Author Topic: Who's going to have a baby next???  (Read 10341 times)

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bopper

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2013, 10:26:03 AM »
I guess I don't have a major problem with the original people talking about kids, or the OP asking them to be mindful of others, but I think the issue is with the reaction of the person  saying basically "You are one with the problem" instead of "Oh, gosh, I didn't of that!".  Especially in a church environment where the point is to be supportive of each other.

Eden

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2013, 10:50:33 AM »
The problem is that the "Whose going to get pregnant next" chat can quickly devolve into personal questions and get very specific to people who avoid answering. This virges on bullying to my mind, so now I give one polite deflect, but I've found with people who push the issue the phrase "Why are you asking about my sex life?" works quite well.

This is a bit of a leap in my opinion. In the situation in the OP as far as we know, no one made specific personal inquiries to anyone else.

I honestly don't think there was anything wrong with the "who's going to be next" joking. It's not specific, it's not directed at anyone. And yes it may be difficult for someone to be around but that doesn't make it wrong. Just like the OP's mother who had to leave a baby shower because it was difficult. it was not wrong to throw the baby shower. It was just difficult for OP's mother because of what was going on with her. I view this conversation in the same light. It is not attacking. It is not personal. It is not specific to anyone.

lorelai

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2013, 11:09:58 AM »
It's not only private medical information, it's private as it's directly connected to your scrabble life.

None of what happened in the OP surprises me. After my miscarriage, people felt compelled to say all kinds of intrusive, idiotic things. "When are you going to start trying again?? I want our babies to play together!!" two weeks post-miscarriage is a favorite of mine.

If a person is already so rude as to ask intrusive questions or comments or speculations like this, then it doesn't surprise me that they would be equally adamant about justifying their right to say it. And I suspect they probably have not experienced pregnancy loss or infertility.

z_squared82

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2013, 11:47:38 AM »
It's not only private medical information, it's private as it's directly connected to your scrabble life.

None of what happened in the OP surprises me. After my miscarriage, people felt compelled to say all kinds of intrusive, idiotic things. "When are you going to start trying again?? I want our babies to play together!!" two weeks post-miscarriage is a favorite of mine.

If a person is already so rude as to ask intrusive questions or comments or speculations like this, then it doesn't surprise me that they would be equally adamant about justifying their right to say it. And I suspect they probably have not experienced pregnancy loss or infertility.

I'm so sorry someone was such a complete dunderhead. My mother got the line, "Don't worry, you'll have another baby," from her best friend. After her third miscarriage (Mom had no problem getting pregnant, she just couldn't stay pregnant). Mom proceeded to not talk to the friend for 20 years.

I think part of the problem lies in that if a woman has never had fertility/pregnancy issues, she’s so unlikely to get the pain involved. And that knowledge and accompanying pain is not something that should be wished on anyone.

Which takes us back to Bean Dipping people who ask personal and obtrusive questions. Maybe we can train the world.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2013, 05:41:19 PM »
It's not only private medical information, it's private as it's directly connected to your scrabble life.

None of what happened in the OP surprises me. After my miscarriage, people felt compelled to say all kinds of intrusive, idiotic things. "When are you going to start trying again?? I want our babies to play together!!" two weeks post-miscarriage is a favorite of mine.

If a person is already so rude as to ask intrusive questions or comments or speculations like this, then it doesn't surprise me that they would be equally adamant about justifying their right to say it. And I suspect they probably have not experienced pregnancy loss or infertility.

Your examples do illustrate completely rude and improper discussions of pregnancy.

But the OP asked is it so hard a concept to grasp, that pregnancy is such a touchy subject that it should never be discussed in a large group.

Well, yes to me, the idea that it can never be discussed in a casaul way is a hard concept to grasp.

Maybe it's because I never felt socially pressured to have kids or get married. I had unmarried aunts and uncles, I had lots of great aunts and aunts who were married and chose to not have kids, I have a sister who never wanted kids and didn't have them. To me asking "are you planning to have a second child" is no more personal than "where did you grow up." Both could be trigger questions for some people but I would assume if it is a trigger for you, then you'd have a ready response.

And in the OP's case, in a room of 40 women I would think there were multiple conversations going on so I don't see why someone bothered by the topic can't move on to another topic.

lorelai

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2013, 07:43:56 PM »
Your examples do illustrate completely rude and improper discussions of pregnancy.

But the OP asked is it so hard a concept to grasp, that pregnancy is such a touchy subject that it should never be discussed in a large group.

Well, yes to me, the idea that it can never be discussed in a casaul way is a hard concept to grasp.

Maybe it's because I never felt socially pressured to have kids or get married. I had unmarried aunts and uncles, I had lots of great aunts and aunts who were married and chose to not have kids, I have a sister who never wanted kids and didn't have them. To me asking "are you planning to have a second child" is no more personal than "where did you grow up." Both could be trigger questions for some people but I would assume if it is a trigger for you, then you'd have a ready response.

