Why I don’t ask couples if they have children

Why I don’t ask couples if they have any children.

Almost the first thing someone asks me if I am with my husband is, “Do you have any children?” This has happened throughout our 22 years of being together. It has made me acutely aware of how a simple question can affect a person. How much one question can rock your world and change your day and make you question everything.

In my grand old age of wisdom I have learned that when meeting someone there should not be this standard line of questioning….what do you do? Where do you work? Do you have children? Are you close with your family? Questions that most everyone asks. And it seems pretty normal on the outside, when trying to get to know someone, asking questions to learn more.

If you ask someone whether they have children, you don’t know if they have been doing IVF for 10 years unsuccessfully. You have no idea if they do have a child with a severe disability and this may be their only moment to be out and get a moment to focus on them and not their child. You don’t know if they have lost their child, child is on drugs, child is suffering. You have no idea what a simple question can evoke in a person. What if she has just had a miscarriage . What if she just got off maternity leave but had a still born baby? You just don’t know. Seems like an innocent question I know! But I’m just sharing awareness I’ve learned that it may seem simple and innocent but it could evoke pain in another.

It’s kind of like my disease. People come up to me and ask me what I have. Most of the time I don’t mind sharing awareness of my disease, my limitations, my abilities, my scooter, its details, etc. a better question would be : would it be ok if I asked you some questions about your disease? That would give me the option of politely turning it down or saying sure! But to just directly ask what is wrong with me doesn’t leave me a yes or a no reply. Pins me in a corner. I was out yesterday with my husband taking photographs and someone asked my husband what I had. The LAST thing I wanted at that moment was to 1. Hear myself being discussed right in front of me 2. Think about my disease. I was out trying to NOT be diseased! But this woman was kind and she was asking to help others and be an advocate for others. So I am not discussing intention here because most if not all people have good intentions it is just they do not have awareness. I am trying to spread awareness in HOW a person asks a question and HOW that question could make another person potentially feel.

Should we walk around daily tip toeing around every word that we say and questions we ask? Well if you practice long enough and are aware of how others may feel, it will eventually come naturally. Your focus will be more on respect and honor and less on getting information that may be good for you but not for the other person.

I have a better series of questions that I’d like to just toss out there: What kind of things make you happy? What is your greatest joy? What do you love most in life? What are your greatest challenges? Do you even want to talk about any of these things or would you rather talk about the weather!!!!!!!

Just a little food for thought.

11 thoughts on “Why I don’t ask couples if they have children

  1. I understand completely what you’re saying. It’s like when people ask me, “what’s wrong with your son”? Though, I know some people mean well and they didn’t mean any harm in asking, I think there’s better ways to ask. “Like what is his diagnosis?” Of course, just treating him like the kid he is, is far more beneficial for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so sorry people ask that. It is so insensitive. I am hoping my blog post brings some sort of awareness to how these questions affect us. I’ve had the same questions and I know they are not ill intended just really insensitive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t take any offense to the questions. I know people are asking out of curiosity. But it has opened our eyes to things. There’s a way to approach these things. Some people lack subtleties.

        Like

  2. That’s is true. I used to be one of those people who used to ask questions that was personal then I went through bad things and didn’t wanted people to ask me about my personal life. Then I thought to myself that there maybe people who don’t want to discuss their life just like me too, so I stopped asking people about personal stuff. This was a nice post.

    Like

    1. My own life made me grow I believe and I started thinking more before speaking and trying to be more open ended with questions and not just the same ole same ole stuff that may make people uncomfortable. Just thinking more. Thanks for reading and commenting

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have such a hard time answering the question, “Do you have children?” I answer many different ways depending on the person and sometimes I don’t answer at all. I just focus on something about THEM. Easier subject to discuss and most people don’t even notice. They WANT to talk about themselves.
    My answers are, but not limited to:
    1. Yes
    2. I did
    3. He is no longer of this Earth.
    4. I lost my son 12 years ago
    Etc etc etc. What really gets me the most is when they ask me HOW he died. That is SO painful for me. I lose my thoughts, my brain freezes, my heart relives the pain, the grief, the unbelievable emptiness that resides within me. Losing a child is like losing a part of yourself. Something you will never get back, never “get over”. Yet people expect me to “get over it”. NEVER! He WAS a part of me, inside my body, for almost 10 months. He lived inside of me. He still does and always will.
    I love you Brandon! With ALL my heart and soul. Always…. Mom ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This got me all crying. I know how much you love your son and always will. I bet this was hard for you to read but I hope it shows my respect for moms like you who just don’t want to go through all of those emotions on the spot like that. I hope for you and others who have lost their children that people start being more aware of their questions.
      My heart loves your heart and I know your special bond with Brandon and I will never forget that.
      Thank you for commenting on my blog so others will learn

      Liked by 1 person

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