Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Uterus, My Business

Why do people care so much about the reproductive choices of other people? As soon as couples declare "I do" at their wedding, it takes about 30 seconds before every single guest starts asking "So when are you going to have a baby?" God forbid you wait a year or two (or five, in our case) to even start thinking about children. And it never ends. After you have #1, people are constantly nagging to find out when #2 is coming. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the following phrases:

"So when are you going to give A a little brother or sister?" Who said he wants one? He has been perfectly happy as an only child so far.

"You don't want to wait too long, you know." Yes, I realize my biological clock is ticking. Thank you for reminding me. I'm so glad you're keeping track of it as well as I am.

"You'll never truly be 'ready.'" Not true. We both had the same epiphany when we decided the time was right to go for #1.

The bottom line is, it's my body, so stop asking when I'm going go have another one or make it out like I'm doing my child a disservice by not giving him a sibling. Instead, I choose to give him unconditional love and devotion. He's one of the least spoiled and most friendly and well-behaved children you'll ever meet, so the argument of only children being spoiled rotten and poorly adjusted obviously doesn't apply. If and when it happens, I'll let the world know. Not everyone has to have the "perfect" two-child family. Maybe I can't have another child. Maybe I don't want to. Or maybe I want to wait until he's much older. Maybe I'm trying right now. Whatever the reason, it's insensitive and inappropriate to ask.

I've noticed this goes for everyone in our society. When couples choose not to have children, they're practically burned at the stake. The ones who can't have children are made to feel inadequate every time someone asks them when they're going to bring babies into the world...this also brings up a plethora of other questions as well - Have you tried this? What about this? Everything you've thought of, they've tried, trust me. We try to control everything from how many kids people should have to their reproductive rights (birth control, abortion, adoption, etc.).

It's fine to bring up reproduction casually and very occasionally with a close friend or family member. But for the most part, mind your own business. Every family is unique whether they have no children or ten children.



    DO NOT assume that just because I do not have a child yet that it is for LACK of trying. Shut the hell up and mind your own business. If I wanted to go into my reproductive history with you... I would. I do not need the constant reminder... thankyouverymuch.

    I miss you!!!!!

  2. I went to a wedding several years ago where the priest spoke extensively of the bride's upcoming role as a mother. I'm sure everyone in the chapel but him knew that she had no intention of having children - in fact, I don't think she even could.

    I realize women feel this pressure way more often than guys, but nowadays people are asking me when I'm going to get married, etc. New friends ask me if I've ever been married. The idea is funny to me, just as the idea of having more children might be funny to you. Funny in a not-really-funny way, I mean.

    You alone should decide how many children you want. One happy child is better than two (or more) miserable children. And no children is better than a miserable child. And so on. All children should be loved and wanted. Why people can't see that, I may never know.