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Monday, June 23, 2008


So, the other day while at Disneyland (more on that later), my lovely sister in law and I were discussing the questions people ask young people especially.

After you graduate high school, it's "What are you going to do with your life?" "Are you going to college?" etc. Then when you meet someone, it's "When are you getting married?" In Mormon culture, this question is especially prevalent because we are a marrying people, usually with short engagements. It feels almost incessant, and becomes almost a chore to answer.

Then you get married and the cry is "When are you starting a family?" "Are you ready for a baby?" Even sometimes, "Are you pregnant?" This sort of questioning can become draining. It gets almost ridiculous. At church, if you have been married more than a few months you get hounded, often very kindly, about when your prospective baby is to arrive. In my case and that of my sister in law, we wanted to be married for awhile. Just married, no pregnancy hormones making you into a fat faced (credit goes to Cristin), hormonal crazy person. I felt like I was really not ready for well over a year. It's OK, we certainly have plenty of time to "go forth and multiply" without being asked why not sooner.

For some, this type of questioning goes beyond annoyance to just plain inconsiderate. Infertility is very real and emotionally draining to couples who experience it. So, lay off the questions!

Of course, when you finally reach the point of pregnancy, more questions are thrown at you, more often by complete strangers. Everyone wants to know, when are you due, what are you having, do you have a name picked out? Ad nauseum. Yes, I am, it's a girl, yes, I know I am small, we're still discussing names.... Blah blah, blah....

Hurrah, a baby has arrived and then you are asked all of the stats. This is usually fine because most moms I know, especially new ones enjoy talking about their babies.

You'd think the questioning will end! Nope, not so! No sooner than your baby turns 6 months, the question of another comes up. Sheesh. So here I have my second beautiful girl and people are asking if we are going to "try for a boy." Sure, a boy would be lovely, but what is it to you? You do not need to know my private reproductive affairs! Thank you very much. And no, I don't really care whether I have a boy or not. The gender of my children does not make my family complete!

I know that most people mean well and are mostly just curious about your life and well being, but please, just let me tell you on my own terms and support me in the decisions I make! I am also guilty of asking these questions, but I try to restrain myself as I often do not know all of the other circumstances in someone's life.

I appreciate the curiosity and concern and I must prepare myself for the next round of questioning.

11 remarks:

Cristin June 24, 2008 at 9:18 AM  

I like to give really obnoxious answers to those questions like, "We don't like kids." or we used to always say, "We want to own a really nice boat first before we have kids."

Kathryn June 24, 2008 at 12:59 PM  

See, I can never come up with anything snappy at the moment. Sometimes I really wish I could. Like to the lady at the grocery store who told me that my kids "should be home watching TV." Gosh, I wish I had a comeback for that!

ibelaura June 24, 2008 at 6:03 PM  

So are you pregnant??? j/k I know how you feel i can't tell you how many times david and i were asked that after joshua but eventually it all died down and as for the woman who thinks your kids should be watching T.V You should have said "no thanks i prefer skinny kids instead of chunky =)" I mean i'd feel bad having my kids watch TV all day...mostly bad for me because i'd go crazy=)

Kathryn June 24, 2008 at 6:28 PM  

Haha! I did ask you if you were going to have another, I guess my timing was good because you got pregnant soon after!

I am expecting a lot more questions about #3 because we want to wait at least another year before thinking about trying again!

PS: I am so thrilled that you are pregnant! Another beautiful, well named child in the world!

Mansius Family June 24, 2008 at 10:01 PM  

I always seem to get the opposite type of questions. People want to know how close my three are and then they think that it was not planned or something like that. Then they also want to know if I'm done. After Eliza was born I even had someone ask me "Now that you have a boy and a girl are you going to stop?" Some questions I don't mind though.

Kathryn June 25, 2008 at 3:01 AM  

Nichole, I find the assumption that your kids' age differences were an accident to be rather rude. I think that the standard family size among Mormons has gotten smaller. It seems most have 3-4 and that's it, so people just expect that to be the number.

I really hate the idea that once you have at least one of each gender then you should feel done. Heck, neither of us would care if we ended up with 6 girls, but then there would be the assumption that we had so many because we wanted a boy. I want 5 or 6 kids, the gender of said kids makes no difference.

ibelaura June 25, 2008 at 12:18 PM  

i had a lot of questions on how close mary and joshua were (17 months) and hopefully my next 2 will be sinilarly close. Kat in fact i got pregnant the month you asked me =) it was kind of a suprise because we had finally decided if we were going to try to move it would be best if i wasn't Prego but the lord loves to play with me=)a lot of people up here were suprised because they had thought we wanted to stop at one of each...why they thought that i have no clue=) i mean they all know how baby hungry david is =)

Kathryn June 25, 2008 at 2:22 PM  

Laura, I did figure that you wanted more, so that is why I asked. I guess I just have good timing!

Isn't it always the way when you become content with your life and how things are going, you get what you really wanted in the first place? I think that's one of the ways were are supposed to learn gratitude.

I can relate, my girls are 19 months apart. It is kind of nice, but I want the next two to be closer to two years apart.

van Zwol Family June 25, 2008 at 6:15 PM  

Well questions aren't always bad and don't bother me too much because I deal with assumptions! I get many assumptions from people for why Emilia acts the way she does - spoiled, brat, undisciplined, etc. . .she is just wired differently! (aspergers) Non family folks can but out altogether and I'd be okay with it! Thinking more on questions. . . I am more worried about how to answer my kids questions now and as they grow. I want to know all the answers!

Sorry random thoughts! I like the post!

Kathryn June 25, 2008 at 8:16 PM  

It certainly is best to mind your own business. With something like Asperger's and other disorders on the autism spectrum, it's often hard to tell what the difference is between them and other kids. I am no expert, but I really try to avoid passing judgment on other people's kids and their behaviors. You never really know what is going on.

Well, I can tell you that my two year old has been called a spoiled brat and I think she's rather well behaved. I think ignorance plays a big part in the stupid comments people make.

Mansius Family June 27, 2008 at 12:35 PM  

I think though that most of the time people are just being curious and interested in your life. Not meaning to be rude. Thats just how we take it. We just have to remember that maybe what seems like a rude question is their way of caring about us.

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