As most women will know, our lives become a barrage of constant questioning about the personal details of our lives. The most common of these questions generally being, “When are you going to get married?” and “When will you have kids?”. Sometimes even random strangers will feel the need to comment on such topics, as though it were perfectly acceptable for them to judge your life on the minimal amount of information they know about you.
I thought I was “in the clear” after we had our son because, heck, I had done the marrying and the babying. I thought I was done and dusted with the questioning. Boy was I wrong!
Shortly BEFORE Starfish turned 1 (not after), we started getting some new questions. “When are you thinking about Baby #2?” I was surprised at how often I was asked it. I’ll admit though – I may have been guilty of asking this question a few times to my mum friends, but I’ve been learning that there are several reasons why I should stop asking this question.
Some mums want to wait a while.
I have recently discovered through conversations with family and friends, that like with all things related to motherhood, there are different opinions and ideas of when families want to have a second child. I’ve found some mums want to wait until their first child is much older before they go through the whole newborn baby process again. Whether it be because their first child has been a handful, or they struggled with the demands of a baby, these mums have decided they don’t want to have their children close together – and that is perfectly okay! What these mums don’t need though is constant questioning about when they’ll have a second baby, because they might be uncomfortable with talking about their decision.
Some mums might be struggling to fall pregnant again.
I’ve had mum friends who talked to me about their difficulty in falling pregnant a second time, and this is a source of pain and sadness for them. The question about when they’re having a second baby – much like asking people when they’ll be having a first, for the same reason – can further compound the pain around this, so it doesn’t need to be asked.
Some mums might already be pregnant.
Just like with any pregnancy, a lot of mums like to keep their news a surprise. Asking them about baby number 2 might put them in an awkward position (or if you’re like me, you can’t keep a straight face!). It is a lot easier if the question is avoided altogether!
Some mums only want one child.
I’ve also spoken to some mum friends who have decided that they only want one child. Again, this can be for a variety of reasons. However, just like some women choose not to have any children, I have found the decision to have only one child provokes differing opinions from people. Some women may be happy to talk through their decisions, while others might not be. Once again, it is just easier to steer clear of the whole conversation!
While some mums are more than happy to talk about their decisions and reasoning, I know many who aren’t. We also shouldn’t have to justify our decisions to anyone not involved in the process (which generally involves two people!). As mothers, we should create a supportive environment for each other free of judgement or criticism. So instead of asking when baby number 2 is coming along (again, guilty!), let’s keep asking our mum friends how they and their first baby are doing!
And you might be wondering which of these categories I fall into – honestly, none of them. We haven’t thought much about Baby number 2 because we are enjoying Baby number 1 too much at the moment!