Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Are you 'trying' to get pregnant?

It's an awkward conversation when some one asks if Brent and I are 'trying' to get pregnant. Have you thought about what the word 'trying' infers? When did asking someone you barely know indirectly about their sex life become appropriate?

If it's a close friend of family member, it's not so bizarre, but when it's a mere acquaintance- their question of whether or not I'm on birth control and engaging in the act that produces children is STRANGE.

I'm in Utah. I'm 30. I don't have kids. I'm an anomaly. I get it.

Are we so depraved of conversation topics that acquaintances want to discuss whether or not Brent and I are trying to reproduce? What if our marriage is hanging on by a thread and decided not to bring children into the issue? What if I have ovarian cancer? Do you really want me to rant about how 14 year olds get pregnant every day and I can't seem to conceive? Maybe I don't want to spend my life in endless personal and financial sacrifice, dedicating my life to children that once they hit puberty are going to think I'm the devil and tell me I'm ruining their lives. There is no good answer to this question.

The same goes for asking single people about dating and getting married. Don't. If they are dating someone they'll bring it up. But people should NEVER EVER ask a single person why they aren't married yet and if they are dating anyone. Unless you want that person to hate you and never talk to you again.

When we meet some one who is childless, or single, in the name of all that is good and holy could we please be a little creative, ask them about their career, political opinions, American Idol, whatever- and not about their ability or desire to reproduce?

27 comments:

Robin said...

Sooo...Are you?

JustRandi said...

Ugggh. I hate people who do that. They're the same ones who feel free to paw your tummy if you ARE pregnant.
Lady! Get out of my business!!

crazy4danes said...

Great post! I think it is an very rude question to ask...what makes people think that they have the right to know about your personal business???

It never ends...even if you do have one child...then the question becomes..."when are you going to have your next one?" I can't tell you how many times this one has been asked...I realize I too am an anomaly...but back off people! And I feel just as awkward as you probably do when people ask if you're trying...do they think we are being selfish? do they think our son is going to be a spoiled brat? do they feel sorry for our son for not having siblings?

Grrrrr! I hate it...people do need to mind their own business, (especially here in Utah)....what gives people the right to start judging you by the number of ducklings you do or do not have following you?...and then feel the sudden urge to ask you about it?! Hello! You might as well ask me what brand of Tampon I use, what form of birth control I am currently on, and how often my husband and I have sex....just as personal people! I totally get you on this one!!! ;)

Salt H2O said...

Robin-
Truthfully, only because I'm old. If I wasn't turning 31 this month I'd wait another 5 years. Why rush it? Families are forever and you're only childless once. This is the true answer- but usually once I say this I get some sorted teastimony of the wonders and blessings of children...best things in life...blah blah blah.

The answer I usually give is, "why do you ask? are you trying too?"

JustRandi-
I don't get the touching the stomach thing. Do people make a wish?

Crazy- Just tell people the truth- Bryan is the most perfect child on earth and it's not possible to get perfection twice so you're stopping with one.

Jocy said...

Amen!!!! I hate that question. And when you have one they are always asking when your gonna have another!!

crazy4danes said...

Hehe...I do use that response ;P And you are so right about only being childless once! I wish we had waited a little longer before having B...you need time to enjoy life and your spouse!

Blythe said...

Amen. Now throw being divorced into the mix...boundary-crossing questions galore!

chloe elizabeth said...

Amen to this post. Seriously.

The thing is, I sometimes think that some women (and occasionally men) don't have anything else to talk about. Not all of them, but the ones who got married halfway through college, had their first baby upon graduation, never worked full-time, in the conventional sense, or had career goals. I think these women sometimes don't know what else to talk about...and I wish they would get a hobby or something.

And why is it that people who are married (especially those who are in bad marriages, it seems) are so eager for everyone else to get married? Is it that misery loves company?

My favorite response, when someone asks why I'm not married (which, due to my personality, most people know not to ask), is that I'm struggling with same sex attraction issues.

Is it true? No. Does it end the conversation abruptly? Yes.

chloe elizabeth said...

And just to clarify, I know lots of women who got married and had babies young and aren't ignorant, and do have hobbies, and lots to talk about.

Salt H2O said...

