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Oh, baby!

“Josie, when are you going to have a baby so we can spoil it?”
I’m sure my aunt’s question was well-meant and backed by all the love in the world, but if there ever was a wrong reason to conceive and bear a child, people, that would be it.
At least I can be thankful her question didn’t sting the way it does when my cousin asks, “Hafa? (What?), no baby yet?” whenever we meet. And by the tone of her voice you’d think that peace in the middle east and happiness in life for every man, woman and child was widely dependent on me getting knocked up. Talk about pressure.
“Doesn’t that motivate you to want to get started on your own family?” That was suggested to me as a small crowd gathered to admire a young couple’s second newborn child (in less than two years, I should add). All I could think was, two small children in diapers and bottles at the same time? Huh-uh. No way.
But the ultimate has to be the woman who asked, “How come you don’t have a baby yet?” This is a variation of my cousin’s favorite catchphrase, except that the woman who said it actually TOUCHED MY BELLY, as if to feel for a baby that was REALLY THERE, but had just gone unnoticed by me and everyone else. I might have smacked her, too, if we hadn’t been in church at the time.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get to a point where we do not define each other by our jobs, our marital status, or by the number of children we have? Is it any wonder that the first questions we ask one another when we first meet pertain to our jobs (What do you do?) and family (How many kids do you have?)? What am I saying? I’m not sure. But I think there’s a valid point somewhere in this whinefest.
I guess what I really want to say to them is this: STOP IT. Stop asking me when I’m going to have children, or why I don’t have any. In all honesty, it’s none of your business. Stop making comments that suggest that I am less of a woman, or a woman unfulfilled. I don’t need to fill my life with children in order to feel complete. If and when I decide to have children, it’ll be when I’m ready, when the time is right for me and my husband, not on your schedule. We all live and choose differently, and even if I don’t agree with all the choices you make, I can still respect your right to choose. Please respect mine.

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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Josie, I found your article on the internet as I was despreately trying to find a way to politely avoid the ultimate afer your married question. I have only been married for less then 2 years and I getting grief from both sides of the family regading when my husband and I are going to start a family. Your site made me feel better knowing that it is not only me that feels that way. YOu are absolutely right…”If and when I decide to have children, it’ll be when I’m ready, when the time is right for me and my husband, not on your schedule. We all live and choose differently, and even if I don’t agree with all the choices you make, I can still respect your right to choose. Please respect mine.” From today on if people want to ask… my response will be either be your quote or simply…”I don’t know? When are going to have manner!” I think women like us are trying to be to polite to people who ask and we shouldn’t! THey are not being polite in asking constantly.
    Thanks Josie

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