- Women's Health
Things You Should Never Say To A Childless Woman
Childless Women - Not Always A Choice
Making assumptions about a woman’s plans or ability to have children is not only none of anyone’s business, but can be extremely offensive, not to mention invasive. Passing judgement is a faux pas.
Whether a couple is childless purely by the choice of their own, or by no fault of their own is likely to hit a nerve if raised in conversation. Just by looking at someone, you will never know if they are infertile, going through (IVF) infertility treatment or have just had a miscarriage.
If you have ever considered asking a childless woman about this, take heed and seriously reconsider. For those of you who have endured any or all of these statements you might want to share this with those in your circles in a bid to stop them from further inappropriateness.
Not having any children implies, to some, that there is a problem. What's wrong with you?
Here are a list of things you should never say to a woman without a child.
Things You Should Never Say To A Childless Woman
- You must really not have wanted to have a child or you would have one by now.
- Don't worry, you will change your mind about having children in a few years.
- Why don't you just stop trying. Then you will get pregnant straight away.
- Have you ever thought about adopting?
- Your purpose in life must be something else.
- I have a very small family, I only have three kids.
- You are lucky. Having children is hard work.
- Get over it, it is not the end of the world.
- When are you going to try to have a child?
- You'll understand what I mean one day when you have children of your own.
- Just relax. You will get pregnant before you know it.
- Is your husband OK with you not wanting to have kids?
- It’s OK, your dog is your baby, isn’t it?
- Since you don’t have children you can afford overseas holidays and renovations.
- Don't you want more meaning out of your life.
- Aww c'mon. You would make such a great mother.
Pressure By Parents and Grandparents
It is very common for couples to be asked by their own parents, or grandparents questions like, "So when are you going to make me a grandmother?", "Any babies on the way yet?".
Whilst they mean well, and never mean any harm they do not help.
For those women that choose not to have children, through their own decision making process, are no less of a woman than those that have. It does not make them selfish, it does not mean that they have no understanding of the pressures of life and it does not mean that they do not have any financial pressures.
In fact the opposite could be said of those parents who have had children and then blatantly complain about them all day and do the exact same things that used to annoy them before they had kids; like taking to their children inappropriately and letting them run amok undisciplined.
For those women that are childless despite trying everything within their means, the emotional and often financial strain can be so extreme that even an innocent mention of a baby can be the last straw.
Having a child is a life-long commitment and if you only fall pregnant to satisfy the expectations of others then you really should be taking a step back and re-assessing your situation.
Some women are fertile and can fall pregnant easily however are unfortunate to suffer miscarriages. Others carry genetic conditions that may be passed onto their unborn children and therefore make the heartbreaking, yet arguably sensible decision not to proceed.
Some women have no child-bearing instinct yet are keen to adopt or foster a child yet red tape and financial situations make this an option no longer feasible.
Misery Loves Company
Making statements to childless women, or asking them questions is, at best, condescending, and at worst, downright unacceptable. Often it is those who do have children that are the ones who pressure the most and ask you the most questions about why you don't want children.
If being parents is such an exclusive club, why is it that a lot of these same parents look so tired , are moody, grumpy, miserable and even complain about their relationship, their spouse, their financial problems, the kids themselves and let's not forget about not having time to do things for themselves.
Do these parents brag about parenthood simply to have others join them in their misery club. Misery loves company right?
Most childless women ultimately find peace with their decisions or circumstances whether on their own or with help from counselling. Some put their child-bearing thoughts to bed, and never think about them until confronted with a question right out of the blue.
Conception is a miracle and so too is the act of giving life to another. For those that are willing and able they should be grateful and not take it for granted. Being a parent does not make you better than a childless couple. Being a parent does not make you more knowledgeable about life, it only makes you knowledgeable about different things.
A woman's reason for being childless is hers and hers alone. It is no one else's business to assume or pretend to know all the answers.
These days, childless women are growing in number. Let's hope that private and personal issues such as these are removed from our tables unless prompted for opinion.