It’s Not Your Business: The Pressures of Motherhood
“When are you having another kid?”
“What are you waiting for? Have a baby!”
”I think somebody is ready for a little sister!”
Who else has been bombarded with this string of questions? At work, family parties, even when you’re at a bar trying to enjoy some baby-free girl time? Do you cringe like I do every time? I often wonder if people will ever realize that there is never an appropriate time or way to approach a woman with this endless bout of questions.
I have always found it astounding how mindless and insensitive others can be. Women are so often asked when the first or next one is coming (usually from another woman), unaware of one’s story — not to mention that one’s story is nobody’s business in the first place. Here’s a few examples of why it’s not appropriate to ask a woman these questions:
Do you know how many positive pregnancy tests she hopelessly prayed on, only for her to see a negative symbol?
Do you know how many miscarriages she has experienced?
Do you know if the doctor has told her she’ll never conceive… or if she does, she’ll never reach full term?
Did she encounter complications during her first delivery?
Did postpartum depression effect them so deeply that they’re too scared to try again?
…and that’s just to name a few.
What kills me most is the belief that motherhood is a right of passage into womanhood; the belief that a woman can no longer focus on anything outside of motherhood once she’s embarked on the journey through. We are fully capable of loving the child we have whole-heartedly and still wanting more for ourselves before growing our family, if at all. Unplanned pregnancies happen every day — Jayden being one — but that, in no way, shape or form, equates to him being a mistake. God knew what I needed well before I ever did and I’ve made every adjustment necessary to raise a beautiful & smart little boy. And I am enjoying our time together so damn much (he’s pretty funny for a 20-month old). So… why do I need to concern myself with giving him siblings? Why am I asked about having another child before being asked about my career, education, and most importantly, my happiness?
Now, motherhood is single-handedly the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had. But as a woman who has the pleasure of having friends with no desire of ever having children, who desperately want but face aversion, and who would like to wait 5-10 more years before even considering trying… I can’t bring myself to badger a woman on when she plans on joining this journey. As a college student, full-time employee and a desire to hold onto my self-identity, I can’t bring myself to beg another mother to have more. As a mom who feels as though I barley have enough time to enjoy my son, I can’t bring myself to ask another mom why she hasn’t had any more. It wouldn’t be fair.
This is a blog for mothers — soon-to-be moms, new moms, seasoned moms and everything in the between — but more importantly, this is a blog for acceptance. For encouragement in finding yourself outside of motherhood — before and after. For finding sisterhood, no matter what decisions or tribulations you face from the pressures society places on us. Stand up for yourself and stand up for others every time this question is asked. We are not only mothers, and we are not only meant to be mothers. Find the strength to say that out loud and believe that in your heart.