Socially Acceptable and a Baby?

First off, my heart HURTS for women experiencing infertility. Breaks my heart. I have never experienced infertility but it feels like EVERYONE around me is pregnant. I visit blogs or I open Facebook and there it is, “I’m pregnant” “we’re having a boy.” And THEN you have the well intended friends AND strangers with THE QUESTIONS. In the past three weeks I had the following conversations:

  1. S (who is a MAN): I really think that you and Q. need to have another baby. Not only do you guys make cute babies, BUT I think that children need siblings. Now is a GOOD time for you to get pregnant. Are you and Q trying?
  2. J (J is S’s wife): S is right you know, you NEED to have more children. I would also advise that you get a sex book so that you can choose the sex of your baby so that you can have a girl, because it is more fair to Gooner if she has a sister. You can then have two boys. I recommend 4 children because 3 just isn’t fair. Everybody needs a friend. Are you guys trying?
  3. Neighbor: Are you and Q. trying? (Neighbor decided to walk to the mailbox with Gooner and myself.)
  4. New Friend: Gooner is so CUTE! How old is she? 2!!!!? Are you and Q. trying?

I find this utterly ridiculous. RIDICULOUS. I think it is acceptable to ask someone if a couple wants MORE children. I do NOT think it is appropriate to ask someone if they are TRYING! That is so rude! Trying opens you up to all sorts of weird conversations and a couple’s fertility is NONE of your business. Now, CLEARLY your close friends are going to ask, but they normally ask politely and with GOOD intentions. And even THEN my friends are not asking if we are TRYING, they jokingly say things like, “La., you better call before I read it on FB.” I get it, my daughter is 2 and LOGIC would say that it is TIME, or that we should start TRYING. 98% of the people who were pregnant when I was pregnant with Gooner are either pregnant, or have already had their next kid.  And that’s ok, because EVERY family is different. What do YOU think? Is it ok to ask someone if they are TRYING?

Categories: Family | Tags: | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “Socially Acceptable and a Baby?

  1. I think this is completely rude. People have no manners.

  2. I wouldn’t ask a random person if they were trying but close friends…i dont think its odd to ask. I ask them because I genuinely want to know and if they want to wait 5 years before having a second kid that is totally cool I just enjoy hearing how other people want their family to grow. I think we all have different reasons for why we want kids close together or further apart and it’s fun to hear why. I mean ultimately God is in control but it is fun to hear peoples reasons for waiting or trying right away. One of the best reasons I have ever heard for having them one after another was “Im already going crazy so why not have a few years of insanity all in a row!” Hilarious!
    BTW we need a phone date pronto. Did you get my message last week? Love you friend and I better meet Gooner before she is in preschool 🙂

  3. Joanna

    Definitely nt ok. Asking if you are “trying” is like asking if you are having sex. Not information we need to know.

  4. Clarissa

    It is NEVER okay to ask someone if they’re trying. Also, why are so many people ready to instantly judge/disapprove of everyone else’s decisions. (Though really, I’m pretty sure you should get a sex book so that you can stop disappointing S and J. Um….actually no. Terrifying!) There are so many decisions that go into a couple’s choice (and it’s not always a choice) to have or not have children. Also, when you don’t know someone, asking about their sex life is beyond socially inappropriate. An introduction so that you know their name does not make it any more appropriate. I still can’t believe that MAN asked you if you were trying and then lobbied hard for you to do it HIS way. EWWWWWW.

    So you’re preggers, right? Because otherwise we probably can’t be friends because you’re ruining your life and your family if you’re not pregnant. If you aren’t sure what to do, use my life as an example. 😉

  5. I think it’s incredibly rude! We “tried” to get pregnant for a year before we had Maggie. During that time we didn’t tell anyone that we were trying and when people asked we were vague and said it would happen when it happens. After Maggie was born the immediate question was asked about how many more we wanted and when we were going to have them. I cannot imagine suggesting to even a close friend that they “needed” to have another one or tell them which gender they needed to try for. I also hate when people act disappointed when you have two of the same gender or act like your family must be complete if you have a boy and a girl.

  6. Totally depends on the friendship in my opinion…there are some friends that I talk about EVERYTHING with and some that I don’t. (Just to clarify, my GIRLfriends and I talk about this, I’ve never had a guy friend ask…) I would never say to anyone that they SHOULD have more children or presume that I know what’s best for a family. That’s obnoxious.
    I’m not God. Only He knows what’s best.

    Since I DO have a boy and a girl, in that order – LOTS of people have said that my family is complete and not to have a third because my middle baby would suffer.

    Meh! We are happy with our family now, but I firmly believe that if a child feels left out or isolated, it’s not because he’s the middle one or the baby. Just bad parenting or something along those lines.

    As far as TRYING…that’s just sex people and whether it’s protected or not – ain’t your business. I especially hate it when men ask me….GOOD GRIEF! I’ve had older men ask me…talk about feeling dirty. I usually just laugh stuff like that off and say things like, “Wouldn’t you like to know?!?!” Make them feel a little dirty for asking me…

    But I’m wicked like that. Good luck girl!

  7. Absolutely not. When people ask me I want to either scream or cry. You never know what someone’s situation is, and if you are really good friends, I am sure you would tell them if you were. You wouldn’t need to ask!

  8. Man!! That’s a lot of people asking. I guess they think you make cute babies. 😉
    I think you are totally right. I’m very sensitive to that b/c I know a lot of people with fertility issues, and you don’t want to ask that question and shove it in their face. You just never know when someone is having trouble getting pregnant.

