Thursday, 13 July 2017

When Is Your Turn?


Hello! I hope you're okay.

'When is your turn?'

A question that has really started to rub me up the wrong way. Something I'm inevitably going to hear every time I visit my 'Mum friends' or when I'm seen holding a baby, or when I even dare to mention the word baby.

I'm writing about this today because I've heard this question (or other variations) far too much recently. A lot of well known social influencers have announced their pregnancies very publicly and as I've been scrolling through the comments, I've seen people asking other people when it'll finally be their turn to have a baby.

I know that most people say it playfully. I am aware that it is mainly said with love and care, they don't mean to be malicious or stir up any bad feelings. However I think this is a question that shouldn't really be thrown around as easily as it is.

Different variations of this question, and general statements that are off limits:
  • "Are you trying?"
  • "So, when am I going to be a grandad/grandma/aunt/uncle etc?"
  • "So when are you going to give us good news?"
  • "I just can't wait for grandchildren to come along"
  • "Come on surely it's your turn! My child needs a future friend/girlfriend/boyfriend"
  • "Oh yes it'll be babies next, better start saving!"

Let's be brutally honest here, you do not know what is going on behind closed doors.

Consider this:
  • The person you've asked is struggling with infertility due to either a medical reason, or an unknown cause. They're trying to conceive but it just never happens for them. Behind closed doors, they're crying their eyes out because they can't have the one thing they so desperately want.
  • The person you've asked has been able to conceive, but isn't able to hold a pregnancy. For some reason their body seems to be working against their wishes and every pregnancy has ended badly. Or they have suffered a still-birth. Or they've lost a very young child. Behind closed doors they're keeping that dark secret in fear that they'll never be able to see their child learn & grow.
  • The person you've asked is having serious relationship problems and being pregnant is the last thing on their mind? Behind closed doors, they're just trying to keep their relationship above water.
  • Behind closed doors, the person you've asked is really struggling to make ends meet financially as it is. There is no possible way for them to afford to raise a child right now, as much as they may want to. The average cost of raising a child to 18 years old is just over £200,000.
  • The person you've asked has decided that they don't want children. Not everyone is meant to be a parent! It doesn't make them any less of a person, it doesn't mean they're 'just not ready'... no. It means they've decided they do not want a child. Some people just don't like children. Behind closed doors they're wondering if they're weird or abnormal for never feeling a maternal/paternal instinct or never feeling the want for a child.
  • The person just isn't ready! They do want children when the time is right but they just aren't in that place right now. It seems like as soon as a couple seems to 'get serious' society starts expecting certain things from them. Marriage, children etc.
    Let people live their own lives!
There a million different situations and decisions that you just don't know about. I know people are probably excited to see their friend have a baby, or to become a brother/sister/aunt/uncle/grandma/grandad, but please for the love of all things holy, just stop asking. People without children do not need to be told that 'the biological clock is ticking' and we do not to be told how desperately your child needs a future bff.
Til next time,

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