Friday, July 6, 2007

So, are you done then?

I came across this Blog Blast while reading a post on Playgroups are no Place for Children and had to join in. The folks at The Parent Bloggers Network want to know what those annoying pregnancy and new mom related questions are that get up our noses. There are so many - I could be here all day listing them, and no doubt they will be the questions that got up everyone else's nose too! You'd think that once mothers have had a child that they would stop with the offending queries, but sadly I found the very people asking these stupid questions, are people who should know better - recently pregnant women and moms!

I have to narrow this down to the single most annoying question, so I'll skip past all the 'you're due when? Are you having twins? Where'd she get the red hair? Are you going to have an epidural? Are you going to have him circumcised? (how is this anyone's business???), and arrive at the one question that bothers me the most - and I use the present tense, because people still ask me this, all. the. time!

'So, are you done then?'

Are you done having kids? Wow, a boy and a girl - how great! Are you finished now that you've got one of each?

HUH?

Why do people do this? Why are people so concerned about the size of my family, about my reproductive choices? Even the nurse at my first OB appointment with my second pregnancy asked me was I going to have my tubes tied? Whaaaa?

Maybe I'm too reserved and old fashioned to think that this is nobody else's business? Really, it bugs the life out of me. Maybe it's because I'm Catholic and have grown up with the understanding that it's not really us that make that decision, and that we're not meant to take extreme measures to prevent another life coming into our family? Why do people, strangers a lot of the time, think that I'm going to discuss whether or not we have more kids with them, much less discuss any 'procedures' we may or may not have done to prevent more kids! I had barely considered whether we'd be likely to have more kids myself or even discussed it with my husband when my son was a newborn, the time when these questions increased in frequency. All I ever wanted to say was 'Buzz the heck off and mind your own business'.

Really - the range of people who have asked me this question go from friends, the grocery store check out lady, the man that sprays the house for bugs once a year, to the elderly neighbour who can barely speak English but managed in a few brief words accompanied by a lot of gesticulating towards her abdomen to ask if I'd had an operation to stop more babies?

ARGHHH!!!!

Or... maybe the reason this question bothers me so, so much is that I have yet to reconcile in myself that we are not likely to have any more kids? Maybe that question hits close to a raw nerve in me? One that knows I'm keen to have more than two children but that issues like my age, finances, patience (and lack thereof at times and feeling utterly incompetent as a mother to the two I have) and a reluctant husband mean that in all likelihood, we probably are done.

I want to scream at people to stop being nosy. To stop peering into what is a sensitive issue for me, to define for themselves where that line of interfering in other people's decisions is, and stay well on the other side of it! In reality, all I do is shrug and say 'Oh who knows?' 'Never say never', 'Maybe some day we'll have another', and all that other 'wishy-washy' stuff.

If you have questions that bothered you - join in the Blog Blast and tell us about it, and like me,

Don’t you wish you could have just handed them this?

25 comments:

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I get that alot, too, especially since I have a boy and a girl. So annoying!

The Good Woman said...

I only have one so far (which kind of answers the 'intent' question). What amazes me though is the assumption that I would like to necessarily have a boy. Even more absurd is the assumption that the Good Man must desparately want a son.

Annie said...

Ha ha Good Woman - we got that ALL the time!

Kimba said...

Oh I hate that question! I get that all the time too. At least I can tell the, "Well, my kids are 13 years apart, perhaps I'll wait another 13?" It always makes them take a step back! haha!
Thanks for stopping by, I'll definately be back!

Brillig said...

I have had that same question SO MANY TIMES. How is it possible that it's anyone's business? Great post, Annie!

Karianna said...

Argh. I get it both ways: "Gee, since you have two high-energy kids. Heaven-forbid you have another on the autistic spectrum, so are you done?" and "Wow, you have two boys, so when are you gonna get pregnant again so you can "finally" get a girl?"

Daisy said...

Amazing how intrusive people can be!! People asked us that, too, because my second has a genetic disability.

Tuesday Girl said...

People always asked me that when I was pregnant ans still today because I have b/g twins.

lady macleod said...

non-sequiter: go see Mountain Mama's post today!

Oh, The Joys said...

I go for the TMI answer - Oh, yeah. K got the old SNIP, SNIP, know what I mean, EH?

Tinamtl said...

I think you hit it on the nose when you said that the problem is that you have not yet reconciled with yourself yet on the size of your family and you therefore resent people budding in.

They "do" probably just mean well. Small talk. Shooting the breeze. They don't know you've been asked that a million times.

I've been know to throw "so you are trying for that girl then" to a mom with 2 boys and pregnant. It isn't meant in a mean way. It's SMALL TALK. Probably that poor woman hears that a million times a day LOL.

I used to get it too. "So going for a boy?" I just say . No. I am done. :0) Because I know I am done. And I wish to be done. LOL. So it doesn't bother me.

mama k said...

What is it with people in this country that we must have equal gender in our offspring?
"Yup now that I got a penis and vagina I'm done reproducing."
*eyeroll*

I wrote about the sleeping through the night thing at www.mamaknj.blogspot.com

Iota said...

When I had two boys and was expecting, I was constantly told (not even asked) "you'll be hoping for a girl". This annoyed me a little if I was on my own, but A LOT when people said it in front of the boys (which they often did). And yes, it is annoying to be asked if you've finished.

laurie said...

ha--i've experienced questions on both sides.

my folks had 10 kids, so i am peppered with questions as to "why" they had so many kids and "didn't they know about birth control?"

and i have no children, and so am asked why NOT why NOT why NOT? (i am getting older, so they no longer ask me "when")

i don't think people mean to be rude; i think they're curious and tactless. but curious and tactless often does equal rude, doens't it?

Snuffleupagus said...

How weird. I suppose people are just searching for something to say...?

Rebecca said...

Having four kids I get asked that a LOT - I can't say that the nosiness of the question actually bothers me (I am equally nosy) but when there is an implication that I would be CRAZY to even consider having more I can find that quite upsetting....cause I just don't know yet...

mayberry said...

I get this allllllll the time too, and I have a similar sinking feeling -- especially because as you said, I think I know the answer, and I don't think I like it.

Kimberly said...

I often entertain myself with funny ways to answer that question and make the questioner feel ashamed of themselves.

I can't remember any of them though. ~sigh~

Slackermommy said...

That drives me crazy also. We are always being asked if we are done especially since we have 4. People seem to think we must be irresponsible about birth control or since we have so many already why not throw in a couple more. I can't quite figure out why people feel the need to ask that question.

Jen M. said...

Maybe we should start asking our own nosy questions in response. Like, "Are you able to conceive children being so under/overweight?" or something snarky. I'm with everyone else on this one...why on earth do people have such a need to know personal information about a stranger?

pinks & blues girls said...

My sister gets this all the time. She has three kids, not thirty, people!

She also gets, "I bet you'll try for a girl now, huh?" because she has three boys.

Shut up people!!!

Jane, P&B Girls

moodswingingmommy said...

Oh, me too, me too! This question is so offensive to me. I think the next time someone asks it, I will be ready with a curt response.

Damselfly said...

Yeah -- that's a pretty weird question to ask.

Damselfly said...

PS I love your response to my question I posted for this Blog Blast!

Marine Wife said...

I hate the flip side of that question. We have 2 girls and are always asked if we're going to try again for a boy. No, no, and NO! We only want 2 and I was actually somewhat relieved when #2 turned out to be a girl. I guess I've gotten defensive or just fed-up b/c I started answering, "Hell no!"