Author Topic: Who's going to have a baby next???  (Read 10164 times)

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mbbored

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2013, 11:54:44 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?"

I like this approach and am going to use it in the future!

bopper

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2013, 10:01:16 PM »
Tell them this joke:

"When I was younger I hated going to weddings. It seemed that all of my aunts and the grandmotherly types used to come up to me, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, 'You're next.'

They stopped that after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals."

Psychopoesie

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2013, 03:39:59 AM »
Thought of this thread as I read comments on one of my SIL's fb posts.

She'd posted that my niece was moving from her cot to a big girls' bed (she's about to turn two).

One of her fb friends posted "time for another one, hmmm." And a relative added "agreed".

TootsNYC

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2013, 10:09:53 AM »
So how rude would it be if someone in your position posted, "Oh, let's not pressure her! It's not any of our business how many children she and her husband have. I'm going to focus on niece--does she like her new bed, Sis? Did she get to pick out the new sheets?"

I do think that onlookers are the key to teaching people to stop this sort of behavior--the people without a stake in the conversation.

And what a bummer, to totally derail the conversation! It was intended to be about Big-Girl-Bed Niece, and how she's getting grown-up, and how Sis's life is changing a little as she becomes the mother of a toddler. And Baby Greedy Friend is redefining it--very unfair!

« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 10:12:29 AM by TootsNYC »

Psychopoesie

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2013, 10:26:36 AM »
So how rude would it be if someone in your position posted, "Oh, let's not pressure her! It's not any of our business how many children she and her husband have. I'm going to focus on niece--does she like her new bed, Sis? Did she get to pick out the new sheets?"

I do think that onlookers are the key to teaching people to stop this sort of behavior--the people without a stake in the conversation.

And what a bummer, to totally derail the conversation! It was intended to be about Big-Girl-Bed Niece, and how she's getting grown-up, and how Sis's life is changing a little as she becomes the mother of a toddler. And Baby Greedy Friend is redefining it--very unfair!



Did my best to change the topic by saying how gorgeous niece looked and asking how she liked her new bed. :)

I don't know the Baby Greedy friend who commented at all so thought it best not to address her comment directly - could have made it worse if she wanted to argue the point.

Agree the turn of conversation was unhelpful - it's quite possible that they do want another child but are having a hard time getting there. Not something I'd feel comfortable asking!

So lucky to have such an adorable niece, anyway. :)

cutejellybeen

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #65 on: October 08, 2013, 10:51:50 AM »
I've been dealing with having trouble staying pregnant this year. I have a lot of people asking when I'll have a baby. Most don't know I've had two losses since January. I just smile it off with a "well, I guess when it happens. Its not exactly something you can plan - only plan not to have". Most people change the subject. Maybe I'm divulging too  much with that - but it seems like the answer that works best to change the subject.

As far as those church women, thats just mean to say that its God's plan for people not to have kids. Really Really Cruel.



esposita

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #66 on: October 08, 2013, 11:23:52 AM »
I've been dealing with having trouble staying pregnant this year. I have a lot of people asking when I'll have a baby. Most don't know I've had two losses since January. I just smile it off with a "well, I guess when it happens. Its not exactly something you can plan - only plan not to have". Most people change the subject. Maybe I'm divulging too  much with that - but it seems like the answer that works best to change the subject.

As far as those church women, thats just mean to say that its God's plan for people not to have kids. Really Really Cruel.

I'm so sorry that you're going through this.

I agree that its horribly cruel. I would probably look them square in the eye and ask if they had read the story of Samuel's mother. That should shut them up pretty quickly.

cutejellybeen

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2013, 11:36:32 AM »
Thank you Esposita. I'm thankful I've got great drs, and I'm hoping to be able to announce to the world in a few weeks that I'm expecting. Just a few more to go. (ssshhh dont tell ;) )



White Lotus

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #68 on: October 08, 2013, 12:42:17 PM »
CJB -- that is a variant of my "Mother Nature" response.  Keep it up.  Pointing out obliquely that having -- or in some cases, not having -- a child isn't totally within your control is a good riposte, and IME, tends to shut them up.  They are clueless and not thinking, mostly, not deliberately mean.  And all the best to you, of course.

TurtleDove

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #69 on: October 08, 2013, 12:54:05 PM »
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.

I agree with this.  We all have our tapestry of experiences that shape what may be a trigger for us.  It is unfair to expect society as a whole to tiptoe around us, being careful not to ever say anything that, while intended as innocuous, is hurtful to someone else.  Sometimes we need to recognize that everyone else is not thinking about us all the time.  Not every comment is directed toward me.  Not every comment is insensitive toward me simply because I am hurt by it.   I need to own my insecurities and recognize that they are mine, and not the fault of people who are unaware of them.

I think that if the OP was personally offended or hurt or ____ she could say something that made it clear that the OP was the one with the issue, but I think it is overstepping to essentially draw attention to perceived insecurities in others by complaining on their behalf. 

Niamh84

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2013, 06:56:38 AM »
I think it's just better never to speculate about anyone's family planning whatsoever.  Either in a group situation or individual one, whether guessing, speculating or asking.  It's none of my business, if someone wants to tell me they're pregnant they'll do so in their own time.

I have to deal with a lot of friends at the moment speculating about whether I'll be getting engaged soon.  When they ask me when I'm getting married I usually just say I've no plans to get engaged any time soon and then I always add "and I hope you're getting all this out of your system now because when I eventually do get married I won't be tolerating any questions or speculation on when/if I'm pregnant".  So as far as I'm concerned, they've been warned well in advance and I just won't be speaking to them if they ask me family planning questions in the future.

