Next month, my dear sweet Rosie will be turning one. So some folks have clearly decided that now is the time to demand to know when I’ll be having more kids.
Now, here’s the thing. I’m not all touchy and bitter. I don’t mind when family and close friends ask. It’s casual acquaintances and strangers that get me. Even then, it’s not rude per se to politely enquire, ‘Do you think you’ll have anymore?’
Providing, of course, you leave it at that.
It becomes rude and annoying when you say to me, ‘So when are you having some more?’
To which I reply, ‘Uh, never.’
It becomes even more rude and annoying when you then say, ‘You can’t say that! You’ve got to have more!’
And it becomes infuriating when you say, ‘I think you’ll have more. You can’t just have one.’
Whoa whoa whoa, sunshine. Take a step back. I don’t recall a time when you were put in charge of my reproductive organs. I’m not even entirely sure I’ve got full control of them, and most definitely not at certain times of the month.
So… why is this rude? Well, you’re assuming a hell of a lot of things, for a start. You’re assuming I want more kids. You’re assuming my husband wants more kids. You’re assuming we can afford financially to have more kids.
You’re also imposing your beliefs and choices on me, for another. So you had three or four or more. Or you only had one but you wanted more. Or you think that big families are the happiest families. Or you think that my daughter needs siblings. Marvellous. Really. Good for you. Your choices are your choices, I respect that. But you are not respecting mine. Look at it another way. The flipside to this would be me saying to you, ‘Jeez, really, another kid? I don’t think you should have it. In fact, you can’t have it. You’ve got to get rid.’
And furthermore, you’re putting me in an extremely uncomfortable position. I don’t necessarily want to explain to you (often a complete stranger) that I don’t want more kids. You have no idea. It could be that we can’t afford it. It could be that I suffered with bad postnatal depression and I’m scared it will happen again. It could be that I had an intensely traumatic labour, or that my child was in hospital as a newborn, or ill, or I hated the newborn stage, or even that my lady bits are wrecked beyond repair. Would you like me to say that to you? When you ask why no more, in the middle of Asda, would you like me to say, ‘Because my fanny fell out?’ (It didn’t. But I might start saying that to make people feel uncomfortable)
Maybe, just maybe, I don’t want anymore kids, for reasons that are none of your business. And maybe you should keep your opinions and your comments to yourself. It’s my uterus, and if I don’t want any more kids I won’t have anymore kids.
The moral of the story is, if you’re not in my ‘frequently dialled’, don’t ask personal questions. You might not like the answer.