So, when are you thinking of having kids? You’re not getting any younger! Time’s a-ticking!
There isn’t a 20- or 30-something woman anywhere who enjoys this line of questioning, but busybodies the world over have still not received the memo. Freelance writer Emily Bingham has had enough. In a Facebook post that has gone viral—and grabbed the attention of Good Morning America—she spelled out why these invasive questions need to stop.
On Sept. 20, Bingham posted a random ultrasound photo on Facebook along with this message:
“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.”
Asking women and their partners about when they plan to start a family can be unintentionally rude, hurtful, and offensive, she explained:
“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.”
In the comments, Bingham explained that her post was directly inspired by the recent experience of a friend “who had to go through a stressful and heart-wrenching year of fertility treatments before conceiving her son, only to begin fielding ‘When’s baby No. 2 coming?!’ questions within a MONTH of his birth.”
The issue is also personal one for Bingham, who wishes that people in her own life would stop asking about her reproductive choices. “When they find out that I’ve never been married and I don’t have children, the next question is, ‘Well, do you want to?’” Bingham told Good Morning America today. “It’s either insinuated or explicitly said that the clock is ticking.”
Some curious folks truly mean well and ask such questions because they can’t think of anything else to ask a woman in her 30s. For them, Bingham offered advice in her post:
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.
Clearly Bingham’s words have deeply resonated with women across the Internet; in the past week, her post has been shared on Facebook nearly 40,000 times.