We only have one married friend, and the "ooh I wonder when she'll get pregnant" discussion has only come up once and I responded with "that doesn't sound like any of our business" and I changed the subject.  I don't know if these conversations happen when I'm not around but they all know I won't be a part of them.  I think they see me as a total killjoy in this regard but I just don't think it's nice to speculate about other people's family planning.

TootsNYC

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2013, 02:20:45 PM »
I think it's just better never to speculate about anyone's family planning whatsoever.  Either in a group situation or individual one, whether guessing, speculating or asking.  It's none of my business, if someone wants to tell me they're pregnant they'll do so in their own time.

I have to deal with a lot of friends at the moment speculating about whether I'll be getting engaged soon.  When they ask me when I'm getting married I usually just say I've no plans to get engaged any time soon and then I always add "and I hope you're getting all this out of your system now because when I eventually do get married I won't be tolerating any questions or speculation on when/if I'm pregnant".  So as far as I'm concerned, they've been warned well in advance and I just won't be speaking to them if they ask me family planning questions in the future.

We only have one married friend, and the "ooh I wonder when she'll get pregnant" discussion has only come up once and I responded with "that doesn't sound like any of our business" and I changed the subject.  I don't know if these conversations happen when I'm not around but they all know I won't be a part of them.  I think they see me as a total killjoy in this regard but I just don't think it's nice to speculate about other people's family planning.

You rock! I love that you're putting this right out there in the open.

I will say that the older I get, the more excruciatingly boring I find those sorts of conversations. It's much more interesting when people shut them down, the way you did!

Surianne

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2013, 08:55:30 PM »
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.

I agree with this.  We all have our tapestry of experiences that shape what may be a trigger for us.  It is unfair to expect society as a whole to tiptoe around us, being careful not to ever say anything that, while intended as innocuous, is hurtful to someone else.  Sometimes we need to recognize that everyone else is not thinking about us all the time.  Not every comment is directed toward me.  Not every comment is insensitive toward me simply because I am hurt by it.   I need to own my insecurities and recognize that they are mine, and not the fault of people who are unaware of them.

I completely disagree with this.  Why is it important to you to speculate about the reproductive plans of other people?  What positive outcome could possibly come of that, other than your personal enjoyment at the gossip?

Let's consider a few scenarios.

Let's say the woman does want kids one day.  It puts pressure on her to get started sooner, or to make excuses for why she hasn't tried to get pregnant yet.

If the woman is currently pregnant, it makes her uncomfortable because she doesn't want to reveal it yet, in case something happens, or perhaps simply because she's private.  When she wants you to know, she will announce it.

If the woman doesn't want kids at all.  It makes her feel like a bad person for not conforming to the norms of society that say every woman owes the world children.  At the very least, it makes her feel left out of the conversation and uncomfortable.  It makes her worry that revealing her childfree plans will make you think less of her.

If the woman is having trouble getting pregnant, it reminds her of her worries and fears that she'll never achieve what she really wants.

If the woman can't get pregnant, it makes her feel like a failure, and reminds her of something heartbreaking, that she'll never have.

If the woman has had a miscarriage or lost a baby, it reminds her of this tragedy at a time when she didn't expect to have to think about it and discuss it with you.

What does speculation contribute positively to the conversation?  What about it makes anyone feel better?  Nothing.  So why not just delete it from your conversational repertoire?

Do you actually feel it hurts you more to stop gossiping than it hurts any of the women in the above scenarios if you continue gossiping? 

I'm childfree and plan to stay that way.  I cannot imagine the heartbreak of losing a child or not being able to have one if you want one.  But I know how incredibly frustrating it is to have to answer gossip and justify my decisions, over and over again, to woman who think there's something wrong with me.  And my situation is incredibly mild in comparison to that of women who do want children, and are experiencing problems.

It is never appropriate to speculate about someone else's desire or ability to have kids.

LadyL

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2013, 10:48:05 AM »
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.

I agree with this.  We all have our tapestry of experiences that shape what may be a trigger for us.  It is unfair to expect society as a whole to tiptoe around us, being careful not to ever say anything that, while intended as innocuous, is hurtful to someone else.  Sometimes we need to recognize that everyone else is not thinking about us all the time.  Not every comment is directed toward me.  Not every comment is insensitive toward me simply because I am hurt by it.   I need to own my insecurities and recognize that they are mine, and not the fault of people who are unaware of them.

I completely disagree with this.  Why is it important to you to speculate about the reproductive plans of other people?  What positive outcome could possibly come of that, other than your personal enjoyment at the gossip?

What does speculation contribute positively to the conversation?  What about it makes anyone feel better?  Nothing.  So why not just delete it from your conversational repertoire?


I agree that it is not a necessary or positive conversation. It reinforces the norm that everyone wants children and can have children and wants to talk about it. I don't think that's a good norm to uphold. The planet is already overpopulated. Maybe we need a PR campaign for the childfree, that their situation is as or more "natural" than having a family (in the sense of what is good for nature).

flickan

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Re: Who's going to have a baby next???
« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2013, 12:47:53 PM »
I agree that it is not a necessary or positive conversation. It reinforces the norm that everyone wants children and can have children and wants to talk about it. I don't think that's a good norm to uphold. The planet is already overpopulated. Maybe we need a PR campaign for the childfree, that their situation is as or more "natural" than having a family (in the sense of what is good for nature).

At the risk of skirting a controversial topic let me just say that this totally undermines the point of keeping the comments to oneself.  It does not matter what is commonly viewed as normal or natural.  It's private personal business and although I don't think most people mean any harm by it I agree with those who say it's better not to say anything at all.

We childless folks don't need better PR we just need to be left alone.  No woman should have to justify anything or be forced to engage in that kind of speculation.  The less said on the topic the better.