“Is she your FIRST???”
As a new mom, I get this question a lot, “Is that cute, cherubic babe your first?!” The implication, of course, is that I’m going to have more kids. The implication is that she’s the first in a loooong line of babies that will soon emerge from my womb – like an Army of Drool-ers. The implication is that one is not enough.
As women, we get this ALL the damn time. People love to ask us about our next step in the “What We are Supposed to Do As Proper Women” Checklist. All of these questions imply that what we, as women, aren’t “enough.” It starts when you’re single, “Are you seeing someone?” I get that this is a natural question to ask someone but, if they’re not dating someone and are content being single, the question is annoying and, if they aren’t in a loving relationship and want to be in one, the question is even MORE annoying.
The questions continue when you do find yourself in a good relationship – especially when you two attend weddings together: “Are you guys going to get married? When’s the date? You guys have been together sooooo long. Has he put a ring on it?”
I remember this from every single time we went to a wedding together and I’m still cognizant of it when I attend a wedding. I tell myself, “Do not, under ANY circumstances, talk to dating couples about marriage. They’re at a wedding right now – there’s already enough pressure. Don’t be an asshole.” I remind myself to not broach the subject, even if the couple with whom I’m chatting is super boring and not throwing me any conversational bones in return. If the couple is boring, just mention how yummy the chocolate fountain is and then dip a strawberry in it in front of them and shove it in your face so you no longer have to talk to them. Duh.
Don’t talk to single women about “When are you going to get married?” Because, believe me, they’re probably already thinking about it without your “help.” Either they’re thinking, “I don’t really want to get married or even believe in marriage” or “Yeah I want to get married but I’m NOT so thanks for making me feel like garbage.”
It never stops.
Then, if you’re a female and you do get married, the next question is: “When are you having kids?” It’s not even, “Are you going to have kids?” No. It’s “WHEN?” It’s like marriage is still solely for procreation – not for love and partnership. It’s like your uterus is a ticking clock and you better fill that thing STAT with a fertilized egg or your “Marriage Card” will be revoked.
When my husband and I married, we weren’t sure we wanted to have kids, we just knew we loved each other, but then I awoke one day and something changed in me, “Let’s do this baby thang, Lovah.” And so, we had sex thinking it would “just happen”… and it didn’t. It took a little time and it was stressful and, being a “slightly neurotic” person (I’m REALLY neurotic), I thought, “I’ll NEVER be able to have kids because my uterus isn’t working and I’m not a REAL woman, etc. etc.”
The point is, conceiving my daughter wasn’t easy for us. It wasn’t as hard as a lot of couples I know, but don’t ask a woman “when” she’s having kids because: a) she might not want kids and b) she may want kids but is having difficulty conceiving. Either way, your asking her “when” she’s going to have kids isn’t helpful. So stop.
If you’re a woman who has a kid, the next natural question is, “Are you having a second?” Oh my god! Relax it with this “Lady Check List,” People! I mean, of course I’m a little sensitive to this, but can we stop with this implied list of “To Do’s!” By asking, “When are you two cats getting married?” or “When are you gonna have a little rugrat?” or “Are you going to have more than one?” you are implying that what that woman is doing right at this moment is not enough. You are implying that she needs to reach the next step in this “Check List of Womanhood” in order to obtain happiness, and it’s nonsense.
Ladies, what you are doing is enough. If you’re single – awesome! If you’re in a relationship and you don’t want to get married, don’t! Marriage isn’t for everyone. If you’re married and you don’t want to have kids – you absolutely do not need to procreate. If you have one child like me, you don’t have to automatically know how many more kids you want right at this moment. Right now, I just want Moira. I love Moira. She is more than enough. I went through some rough patches with postpartum depression and have emerged truly happier than I have ever been in my life. Am I scared that if I have another child I’ll get depressed again? Of course! I’d be a moron not to be scared about another post-natal hormonal imbalance. But, right now I’m elated with one.
So, let’s all agree to stop asking women (and men… they get these annoying questions, too) what they’re next big step in life will be. It’s none of our business.