Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday: People Who Ought to Say Nothing August 22, 2012

This post was originally published on April 4, 2012.

Kathleen’s post about mistakes and well-intentioned people got me thinking about people who really ought to just mind their own business.

A few years ago, when I my glorious plans for motherhood were just beginning to come crashing down around my ears, Mr. Fab and I went wine tasting. As a rich, fruity cabernet was hitting my bloodstream and making my crappy world feel better, a woman (whose world was feeling a little too good) leaned over and said, “Should you be drinking?”

I was confused for a moment, until I realized she was peering at my belly. Admittedly, I’d put on a few stress pounds over the previous year, but I was beyond mortified that she’d mistaken my bloat for a pregnancy, especially considering that was the one thing I was truly aiming for.

I’d like to tell you that she realized her mistake immediately, but alas, she had to ask me twice – the second time for everyone around us to hear.

So, while I agree that most people are well-intentioned when they make a faux pas, in some cases, people just ought to keep their traps shut and mind their own damn business.

It’s Whiny Wednesday, ladies. Let ‘em fly.


9 Responses to “Whiny Wednesday: People Who Ought to Say Nothing”

  1. Maria Says:

    Here’s my whine. I feel like I have been judged a lot by my family for not trying to have children when I was younger. When I was young (teenager to 27), I had a string of bad relationships. Bad meaning abusive because I was raised by 2 abusive parents. I met my sweet, darling husband at 29 and we married at 35 (despite my efforts to convince him to marry me sooner). He is the kindest person I ever met and the only person I would trust to have children with. There are a lot of people out there that think we waited too long to start trying. Some people think I could have had children with one of the jerks I dated in my 20s if I wasn’t so picky.Maybe I could have — truthfully I think based upon my issues I would have had difficulty then. I know of 3 occassions someone else would have gotten pregnant but I didn’t (e.g. didn’t take my pill correctly, condom broke, withdrawal method failed). But even if I could have gotten pregnant, I would have spent the rest of my life battling with some jerk over money, child support, visitation. There are people out there that have no problem having a baby with someone they hardly know, setting themselves up for these problems, all in the name of having children. And they judge us for “waiting so long.” I think I had the sense enough to know what was best of me, that my mental health came first, and that I was better off to wait for the person that was right for me and take my chances on not having a baby, than having a child with someone who would have ruined my life. It’s not just my family either — when infertility is raised elsewhere on the internet people with children post these type of very judgmental comments. And I feel these type of comments are difficult to rebut because when you do, the reply is always live with your choices and stop feeling sorry for yourself. I try very hard not to feel sorry for myself but aren’t I entitled to a bad day once in a while, must we always feel perfect about our choices?

    • Jen Says:

      Maria…sorry you have had to deal with this. I have been fortunate that I have never had anyone tell me “you waited too long to have a child”. If anything, I have had a my own wish since my last miscarriage two years that I had meet my husband earlier than 34 years old and that we would have had more time in trying. But then I think well there is no guarantee we would have been able to have a successful pregnancy then either. I also feel like I wouldn’t change anything on how things played out either since I couldn’t have my wish. I think we needed that first 3 years together to really get to know each other before stepping into marriage and then the time between our first and second miscarriage when our life was turned upside down with moving and financial issues. In the end, it is what it is and we can’t undo the past. A higher authority had a hand in this, I truly believe. It is sad that people don’t think or hear themselves before they speak. I truly believe in “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say nothing at all”.

      • Maria Says:

        I’ve had the same thoughts. We both wished we had met each other sooner. But then I think about how I was a much different person when I was in my 20s, and if he had met me any earlier, it wouldn’t have worked out or he wouldn’t have liked me (I know I didn’t like me very much). I know all things happen for a reason, the bad relationships I was in in my 20s helped me become a better person, a person that was able to appreciate my husband the minute I met him. You can drive yourself crazy questioning every choice you make. But I guess that’s what makes me crazy about the people who judge me and others who don’t try until they are in their 30s. If they knew what my life was like when I was younger, what I went through to get to a good place. But I guess it’s alwasy easier to judge than to try and understand.

  2. Wolfers Says:

    Am visiting family in another state, and only one thing that keeps popping up in my mind- “everyone asks everyone else when they’d have children, or being happy with children growing up- but no one ASKED me ever if I’d ever have children- is it because I am Deaf?” There’s this belief that if one is deaf, the deafness’d be passed to the children- never mind there are facts, verified by studies that 90% of deaf children are born to HEARING people…while 95% of hearing children are born to deaf parents. I don’t want to ask, I don’t want to know- yet a part of me wants to know. driving me nuts. I love family, but I don’t want to know WHY they hadn’t asked whenever I’d have children, when every cousin around me have their children.

  3. Karen Says:

    Been there. Remember those almost maternity looking empire waist shirts from a few years back? I have a love-hate relationship with them. Wore one to Krispy Kreme once and was asked when we were having children (at least they phrased it well I suppose). My husband deflected that we don’t know, maybe someday, but… yeah.

  4. Mali Says:

    OK, my whine is that I think I’m seeing the destruction of something that has been very important to me and 1000s of women, and knowing I’m going to be part of it, the rats deserting the sinking ship and all, and trying to figure out how I can plug all the holes to stop it sinking but knowing deep down I can’t, and wondering why people let it get to this stage.

  5. NicoleCH Says:

    My whine is that today during our first faculty meeting of the year (I’m a teacher), 90%
    of my colleagues answered the obligatory “What did you do this summer?” with cutesy stories about kids/grandkids. I didn’t grouch at anyone, but I didn’t hold back on how wonderful our vacationS were when it was my turn. 😉 In fairness, I should say that one of my colleagues at my other school shared photos of his (long hoped for) newborn very kindly and only after I asked – pretty obvious he and his wife have been on the other side.

  6. hmelissar Says:

    I work as a nanny for school age children. Last week one of the kids, a 7 year old who is very hyper, was getting on my nerves, and his dad said to me, “I guess this is the reason why you never had kids!” I was shocked at this comment and almost started crying. A few months ago when his wife had asked me why I didn’t have children of my own, I just kind of shrugged and didn’t answer, and she made a similar joke. Last week when the dad made the comment, I answered, “No, that’s actually not it at all…” I considered telling him that I would love to have a kid, but I have never been able to, and can’t afford fertility treatments or adoption, but did not. I guess he was just trying to make a joke, but I cried on my way home from his house. 😦

    • Joanne Says:

      Its horrible when people make assumptions about your parental state. I have to say, I am still experiencing a lot of painful anger regarding my infertility and I think I would have told them just to make them feel bad. I of course would have felt worse about it later! Oh dear, I have a long way to go!

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