Let me preface this post by emphatically stressing that I love, love, LOVE my daughter. I love her. I love everything about her. I worship her. She is my reason for living.
But fuck me, being a first time parent is hard. Like, really hard. I’ve worked in live TV news and let me tell you something; those anxiety-ridden, adrenaline-filled, testosterone-raging newsrooms have nothing NOTHING on motherhood. Zilch. Nada.
I’m pretty sure most people would agree (obviously not about the TV newsroom part) that being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do. It’s also the most rewarding etc.
That said, why-oh-why do people – namely those who’ve gone through the
horror joy of parenting – love to ask that super stupid personal question:
“So, when are you going to have another one?”
It’s offensive on so many levels that I’m not even sure where to start. Actually, yes I am. Firstly it’s offensive because it is none of your business. Will you nurse me through my pregnancy? Are you planning on helping to pay for the second baby? Will you babysit the first while we try and nurse the second? Oh, is that a NO to all? Well then, when and if we’re going to bring another human into the world does not concern you in the slightest.
Then there’s the aspect of if we can have another baby. What if we have fertility issues? What if we had to use IVF for our first baby and we’ve run out of money?
What if, what if, what if.
Here’s a tip for free: Never ask a stranger a question you don’t already know the answer to. AKA: Don’t poke the bear.
Oh, and don’t spin that “they’re just making conversation/being polite” bullshit. I’ve spoken to a lot of very boring people and somehow I always manage to keep the conversation going without asking about their habits of procreation. Because, let’s face it, that is exactly what people are asking: When are you and your partner planning on having unprotected sex again?
Now, because you’re no doubt a nice person given that you’ve allowed people to ask these kind of intrusive questions before, you’ll probably feel incredibly guilty for not accommodating their noseyness and answering in your usual polite way. For me, that usually goes a little something like: “Oh I don’t know (fake laugh), were just enjoying G at the moment”. Sometimes that response is golden and people leave it at that. But sometimes they don’t.
“Oh come on!” they say, “you should have them close together”
“You’re get getting any younger”
“If you wait longer it’ll just be even harder when you have to go through that newborn stage again”
God, how I would love to just reply “Oh fuck off won’t you”. But I can’t. I just don’t have it in me. Instead I indulge them in their inappropriate little tête-à-tête.
Look, believe it or not I’m not bolshy enough to say something as straight-forward as: “That’s really none of your business” to someone. It makes me feel uncomfortable which in turn makes the whole situation even more annoying because suddenly I’m considering their feelings when they never considered mine when asking the question in the first place. Does that make sense?
Anyway, hit me up in the comments below because I’m keen to hear your tips on how to deal with obtrusive questions that leave you feeling really uncomfortable.