Wednesday, 7 September 2016

When are you having a baby?

When I was a teenager, I lost count of the amount of times well intentioned folk used to ask me when I was getting a boyfriend.  It was expected. They asked me very matter of factly, like it was expected of me and like I could offer up a valid reason, other than the simple fact that I used to date alot of complete idiots.  To be fair, I never really thought much of it, unless it was a Sunday night and I was home alone without a date. 

A few years passed and I'd met the most amazing Mr.Bee.  The question we'd get asked the most now, was when were we going to get married.  It was expected that this was the next stage of our relationship.  People again asked very matter of factly, and I wonder what response people were hoping to get. A date for the proposal so they could watch? A pre-dated wedding invite?  

Roll on another few years, and now I've been happily married to Mr.Bee for three years. Now everyone wants to know when we are having a baby. It is expected.  It is the expected next stage of our relationship.  They ask like I can give them a date.   

I can't tell you the amount of people that asked me this question. Strangers, family, friends.  One person reduced me to tears once as they stated that something was 'missing' from our little family as we didn't have a baby. 

But the truth be told, the question can be one of the most hardest to hear and respond to for a variety of reasons.  

What links all the questions I have been asked since being a teenager, is that in reality I was not able to exert any control over them happening to me at all.  The outcomes were born from luck, wishing, tears, science, love, chance meetings and a friends family BBQ.  

We might want things to go a certain way or wish for them, but in reality, with the topic of love, marriage and babies, all you can do is buckle up for the sometimes bumpy ride.

And the crux of the matter is, asking someone when they are having a baby usually cannot be answered simply.  Because firstly you are assuming the person wants a child.  You are then assuming that the person can get pregnant straight away.  And you are also assuming this deeply personal information is ready to be shared with you.  

And we really don't know half of the information.  We really haven't walked in any ones shoes but our own.  Having a baby is such wonderful and exciting news that you want to shout it from the rooftops.  But for some, it's a long, hard and slow road.  It may be a road that will lead to not having a baby.  It may be that they walked there of their own accord and not having a baby is their happily ever after.

Our society still holds a quite rigid view of how life should go, when in reality, life takes turns and twists you never expected. "When are you having a baby?" doesn't do the fragile and crazy thing that is called life justice.  As someone who was asked this question constantly long before I knew the joy of holding a positive pregnancy test in my hand, it was a question that I asked myself at least a hundred times a day.  I did not need to hear it from anyone else. 


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