A couple of my fiance’s friends asked him over his bachelor weekend if I was pregnant. Me, his bride, who was not there to answer for my body or myself. Me, whose uterus and its contents, are of no concern to them. If I had been there, I would have taken the opportunity to provide what we call a “teaching moment.”
We need to be woke enough as human beings that both women and men can know what’s appropriate and not appropriate to ask a couple/man/woman about.
For the record: No, I’m not pregnant. No, we’re not trying. And it’s definitely none of your business.
As a woman of a certain age, I’m ever-aware of my biological clock. I’ve written about it before. My heart has ached and grappled with the decision to become a parent (or not). Fertility, pregnancy, and the idea of becoming a parent are emotionally fraught topics for me (and many others). I suffered a miscarriage when I was very young and not trying, and the experience of it has made me afraid to try again–afraid I will lose a pregnancy that I very much want. We don’t know what issues or complications will await us when we do start trying. I try to be sensitive to the topic of infertility, the pain of it, the financial burdens that go along with fertility treatments (most of which are not covered under American insurance plans). I may or may not have problems. I don’t know. But I know it’s a sensitive topic and I know better than to ask someone what’s up with them in the reproductive department.
Some have said to me: “They’re men. They don’t know. They’re clueless. Let it go.” To me being a man is no excuse to be clueless or insensitive. In fact, it only underlines my point. We collectively excuse an entire gender because they’re “just men?” I don’t think so. It’s 2018. We need to be woke enough as human beings that both women and men can know what’s appropriate and not appropriate to ask a couple/man/woman about.
The timing of trying to conceive–of starting a family–is so deeply personal. There is no right or wrong time to do so. But it is wrong to ask. Always. There are plenty of good articles on the internet that are spreading the word about pregnancy etiquette and surrounding topics. The bottom line? It’s never okay. If a couple wants to share with you their happy news, let them. Welcome their experience with the joy and attention it deserves. But please, never ask. You never know someone’s journey, and truly–it’s none of your business.