Stop Asking Women When They’re Having Children

Stop Asking Women When They’re Having Children

Firstly, it’s rude. Secondly, in this economy?

As a woman born and raised in southern Louisiana, I am well-versed in answering the question, “When will you be having kids?”

It’s a question that comes up at holidays, weddings, and even on a random Tuesday evening when you’re just trying to enjoy your second bowl of ice cream in peace. 

“Well, when you become a mother, you’ll understand.” 

Um, when? Also, understand? 

Firstly, I don’t know if I want to become a mother, unless it’s a mother to an adorable dog who is obsessed with me. And, secondly, what could I possibly understand more after becoming a mother? Love? Responsibility? Stress? I’ve got all three already.

There’s a common misconception that all women want to have children. A lot do, but a lot don’t, and many, like me, are undecided. So, when we’re asked questions about our intimate fertility plans, not only does it make us feel uncomfortable and annoyed, but it also can make women feel as though our one main purpose in this life is to procreate. And because we childless folks are asked this question above all other questions, it leaves us feeling inadequate and like our very full lives are absolutely pointless because we don’t have a tiny human on our hip.

Am I not woman enough if I don’t want kids? Am I behind in life if I don’t have kids? Am I selfish if I can’t envision my life with children in it?

I don’t know about you, but feeling inadequate when the feeling of inadequacy is not due makes me feel some kinda way. And that way is angry, frustrated, and annoyed.

To those who have posed the question, “So, when is it baby time?” to a woman that you know, I have a question for you: when was the last time you asked a man this question?

Are you asking the men in your life when they’ll have children, or are you asking them how their day at work went? Are you asking the men in your life when they’ll settle down, or are you asking them how they’re liking the new truck they bought? Are you asking them when they’ll get married, or are you asking them how big the red snapper was they caught over the weekend when they went fishin’ with their buds?

If we’re going to normalize calling out antiquated ideals and gender inequalities in society, then we need to start getting comfortable with answering the baby questions truthfully, because assuming all women want to bear children is anti-feminist. 

I said what I said. 

Assuming all women want to bear children is anti-feminist. 

I’m not entirely sure why this needs to keep being said, but here it is: it’s 2020, and things are different now. Gone are the days when women were forced to stay home and take care of children while their husbands left the house and went to work. It’s just not like that anymore. Times have changed. While some women choose to be stay-at-home mothers, others do not. And some women choose to not become mothers at all. Just like how some men choose to become shitty fathers. Ba-zing. 

The reasons why a woman does not want to have children are absolutely none of your business, but here are a few reasons why one might opt out of becoming a parent just to offer you some sort of perspective:

  • They don’t like children. 
  • They don’t want to dedicate a large portion of their life to raising another life. 
  • They don’t have the financial means to care for a child. 
  • They believe bringing children into the world when there are so many children in need of adoptive parents goes against ethics. 
  • They are unable to have children due to various medical reasons, such as, but not limited to, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, the functionality of one’s fallopian tubes, the shape of one’s uterus, poor ovulation, and more. 
  • They may have experienced miscarriages, which are traumatic and take time to heal from, emotionally and physically, and perhaps they are not ready to try again. 
  • Or, perhaps they’re partnered with a person who is experiencing low sperm motility or low sperm count, and due to this, their chances of getting pregnant naturally are far more difficult. 

But the most important reason of all, and one that you might just have to get over and get used to is that they don’t want to have children.

And if a woman doesn’t want to have children, that is none of your business. So, don’t ask. Ask about the weather instead, or, I don’t know, the multitude of other amazing happenings in her life, because we’re more than just vessels for babies.

A woman not wanting to do something is enough for it not to happen. That goes for everything from having children, to getting into a relationship, or to saying no in any situation, under any circumstance, any time. 

Instead of wasting your energy on asking a human when they’re bringing another life into the world, perhaps try to care for the life that’s standing before you instead. Because the person whose reproductive privacy you’re prying into is under attack by the government and society enough as it is. 

So, mind your business. 

Stop focusing so hard on the uterus in your presence and care for the woman instead. And you can start by not reducing her life’s purpose and ultimate achievement to birthing a child.

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