By MAMAMIA TEAM
“It’s such a shame you never got around to having children, isn’t it?”
“You would have made such a great mother. Why don’t you have kids?”
“You better get on with it – you’ve only got so much time left.”
Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
It seems like such an obvious social rule – and yet so many people just don’t get it.
There are some things you just shouldn’t say to a childless woman. Some questions you just shouldn’t ask.
More often that not it’ss strangers. Acquaintances. People in the periphery of your life. People whom frankly, don’t know (for a reason) and don’t care (and should be showing a little more empathy).
The reason you shouldn’t say these things, and the reasons there are questions you shouldn’t ask, should be fairly obvious. Because women don’t have children for a variety of reasons. Some women don’t have children because they don’t want to. Others because they can’t.
Columnist Wendy Squires recently wrote in Fairfax, about why people (yep, the all encompassing term ‘people’) need to demonstrate a little more tact.
Wendy explains how she sat down with a woman who reached over the table and, with the utmost consolation and concern, announced: “It’s a tragedy you never got around to having children. It’s the most wonderful thing a woman can do.”
Wendy explains how she – somehow – managed to restrain herself, but continues:
“But I still wanted to thump her. Hard. Not just for me, but for all childless women. I’m talking about sisters on IVF; the ones who can’t carry to term; those who’ve suffered stillbirth or the loss of a child; the infertile; those with infertile partners; the ones hoping and waiting on a committed relationship; the ambivalent; the never intended to and don’t feel the need to justify the fact.
Most of the childless women I know do find peace with their circumstances, even if it takes some time. Until, that is, someone comes along and demands their curiosity itch be scratched as to why no kids or, worse, declares you emotionally or spiritually unfulfilled with uncalled for comments such as the one I endured.
A woman’s reason for being childless is her own. It is no one else’s business to fill in the blanks.”