Some people still think that a woman’s worth comes from having children. Even if you’re anti-kid, you’ll hear the same crap from people around you — “You’ll think differently when it’s yours,” and “Motherhood is the best job in the world.” Opinions start morphing into facts, and it usually leaves the childless woman, whether by choice or situation, feeling filled with rage. Frankly, when or if any woman has kids really isn’t anyone else’s business.
Not everyone is meant to be a parent. Everyone is a little scared after having their first child, but not everyone “falls into” parenting when they give birth. The truth is, there are good parents and there are bad ones. A parent who had a kid based on obligation or because they felt like it was a “milestone” they had to achieve often falls into the latter category. It’s just not a job for everybody.
It’s the same thing as saying, “So, how often are you having sex?” You have to have sex to create a baby obviously, so in asking, “When you’re going to have kids?” it’s more like, “So, are you having a lot of unprotected sex? Are you having it during your ovulation time? Good for you.” It shouldn’t be a topic that’s embarrassing (because hey, sex is natural, and we all wouldn’t be here without it) but it should feel a little intrusive. Especially if your parents or in-laws are the ones who are asking.
A woman already knows when the “cut-off” for kids is, and reminders will only make them feel worse about it. Everyone knows that pregnancy becomes a bit riskier the older you get — it’s been said that women become less fertile in our 30s. Our 30s! The pressure for a woman to settle down and pop out kids before “it’s too late” is quite high. Telling a woman this or making us feel like our ovaries will dry up tomorrow will do no good.
She might be having fertility issues that you’re unaware of. According to the American Society For Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), about 6.7 million women are infertile — that’s roughly 11%. And that’s just women. Men have fertility issues as well, so it’s possible that you’re rubbing salt in the wound of someone who wants kids but can’t have them. Infertility is a tough, heavy topic that usually doesn’t come out during random chit chat. Constantly bringing up the topic of having children can really offend someone who’s suffering.
Because no matter what anyone says, nobody is “entitled” to have grandkids. If your parents have been bothering you about giving them grandkids, remind them that it’s a privilege and not a right. After all, they won’t be the ones watching them 24/7 — you will. It’s totally fine to be child-free, and if your parents don’t agree, it’s up to them to cope with the reality.
What a woman wants to do with her body is up to her, and her alone. Some women don’t like the fact that they have to share their body during pregnancy. Often they’re referred to as being “shallow” for this reason. Know what? They aren’t. They have the right to feel how they feel. It’s their body, and they get to choose what to do with it.
She might have a history of miscarriages. There’s a reason why women usually wait until after the first trimester to announce a pregnancy — between 10 and 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and more than 80% of miscarriages happen during the first trimester. Having a miscarriage is an emotional experience, and bringing up kids and having kids to someone who has silently been through one is just unnecessarily painful.
Kids are an expense that not everyone can handle. CNBC reported last year that the average amount spent on one child is $13,248 per year. Not everyone has $13,248 lying around. In fact, I can’t name someone who does. While some families manage to make it work, it’ll always be a financial strain. So if someone says that they can’t afford kids, take them at their word, and don’t go telling them that they’ll “figure it out somehow.” You don’t know anything about their financial situation, nor should you tell them how to spend their money.
Because it’s possible they just don’t like kids. If someone tells you they don’t like kids, don’t you dare respond with “but you’ll like yours!” Some people don’t feel comfortable around children. Some people want to die at the thought of hosting a children’s birthday party, filled with screaming toddlers. Some people love it. It’s okay to have an unpopular opinion on the topic, and you shouldn’t try to change anyone’s mind if the topic comes up.
At the end of the day, it’s none of your business. It really isn’t. Are you going to help raise this future hypothetical child? Are you going to fund the kid, and provide care and transportation? Probably not. You’ll get a weird Christmas card every year with a baby picture on it, hang it on your fridge for a few months, and then toss it out. So really, your opinion on when, why, or why not a woman reproduces is just unwarranted.