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Usually in blog posts I waffle before I get to the point but this time, I won’t. The bottom line is, we need to stop asking women about their fertility plans! Since I’ve become older and started delving into the world of fertility myself, I’ve become less naive and have realised that asking women questions about their plans to have children puts unwanted pressure on them.

The truth is about fertility…

Some women struggle to conceive, and some women don’t have that option at all.

Recently I read a brilliant blog post by the lovely Abbie from Cheerfully Live, which was all about learning to live with your fears. The post touched on the fact that Abbie may be unable to have children for medical reasons. Her words resonated with me because I’m also in a position where being able to conceive won’t be easy and it’s likely I’ll need support. For those of you who don’t know, I had a pituitary brain tumour when I was 8 years old and this has left me with umpteen complications to do with my hormones and all that jazz. Only recently, I was at a party and there was a super adorable baby there. Both Andy and I were cooing over her and the instant response was ‘oooh you two will be next!’. Will we though? Are you sure about that one?

We definitely want children in the future and as much as I appreciate it’s just one of those things people say in these situations, I really wish we didn’t. I remember thinking at the time ‘if only it was that simple’ but of course, you never say anything because you don’t want to embarrass anyone, air your business or hurt peoples feelings (despite ironically, them sometimes hurting yours!). We’re taking it at our own pace and especially because we are having the support from Yorkshire Fertility, we know that to put a time frame on it at this stage would be unwise.

Some people simply do not want kids…

…and that is FINE. Another lovely lady who touched on this in her blog was Ysabelle and if you’re in the same boat, you should give it a read. Just because you don’t want kids, doesn’t mean you hate them or you can’t tolerate being around those who have them. I know I want kids, which is why I struggle when someone makes a throw away comment about the fact it won’t be long til I’m the one with a bump.(Little do they know, the only bump I’ll be getting any time soon is a food baby bump!).

Yet for Ysabelle, I imagine she feels the same struggle. It must be frustrating for people to just assume you have your life set out that way. Life isn’t set in stone and I think we need to remember that milestones are different for everyone. It’d be boring if we all got married aged 27 and were popping sprogs by 30 anyways.

Some women have lost a child

At the end of the day, fertility is a very private affair and quite frankly, it’s none of our business. We have no idea of the battles that a woman has faced and asking questions like ‘don’t you have children?’ can stir up a heap of emotion. I honestly can’t imagine the pain someone goes through when losing their child, it is truly heartbreaking. That’s yet another reason why we need to be a little more sensitive when it comes to quizzing people on their fertility plans.

Final little rant about not asking women about their fertility…

I feel a little on edge about posting this because not only is it quite a personal piece, but I also feel like I’m going to get a bunch of people thinking I’m preaching. I’m really not. If you follow me and my blog, you’ll know I like to keep it real around here. Like I said earlier, I know for a fact I’ll have said similar things before to my friends and I’m not saying that if you were to say ‘you’ll be next’ to me I’ll never talk to you again. I get it, we slip up and say these things. But as I say, being in the situation I’m in has really opened my eyes to how we need to be careful with our words. Fertility, pregnancy, the ability to conceive and all that comes with it is your own business and nobody elses.

Thanks for taking the time to read and if you can relate to any of this post and want to chat, my inbox is always open.

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  • Abbie says:

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 wow, what can I say? This is such an incredible blog post! I love that you cover so many avenues of why it’s just NOT okay to ask women about when they are going to conceive! Thank you for being so open and honest about this topic and for continuing to raise that awareness! So much love to you Hannah and if you ever want to talk about this more, do just drop me a DM whenever xxxx

    • hannahshappyhour says:

      Aw Abbie thank you so much! You were definitely my inspo for writing it. Back at you lovely, my inbox is always open xx

  • Stacey Pritchard says:

    Love this post Hannah , so brave is you to share and something that has made me think . I don’t want more children I have one .. and he is enough but I have began to say “oh maybe one day@ just so I don’t have to argue with someone who is trying to tell me I will want more children and make me feel like I’m a bad Mum for not wanting a million more children. Xx

    • hannahshappyhour says:

      Thank you so much Stace! That’s a really good point – I definitely feel like people do judge if you don’t want any more, and thats not right at all xx

  • Epic Human says:

    Such an important topic and something people forget!

    @kthanksbye__

  • Ashlea says:

    This is brilliant and we all need to hear this and respect other people. Don’t assume it is something others want because you do and don’t assume it is as easy for others as it is for you.

  • Izza says:

    Oh God, I have friends who were very insulted when someone asked them about getting a baby. It turned out that they have pcos issue. Since then I never try talking about it to them because I don’t want to make them upset. Though they don’t have kids yet they live a happy marriage. And I think that’s enough. Thank you for sharing Hannah. That’s mind-opening indeed.

  • Good points. I can totally understand why comments like the ones you mentioned can feel hurtful or at least annoying. I think it’s best just not to discuss fertility of baby plans, not with the (potential) mom or dad. They’ll let you know when it’s the right time, baby or no baby.
    Hope you won’t have to hear similar comments in the future.

