Before we move on from the Pregnancy Incident once and for all, I have to tell you why it may have bothered me the most.
DadJovi and I have decided that we’re a One and Done family. Most days, I’m 100 percent comfortable with our decision to not have any other children. But there’s a small part of me that’s a little sensitive to the question I get more than any other question — when are you having another kid? Why aren’t you having another one? Don’t you think E. needs a brother or sister? Do you hate your child or something (OK, maybe I don’t exactly get that last question but that’s always my interpretation of the constant questions/nagging around the issue).
And apparently I’m not alone. What I posted the following question on Twitter, I opened the floodgates:
A lot of you are in the same boat as me:
And of course, if you haven’t made the most personal of all choices — whether or not to have kids and when it’s the right time for YOUR family — the questions keep coming in.
And clearly if you’re not married, you must be a freak right? Because why else would anyone want to know every single detail about the up and down world of dating?
And yes, let us not forget about our eating and exercise habits. These two stunned me:
Sex life questions? Really people? Really??
I honestly think people aren’t trying to be nosy or unkind. They just may generally be curious and trying to get to know you better. And there’s a HUGE difference between having a conversation with your besties about dating, kids and marriage compared to Aunt Jane at the family reunion.
Since my early 20s, I feel my life has followed a timeline of personal questions:
- Are you dating anyone? Oh, I really thought so and so was the one for you (true story: my beloved grandmother said that to me when I broke up with my college boyfriend after 5 years. I think she thought I was going to spend my life alone after that. You know, because I was already an “old maid” at 23).
- Is it serious with you and so and so? Are you thinking marriage?
- After dating for longer than 6 months, it became a constant stream of “when are you getting engaged?”
- The engagement ring was barely on my finger: “when are you getting married?”
- AT MY WEDDING — “So, when are you going to start having kids?”
- At our one-year anniversary — “No kids yet? What are you waiting for?”
- The day I delivered our healthy, beautiful baby daughter — “You’re having another one right?”
- And every single week of her 3 1/2 year life — “When are you having another? You don’t want her to be alone her whole life. You don’t want the age gap to be too long. Just one? That’s unusual.” Um, actually, no it’s not.
So far people haven’t started asking when we’re getting divorced since clearly we must have marital issues if we’re not having another one. What will people ask us when they know we’re serious about stopping at one? When I plan on dying?
So, I’m stealing a page from Bill Maher, and I’m presenting the New Rules for Getting to Know People.
1. Know a single person? Congratulate them. Don’t ask them if they’re “dating anyone special.” Chances are, they’re not. But when they are, you’ll be the first to hear about it.
2. Lay off the engagement pressure. Newsflash: this isn’t the 1960s. If someone wants to date forever, then can and should. You pestering them to get engaged doesn’t help anyone except for the plundering, gouging wedding industry.
3. Never, ever, ever, ever ask them when they’re having kids. With all we know about fertility issues and with the state of economy, I can’t believe people would still ask this question. How do you know the person hasn’t had multiple miscarriages or can’t get pregnant? How do you know that they desperately want children but know that now is not the right time for them? And why must everyone procreate? Are YOU going to carry their babies, raise their children and pay for their college eduction? Back the eff off.
4. And, speaking from personal experience, unless you see the head coming out of the birth canal, don’t even THINK about asking a woman if she’s pregnant. Believe me, she’ll tell you if she is. She’s probably excited to share the news. But if she’s just bloated, 7 weeks postpartum or struggling to lose her post-baby pooch, you’re going to make her feel AWESOME by asking that question. So thanks.
5. And finally, you pointing out to me and my daughter that she’s destined to a life of freakdom by being an only child helps no one. But thanks again for putting that idea into her head.
Want to get to know someone? Talk to them! Start a conversation without peppering them with these questions. Chances are, many of these issues are going to come up organically without you adding your two cents. Here’s a great conversation starters: “So what’s new with you?”
What did I miss? What questions drive you insane? And how do you deflect personal questions?