No, it’s not “just a question”. And yes, I’m being sensitive, with very good reasons.
First off, hello, it’s good to see you on this happy occasion. While I can’t pretend to be happy with your questions and comments (as you can tell from my strained facial expression), it’s still good to see that you’re well.
Of course, I could easily ignore or tell you straight up how I feel about what you said. However, it might be at the risk of making things awkward for you and those around us on a happy day like this. That’s why I gave you my pained smile, my polite non-answer, my weird laugh, and politely excused myself when you tried to pursue the matter further. That being said, you should know why I chose to avoid your questions and ignore your comments.
So here goes…
Your questions were intrusive, and they hurt me.
“When are you going to have kids?”
“When’s the next one coming?”
“No baby yet?”
“Is that your belly or a baby bump I see?”
To you, these may sound like harmless questions. But you don’t know the harm they cause me and my fellow sisters who are wives and mums.
You didn’t see the excitement at every missed period and the slight jump in our walks to the pharmacy to buy a test kit. You didn’t see us praying and wishing so hard before we took the test, only to sigh and hold back tears while clutching the test kit that screams negative with a lonely red line. You didn’t see how some of our hearts break when we lost that little heartbeat that was once beating so fast inside us. You didn’t hear our silent cries of how much we want to feel a life growing in us and to hold the same in our arms after.
Then again, you don’t need to hear or see these. Because it’s personal, and we want to keep it that way.
Your comments were rude and uncalled for
“I think you should try for a boy/girl.”
“What? No candy? You’re such a no-fun parent. (To child) Here sweetie, take one.”
“Why don’t you want kids? You should have at least one.”
“Aww but your kid looks so lonely; give him/her a sibling!”
It’s one thing to share your opinion, but imposing it on me is another. We don’t need to agree on everything, and I certainly don’t need to accept yours as a rule to guide my life.
What if my spouse and I want to stay child-free because we enjoy our life as it is now and have no plans to change it? What if our current financial situation is perfect for our small family right now, which we feel is complete and whole? What if we appreciate the children that are born to us, regardless of their gender, and don’t feel the need to ‘try’ for another just to tick both boxes? What if we’re teaching our kids healthy eating habits and decided to limit their salt and sugar intake? What if we’re just not ready to be parents yet?
Then again, you don’t really need to know this. Some of these are personal, and while we’re pretty open to sharing our thoughts on parenting decisions, you could’ve at least asked nicely.
TLDR: Think before you speak
I guess all I’m trying to say is to be mindful of what you say to others. While you may think it’s a good conversation starter, I can assure you that there are much better ones (take “how are you” and “how’s it going”, for example). There are things that we wish to keep private as a family, and we hope you respect that.
Well, that’s that.