Crazy- There is only one person I know who says they wished they started having children earlier- and that's my mom. As I was her first child, I don't blame her ;)

Blythe- I can't imagine the inapproprate questions you must get!

Chole- Same sex attraction issues? LOL! Awesome.

Steve said...

Chloe, that is f'n hilarious! I laughed reading that comment.

Salty-Funny post. And it def is more of a Utah/Morm thing. Normal people don't do that. However, it's just as uncomfortable when my mom or K's mom brings up the subject of whether or not we are using birth control.

Robin said...

I didn't actually expect you to answer that question. You are not "old".

I was at a company picnic (I was the only mormon there) when a complete stranger put his hands on my 8 month tummy and proclaimed it was a girl. It freaked me out.

He was right.

f*bomb. said...

The answer is, "YES." and then add, "in fact, do you mind if we use YOUR room? I'm ovulating. NOW."

Ben & Kimberly McEvoy said...

I think Chloe E is the closets. It doesn't of course apply to all people who are young, married young or have kids. Or did when they were little. But I think it is a mind set.
Kory of most the mothers I hang out with and have over the past 10 years I suspect a vast minority even knew who was running for pres, or why we are at war with Iraq . .I mean terrorism.
I have to admit I have been in a trans for periods of my life where I was so in depth with being a mom that I didn't realize there was a world revolving around me. I have asked similar questions, not to judge more to understand other people lives. All my siblings waiting to have kids, I think that is great. I have never been biased either way. But I have been very curios as to what is life with out kids?!?! We were very surprised when Madisen came, I don't regret having her when we did. Looking back I understand the lords hand in it all. But I can see how wonderful it is to be a couple, or single for longer. different roads for different people.

For those people that ask dumb personal questions to judge, Just ask them how much tithing they pay. Or what they studied in their personal reading yesterday, and insert next your favorite scripture of not judging ;)

Funny timing on this post. Ben and I are trying to figure out if there is a #4. Just saying that makes me nauseated. but for some unknown crazy reason I just don't feel done. Any way we are happy w/ my IUD and no changes on that till I am ready. good luck with the crazy Utahan's that cant think of better conversation pieces.

Britt said...

Ok Woman! How about when someone touches your belly and asks if you are expecting again and you are not! LOLOL Now that tops it!

Jason said...

Hey Salty girl.
I link over from the McEvoy's blog from time to time. I just wanted to let you know that you've got a GREAT sense of humor and make me laugh right out loud.

My wife and I were married for 4 years in Utah and hadn't had kids. Yeah, we were outcasts. We moved to Vegas and waited another two before the stork came. That was almost 8 years before trying. We got all the comments and Q's. I'd occasionally reply with, "I can't have kids,..happy now?" But the "are you trying questions" was occasionally met with the answer, "No, she won't let me touch her." That was my best one.

Keep up the posting, I get a kick. Later.

Salt H2O said...

Steve-
Few people that don't live in Utah and aren't related to me ask me this question. It may be a Utah/Mormon thing.

Robin-
I figured I'd answer the question. After all, you're family and I have few secrets from blog.

Farrah-
I'll try that one.

Kim-
Number four. Man I can't imagine just one much less four. good luck with that decision.

Britt-
Who ever did that should have gotten a swift punch to the face. I think the courts would side with you.

Jason-
Woo hoo! I have a fan. I'm glad I make you laugh. I'm giving that line to Brent for him to use. Glad to have you on the soapbox!

Melissa said...

Hey, I don't have a small child on my lap and I can comment! Wow! I'm your cousin David's wife.

Don't have a baby yet, because you won't have time to blog and I love your blog... on the other hand, think of all th material.

Living in MD, I got the opposite reaction when expecting #5. People were horrified. I was thrilled to be pregnant, but honest to goodness, I dreaded having "the world" find out. Looks of Disgust I tell you! People should mind their own business.

About the tummy patting thing. When Henry was about 6 weeks old our Crazy neighbor came by and patted my tummy (or poked like the dough boy?) and told me "Don't worry, you'll just have to work at it." I almost decked her, but then I remembered how crazy she is and I didn't want to deal with dead dogs on the doorstep or something bizarre like that.

