Stop Asking About Babies; an Open Letter

*This one goes out to all my child-free-by-choice friends, the ones dreading those inevitable holiday visits. Feel free to just low key post this to your Facebook page and watch the uncomfortable silence of your in-laws and nosy parents. 

Dear Nosy-in-laws/parents,

Holiday season is upon us! Halloween is a mere 2 weeks away and then it’s all downhill until the end of the year. Thanksgiving! Christmas! Ah yes, tis the season to be jolly and set a few boundaries. I’m going to lay some truth on you that your exasperated daughter/daughter-in-law/partner of your child is too polite to tell you.

STFU about babies.

She gets it. She really does. She isn’t blind to your passive aggressive reference to Karen and her daughter-in-law’s maternity shoot where she was “so ethereal, barefoot in that stream in the park,” (which btw is a runoff ditch with all the photo filters on. You’re not fooling anyone, Karen). 

She notices how you bring out the old family albums every Thanksgiving and coo over how cute her darling son was and how, oh she’s so glad she saved that little sailor outfit for (and here you insert what you think is a sly side glance) “someday.”

She notices when you wax poetic about squeezing chubby baby cheeks and tickling tiny toes as you eye her up like a prize heifer.

She sees you glancing at her waistline every time you meet up, judging if her baggy shirt is hiding a bump or the fact a new donut shop opened up across the street from her work.

She’s tired of taking every proffered glass of wine just to show you that no, there’s no bun in the oven (and she’s also drunk AF…which may be how this post ended up on her Facebook page. Liquid courage is no joke).

She doesn’t want to hear about how your second cousin’s uncle’s best friend’s daughter went and got a donor and now she has the cutest little babies and hey you know a guy who would TOTALLY be perfect…

No. Just stop. SHE FRIGGING GETS IT.

Here’s the thing. Pressuring her, even playfully, even subtly (spoiler, YOU AREN’T SUBTLE) is not going to make her want a kid any sooner. What it will do is make her resent the hell out of you.  If she does end up having a kid before she’s ready, she’s the one, not you, who has to deal with the potential consequences; postpartum depression or anxiety, anger, resentment, change in career trajectory, etc. Maybe she won’t experience any of these. Maybe she’ll completely embrace motherhood from the start but either way that’s her choice to make, without feeling pressure from the people who should be supporting her and her choices.

And when/if there is a baby in her life and shit (possibly literally) hits the fan, where will you be, grandma? Sure you’ll come help out. You’ll change a few diapers, give her a night off, and then what? You’ll go home. Or you’ll pull the grandma card. “I did my time,” you’ll laugh and you know what? You did. You had your kid, you made your choices, now it’s time to step back and let her make hers. If you really want babies in your life so badly then foster. Adopt. Volunteer. But for the love of God, keep your nose out of her uterus.

Love,

Someone who gets very angry when they see their friend being treated like this

 

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