Generally, I believe people have good intentions. I mean, they mean well. But, there is a but. When did asking about personal, sensitive and private matters such as family planning become acceptable? Because regardless of how conventional this practice is becoming, I cringe. I don’t care if you blame the world wide interwebs or social media or this idea that we should all open up and be intimately and emotional connected to each other, here is my PSA:
As a single mom, for the love of all that is holy, please do not ask me if I plan on having more children.
Also, as woman, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, friend, a thirty-something, and for the same love, it is still not okay to inquire about my fertility and my sex life. But, if I were married… not even then would it be okay. If you are my friend, my family or even if you are a near stranger at a pool party hosted by a guy I date, it is not okay to ask (particularly in front of him, thanks). It is especially not okay to ask me this in front of my three year old son whom asks weekly when we can have a baby sister.
Honestly, sometimes I daydream of another baby in my arms. And more honestly, sometimes that same thought seems like less of a dream and more of a nightmare that I unintentionally avoided. Likely, the same thoughts many other parents have too.
So, please know when I’m met (far too often) with this question I will smile, make googly eyes with my son and respond “I already have the most perfect one”. I will then turn away to refresh my drink in my very best effort to conceal my annoyance and spare everyone else within earshot of the truth.
Because what I really want to say would likely embarrass the asker much more so than it would embarrass me.
Because what I really want to say is this:
No I am not planning on having any more children. Just the same as I never planned on raising the one I have by myself.
In fact, I never planned on having any children at all. When my ex-husband and I were dating we imagined a future of travel and city-living and fun and we planned to do all of it childless. Then we fell in love wanted to build a family, together. See for me, the love I had for him was what fed the desire to have a child. It wasn’t a need to fill the chairs around my dinner table or secure my two point five children and white picket fence.
I didn’t plan on the ultimate death of our marriage and demise of my love for him as my partner. But it happened anyway.
I also didn’t plan on finding myself again. I didn’t plan on being so happy with a life that is so vastly different than the one I planned for. But it happened anyway.
And since you’re asking… I don’t want to have someone’s baby right now. But even if I did… there is nothing I am more scared of. I didn’t plan on my first marriage failing, and I sure wouldn’t plan on any second marriage failing. But the brash truth is that it could happen. Truthfully, I am afraid going through this all over again, with another man and another child.
Plans change, thankfully.
And yes, I see the judge-filled eyes falling on the thought that my son just might end up an only child. You know what though, he likely could have been one even if his dad and I stayed together. I just don’t subscribe to the thinking of how terrible “only children” turn out, mostly because I know too many great ones.
I don’t want to plan the road to the rest of my life; I want to live it.
Therefore, no, I am not planning on having more children. But it could happen anyway. I do not plan on getting married again. Though I’d like for it happen anyway. I do not plan on trying to control how this life turns out. Because, thankfully plans changed, change and are changing. And because right now I am in love with my imperfectly perfect little family and I would rather just focus on loving and living with what is.
So, dear sweet stranger or family member or friend: please think twice before you ask me about my plans because I might just tell the whole truth to the next person who asks.
For the record though, there are two exceptions: If you are my hair stylist or if we are on a date and especially if it is our first; ask away.