Wow, when I can type with 2 hands, I'm long winded. Sorry.

Jeri10 said...

1. I can relate. It took us 7 years to get Amy. It seemed like the longest years of my life. But, the good part is that you really build a strong foundation for the family that is coming. You and your husband get a chance to develop a relationship without kids. You'll look back and be happy with the outcome.
2. So, how much money do you make? How much did you pay for your house? How many affairs did you have before marriage?....
People mean well, it's just conversation. Unfortunately they don't think before they speak. They just have diarrhea of the mouth - hand them an imodium tablet (...just kidding)
3. Topics like these are included in the book Amy and I wrote (that you should be receiving any day now).

Happy The Man said...

Interestingly, it works the same way on the other end of the spectrum. If you have a lot of kids, everyone wants to know why and they want to know if you're going to stop and when (LDS folks these days seem to be as curious as non-LDS folks). And for some reason they view their curiosities as perfectly acceptable conversation yet if the tables are turned and I ask, "why don't you want more kids, don't you love the ones you have more than anything?", they get defensive and suddenly I'm attacking them or prying into their personal business.

Wise people invest in things that hold value, things that do not depreciate. Gold, Silver, art, Toyotas vs. American, etc. Usually the more investing you do with this mentality, the wiser you are perceived to be (how much gold is too much gold?). But heaven forbid you invest in something with eternal value, for some reason that's daftly unwise. Even when some of us understand that we can't take our gold, silver and art with us, it is still perceived as less wise to invest in a posterity of eternal relationships (you know, that last forever). My logic follows that if my joy is great with one child, shouldn't my joy be 10x greater with 10 children? Don't forget that this is like the pyramid thing (though not a scam), it grows exponentially with grandchildren and great grandchildren, etc.

I never give this dissertation when approached with these invasive inquisitions, I usually just say, "funny, I can't understand why people don't want to have more children" and leave it at that. I don't like being judged by others so I figure I should refrain from judging others myself. At the same time, I do think my reply gives them something to think about, if they're deep thinkers at all.

Lastly, and this is probably TMI but since you brought up people's great interest in other people's sex life, let me just candidly say that "lot's of children" does NOT necessarily mean "lot's of sex". Read into that whatever you will, but there are some gross misconceptions going around out there about that line of logic. LOL

The UnMighty said...

So, are you trying? If so, how often are you trying? And what is the trying like? Does it get a little crazy?
Maybe you guys should try harder and in different places.

(Did I go to far?)

The UnMighty said...

So, are you trying? If so, how often are you trying? And what is the trying like? Does it get a little crazy?
Maybe you guys should try harder and in different places.

(Did I go to far?)

The UnMighty said...

I only posted that comment twice because I care so much. (and because I hit the button twice.)

crazy4danes said...

Love reading all the comments on this post...it was a good one...I especially liked Jason's recommended response of "No, she won't let me touch her." Oh man did that make me laugh! I'm totally having Dan use that one!!! :D

Della Hill said...

I can't beat the many great responses for that question.
I especially liked the "same sex attraction issues" answer and the "yes, right now, can we use your room?"
But here's what to do when someone reaches out and rubs your pregnant (or not) belly:
Reach out and rub theirs.
Invasion of personal space can go both ways, and hey, they started it.
-Della

Jeri and Amy said...

The funny thing is that people don't actually want the answer to the question "are you trying to conceive?" They would be HORRIFIED if you responded, "yeah, twice a day... four or five times a day on weekends."
The question is posed in the same way people ask "how are you?" They expect a one word, positive answer regardless of whether or not it's the truth. (think about it. Caricatures of the elderly always have them answering "how are you" by elaborately enumerating their many ailments: "oh my arthritis has been acting up, my hips are failing me again, and I've got these terrible bunions...")
Small talk is comprised of questions to which we don't expect real answers.

Genny said...

This post is refreshing. And I don't miss that aspect of Utah...how crazy it seems to me now--when I get "looks" when people find out I have--gasp!--two children, and when I'm ostracized by the other preschool moms because I'm much too young to be in their social circle--to think back to the Utah days when, at 25, I felt like an "old" mom...

I think my answer might be, "I'm trying to cling to my sanity/sleep/flat stomach as long as possible."