Don’t Ask: When Are You Going to Have a Baby?

It started when I hit the age of thirty. Here I was a happy well adjusted woman who was in a committed relationship. To the naked eye, it seem that one thing was missing from my life and the question began: “When are you going to have a baby.”
I never knew what to say. Usually, I just smiled and said I am still thinking. Then of course, the well intention person who asked the question starts going into a long list of reasons why I should have a baby. The first being I would make a wonderful mother, I am so loving and how great my husband would be as a father. Yes, I knew he was great with kids. I have seen this for myself.

By this time, I want to scream, “Leave me alone this is my life,” But you honestly can not do that. The people who usually ask such personal questions are friends and family members, people who you love. You don’t want to offend or hurt someone like that.

Of course, the closer they are to me, the worse the interrogation gets. If I say something about the pain of giving birth, they remind me that this is 2005 and women do not usually die from giving birth anymore and that it is a natural process, my body can handle it. Then of course, if they have given birth themselves they launch into a very graphic detailed description of their deliveries from the moment their water broke to when they first laid eyes on their beloved baby.

Now it is easier to scurry away from the question when asked by a stranger. You can get away with maybe someday. Most strangers will let it go then. Guess I am lucky that a stranger has never said anything about my proverbial clicking clock.
Don’t get me wrong, I like children. I have seen many cute little babies. I have played with babies that belonged to friends of mine.

I do not know if I am totally committed on not having a baby. But what I am definitely committed on is the fact that I hate when people try to persuade me to have a baby. They make me feel like you are a not a woman unless you give birth to a child. That you would be missing out on a something wonderful and that you would regret it later. This is not always the case.

Just because we women have the tools to have children, doest not mean that we have to have them. I don’t think we should be pressured into having a child, by anyone. Your significant other and yourself should have this discussion before you commit a lifetime to each other.

I am lucky. As far as I know, there is no reason why I couldn’t conceive and there is no reason why I could not carry a baby to full term. I have discussed the matter with my doctor. She says I am healthy, but she does advise me to start thinking about this seriously, because it is harder to have children in your forties. It is not impossible. It is just harder.

Yet, this is not the case with every woman. I know a sweet girl, she is only twenty-one years old and she can not have children. She all ready had one who was still born. It was so hard for her continue her life after that and then the doctors informed her

that she can not have any more children. Of course, she is heart broken. Now imagine being this young girl. She is vibrant, full of life and if one just looks at her you think she would be the picture of health. One wouldn’t think that she could not have children. Now picture this same girl in a few years. She is still young, vibrant and hopefully still is the perfect image of health. Now imagine how she will feel if people begin to ask her when she is going to have children. Can you imagine the pain that would pierce her heart by such a question?

Maybe that is the real reason people should not ask such a private question. One doesn’t always know the intimate details of a person’s life and one shouldn’t know all of this. This is a private matter, one people don’t want to discuss unless they broach the subject first, themselves.

Then of course, there is another reason. The question as to whether one can handle the responsibility of a child. A question one should broach to themselves.

Am I ready to devote eighteen years of my life to raising a child in a world full of such turmoil? And don’t get me started on the people who says the world hasn’t never been perfect. I know that. But who in their right mind can argue the fact our world is filled with more danger then ever, do not forget 9-1-1.

Yet, the bottom line is that I should not have to explain these reasons to anyone. It is my body. It is my life. If I have a child, it will be my responsibility and to some extent the responsibility of my partner. But lets be honest. In most cases, it is the woman who does most of the child rearing.

So, I guess, what I am hoping is that people will stop and think. Is it really your business as to whether or not your sister, the neighbor down the street or that cute married couple has a baby? If someone wants to discuss having children with you or wants your advice on the subject, they will ask. If they don’t ask, there is a reason why.

Respect them. Respect their bodies. Respect their lives. Respect their privacy.

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