“So, when are you going to have kids then?” Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of having asked this seemingly harmless question at some point in our lives. Except harmless, it is not.
Case in point: I’ve been single or in non-serious relationships for most of my 20s. They’re your 20s, right? The time to be figuring out what exactly it is you want to do in life, before things start getting a little serious later on. Or so I thought. Apparently, according to a friend, being single at 28 is like projecting your own personal subliminal message to the world.
“I thought you didn’t want kids!” she exclaimed in shock over brunch, after I’d started talking about the future and ‘one day’. When I looked a little confused, she continued, “Well, you haven’t seemed like you’ve wanted a relationship, so I assumed you were happy to be an independent woman.”
While she totally didn’t mean to offend me, she kind of did. Concluding that I didn’t want to have kids over (what seems to me) a pretty ridiculous reason made me feel like I’d passed some kind of invisible fertility sell-by date. And I was insulted. Did I need to run out into the street and make a marriage-and-babies pact with the first guy I came across? I sincerely hoped not, especially as we were in an area mostly inhabited by granddads.
As human beings, we seem to be fascinated with the fertility prospects of others. Innocent or otherwise, delving into someone’s reproductive choices is a prerogative that needs to be wiped out. There may or may not be a good (or heart-wrenching) reason why someone hasn’t yet had children but trust me, they will have definitely thought about it before you helpfully decided to prompt them on the subject. It’s time to realise that a woman is worth far more than the state of her uterus and reproductive plans...