Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby Pressure Mounting

I created this blog to write about my Etsy products, art I create, and vegan food (purchased and homemade). I never intended to use this blog to rant about things I encounter in life. I am going to break away from my original purpose every now and again. This is one of those times.....

As I head into my 30's, the only change that I have noticed is pressure from society to have a baby. Apparently, society has decided that I have reached my childbearing peak. Thanks for letting me know, society! More and more people ask me "when are you and John having kids" and "why haven't you had kids yet?" We have been married for five years and one would think that some expiration date is looming. I also hear "now that you have bought a home, a baby comes next!" Really? The next thing on OUR list is getting a dog and fixing up our yard.

Usually parents, especially Mom's, are the ones to inflict baby pressure. In this case, that is not so. My parents and John's don't ask or say a thing about it. I think there are several reasons for this. One, they have a grandchild/grandchildren. Two, they had kids when they were older than us. My Mom was 33 when I was born and my Dad was 38. John's parents were around the same age.

Others seem to find an occasion, usually a public one, to ask the question or make a statement. I find it very hard to respond respectfully.

Recently on Facebook, the following question was posed to me: "Amanda, where are your babies?" My response was, "at the animal shelter." How does one respond to that question? The question itself bothers me. It makes the assumptions that I am having kids and they will be babies. What if that is not the plan? What if I did not want kids? Then I would have to defend and justify my feelings in a public forum. What if we planned on adopting older children? Either way, the question is a bit too blunt for Facebook.

While the question is often asked innocently, people fail to consider that getting pregnant is not always easy. While that is not our situation, I know many people my age who are having trouble getting pregnant. Can you imagine how painful and pressuring that question is for them? They want so much to be parents and it isn't happening. On top of that, society is asking them why they have not had kids. A seemingly innocent question becomes a very painful reminder of their ongoing struggle.

I also know a lot of people who just do not want kids and it works for them. If one knows they do not want to have children, then it is probably a good thing that they do not have them. It is frustrating how they have to justify their feelings to others. They often hear that they are missing out in life and that it is their purpose to have a child. Just because a child is right for one person, does not mean it is right for everyone.

Fortunately, our good friends never pressure us. I have had discussions with many of my female friends and I do not mind. If you are close to me, I am happy to discuss the topic with you and probably already have. My close friends are intuitive enough to bring up the topic in a more private forum. Many of them feel the same as I do or are currently struggling and realize the need for private discussions.

I am not opposed to people wondering if we are going to have children. It is an ok thing to think about. If you really want to know, you can ask me. Please just use some common sense. Don't ask me on Facebook, over the internet in a manner that others can see, in a crowded public place yelling across a room, etc. I have no issue discussing the topic, but I would rather it not be broadcast for all to hear.

I promise that when we have children, I will let everyone know. For now, we are happy with our beautiful niece and nephews.


Sarah said...

i hear you girl! while people are usually well meaning, the questions and assumptions are very annoying! stay strong and stick to what YOU know is right for YOU!

VeggieAmanda said...

The questions are innocent, but I just wish people would think first. If it was right for us at this time, we would already have them. If it is meant to be, it will happen.

By the way, your new baby is beautiful! Congratulations!

Jim Penny said...

Let me add the "She's not always that fat."