And in the OP's case, in a room of 40 women I would think there were multiple conversations going on so I don't see why someone bothered by the topic can't move on to another topic.

In the OP's case, the person she confronted had such a vicious response - calling the infertile woman jealous and that it's God's plan for her not to be able to bear children. It was so out of line I'm surprised such words were said in a church.

This is the OP's stance:

"...they should not have to answer questions about when they are going to have a baby or another baby, or who in a group will be the next to have a baby."

"I know you didn't know this, but there's at least one person here that is dealing with infertility right now.  If you and Other Friend want to joke about this, can you please keep it private so she doesn't have to listen?" 

There are some topics that are sensitive and that should be discussed with caution in a group of people you don't know that well... Joke around about them with your close friends who you know won't be offended, probably.  Laugh about them or bring them up unnecessarily in a group that included strangers??  I would hope not!!"

I don't see where she's advocating, as you said, for pregnancy never to be discussed in a large group. There are sensitive ways and insensitive ways about broaching these topics, and the women in that group were insensitive, period. She asked for caution - is that so out of line?

And asking someone who already has a child, "are you planning to have a second child", especially when such topics are already accepted as appropriate between friends, is very different from speculating about who will be next to have a baby, amongst what they assume are all child-bearing women. Nevermind that interesting assumption.

If anyone here is seriously trying to justify the actions of the person in the OP's church who made the jokes, I'm really boggled by it, from an etiquette stance.

turtleIScream

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2013, 08:26:46 PM »
Almost as soon as my husband and I got married, we started hearing "so, when will you have kids?" or, from other parents "won't be long until this is your life!" These comments were annoying and intrusive, but not hurtful, so bean dipping or brushing off the comments were easy enough. After our daughter was born, the "when are you going to give her a sibling?" questions started. Again, very annoying, but not yet hurtful. Then, secondary infertility hit. Those stupid questions and jokes were suddenly unbearable. I could, and did, happily participate in baby showers and baptisms for friends; but I did not take kindly to jokes or lectures about our family size.

I know exactly the kind of conversations OP is talking about. These women are not discussing pregnancy in general, or specific people who they know beyond a doubt are planning to have children. They are poking someone in the ribs, saying "ha! What's taking you guys so long? Are our kids scaring you off? Ha ha ha!" Or, they're scrutinizing every woman's midsection, and any bloating is the subject of "ohhh, is there something Karen's not telling us?"

To sum up, general pregnancy and baby talk, fine. Teasing and speculation, not fine. There is a world of difference between the two, and it is rather offensive to me that some people believe that I am a SS for differentiating between them.

OP, the only way I think you erred was in identifying that there was someone in the group struggling. You could have suggested that given the size of the crowd, and the prevalence of fertility issues in general, that it was likely someone in the room might be bothered. But to me, that is a very small error on your part.

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EllenS

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #52 on: October 05, 2013, 10:34:10 AM »
I know exactly the kind of conversations OP is talking about. These women are not discussing pregnancy in general, or specific people who they know beyond a doubt are planning to have children. They are poking someone in the ribs, saying "ha! What's taking you guys so long? Are our kids scaring you off? Ha ha ha!" Or, they're scrutinizing every woman's midsection, and any bloating is the subject of "ohhh, is there something Karen's not telling us?"


As often happens, there are many different ways to visualize this conversation.  I took the OP at her literal word.  The topic of pregnancy or recent pregnancy/birth came up, and someone jokes, "well, who's next?" and joking about how many people there are in the group, the birthrate over the recent years, all in a nonspecific way.

I agree that directing such jokes at individuals, if you do not know for a fact that person would find it funny, is inappropriate. 

I still don't think that joking about pregnancy - even involving general speculation in the words as described by OP  is always, unequivocally, obviously and universally rude.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2013, 10:54:20 AM »
Honestly, I think even joking about "who's going to be next?" in a general way is highly likely to be hurtful to someone who wants to have a baby but can't for whatever reason.

I'd try to derail a conversation like that. But I'd want to do it in the moment. Someone did that for me once, and I still--20 years later--respect and admire them for it.

"Oh, I just hate the whole 'who's going to have a baby next' thing. Even when it's general like this, it can really put pressure on people. Hey, joke maker, what cute thing is your kid up to?"

edgypeanuts

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2013, 01:58:36 PM »
Almost as soon as my husband and I got married, we started hearing "so, when will you have kids?" or, from other parents "won't be long until this is your life!" These comments were annoying and intrusive, but not hurtful, so bean dipping or brushing off the comments were easy enough. After our daughter was born, the "when are you going to give her a sibling?" questions started. Again, very annoying, but not yet hurtful. Then, secondary infertility hit. Those stupid questions and jokes were suddenly unbearable. I could, and did, happily participate in baby showers and baptisms for friends; but I did not take kindly to jokes or lectures about our family size.

