People always feel like they can comment on other people’s lives. I suppose it’s human nature: judging others.
But, for some reason, the whole “child having thing” seems a lot worse.
Women, in particular, feel that it is ok and normal to comment on other women’s status in terms of child bearing. Why is that?
On the other side of it, if you are a woman, you get a lot more questions about having children than men. Again, how is that ok?
Let me give you a example: my husband has been working for his company for 5 years. He has been asked twice: “do you have kids?” answer: “no”, then never another question or anything else about it again.
However, I have been working for the same school for 4 years, and I have had multiple questions, usually weekly, about having kids. Why do women constantly get asked about children? How is that ok? We are trying to become a more equal society, and yet…
Here are a few of the comments that have hurt me physically and mentally during the thee years of trying. I am hoping that people will think twice before speaking:
“How old are you? Oh, 31?, you should think about having kids soon, then!”
Mind your own fucking business. Who gives you the right to tell me when is the right time for me to have kids? And why is it ok for people to say this to women?
“I bet this is making you broody” (a colleague telling me this after I bought baby gifts for another colleague going on maternity leave)
At that time, I had already been trying for 1.5 years. So yes, I was broody. I also found it immensely difficult to buy all these gifts on behalf of everyone who contributed to these gift. It broke my heart to go online and go to the toy shops to try and find nice things for this potential baby. But why is it ok for anyone to say this? I was already crying daily by this point, all it did was make me like my colleague even less…
“I’m practising for when you have kids” (a colleague who knitted a blanket for another colleague’s baby)
Way to lay on the pressure…! So, now you are doing this really nice thing with me in mind? Well, I feel sorry for the other person!
“You should have babies soon, the older you get, the harder it is!”
No shit. Well, that’s a pretty obvious comment, and completely unhelpful. Firstly, why does anyone think that this is an appropriate workplace comment (yes, workplace) and secondly, fuck you.
At this stage of trying to conceive, I don’t care how old I am or how hard it is, I just want a child, so you saying this really doesn’t help!
“You’re thinking about your career. Good, it’s better to do that before you have kids!”
Inappropriate. I was told this by my female head teacher (my boss).
Actually, having children should not stop me having high aspirations with regards to my career, and should not stop me from being very ambitious.
Also, maybe I’m focusing on my career because it’s too painful to think about the fact that I can’t have children, so that comment is like a knife to the heart.
Finally, why can’t career and children not work together? I hope to God that I’ll find out someday…
“Try not to think about it, then it’ll happen naturally”
The most unhelpful comment I’ve ever had. Really? That’s why I’ve not been able to get pregnant? I wish I had known this all along!!! (sarcasm) I will just stop being stressed and it will all be ok!! (again, sarcasm)
Yes, I am stressed. But so are people that have gotten pregnant.
“Three years? That’s not that long!”
I got this comment after telling someone for the first time that I had been trying. Way to make me regret telling you!! They seemed to think that 3 years was not that long. They did not have to try at all before they had the children that they wanted.
May I just say that three years is fucking long. Actually, one year is long if you can’t get pregnant. Never dare to comment on the years trying as they are the most stressful, sad and depressing years of my entire life.
“You don’t need fertility treatment, there’s nothing wrong with you!”
My mother-in-law said this to me recently. To be fair, there is nothing wrong with me, that’s true. But, we have been trying for 3 years, and we have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
Unexplained infertility is incredibly hard to deal with as there is nothing to blame or to try and improve, it just is.
So yes, there is something wrong with me, I can’t get pregnant. That is incredibly wrong.
Think about what you say to women
My message is this: think before you speak. Don’t mention babies or pregnancy to women as you have no idea what that woman is going through.