A few years ago I shared my personal experiences with being baby shamed in my blog post titled Baby Shamers. I heard from so many women, and even some men, about their own experiences. Whether single, dating, married, already a mom…so many people have-unfortunately-dealt with someone shaming them. Usually its about not having kids, but mothers have reached out to say they’ve been shamed about how soon they’ll have the next child, or the number of kids they have. One isn’t enough and three’s too many? What?! Ridiculous.
Earlier this year I got married, so naturally I’ve dealt with the highest levels of baby shaming I’ve ever experienced. Some of the greatest hits I’ve had to hear include “When are you giving us babies?!” “Are you pregnant yet?” “What are you waiting for?” and my personal favorite, “You’re not getting any younger.” My responses to these questions tend to be “When we’re ready.” “No, I just had pasta and wine.” “I know how old we are, and my doctor says not to worry about it.” Side note: Since the last Baby Shamers post I have found a great, respectful and understanding doctor that’s not trying to bully me into getting pregnant.
What’s more infuriating is feeling like I have to explain myself and our decisions. I get people are curious or excited at the possibility of us having a kid (especially family members), but I find it rude and intrusive to ask.
What made me decide to share this baby shaming update is that with the holidays here I know a lot of us are about to go through the next round of questioning at the various family, friend and work functions. Remember to be kind and not ask when someone plans on getting pregnant.
You don’t know if that person has been trying and is going through a painful process, or recently had a miscarriage. And frankly, you don’t need to know unless they choose to share that information.
If the person doesn’t want kids that is perfectly fine, and they shouldn’t be subjected to the frustrating follow-up question of “why not?!”
Don’t ask the new mom, who is basking in the joy of her new baby that she is holding, when does she plan on having the next one. Let her enjoy this one.
And as I expressed in the previous post- Just because someone isn’t a parent it doesn’t mean they aren’t just as busy, happy and fulfilled as someone that is.
Wishing you all the best,