It feels like that ever since my little man was born, I've had the same question. "Are you going to have another one?" Sometimes it feels like everyone is just waiting for us to announce that we are having another baby. Sometimes I feel like I'm under total baby pressure.
And it's not just me. There are millions of women out there who feel this pressure every day. Millions of women who are getting asked the same question. Women like me, who perhaps already have one, or even two, maybe more. But there are other women too. Women who may want children but haven't found themselves in the right relationship yet. Women who may want children but have worked hard at their career and are in two minds about what to do - racked with the guilt of feeling selfish for putting themselves first. Women who want babies but their partner doesn't and so they deal with the heartache this brings them daily. Women who don't want babies, yet it's assumed that they do and they will, but their real feelings aren't understood. Women who desperately want babies but for medical reasons they can't. Women who have miscarried and no one knows. Yet they find themselves having to answer the same questions. When are you going to have a baby?
And it's not just women, of course. There are men involved in these decisions and circumstances and they too feel the pressure. A pressure they shouldn't have to feel. At least not because of someone else.
The decision to have a baby is a monumental one. In hindsight, for me, bigger than I ever really thought about. The decision is personal and sometimes totally out of our control. The decision can be hard to make or the circumstances hard to accept. The topic is a sensitive one. The topic could be something that the person you're asking doesn't wish to discuss, for reasons they have the right to keep private. It is theirs to know and to share if and when they want to.
I know it feels like a natural question to ask. I have been guilty of it myself, on more than one occasion. But these days I think a little bit more before I do, if I even do at all, which these days is very rarely.
I wish more people thought more before throwing the baby question around. If the person you are talking to wants to discuss their family plans with you, I am pretty certain they will likely bring it up first. They will bring it up when they want to, not when they feel they have to justify their answers to someone.
The baby pressure we put ourselves under can be a really tough thing to live with, but it can be handled a lot easier when we don't face it from others aswell. If everybody thought a little before they asked, eventually, we might not feel it quite as much at all.