  • Nancy says:

    It is important that we are mindful of some of the questions we ask. It can end up with sensitive spots that people might not want to share. I figured that if people want to share, they will without asking. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  • This is really such an important topic to discuss. because it is totally rooted in internalised misogyny and peoples own belief systems, and they don’t even realise it, they think what they’re saying is standard. In fact, they get offended if they’re called out, as if it’s their right! Everybody asked my husband and I when we would have a baby. We had a baby. Then it was, “when are you having another one, you can’t let him be an only child”. We did have another one. Now it’s “don’t have another one, three is too many.” It really makes me mad how my uterus is anyone else’s business.

    • hannahshappyhour says:

      Omg yesss exactly! Your uterus is your business totally 100% and people shouldn’t feel entitled to comment on what you should or shouldn’t do. Thanks so much for reading lovely xxx

  • Lauren says:

    Yes to this! Personally I don’t want kids and I wrote a post on this a couple of years back. The assumption that I want children puts unwanted pressure on me that I’m somehow doing things wrong. I get married next year and I just know that’s going to make the baby questions even worse!

    Lauren | http://www.laurenyloves.co.uk

    • hannahshappyhour says:

      Aw thank you lovely, and thanks for sharing your own story. Absolutely nothing wrong with wanting or not wanting children it should be our choice xx

  • Teresa says:

    LOVE this! I really hope you will be able to have kids one day, while at the same time I stand firmly on Ysabelle’s team. I don’t want kids, and I’m not particularly pleased to be around them either. But it’s amazing how tight those views from the 15th century stick still today: those views that a woman’s purpose to exist is to produce other humans. If it really was so, I guess we would all want to and be able to then. xx

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

  • Beth says:

    It was so brave of you to write this post! I know this topic is definitely getting more relevant to me as I get older (I’m only 18) but at the moment I’m not sure if I want kids and if I do, I will definitely need a lot of support. I really admire people like you that start the conversation, to help make the world a better place for us younger people xxx

  • Jess says:

    Such a well written and thoughtful post – about such an important topic! A while ago I realised that I fell into the trap of asking people ‘oh when are you having kids’ and now I try to avoid the topic at all cost as I don’t know whats going on for them!

    Jess x

  • Emily says:

    This was an awesome post! I personally don’t want to have children (for various reasons) and I don’t hate kids at all, but when I tell people I don’t want kids, they say, “oh, you’ll change your mind when you meet the right guy!” Or even worse, “that just means you’re going to end up having 10 kids!” Ugh. As a woman living in the modern world, I think it’s our right to decide if we want to have kids or not. And you’re right, it’s a very personal question to ask. Being a woman doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to pop out a baby. And you never know what’s truly going on in a woman’s life, so sometimes it’s better just not to touch the subject at all or let the subject drop, unless the woman WANTS to disclose this information to you. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your story, while also reminding people of the struggles that may be going on in other women’s lives and to please be sensitive to that and THINK before you SPEAK!

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

    • hannahshappyhour says:

      Aw thank you so much for reading and dropping me a comment lovely. Thanks for sharing your opinion and story too xx

  • Tia says:

    Such a great post! Thank you for being honest and sharing your thoughts! ♡♡

    https://tiateilli.com

  • Karen says:

    This is a very important topic!! Fertility is such a private matter and one some people can find very sensitive. I genuinely believe that if people wanted to share their thoughts on it with you, they would. If they haven’t, then it’s best to just leave it alone until their ready.

    Karen| https://thekcomponent.com

  • This is such an important post! I decided when I was much younger that I didn’t want to have children, and I still have the same mindset today. It’s not that I don’t like children, I just don’t get maternal feelings when I’m around them. But still people say “Oh but that’ll change someday! You’ll have one later on!” – it’s hard for people to believe that I truly don’t see myself as a mother. Thank you for sharing this, and for being so open and for starting a discussion on this topic. 💜

    Shannen | https://shannenclaire.co.uk

  • Susanne says:

    What’s wrong with preaching? It’s definitely time to stop discussing what other people should do with their bodies or lives (as for having kids or not) and it’s ok to say that! I don’t want kids and I’m sick of peope asking all the time. The question “do you have kids?” is fine but… they should ask no further if you say no. Actually lately peope only ask if we have kids, and seem happy enough about the answer. And this is since we moved to a country that is way more “having kids is the normal thing” than where we’re from. Very interesting!

  • Mica says:

    So true – it’s a very personal question and one I don’t think people should be asking, we don;t know the reasons behind people having kids or not!

    Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend 🙂

  • I *think* as a society, though, we are becoming more sensitive to fertility issues and choices. Albeit slowly! That being said, I’ve had the flu lately. And whenever I’ve mentioned to someone I’ve had “flu like symptoms for nearly 2 weeks” their immediate response is “you’re pregnant!”… now, I know that can’t be true because I have an IUD and it would have to be a very speedy conception seeing as I’ve not long finished my period (apologies for TMI!)… but imagine if my firm “no” wasn’t as simple as that. What if I *was* struggling to conceive or had miscarried? I think unsolicited ‘advice’ (of sorts) about pregnancy is a total no-go.

    Loved your blog post, very well written!

    x Millie
    http://www.modishrambling.com

    • hannahshappyhour says:

      Thanks so much for the comment lovely. I think we’re getting better at it too, I think it probably helps that there’s a lot of famous people that have had miscarriages, struggled with fertility etc and are speaking out about it more. Aw I totally get what you mean and no worries about the TMI, thats what I like to see – we should definitely be talking 🙂
      Lotsa love x x