Tuesday, April 17, 2012

That's a Little Personal, Don't You Think?

I wish people would stop asking "So when are you going to have a baby?"  I know this is a common question to ask a girl my age, but if you're a stranger then you probably shouldn't ask such a personal question.  Even if you are an acquaintance, it's still a personal issue to ask someone about.  Unless you are family or a good friend then you probably shouldn't bring it up.  Its right up there with the one question you never ask a woman unless you are absolutely sure. You know, the mortifying question "When are you due?" when you're not even expecting. Thank God I've never been asked this question but I have friends who have, and it sucks.  Just don't do it.

I don't want this blog to be a "woe is me" venting party but I have been asked this question so much lately that I thought it was worth mentioning.  It must be because all of my friends have had babies and now my best friend is expecting.  Logically, people assume that I will be next.  I hope they are right but don't ask me that.  (This rule does not apply to family and good friends).

Last weekend while celebrating a "gender reveal" for two of my friends I was asked this ever so bothersome question - with a twist.  Someone came up to me and asked "So when are you going to have a baby?  I bet you're starting to feel left out since you're now the last one."   Did she really just say that to me?  I know I'm overly sensitive right now and I'm sure it wasn't meant to be malicious, but it was like someone took a dagger to my chest.  "I bet you're starting to feel left out?"  Who asks that sort of question?  I could feel my eyes starting to fill with water.  I didn't want her to see the sadness on my face so I quickly dropped my napkin so I could pick it up and compose myself.

The truth is, I'm sure this question bothered me so much because it's true.  The fear of being left behind has been one of my biggest hurdles to overcome the past few months.  The common thread with all of my friends now is babies.  Babies, babies and more babies.  I enjoy hearing about it but I have absolutely nothing to add to the conversations anymore.  I already felt like a bit of an outsider in my group and this isn't making it any easier. By the time I'm starting to gain acceptance with this reality, that horrible question is slapped across my face.  It felt great.

With that being said, before you ask someone you barely know a personal question, I urge you to stop and think first.  We are all guilty of it.  Myself included.  Saying comments and questions that we think are funny or cute in the moment but can actually be quite hurtful even if that is not our intention.  You never know what a person may be up against.  What you think is a simple question, can evoke a struggle of emotions that someone is trying hard to accept.  If you have any doubts on what you are about to say to someone, then remember this simple saying:

"Some things are better left unsaid"


  1. Part of the steady stream of irksome questions we are all asked in life. Where are you going to college? What are you going to do when you graduate? When are you going to get married? When are you gonna buy a house? Seems like there are tailor made questions for each age bracket and stage of life. As your husband I'd like to say thanks for keeping your sense of humor about it!

  2. You are amazing woman and I am proud to be able to call you "Daughter". You have accomplished so many things in your life and along with your wonderful husband will accomplish many more. I look forward to the next steps in your lives and I know that you will continue to live your life with grace and compassion. Love you lots, your Other Mother.

  3. I can't help with the baby making part but once we're stateside again I can feed you a load of random baby advice/ancedotes via text for all those times you find yourself surrounded by a bunch of newish moms having a single topic conversation. For instance, mushed bananas are a pain in the ass to get out of baby clothes. Warn your friends. Poop is multi-colored. Potentially interesting in the diaper, less so when your 16 month old poops on the (nice) carpet while standing right next to you, points at it, and says "uh oh!" Your stain removing powers, complements of Albert, will be helpful knowledge to impart on your friends.

    Ian's right. These questions are pre-programmed. Once baby #1 shows up you'll get a 3-6 month reprieve before people start asking: "So, when are you going to have another one?" Um, people...I still haven't figured out how to brush my teeth, take a shower, and eat at least one full meal a day yet without baby interruptions or mommy guilt. At little space, please.

    Chin up! Until Baby B makes his or her appearance you've got the market cornered on really awesome auntie. Love you bunches!