The first time it happened was when my daughter was less than a week old. Here I am still recovering from my C-section and well-meaning lady, trying to be complementary says, “She’s beautiful! Now when are you going to have another?”
I was astonished! I still had fresh stitches and immediately people were viewing my family size as too small. Whether you’re building your own soccer team, or you’re planning to go one and done, your family size is not a matter you should feel obligated to discuss publicly.
So what do you do when you’re faced with the question and the situation is completely uncomfortable? You can be open, honest, evasive, stoic, snarky, regardless; you get to choose. Personally, I usually decide to react practically, and tell whoever it is that if they’re willing to help pay for another baby they can continue the discussion, otherwise that’s a private matter. That usually ends the discussion quickly or gains me a couple dollars, both options work for me!
There are so many factors that contribute to the size of your family, only some of which are factors you can control. You and your spouse need to make the right choice for your family without being concerned about the opinions of others. You've got to talk to about your physical needs and limitations, financial issues, family choices, available time, and a number of other contributing factors. And sadly, I think most of society wants you to sum up your conclusion on the whole of those issues in few words! Why is that? I realize that some people are honestly interested, while others may just be nosy. Perhaps they are just trying to compliment your parenting or beautiful children--albeit by making you completely uncomfortable.
At the end of the day my question is, can we as moms all choose to stop perpetuating the problem? I don’t mind so much you asking your friends about having more kids, but can we please stop asking in public? Let's start with ourselves and love each other enough to not make our friends feel awkward and have to share the intimate details of their private lives if they aren't ready to do that. That's ok. We can be those friends, and we can make that the norm in society.
Jenny Ditch lives in Illinois with her husband and daughter and is quite happy to be evasive about her future reproductive plans to whoever asks.