Love: Question of the Week

Society has expectations. When you move in with someone, they all ask, ‘When are you getting married?’ When you get married, they all ask, ‘When are you having a baby?’ When you have your first baby, they all ask, ‘When are you having your second baby?’…and so it goes on.

I can imagine some people find being asked about their reproductive situation rather offensive. I am personally OK with being asked, as I tend to just make up an answer to suit the mood I’m in, or the person I am talking to. I also don’t really get offended that easily about those sorts of things.

I always think of the time Jo Stanley, from From Matt and Jo’s Fox FM morning program, saying that she likened it to people asking you when the next time you were going to have your next shit was…she believes it is that personal.

– Matt & Jo –

This leads me to this week’s question…

Is asking someone when they are going to have a baby, or their next baby, an offensive and far-too personal question?

Alison

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13 thoughts on “Love: Question of the Week

  1. Absolutely! Unless of course the friend is a very close one. Although it’s usually the people who don’t know you that well and are asking because they have nothing else to talk about – which should automatically imply that they don’t know you well enough to ask. I think the best response sometimes is “I actually can’t have children” – would shut people up and make them think about asking the next person.
    I was told the other day, that I better find a man, get married and have children because my time is running out! How rude!!

  2. I think this is a really tricky field to navigate, and especially if you don’t know the person well. I usually won’t ask unless it’s a close friend. Better safe than sorry:)

  3. I think unless you know the person well, its a minefield. Infertility, couples that have diverging feelings on it, you don’t always know what bandage you are yanking.we plan no children, but I get tired of explaining to acquaintances why we feel that way.

  4. Having been married for two and a half years now, the questions are relentless! I have no problem when it’s someone in the family (or a very close friend) asking, and I know they’re asking because they care about me and my husband and would care for any child we were to potentially have. However when work colleagues, acquaintances, and random people you have recently met ask, I find it offensive. As per some of the other comments, you just never know what issues come with this, be it medical or a personal choice not to have a family – it can be a touchy subject. x Ally

  5. A very interesting question. I personally don’t get offended when asked these questions, and have caught myself asking people these questions too. I will now stop myself. I find social rules are not always clear-cut. For example, people always mangle my surname, so when I accidentally mangle someone’s name and they get quite cross, I find myself quite surprised. In Indonesia where I was born, these questions are part of the average person’s repertoire of small talk. If you can’t or won’t get married, you say ‘maybe later’ the same for the baby question… People stop asking when it becomes obvious it’s not going to happen. My mum is Aussie and I have lived here since I was 14, so I’m not totally blind to Aussie cultural norms. I do have to remind my 86-year-old dad not to ask people if they are married or plan to have children etc. He always forgets though, so I guess everyone just thinks he’s rude!

  6. When people ask me how many children I have, my answer is always the same – two girls and I’m not having any more. I preempt their question before they ask. I would never ask some one a question about their fertility agenda, unless l felt they were trying to confide something in me, or as Ally mentioned, they were family or a very close friend. It is simply none of my business. Next week’s question: what would you change about yourself if you could? I already have my answer for that one after last week’s discussions. xo

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