This post is dedicated to my friends, family and associates and anyone reading this who anticipates becoming a mother, but are experiencing difficulty becoming pregnant and for those who simply choose not to have children. This post is also for the individuals who think it’s okay to ask a woman, “When are you going to have children?” or “Why haven’t you had children yet?”. Please read the following:
Society, media and even the elders in our families have led many of us to believe that by time a woman hits the age of 30, she should not only be married, but also have children. I plan to discuss the topic of marriage in a future post in a future post but for now, let’s discuss the latter. When I was young, I loved playing with dolls. I would pretend that they were my children. I would “feed” them, “change” them , coddle them and even throw birthday parties for them. When my parents would allow me to bring one or more of my dolls out of the house, I would get so excited when people would tap into that playful place in their mind and acknowledge my dolls as if they were as human as I, instead of inanimate objects. My favorite doll was Arriane. Although she had beautiful, dark skin, Arriane had a wonky eye, matted hair and had lost one of her arms in a flood that damaged our home; but she was mine. No matter how tattered she looked, I loved her as though she were a part of me. I slept with her and once when I was “feeding” her, I got a piece of bread suck in her mouth and it became stale and remained logged in her mouth for years; but that was my baby. As I aged and stopped playing with dolls, I never forgot the role of “mother” that I loved playing with her. I looked forward to becoming a mother in the future so that I could have a baby and take care of it and love it the way I loved Arianne. I know I am not the only woman, who as a child anticipated the day that I would become a mother. The thought never crept into m,y mind that there were women who struggle daily with infertility or carrying their babies full term. With that being said: STOP ASKING WOMEN WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE CHILDREN! What you don’t realize when you ask that question is that you are likely conjuring up feelings of anxiety, frustration, fear, depression and discomfort in them. Despite what you may think, they may very well be trying to conceive; you don’t know. And do you know why you don’t know? BECAUSE IT’S NOT YOUR BUSINESS!
I experienced a miscarriage a year after giving birth to my first child. The miscarriage occurred on a Saturday afternoon. My doctor’s office was closed so I had to wait until Monday to visit my OB/GYN. After my examination that Monday, my doctor told me to wait 3 months before trying again and that I SHOULD be able to conceive again; not WOULD, but SHOULD! That meant that there was a possibility that I wouldn’t be able to and that was extremely scary and nerve racking! That thought stuck with me everyday, daily for three months. During that time span, my sympathy heightened for women who have had issues conceiving.
If you are reading this and you are one of those people that torment or badger women with no children about the amount of time they have left to conceive or if you are simply one of one of those individuals who consistently ask women when they will have children; STOP IT! NOW!
First of all, making a baby takes work. I’m not talking about the fun work in bed; I’m talking about what goes on in that woman’s body that you don’t see or feel. It may be something in her body that unbeknownst to her is causing infertility. Those ovulation apps are great, but if your body does not ovulate in a textbook manner, it may be difficult to track unless you see a fertility specialist, which are very expensive. It could be a medical issue that she is knowledgeable of, but unable to control. That within itself is stressful enough and being stressful can make conceiving a child even more difficult. So do you really think asking a woman when she will have a baby or why she hasn’t had a baby yet makes it any easier on her?
Second, some women have experienced a horrible or traumatic event in their childhood that may have either scarred them mentally or steered them away from being a mother. The fear that they may become the “Mommy Dearest”that raised them may be the reason they don’t want to be children. Someone could have violated them in such a way that they may be fearful that they won’t be able to protect the innocence of a child.
Third, not every woman has a desire to have a child! Some women may want to focus solely on their careers, on their money or just on themselves. And that’s okay because IT’S THEIR CHOICE! It’s 2018! Not all women need children to feel validated.
Finally, IT’S SIMPLY NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS BELOVED! None! You wont’ be paying for prenatal care. You do not hold the key to their mind, soul or heart that holds the reason why they don’t have children. You don’t have to deal with the emotions that stir up in them when they see a pregnant stranger or a mother soothing the cries of her newborn baby or hear the innocent, infectious laugh of a toddler. You don’t have to deal with the disappointment some women feel monthly when the pregnancy test results reflect “negative”. You don’t have to deal the guilt that some carry because they can’t give their spouse or partner the one thing that means the most to both; the one thing they equally looked forward to at some point. You don’t have to deal with the unanswered prayers she prays that God opens her womb. You don’t have to deal with the fear that some feel because they feel they may lose their spouse. You don’t have to deal with the anger they feel when a news story flashes across their phone or TV screen referencing a newborn baby or child being murdered by the hands of their own mother. Mind the business that God gave you! If you are truly concerned, keep them in your thoughts and prayers- if you can even get a prayer up. Keep your opinions and questions to yourself.
To all of the women who are experiencing issues with infertility and to those who have yet to find that special person who they want to conceive a child with and to the women who choose not to have children; understand that this protocol post likely won’t reach the people that need to read it.I apologize on behalf of those who who have no couth and on behalf of those who don’t understand the pain and tears that you cover up daily with a smile. You are not forgotten. I think of you often. I pray for you often.