I’m a married, mother of one and the question I get asked on a regular basis is “when are you having another baby?”

The more I get asked, the more annoyed I get. I’m at the point now where I’m starting to lose all concept of politeness about it.  Why do I keep getting asked if I’m having any more kids and more to the point; how and why is it anyone else’s business? Why can’t people just accept that I might just have one child.

What’s the problem?

Most of my friends have two children or are expecting their second. It seems that having two kids seems to be the only acceptable number these days; I have only one child and the questions start rolling in as to why you’re not having anymore; have more than two and its ‘Why do you want more?’ especially if you have both a boy and a girl because having the ‘complete set’ is what couples strive for isn’t it?? but that’s a whole other topic of discussion.

On being asked the all annoying question I reply “not right now, maybe in the future”. The look of disbelief when I say I’m in no hurry to reproduce again anytime soon, if at all, is priceless. Why don’t you want another? Do you want your daughter to be an only child? Why leave a big gap between children?

Why, why, why?

What I really want to do is tell them to F off and leave me alone but even me, with my blunt, fondness of cutting to the chase, can’t tell them that for fear of creating awkwardness.

I just want to scream “It’s none of your bloody business!!”

I struggle to understand people’s fascination with this. What effect will it have on their life? Why is my decision/reason anything to do with them? Is it envy as I’ll be done and dusted with all things baby while they’re knee deep in milk vomit and nappies or is it to do with the romantic notion of playdates as our kids will be a similar age.

The reality is that in today’s hectic lifestyle, most playdates are few and far between anyway so how and why would adding another little human into the mix change that? On the other hand, it could be because “we just want you to be happy” implying that one child just doesn’t equal happiness! For the record; I’m quite content, thanks for asking.

It gets me thinking about why some people have only one child, or none for that matter. It could just be that some couples just don’t want children, full stop, or they only want one child. It’s not a crime!Couples may be unable to conceive at all; relationships could be in crisis or perhaps a woman has miscarried and her body is still recovering. Whatever the answer or reason is, its nobody else’s business.

My rule of thumb with this issue is straight forward; if it’s a close friend that has previously spoken about having more children then I will ask, if, and only if, it comes up in conversation, and I don’t mind if they ask me. However, outside my very close knit circle I see it as a no go zone. It irritates me that it’s a common, run of the mill, small talk kind of question to ask, especially to people you don’t know all that well when in fact,it has the potential to be an insensitive and upsetting question for more people than you may realize.

A friend of mine who married young, got hounded with this question during the first five years of her marriage to the point that she told people she wasn’t having any kids. It got people off her back and she now has three children.

Some women I know can’t have children despite exploring all avenues, a couple of women I know have no interest in having any children and others are happy to have only one child. It’s a personal choice, or to some, not a choice at all.

With this in mind, I can only hope that we can learn to accept and respect each other’s privacy as we might not always be aware of individual’s personal situation. At the end of the day, is it really anyone else’s business how many children I or anyone else has? No…I think not.

Author

An expat, mum of one with a thirst for knowledge; Fiona writes honestly & openly and likes to ask questions! She's no stranger to travelling with a toddler, is obsessed with pineapples and has a life long hobby of trying to keep fit!

3 Comments

  1. I love this piece. As a woman who has NEVER wanted children (from puberty I knew I didn’t want kids), I’ve not only had to deal with the “Do you have kids?” questions, to the “Why on earth don’t you want them?” “Oh you just wait till you meet the right man” comments.

    • so so true. Like me you’ve probably given up counting how many times you’ve had those comments.

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