Dear World, Please stop asking

Oct 1, 2015 by

Dear World, Please stop asking

When are you going to have children? Are you aware that every year you wait to get pregnant, the harder it will be for you? Do you really want to be one of those old parents at the PTO meetings? You really have to hurry up, don’t you understand your eggs start dying by the time you turn 30?   | When are you going to have kids? and why it is NOT ok to ask that question.

I don’t think that my age makes my reproductive life and thus my sex life anyone else’s business. I’m pretty certain that what happens under the sheets at my house is not any of your business. Click To Tweet
I realize I’m about to offend someone, I’m sure that some of you reading this have asked us when we are going to have kids, and let’s face it, I’m no good at sounding un-snarky. So, I’m sorry,I truly am, if you are about to be offended. If you’re worried about it, then maybe you should stop reading now, because I really do think you’re all darling, lovely, sweet people. But the fact is that some people ask us when we’re planning to procreate Every. Time. We. See. Them. Like it’s the only thing they could possibly think to talk to us about. Ask me about school please. How about that? Teaching junior high? Boy that’s a rough age. I remember being twelve, oh boy!

I don’t expect the cashier at the grocery store is going to read my blog any time soon, but I wish she would. Because I would like to tell her that every time she asks me (which is weekly), she makes me just a little bit more of an emotional wreck. The question all by itself is just a bit rude, but it is compounded with the fact that the people who are asking the question have no idea what is going on in my personal life.

“When are you finally going to have a baby?”

What if I was trying desperately hard to get pregnant, and I couldn’t? Or maybe we’ve been trying to get pregnant for a very long time, and have only just started to look into our other options. Maybe I’m fighting through the emotional upheaval and hormone ridden mood swings of fertility treatments, or have just come back from the doctor with another round of “I’m sorrys” to smooth over the fact that still the treatments haven’t been successful. Maybe I’m clinging on to the hope that this time, these embryos will be the ones that begin to grow, but that hope is so small that I’m cherishing it quietly in my heart, afraid that your poking and prodding into my personal life might damage the tiny lives I’m trying to coax into being. Maybe the emotions around trying to conceive are even worse than the fertility treatments themselves. Perhaps I’m taking extra time off from work for doctor appointments, having my arm poked until it’s bruised everywhere and so much blood drawn I fear I’m running on empty, and of course I could also be undergoing multiple uncomfortable pelvic exams with stranger’s faces all up in my business, and ultrasounds and injections and basal temperatures, maybe I’m so busy timing intercourse with my husband that I forget it’s supposed to be fun, and aside from undergoing various and sometimes scary diagnostic procedures I’ve been crying myself to sleep. As if the cost and discomfort of solving the problems with fertility aren’t enough, I’m possibly also a homicidal maniac on a roller coaster of emotions. But you wouldn’t know that…

Or, what if I wake up every morning with a deep and empty pain in my heart, because it was another day without a child? You see, when you ask me that, you have no idea if I’ve just experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage, and that maybe you’re asking me only moments after I’ve just been battling myself in the car to STOP CRYING and function like an adult. You don’t realize that perhaps I’m still bleeding from the tragedy (figuratively or literally) or that I’m carrying around an extra five pounds of baby weight left over from a baby that I don’t get to hold. You don’t understand how perhaps I’ve purchased hundreds of dollars-worth of plastic home pregnancy sticks, running to the bathroom every time I had to pee, only to finally see the tiny blue plus sign. You don’t know how excited I’ve been, or the fantasies of little league games and ballet recitals that have flashed through my mind, or how quickly and sharply that excitement was taken away. You don’t realize that just showering and putting on pants with a zipper has been a big enough accomplishment in my day. You don’t understand that this is something that I’m not allowed to talk about, because it’s viewed as inappropriate over sharing, so I’ve had to plod through my days pretending that nothing at all is wrong. You don’t understand the stupid social stigma surrounding the sadness I feel and the unfairness wrapped up in the fact that if my dog had just died I could cry in the faculty lunch room about it, but the loss of our unborn child I’m not allowed to mention…But you wouldn’t know that.

Or perhaps we aren’t even 100% sure we want children. Maybe we are worried about my husband’s next deployment, or career change and need to wait it out to see what happens next. Maybe we are struggling financially due to my really low teacher’s salary and aren’t sure how we are making our mortgage payments, so adding to our family right now is out of the question. Perhaps his deployment schedule and my cycle just haven’t aligned themselves yet… the point is you don’t know and yet you ask personal and probing questions anyway. And, you, “cashier-I-don’t-know”, decided it was okay to ask me a loaded and rude question. It’s not just strangers either, it’s the nice lady at church and the school secretary, and the innocent 7th grader, and the friend-of-a-friend, and the girl I graduated high school with, and my cousins and… and… and…

Honestly, and here I go hurting feelings again…it just doesn’t feel like it’s anyone else’s business if we’re going to have kids or when or, howespecially if I barely know you. It’s such an incredibly personal question and I promise you, I can hear my biological clock tic-tocking loud and clear without your help.

Please just wait to find out. Please wait until we are bursting with excitement to tell you. Wait until I send you that text message of an ultrasound picture or call you up with happy tears in my voice. Wait until you notice when, suddenly, I turn down a glass of wine in a social setting. Then you’ll know.

So yes, I assume you’re wondering, we have had a miscarriage, and I don’t usually share that with anyone. (Except, you know, the entire Internet.) Because, once you begin talking about problems, everyone wants to tell you that it’s completely normal and not a big deal. Which, let’s be clear here, it is a big deal. It’s a huge deal. I was excited about being pregnant. We experienced the happiness in telling our parents that after a long, long wait they would finally be grandparents. I secretly would glance at the clothing in maternity departments and I cut way, way back on caffeine. I was indulging in taking extra-long afternoon naps, and mourning the loss of a nightly glass of wine. We were quietly making lists of baby names and I had to buy a larger bra size… all the stuff that makes it start to feel like a real pregnancy. And then suddenly, it wasn’t. The aftermath of that wasn’t pretty, and not the point (although maybe the point of another blog post one day)… the point is you don’t know, and truly, it’s not ok to ask.

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  1. I love this. I hope whatever you want comes to you, but I also hope people stop asking you soon, because it is such a hard conversation to have, especially with the strangers in the supermarket.

  2. I used to have these things asked of me, even before I was married. I didn’t married until I was almost thirty. Now, all people want to know is when we’re going to have another baby. It never ends.

    • ugh! I was looking forward to it stopping once we got to the point where we had a baby! Oh well, most people mean well.

  3. You are so right. It really is not anyone’s business. I didn’t meet my husband until I was over 30, so everyone would always ask us when we were getting married…then, of course, when are you having kids. People most of the time are just searching to make conversation or are just nosy, but really do mean well. It’s just hard when they don’t know your circumstances. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  4. Alyssa

    You deserve a gold star for this beautiful post. It’s not anyone’s buisness to know. It’s going to somehow magically improve their life to know about your sex life and family planning. I hate it that people get so nosey. I haven’t had to deal with it yet since I’m only

    but I’m also getting married in Oct of

    so I’m prepping myself for it. Hopefully by then people will have gotten the memo.

  5. Couldn’t agree more with you on this post. Some things just aren’t others’ business! I know a lot of people mean well, but they need to take a step back and realize there could be a lot more going on that what they see!

  6. We get this question all the time! With my husband being military, so many other couples our age already have children. So it’s actually considered “strange” to be

    and without kids haha but we hope to start our family sometime in the next year 🙂

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