Today is the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I have strong views when it comes to pregnancy, and strongly feel that women can make their own decisions (without the assistance of politicians, or pressure from various “moral” factions). I do not want “morality” or family planning decisions legislated, nor do I want to discuss them with complete strangers (or well meaning family) in the guise of “conversation” at the grocery store (or anywhere else).
Kid2 is about the same age as Kid1 was when Kid2 conceived. Kid2 is fully weaned, sleeping well at night, eating solid foods with gusto and a fairly independent individual. Kid2 is fully capable of expressing likes, dislikes and preferences. With these milestones people have started asking when we are “going to try for another child” and generally inquiring into our family planning.
Most of these people* mean well, or are trying to make what passes for conversation, but sometimes they get downright intrusive, and insensitive.
They ask “so when are you having another one?” and then nod knowingly when I tell them, “We are set with the two we have.” They pester and badger. I make excuses: I don’t want to drive a mini-van, I’ve passed along all my maternity clothing and burned my nursing bras. I try to laugh it off, change the conversation, or run.
I don’t want to talk about having more children, because I don’t want to have more children.
“Well you never know,” they’ll say smugly. “These things have a way of happening.”
Do they now?
I’m aware of where babies come from. I’m not interested in discussing their formation, or my family planning preferences with anyone beyond my doctor (and her associated midwife), and my husband (with his opinion and preferences coming after mine).
Listen up well meaning people: you are NOT me. Please don’t presume to “know” how I feel, what I think, and what the best course of action for my life is. I do not need to ask you for forgiveness or permission, nor do I need to include you in my family planning. This is not something I want to talk about with you, I don’t care if you’re the guy at the grocery store checkout line, or a well-meaning invasively inquisitive relative, it is none of your business.
I have bitten my tongue a fair bit these past few weeks. I want to tell people who ask about adding future children that I am making decisions I feel are best for myself, my children, and my family. They are welcome to make decisions for themselves and their family, I haven’t asked them to make decisions for mine. Nor have I asked for their opinions, input, or commentary… but I haven’t told them this. For some reason I don’t want to alienate “well-meaning” family and acquaintances.
*We have mentioned our family planning with our children’s pediatrician (so he is aware of the family dynamics), and my dentist (hormonal shifts can influence dental health). This was to inform them of our plans so they can help us make more informed decisions about our long term health, they do not get to participate in family planning decisions.