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I am aware of how to make babies–thanks so much for asking!

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Join us in welcoming our guest blogger, Melissa. This photographer extraordinaire for hire claims to be a semi-normal person who is surrounded by crazy people (namely her two daughters). This also means she will fit right in at MHM! She can be found blogging at The Howell Herald.

When I read Gretchen’s post I Didn’t Have My Children to Make the Polar Bears Weep wherein she recounts people’s rude comments concerning her many children, it caused me to think of the opposite problem. Namely, rude comments people make to couples with no children.

For example, “So, when are you two gonna start having kids?â€? As though it were as easy as going to the 7-11 and buying a Slurpee.

I think people who have no problem having kids can sometimes be very insensitive to those who have none. The people you so carelessly and casually questioned may have been trying for years to have children, but with no success.

They may have gone through in-vitro several times, only to be horribly disappointed when it didn’t work.

Or they may have had several heartbreaking miscarriages. At least half of the women I know have had problems either getting pregnant or staying pregnant, myself included. Asking off-the-cuff questions about people’s lack of children can just drive a deeper wedge into hearts that are already splitting with grief.

They are insulting to a man, who now feels that his virility is being questioned, and to a woman, who already probably feels unnecessarily guilty because her body is not functioning as it was designed.

So the next time you feel the need to comment on anybody’s children–either the abundance of or lack therof – please don’t.

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Comments
  • comment avatar trs August 8, 2008

    Oh how I feel for you.
    Two of my friends and various relatives have suffered through miscarriages. The pain both physical and emotional is unbearable, even to watch.

    As a 38 year-old single woman – it’s no picnic either. The idea that I haven’t even been accidentally knocked up is somehow alarming! (abstinence anyone? It is highly effective!)
    Once, a hairdresser I visited only once asked if I had kids (normal conversation starter I guess) I said no.
    “Do you want children?”
    Yes, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet.
    I found myself explaining (and realizing at the same time) that yes, I always wanted and assumed I would have children, but somethings just don’t come easily to everyone.

    It’s hard to know that the goals I STRIVE for (marriage, children) are just happy accidents for 90% of the population.

  • comment avatar Brillig August 8, 2008

    Melissa! How great to log on today and see a post from you!!!!

    This is such a great post. I think people are generally well-meaning, but they have no idea how hurtful their comments can be. Usually there’s a story behind people not having kids, or having lots of kids, or WHATEVER. And if you haven’t already been filled on in the story, then it’s probably NONE of your business!

  • comment avatar Lori August 8, 2008

    I think most people are just making conversation and don’t know they could be hovering over a tender spot.

    It’s good for people who have never dealt with IF to read posts like this.

  • comment avatar Kagey August 10, 2008

    My uncle’s wife learned her family’s health problems were both parkinson’s and huntington’s diseases while pregnant with their first child. Since those are both frequently passed down, they decided to not have more kids. They have had people ask them why they didn’t have more kids, but at the time they had people ask why they didn’t abort while she was pregnant!
    Sheesh!

  • comment avatar No Reimer Reason August 12, 2008

    Thank you for this post. I can identify with the long times of trying and then it ending up in a heartbreaking miscarriage. We get asked the children question often, and though I think they are innocently asking to make conversation, it often does trigger a bit of sadness.

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