the post-partum depression. I will be the one with the pain, the scars. I will be the one dealing with the months & months of therapy to cope with my new normal. I will be the one dealing with my compromised body; the emotional & physical issues that goes along with it. I will be the one facing my fear of (potentially another traumatic) birth.
When I was young I honestly thought that I would have a big family (possibly even four or more kids). I love the idea of big families. We both have siblings & there is something really special about the bond, caring & support of brothers & sisters.
Sure, it was never my intention to have only one child. But why don’t people just rejoice about the perfect little boy that we do have & stop interfering & wondering if & when there might be another.
Yes, I might…
… still be young(ish) enough (“Oh come on, your biological clock is ticking”)
… be seemingly healthy enough (“No, you look fine, really.” “Your second pregnancy will be different…. My mother / sister was also very sick with her first, but the second was so easy…blah blah blah”)
… be a good parent (I am trying to be a decent mother to the one I have. Isn’t that enough?)
… love children (So, what about it? I also love returning them to their parents & spending time on my own. The fact that I enjoy going to a aquarium doesn’t mean I yearn for a tank full of fish of my own)
… have a solid marriage (We’re quite happy as we are for now, thanx)
… be able to afford another child (And…? Having a child is not only a financial decision. What about emotional capacity? And the physical & psychological price?)
… but it doesn’t automatically mean that I will have another child
I suppose those who keep asking just don’t get it. Maybe they never will. No answer will please them. Being polite doesn’t cut it anymore, so let me wrap up my tirade by saying to those who are constantly asking: “So, when are you having another?” You are not in my shoes. You are not in my life. If & when another baby is in our future is personal & private & ultimately not in our hands.
So in the meantime, shall we try & stick to good manners & mind our own business?
I’d love to know: do you also get these questions? Or maybe you are the one asking (I’d love to know why).
*Tips about topics for those who are really stuck: Talk about the weather. How about your plans for upcoming holidays? How is your work going? Where did you buy your outfit? Talk about celebrations/Christmas / Easter. What is the latest in local or international news? Politics. Gardening. Weather. Tell a joke. (I’m happy to help with more ideas if you’re still stuck.)
**In case you still need to be convinced that you should rather not asking people about their family planning, read this.