8 Reasons Why You Should Never Ask a Woman If She Is Planning on Having Kids
On Thanksgiving, before I even took my seat at the table I was asked by family members and people I was meeting for the first time “You got kids? When are you having kids? Are you guys trying? Thinking kids soon? Don’t you want a family?” “It’s your turn!!”. I have been meaning to publish this article for a while now and after that wave of questioning decided enough is enough!
From a young age we are taught that there are 3 things you should ‘never ask a woman about’: her age, weight or size. It is time we add another question to “that” list: Are you trying/ having kids soon?
The questions and comments in relation to a woman’s ‘timeline’ or biological clock’ are not only inappropriate but never seem to end; it’s kind of ridiculous. It starts with an engagement, then a wedding, then a kid and then the 2nd kid. Even after a woman has pushed out 2 human beings, people want to know if she is planning to have more. Will you start to conserve food if she says yes? I mean really! No one wants to be held accountable to some cookie cutter timeline and made to feel guilty if they don’t fall within what YOU consider to be ‘social norms’.
There has been an evolution in relationships, look at your parent’s relationship and their generation, things are different now –Woman are more independent than ever before, and with technological advances it really is a choice as to when or how you start a family.
As a woman on the edge of being a millennial I can tell you that while it may seem harmless, you will not find a single woman who appreciates being questioned about their family planning. Think about it. Have you asked a friend, relative, coworker or stranger if they are thinking of starting a family recently? If yes, did you notice the fake, teeth clenched smile? Or the fact you can visibly see a woman’s skin crawl? It’s one of those loaded questions that makes us uncomfortable; because no matter how we respond, internally we know that our response will be analyzed; and could potentially have repercussions in other areas of our lives. “Will I lose them as a client if I say ‘soon’?” “Will they think of me differently if I say ‘not planning on it’?” the list goes on.
So, why does everyone feel the need to inquire and offer unwanted advice on this subject? Let’s take a step back and think about this for a second. The decision to have or not have a child is very personal. Just hearing a questions about it, creates feelings of unnecessary pressure to defend yourself no matter what your position on expanding your family may be.
Here are the 8 reasons you should never ask a woman about her family plans:
- We are Infertile. In a survey of married women, the CDC found that 1.5 million women in the US (6%) are infertile (Source: National Survey of Family Growth, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] 2006–2010). Twenty-five percent of infertile couples have more than one factor that contributes to their infertility. Traditionally, infertility was thought to be due to female factors alone, but it is now better understood that infertility is not just a female problem. When a woman who is infertile is asked this question, what she is really thinking is: “I can’t have them. Thanks for pointing out that there is something wrong with my body that I have absolutely no control over”. If the it’s the man in the relationship who is infertile she is thinking “Thanks for pointing out that there is something wrong with my partner, and why do you assume it is my fault??”
2. We don’t want children. There is no master rule book that says “as a woman you are required to have or want to have a child” however, if that is your choice (which it is) there tends to be a negative stigma that is followed by judgment, more inappropriate personal questions and sometimes shame that follows. Everyone is entitled to live the life they want to live whether that does or does not include children. You can read Elite Daily’s 7 reasons here
3. We recently had a Miscarriage. 10–20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage with more then 80% of these losses happening before 12 weeks. On average, women don’t start to show their pregnancy until the first 12 to 16 weeks. As a woman, having a miscarriage is a devastating experience, so your joyful question with a hopeful expression on your face feels like a knife to the gut, thank you for making me feel even worse about it!
4. We have been trying for a while. Pregnancy doesn’t always happen over night. In general, a fertile couple has a good chance of getting pregnant within a year. Out of 100 couples trying to conceive naturally: 20 will conceive within one month. 70 will conceive within six months. 85 will conceive within one year. But for some people it takes a lot longer, sometimes a few years. Being asked this question is not only a painful conversation; it adds unnecessary pressure and stress; basically you are just pouring salt into the open wound
5. We are dealing with IVF. There are a number of reasons couples resort to IVF including blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, male factor infertility, ovulation disorders, premature ovarian failure, uterine fibroids, genetic disorders and unexplained infertility. After years of trying naturally, testing less invasive fertility treatments, and moving through different medical evaluations the reality of becoming a parent feels like a far off unrealistic possibility. In addition to being a painful and frustrating process, it is expensive, so thank you for reminding me that I am burning a huge hole in my pocket and am not guaranteed any results.
6. Inappropriate Setting. Asking ‘Are you planning on having kids soon” at a work related or networking event is not only an extremely inappropriate place to ask this question, it creates a sense segregation and causes unnecessary fear and pressure. As a woman you are damned no matter what response you give. If I say yes, I could lose you as a potential client because “clearly I’ll leave you high and dry once the baby comes and obviously the expectations placed on women go beyond simply being responsible for producing a child. If I say no, you will think I am heartless or un-relatable. If you can’t help yourself and feel the need to ask a woman this question, you better also be asking every man in the room.
7. I’m not ready, and that is OK: Guess what, I am enjoying my life, and my adult freedom for a while before taking on the responsibility of becoming a parent. I have a bucket list of things I want to do and places I want to visit before I have a family. I hate using this word but, I am selfish, I want more time to just focus on me. It seems like if you don’t start trying or don’t have kids within a year or two of marriage that something is wrong with you and that is a stigma we need to break.
8. My sex life is none of your business!!! At the end of the day you don’t know the circumstances of what is happening in someone’s personal life. Be Patient and Polite. IF and WHEN a woman decides to or gets pregnant let them tell you on their terms. #itsnoneofyourbusiness
Please share if you agree…