So is this your only one? When are you going to have another one? How far apart do you want to have kids? Don’t you want a boy/girl too? How many kids are you going to have? They need to have a sibling! How much longer until your next one?
I’m sure you’ve experienced these questions before from family, friends, and strangers that you’ve encountered. I know that they mean well, and are excited to see your family grow. But my recurring thought is, um, could you please mind your business? I honestly don’t mean this in a rude way, but these are really loaded question to ask someone.
Speaking from my own experience and the stories from other moms that mean a lot to me, here are some things to consider…
- May be they’re not ready to have another one, because postpartum depression was a doozy.
- May be they’ve been desperately trying to conceive, and have been unable to have another.
- May be they had a scary birth experience, and they’re afraid to experience it again.
- May be they don’t want to have another child, because one child is all that they can afford.
- May be they haven’t had another one yet, because they’re simply not ready.
Lastly, may be there are reasons that none of us ever considered. Let’s not open a wound that is raw, that cuts deeply, and love someone where they are. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, parenting is hard. It’s also full of great joy, but we all need support each other wherever we are in the journey. My husband and I experience these question from time to time, and sometimes we let some family members know what we’re thinking. Though we may answer these seemingly simple questions on occasion, we are cautious not to answer every single one, because I have my own list of concerns and worries…
- What if we are not able to have another?
- What if we conceive twins?
- Can we handle another child financially?
- What if I’m not ready?
- What if my daughter isn’t ready?
- What if we cannot afford childcare for another one?
- What about my friends desperately trying to have children? What if we conceive before they do.
The what ifs can become overwhelming, just as the well meaning questions can be burdensome. So, rather than ask when another child is coming, let’s love the parent where they are on this journey AND the child that they ALREADY have!
Let me know, have you been asked these types of questions? If you’ve been asked, how have you responded?