I know exactly the kind of conversations OP is talking about. These women are not discussing pregnancy in general, or specific people who they know beyond a doubt are planning to have children. They are poking someone in the ribs, saying "ha! What's taking you guys so long? Are our kids scaring you off? Ha ha ha!" Or, they're scrutinizing every woman's midsection, and any bloating is the subject of "ohhh, is there something Karen's not telling us?"

To sum up, general pregnancy and baby talk, fine. Teasing and speculation, not fine. There is a world of difference between the two, and it is rather offensive to me that some people believe that I am a SS for differentiating between them.

OP, the only way I think you erred was in identifying that there was someone in the group struggling. You could have suggested that given the size of the crowd, and the prevalence of fertility issues in general, that it was likely someone in the room might be bothered. But to me, that is a very small error on your part.

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flickan

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2013, 05:13:18 PM »
Almost as soon as my husband and I got married, we started hearing "so, when will you have kids?" or, from other parents "won't be long until this is your life!"

I really don't like these kinds of comments.  I know there's no malice there so I try to brush them off but I have a hard time deflecting them so I get defensive.  It's a no-win situation, if I tell them we're not having kids people take it as an invitation to debate.  If I ignore it I have to hear it over and over again.  If hearing it is annoying for me I cannot imagine how hurtful it must be for those struggling with infertility.

White Lotus

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2013, 06:20:08 PM »
One way to deflect we used was to blame Mother Nature.  You can blame a deity if you prefer.  "We'll have to see what Mother Nature says about that."  Yes, prodding somebody else about her or his reproductive status or plans is unquestionably rude as all get out, and these people are thoughtless at best.  We found this was a way of what's called here "dropping the rope."

nuit93

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2013, 07:13:18 PM »
Almost as soon as my husband and I got married, we started hearing "so, when will you have kids?" or, from other parents "won't be long until this is your life!"

I really don't like these kinds of comments.  I know there's no malice there so I try to brush them off but I have a hard time deflecting them so I get defensive.  It's a no-win situation, if I tell them we're not having kids people take it as an invitation to debate.  If I ignore it I have to hear it over and over again.  If hearing it is annoying for me I cannot imagine how hurtful it must be for those struggling with infertility.

I don't like them either.  Something about the smugness ('oh, your life is easy now, but just you wait!') is annoying as heck.

I gave up and just started telling the truth.
Me: "I'm not having kids because I don't want them."
SS: "Oh, but you're young and you might change your mind!" (For the record, I'm 32.  I like to think I'm more than old enough to know what I want.)
Me: "I had my tubes tied when I was 25 because I didn't want kids then and I still don't."

I get ignored or treated as some type of kid-hating devil who has no business considering getting married ("because there's no point in getting married if you're not going to have kids and make a real family!").  Whatever...I like other people's kids well enough even if I don't always know how to relate to people less than 1/4 my age.  Just no interest in being responsible for my own.

atirial

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2013, 07:56:06 AM »
The problem is that the "Whose going to get pregnant next" chat can quickly devolve into personal questions and get very specific to people who avoid answering. This virges on bullying to my mind, so now I give one polite deflect, but I've found with people who push the issue the phrase "Why are you asking about my sex life?" works quite well.

This is a bit of a leap in my opinion. In the situation in the OP as far as we know, no one made specific personal inquiries to anyone else.

I honestly don't think there was anything wrong with the "who's going to be next" joking. It's not specific, it's not directed at anyone. And yes it may be difficult for someone to be around but that doesn't make it wrong. Just like the OP's mother who had to leave a baby shower because it was difficult. it was not wrong to throw the baby shower. It was just difficult for OP's mother because of what was going on with her. I view this conversation in the same light. It is not attacking. It is not personal. It is not specific to anyone.
The problem for me is that the conversation goes very quickly from "Who's next?" to "What about you, or X?" which is specific, and heading off the conversation before it gets to that point can be difficult. Leaving quietly is not always possible.

TootsNYC

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2013, 09:26:32 AM »
I think we should all just start basically attacking the *presence* of the question.

Not nastily or anything, but instead of answering or deflecting, we should just start saying, "I think those sorts of comments and questions are inappropriate. Please don't bring that topic up anymore." And walk away.

Just always say, "This is not an appropriate question." Maybe eventually we'll train 4 or 5 people to just not go there anymore.

All the more powerful if we do it when WE are not the person who is the target.

I still remember, quite powerfully, when my brother married, and I said to my dad (I was a teenager), "Do you suppose they'll have kids?" And he said, "I have no idea. He has never mentioned anything, and I have never asked, because it is not any of my business. It's not any of your business either. It's not even really polite to speculate about it between the two of us."

I think us onlookers should just speak up, before the asker has a chance, "Oh, I don't think that's any of our business. I always hate those questions, because there really isn't any way to answer them, and you never know when you're hitting someone's sensitive spots. Let's talk about something else. Do you two have plans for a fun vacation anytime soon?"