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“When Are You Having More Kids?”
Headed into the holiday season, many of us are making plans to spend time with family. Now, I know that family isn’t the most pleasant subject for some and they may dread those gatherings. Others look forward to those gathering but dread being asked the one single question that’s pretty much guaranteed to make your skin crawl as it flies out of great Aunt Sally’s mouth. “When are you going to have more (or a) kids?!” Did you just groan because you are all too familiar with this super invasive question? I know I have to hold back the eye rolls and the less than friendly words when someone feels the need to ask me when I’m dropping more crotchdroppings. If you are one of those that ask this question PLEASE read on to see why it makes us so uncomfortable.
The Woman Without the Child
Kids can be great. Lots of people love kids and have them themselves. Other women don’t, and that’s ok. What’s not ok is asking your childless female friend or relative when she’s dropping a kid out of her body. This may come as a huge surprise, but no everyone wants kids, and that’s OKAY! Not every woman is ready for a child no matter how many her little sister has. Please, for the love, stop comparing one woman’s uterus fruit to another. You may be thinking this is no big deal to ask, but it is. Society today is so focused on telling women what to do and how to live their lives that we feel so pressured to fit the mold. That mold of being a loving mother with human children needs to break, today! Instead of asking a woman when she is going to have her first kid ask her about her job, her favorite thing to do, ask her if she’s looking forward to a trip she’s planning. Besides the possibility of her not wanting kids, she may be struggling to have the kids she so desperately wants. Every time you ask a woman who is living with infertility issues, it’s like a stab to the heart. She may be too strong or polite to tell you to piss off but know that she’s thinking it. I haven’t had to navigate through the pain of losing a pregnancy, but I have friends who have. Friends who I want to hold as they work through the grief of wanting a child with all of their heart then being shattered every time someone feels the need to ask “When are you having a baby of your own.” The hurt in their eyes is enough to tell you this is not an okay question to ask.
The Woman Who Has a Child or Children
There is a woman in your life who you have asked: “When are you having another baby!?” and let me tell you, she hates this question just as much as the woman without a kid. I have one child, and that’s all I plan on having. This is something my husband and I have agreed on because I so strongly do not want more. I mean, if something happens, then so be it because life will find a way BUT I’m not looking to have another. My postpartum depression was so bad coupled with the depression, anxiety, and panic disorder that I was living with that were side effects of untreated PTSD. There were nights I was afraid to hold my child and so I cried next to his crib not being able to comfort him. There were times my husband found me in the closet in tears because I couldn’t go near him. I didn’t know what to do for him, so I would retreat and cry. I’m in tears writing this down because it was a time that I was told would be so amazing but it wasn’t. I was a mess emotionally, and I am so ashamed to admit, but there were times when I felt so strongly that my family would be better off without me, it was that bad. There are few statements that make me angrier than someone telling me “Your son NEEDS a brother or sister.” Let me stop you right there. My son needs food, water, shelter, and loving parents. He does just fine without a sibling, thanks. Whenever you ask a woman like myself who suffered postpartum you are just reminding her of the feelings of failure and dread she felt while trying to be there for her crying baby.
Please, keep in mind that just because a woman has a child or maybe more it doesn’t mean she didn’t struggle to conceive them. A woman may dream of a large family and have two living children but what you may not see is the beautiful angel babies she has watching over her. Rainbow babies are such a blessing and should be cherished instead of shadowed by the question of “will there be more??”
Please Don’t Ask
This holiday season, as you gather with your family don’t corner your female relatives that you think should be having kids and ask “When are you having more kids?” This question is annoying, and it’s hurtful. It’s not a lighthearted question for many. Please, if you don’t plan on carrying the child yourself or plan of supporting the child yourself, don’t ask when another is coming. Yes, I’m a little more heated then I thought I would be. No, I’m not sorry for it. If you are a woman, who hurts from this question I have so much love for you. You deserve to be happy, and you should do what’s best for YOU and your family.