- We might feel compelled to lie to get you to stop asking.
- We might not want to have kids, ever.
- We might not know if we want to or not.
- We might be pregnant already, terrified to tell anyone because this one might not work either.
- We might not know what our answer is to that.
- We might know that our answer is not what you want to hear.
- We might have been desperately trying to get pregnant for a long time, and just can’t tell the story to anyone else.
- We might be in the middle of a miscarriage, holding on to some normalcy and internally pleading for no one to ask.
- We might be thinking about egg donation, or surrogacy, or IVF, or adoption, or fostering, or getting a fucking baby turtle, but you might not understand that.
- We might feel selfish saying “oh absolutely not.”
- We might have just decided that no, we won’t have kids, it’s too hard/scary/overwhelming.
- We might second-guess our carefully constructed decision to not have more, or to wait, or to not talk about it with anyone yet.
- We might be so in the throes of parenting our children that we can’t think about adding anything else to this plate.
- We might really, really want to have more kids but be so scared of old traumas resurfacing that we don’t know if we can manage.
- We might be working through something in our relationship, or our jobs, or our life and can’t even think about kids, one way or the other.
- We might not be able to afford it.
- We might love the idea of more babies but fewer kids, and really wrestling with that.
- We might be trying already, but not eager to share details of our sex life and periods with you.
- We might be at the tail end of deciding that no, this is it, but feel very sad about that decision even if it’s the best one for our family.
- We might not want to talk about it.
Here’s the thing about the constant asking about another person’s uterus. You don’t know what’s going on with them, with their bodies, or in their hearts, and unless you REALLY KNOW that you are the person a mama or dad wants to discuss family building with, it’s fine to not ask. It’s also cool to check yourself when you’re discussing “wonder if they’ll have kids” things with the person in question not there.
Don’t assume you’re the one they’re comfortable with.
Don’t be offended if someone has a baby or turns up ~really~ pregnant and you had no idea. They didn’t owe you a social media announcement.
Sometimes being there for people means waiting for them to ask, and being OK if they never do.
It’s not that we, the collective we trying so hard to build families in a way that makes sense for us, don’t trust you or love you. It’s that sometimes you aren’t the person we want to talk to about things, and knowing that you are talking about US behind our backs doesn’t feel wonderful either.
And if you are very, very sure that you are a great person to talk to about family building? You can say “I have no idea how things are for you, but I know how much can go into these decisions, or how sometimes it feels like decisions are made for us, and you’re welcome to tell me your story if that would ever be helpful.”
(this list is compiled from things clients say to me, experiences friends have had, and things that people say directly to me about my own body)