Hey everyone!!! Now that I got your attention with this RANDOM ULTRASOUND PHOTO I grabbed from a Google image search, this is just a friendly P.S.A. that people's reproductive and procreative plans and decisions are none of your business. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Before you ask the young married couple that has been together for seemingly forever when they are finally gonna start a family ... before you ask the parents of an only-child toddler when a Little Brother or Little Sister will be in the works ... before you ask a single 30-something if/when s/he plans on having children because, you know, clock's ticking ... just stop. Please stop. You don't know who is struggling with infertility or grieving a miscarriage or dealing with health issues. You don't know who is having relationship problems or is under a lot of stress or the timing just isn't right. You don't know who is on the fence about having kids or having more kids. You don't know who has decided it's not for them right now, or not for them ever. You don't know how your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief, pain, stress or frustration. Sure, for some people those questions may not cause any fraught feelings -- but I can tell you, from my own experiences and hearing about many friends' experiences -- it more than likely does.Bottom line: Whether you are a wanna-be grandparent or a well-intentioned friend or family member or a nosy neighbor, it's absolutely none of your business. Ask someone what they're excited about right now. Ask them what the best part of their day was. If a person wants to let you in on something as personal as their plans to have or not have children, they will tell you. If you're curious, just sit back and wait and let them do so by their own choosing, if and when they are ready. (source)
I didn't hear anything about this until I was watching the morning news on Monday morning. Since I was not fully caffeinated yet, I was only partially paying attention and comprehending what was being said. But the when the lead in to the story teased it as a story about fertility shaming, that got my attention.
It wasn't until I read the entire post that I realized that the news tried to hook people in with a sensational title and that the post wasn't about fertility shaming at all. Or at least not the way I define shaming. I believe that in order for it to be shaming there needs to be intent to make someone feel bad. For example, if someone says to me "that dress makes you look fat" there is an obvious intent to make me feel bad about myself. I don't think that someone casually inquiring about one's family building plans is done with the intent to cause hurt or shame. Can it cause hurt? Absolutely! Is it completely inappropriate? You bet!
I've got the question more times than I choose to remember. It all started as soon as we started to plan our wedding. The question made me uncomfortable back then but it didn't hurt my feelings. As things progressed and we realized that there was a problem it started to hurt more and more and more until I could barely exit the conversation without melting into a puddle of tears. But at no point did I ever feel like someone intended to make me feel like crap by asking that question? Not once.
So I'm curious...what do other people think? Do you think that asking someone about their family building plans is fertility shaming? Or do you think it's highly inappropriate?