  9. My doctor asked me if we wanted more kids this morning, but that was what he was suppose to ask!:) ANd if having children and how you raised your family was up for a vote then if would be acceptable. BUT since it’s not, people should learn to back off. You just never know what might come up or what has happened in that family’s life.

  10. Anna

    Hey! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    This is such an interesting post that raises a really good question. I guess I would just give people the benefit of the doubt that they have good intentions when asking, but I definitely agree that some things are meant to be private. The whole world does not need to know your plans on when you’re having kids, or even if you plan to have more…and they certainly don’t have the right to tell you how many kids you should have. That is totally up to you! I understand everyone’s opinions on numbers of kids and distance between them, but in the end, every family is different…there is no absolute right or wrong way, in this situation.

  11. Definitely not okay unless you’re close friends with someone!

  12. Yeah, that whole line of questioning is weird. I can’t even imagine doing that, and would feel SO weird if someone else asked me those questions! I would probably be tempted to give a reply that is SO beyond innapropriate just to make them feel uncomfortable though, so that’s how I roll, ha. Depends on the person who asked to, I guess.

    I think it’s ok (expected, even) to tease couples about having kids, or more kids, but I wouldn’t do that to just anyone. Only family, or close friends whose situations I know, and I know what their life plan is, and that I can get away with teasing them about it. As long as it’s not done in a way that is me pushing my opinion on them, that’s not cool.

  13. Definitely NOT acceptable to ask someone. Ever. I have way too many infertile friends who have been heartbroken by ill considered questioning from people who weren’t thinking.

    Also, as a woman who has been married almost 7 years, people do this to us too. They assume that we are either infertile or crazy because we don’t have kids yet. I literally told someone in the GROCERY STORE that I don’t know if I’m infertile because I’ve never tested the theory. She just stared and I decided that might be a good answer.

    I’m with you. Socially inacceptable. And I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that it actually takes the female body up to 3 years to recover from childbirth and breastfeeding. Can you believe that? Maybe is was World Health Organization. Anyway, I think it is interesting.

  14. Wow! I can’t even think of ONE time that someone has asked us about “trying.” Maybe because we have 3 already…but pretty sure I would be thoroughly offended and mortified if they did! I guess family is a different story, and it’s usually in a lighthearted context and joking involved. You know my parents do have FIVE grandDAUGHTERS, so everyone wants to know who is having the first BOY! Haha. We have also had a miscarriage in our family, so we have the good sense to not ask about “trying.”

  15. Jessica

    NEVER! I think it’s tacky and tasteless to ask if you are trying. That’s strictly between you and Q.

  16. You stalk me don’t you??? I just KNOW it. HAHA. Seriously this just happened to me…I was humiliated by a male family member who let me know I was apparently not WOMAN enough because I don’t have kids YET. Sigh. I do not understand where manners, privacy, and kindness have gone these days… 😐

  17. I think people have a lot of nerve haha. I started noticing it as I am pregnant, and know it’s going to get even worse when Ella arrives! People LOVE telling you horror stories, or asking you very personal questions…like complete strangers. So weird how that works. I am totally not like that, I never want to ask someone something because, what if they have fertility issues, or something personal where they can’t have another kid at that time, or something going on with their pregnancy, etc etc. you never know peoples stories so it’s best to mind your bizness!

    • Even friendly stories are AWFUL! Especially with birth! I don’t know why we all want to tell our stories so bad… I find that when Gooner crosses into a new phase friends and family alike say, enjoy it now because it only gets worse. Honestly, can’t we just be HAPPY and EXCITED when babies roll, then crawl, then walk…then turn two? Guess not…. They tell you oh no, Gooner is getting into the Terrible Twos, and THEN everyone tells you that three’s are worse. I just don’t get it.

  18. KellyVM

    I’m with you. Personally I’ve known or experienced too many hardships with fertility and miscarriage to pry into people’s lives. I never ask the question, even of friends or relatives. I’m open with where I’m at and leave room for them to talk if need be. It’s their business, not mine.
    Even so, there are 2 good things in all of this: 1) You make cute babies, 2) you must be a good mom if they think you can handle more. 🙂

  19. Very well said. It is so true that people stay STUPID things….especially about family planning! People finally stopped asking us WHEN we were going to have kids and started asking IF we were having kids since we were married so long before getting preggo.

    I love your idea…ask if someone WANTS more kids or how many they WANT vs if they’re trying.


  20. Oh my goodness, please for your sanity do not continue any relationship with S&J! They are socially inept! My goodness!

    As you stated, I think that there is a difference between your close friends inquiring and those that just should be sticking their nose into other people’s business!

    Tony used to be the type who would always ask couples when they were going to have kids. It was a two year phase or so starting when we got pregnant until Isaac was about 1. He was just so excited to be a father that he wanted everyone of his buddies to join the club . . . and then we lost Josiah. I haven’t heard him ask a single person any family planning related question since. He knew how much it hurt to be asked those questions or to have me be asked those questions and while usually we answered people honestly, it was never fun.

  21. You know I actually think it’s okay. I’m not a very private person, but to say ‘trying’ means sex, which opens you up to all kinds of awkward moments. I think I usually say, ‘do you want more?’ And then people can answer however they want.
    I think those friends that are telling you to have more are complimenting you, like you’re so cool and you’re kid is so cool you should do it again. Hahaha, literally!!! Sorry, sex….I apologize:).

    • You bring up a good point! Maybe I’m too private of a person! YET, I’m certainly not with my besties. Good idea, take it as a compliment!

  22. Adie

    Who talks like this? People will just allow anything to flow from their mouths. That first scenario is just weird. Are they your family planning team and your uterus?

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