May 27, 2015

Please Excuse My Rant

It seems like a very innocent question:  "Do you have kids?"

The most surprising part, to me, is quite often the follow up to my answer of no.

"Why not?"
"But you want them, right?"
"Oh you'll have kids someday."

To be clear.  I am making a conscious choice.  I do not want kids of my own.  I'm a teacher.  I am fulfilled by helping others.  I've been taking care of people my whole life, and I will continue to do so.  I am honest and forthcoming when people ask me this question.  But people don't seem to like the answer.  This question has, over the years, become more than an annoyance.  It's a sore spot, BECAUSE people keep poking and prodding at it.

"You'd make such a good mom."
"You'll change your mind someday."
"Your biological clock will start ticking."

I'm sorry, but as I read somewhere, I'm going to keep pressing snooze on that clock.

Also, when did it become okay to ask such a personal question??  It is truly NONE of your business if I choose to have kids.  I don't ask about your sex life.  Why do you get to ask about mine?

I am making a CHOICE.  But I have friends who CANNOT have children, or who struggled with years of infertility before having children.  Have you thought about how painful that question is to them?  Have you really?  Furthermore, don't ask if they are going to have another if they have one!!  It's the same question and could potentially be just as painful.  Don't ask males either.  Just because they aren't the child-bearers, doesn't mean it's not a sensitive subject to them too.

Believe me, in a world that is more and more politically correct, I hesitate to add another issue to the pile of things you shouldn't say.  But please, think before asking.  Think before poking and prodding into a private matter.  How well do you know the person?  Have they volunteered the information?  People with kids can hardly wait to talk about them.  Give people time to tell you what they want to tell you.

As always, treat others with kindness.

Rant over.