Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Please Stop Asking Women When They're Going to Have a Baby

Last weekend on Facebook, I shared this article written by Anne Lamott on why she hates Mother's Day. Lamott is a great writer, and I was glad that even as a mother, she was able to make this point:
But Mother’s Day celebrates a huge lie about the value of women: that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path.
This really goes beyond just Mother's Day, though. I don't understand what society's fascination is with women pro-creating. (And then when we do have kids, we don't receive the support we need, at least in America.) No one bothers men about when they're going to have babies. But that's because of a misguided notion that women's purpose is to have babies. As though we aren't capable of doing anything else with our lives. As though just because we have ovaries, we should all want or be able to have babies. As though we aren't really women unless we become mothers.

I've actually had someone ask me what I scrapbooked about if I didn't have kids. What kind of question is that? I don't sit around on my time off thinking, "Oh, I don't have kids. I can't go do anything." I have a LIFE.

I've also had perfect strangers inquire about the vacancy status of my uterus. I'm sorry, but if I don't know your name, you have no right to ask me personal questions. I also don't need people telling me that I (and my sister-in-law) need to "get on the pregnancy train".

If you don't know someone or their circumstances, then please do not comment. She could be holding off on having kids for financial reasons (as many American women are doing) or she could be infertile, and thanks so much for bringing THAT up.

Also, please don't ever greet a woman with "Are you pregnant yet?" and then proceed to list the number of kids or grandkids you have. This is not a competition.

I know a lot of women in person and through the internet who are child-free either because they don't want kids at all or they want kids but can't afford them right now or they want kids but can't conceive. The decision to have kids is a personal one that a couple makes together. You, as a co-worker, family friend, pastor, or whoever, don't get to have a say in the matter. Get out of people's bedrooms!

Whether or not you're a mom, women are capable of doing amazing things every day. We are business owners, pilots, military personnel, writers, teachers, news reporters, politicians, doctors, nurses, pastors, nuns, social workers, therapists, and on and on. As women, we have a unique ability to love and nurture not just children of our own, but other people's children, our friends, our family members, our employees, our constituents, our world. Sure it's fun to follow along with Princess Kate's latest pregnancy news (and rumors), but all this other stuff should be celebrated, too!

But if you are so concerned about me having a baby, please feel free to donate to the Laurie & Mike Have a Baby Fund. We accept cash and checks.

1 comment:

  1. great post, laurie!! i get asked this ALL the time. we want kids eventually, but just not yet. people are rude!