I was making small talk at a grocery store in Knoxville. I stood there with my two children — one boy, one girl. My pregnancy was acknowledged, and as I stood beaming, the woman next to me remarked, “Wooo Lordy! One boy, one girl. So were you tryin’ for this one?” How personal do I get here? I don’t know you like that. This is weird.
“Were you trying?” happens to be my most hated pregnancy question. It’s really intrusive and always asked at the most vulnerable moment — when you’re sharing your news with others. Don’t get me wrong; when a super close friend asks, it’s not so inappropriate. Close friends and family share those kinds of thoughts and feelings (and really, they don’t even have to ask). But, if you’re an acquaintance asking me about my baby-making business, just don’t. Awkward.
Were you trying?
I think it bothers me so much because what it really means is this: Were you on birth control? Was this an accident? Do you actually want this baby? Are you secretly upset that you’re pregnant? What are you going to do?
And guess what: NONE of this is any of your business.
I don’t always define and plan every detail of my life. When it comes to certain things, we aren’t planners. We don’t have to be. We prefer to let God take the reins, and then we buckle up for the ride. This is one of those things. We are thankful for every minute of it. So yeah, I’m always trying — trying to take each joy in life as it comes to me, trying to roll with the punches, and trying to appreciate this new life in the midst of morning sickness.
While we’re at it, let’s drop these questions too:
You know what causes that right? Oh what? Really? No I had no idea.
Are you trying for a girl/boy? You and I both know I can’t control that. I’m just trying for a healthy baby.
Three boys? You poor thing. Don’t pity me; I love them all so much.
You suuurrrre it’s not twins???? You’re trying to say I’m bigger than I should be. So rude.
Can you really afford more kids? Can you mind your own business?
Only one? WHY? Chill out. We’re fine where we are; and if we’re not, that’s none of your concern.
Are you done? I don’t know, but I’m done answering this question.
You look so miserable. I bet you’re miserable. I’m actually not but ok.
Here are some really great things to say instead:
You look beautiful! Motherhood really suits you.
I’m so happy for you!
Congratulations! That’s wonderful.
That’s great! How are you feeling?
Congratulations! Let me know if you need any maternity clothes!