Why we need to stop asking women when they're having children.
First it starts out with "are you dating anyone?" then once you start dating someone its, "when are you getting engaged?" and then 5 minutes after your engagement "have you set a date for your wedding?!" then, after the "I do's" they looove to ask: "are you pregnant yet?!"
I get it, they're excited and it's sweet. But that is SUCH A PERSONAL QUESTION. Like really, really personal.
The baby questions are something we got long before my husband and I were ever even engaged. And I do not even necessarily believe two people have to be married to have a baby; there are many ways to create a family. People love babies, and they aren't wrong for it. I am also guilty of this, I have asked so many people when they are having babies, when they are getting pregnant, but I have since realized how wildly inappropriate this behavior is. But we really need to stop asking women (and men, for that matter) when they're going to get pregnant.. and here are a few reasons why:
Some women don't want children, AND THAT IS OKAY.
I am embarrassed to admit, this came as a shock to me. Until a few years ago, I didn't realize that some women/couples/people just don't want children. As someone that longs for maternity in her bones, I couldn't fathom wanting a life without motherhood, without a baby, without children. I remember, I was THAT person who asked one of my friend's friends when she was going to have kids and she replied "never, we don't want them" and I was like, "what?!! you don't want kids?! not even one?!" Admittedly, this was in my early twenties (the really selfish years) when I couldn't comprehend anyone having a different world view than me, different feelings than me, wanting different things than me. I just thought we were all programmed this way. But you know what? Some people just don't want children, AND THAT IS OKAY. It really is. Not everyone wants to be a parent, not everyone wants to procreate. And more power to them!
Some women are trying desperately to have them.
Infertility has really taught me so much about different circumstances, preferences, points of view.
One in every eight couples will deal with some form of infertility during their reproductive years. Whether it is male factor infertility, female infertility, or both. This journey can be exhausting emotionally, financially and physically, and usually is; very, very exhausting and heart breaking in all forms. I speak from experience when I tell you this: I can promise you, the last thing this couple wants to do is talk about it with someone they do not know. OR, you're going to hear all about, haha, I know quite a few people that just dive right in and will make you really uncomfortable. My advice is, do not ask someone unless you are open to hearing all about their reproductive health. Because if you're going to have the gall to ask, I might give you the ins and outs, the struggle, and the heartbreak.
It is also important to mention that one in four pregnancies end in a miscarriage. That means 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Miscarriage is a heavy weight for a woman to bear. Miscarriages do not happen quickly either, they can take weeks or even months. The loss of a child, no matter how early or how small, is absolutely soul crushing and devastating.
Some women cannot have biological children.
Some women are diagnosed with reproductive diseases or abnormalities that leave them unable to have biological children. There are many reasons for this, and I again repeat 1 in 8 couples/women will struggle with infertility. And contrary to popular belief, infertility treatments do not equal baby. IVF does not equal baby. It's heart breaking, but it is a harsh and sad reality for some people.
Another possibility is that some couples find out they are both carriers of a genetic disease(s) and find it too difficult and expensive to proceed with trying to conceive.
Also, if a woman is not drinking alcohol: DO NOT - and I cannot stress this enough - DO NOT ASK HER IF SHE IS PREGNANT!!! If a woman, or a couple wants you to know they are pregnant, they will tell you, I promise. So until then, lets stop asking.