Alfie was around 5 months old when I was first asked “When are you having another one?”.
HA. Are you crazy? Never!
Okay, so now this has changed slightly. I do want more children. But I definitely didn’t at five months postpartum. That was the last thing I was thinking about after constantly breastfeeding, changing nappies, daddy at work, weaning, lack of sleep, you can see how this list would go on…
As Alfie has got older it has become a question that I get asked by people all the time. It’s usually accompanied by some of these comments:
- You don’t want a big age gap
- Doesn’t Alfie want a little play mate?
- How many more do you want?
- There’s (Insert number of years here) years between my children
I never really used to mind being asked, it became the norm for people who I hadn’t seen for a while to ask. It became tedious answering, but it was fine, I didn’t mind.
Why shouldn’t you ask?
“When are you having another baby?”
What if you asked someone and they were already trying for another baby?
What if you asked someone and they were already pregnant?
What if you asked someone and they were struggling to conceive?
What if you asked someone and they’d just had a miscarriage?
It’s such an innocent question to those who haven’t thought about it or have a set time scale in mind or for those that genuinely want to know if you are planning on extending your family. It’s fine for those that don’t want any more children or those that are open about their family plans.
But what about those that don’t want to answer? What about those who feel they can’t answer? What about those who can’t answer?
It could be heartbreaking for those who can’t answer the question how they’d like to, or those that are heartbroken and can’t answer it. Maybe the couple you asked if they are having another have been trying for the last few years to get pregnant. Maybe the couple you asked have just been through such heartbreak and they wish they were pregnant.
I know that I don’t think I’d be able to ask that question again. That may seem extreme but it can hurt. It can hurt a lot.
Please don’t ask us. We are not being rude. We are not wanting to ignore the conversation. We just can’t answer at the moment.
We find it easier to answer differently. “Alfie is a lovely age, we are enjoying him” or “You never know what will happen in the future”. We are not lying. Alfie is at a lovely age and we are loving him at the moment and you don’t know what will happen in the future. We are just answering in a way that protects us.
We don’t want to tell the world what we’ve been through but we also don’t want to not tell anyone and pretend that we are okay. Sometimes we’re not okay. Sometimes the smallest thing can upset us. That question is hard. It can hurt. It’s not your fault.
Sometimes people need to know that an innocent question can cause some hurt, you don’t always know what’s going on behind closed doors.