If you just happen to be a woman in your thirties at a party – or a couple of the same age – you won’t wait long before a fellow party-goer asks something like this:
“Could kids be on the way sometime soon?” Or, worse: “Why don’t you have kids?”
It’s pretty astounding that anyone thinks this is appropriate small talk material.
Which is why one Twitter user posted about her personal experience of “the question”, and what it meant to her personally.
In the thread she first gave the internet a hypothetical scenario: Someone asks her how old she is and says, upon hearing that she’s 33, that she better “get on” to having kids.
Them: How old are you?
Them: And you don’t have kids? Wow, time to get on that.
Me: I’ve had 7 miscarriages.
Them: *Looking incredibly uncomfortable*
Me: Annnnnnnnnd I hope we’ve learned a lesson in asking inappropriate personal questions.
— Lisa Marie 🏳️🌈 (@xLiserx) August 12, 2018
To which she responds that she’s had seven miscarriages, and they look “incredibly uncomfortable”.
“Seriously, though: Don’t ask people why they don’t have kids or stopped at one,” she explains in the continuing thread.
“There can be so many painful, personal reasons why that’s the case. Regardless of your reasons, it’s nobody’s business.
“This is my real life and something I get asked constantly. And it’s never a comfortable conversation the times I have to tackle it.”
Thanks for sharing this. It amazes me how often people ask that question. The face of a woman who's just had surgery for miscarriage as they're asked "will you have a baby soon?" is heartbreaking.
— Maddie Burke (@Maddie_Burke) August 14, 2018
The thread clearly resonated with people, as her original tweet gathered up more than 95,000 retweets and 420,000 likes.
Others chimed in with their own experiences too, as one fellow Twitter used posted: “I once had an entire crew laugh at me because I said ‘I’m working overtime so we can have a child’.
“When one of them said ‘You need to be home more to have a kid’ I had to tell them that my wife has a genetic condition that results in a one in 16 chance of taking a baby to term.”
Another wrote: “We kept getting asked all through years of infertility. Eventually we took your route and just said ‘we’re trying but failing’. Made people shut up real fast.”
I couldn’t agree more. I once announced at a dinner party that I was barren. The male inquisitor said ‘what a terrible thing to say ‘. Yeah well don’t ask. 😡
— Rose Khatri 🌹🥀 (@Rosekhatri) August 14, 2018
One replied: “Absolutely agree. I waited for my daughter in 14 years – so many painful questions even from total strangers, so many tears behind closed doors.”
According to the NHS, one in eight pregnancies ends in miscarriage, while one in seven couples may have difficulty conceiving.
And these are just two of many reasons.
So unless someone brings it up themselves, it’s a question that simply shouldn’t be asked.
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