5 Questions You Should Never Ask Parents

After we started having children, my husband and I couldn’t believe some of the crazy and, to be honest, “none of your business” kinds of questions that we would get asked. I know a lot of people, especially random strangers, are just reaching for conversation starters. But, when these questions come from family or people we know, we find ourselves not knowing how to answer. We have three boys and are expecting a baby girl. It’s been crazy the things we’ve been asked or told. Evan and I have come up with the top 5 questions we’ve been asked, starting with the most common one. I then give my snarky responses to said questions followed by my thoughts.

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  1. “Are you trying for that girl?”

Well, seeing as we have so much control over our baby’s gender, yes that must be it. We are just going to keep popping out babies until we get that desired girl, then all baby-making will cease!

Honestly, this question bothers me a lot. Though I know it’s not what the person is intending by asking the question, it suggests that we aren’t happy with the children we already have. Of course we are thrilled to now be having a baby girl, but I honestly would have been just as thrilled and excited with having another boy! We are beyond happy with whatever children God gives us.

  1. “Now that you are finally having a girl, are you done having children?”

(Hmm, let’s review the answer to question number one.) You know, that was our goal all along. We said, “Hey, let’s just keep having kids till that girl finally comes along, and then we’ll stop.” Yep, you got us!

Good grief, if that was our goal, we’d be in trouble if our next one wasn’t a girl and we just kept going. Who knows how many boys we’d end up with! Let’s be realistic here. Our number of children is not contingent on whether or not we get a certain desired gender. We honestly don’t know how many children we are going to have. I always feel so pressured when I’m asked how many kids we plan to have. We never really set a certain number.  The amount depends on God and my health.

  1. “You have heard of birth control, right?”

Is THAT what it’s called? I was wondering what we were doing wrong! Man, I’m going to have to do some research and check this stuff out!

Seeing as three (technically, two, because one of them was more or less due to a miscalculation) of our babies have now been birth control babies, I think we have a pretty good idea of what birth control is. The thing is . . . it doesn’t always work! The only 100% fool-proof birth control is abstinence. Umm, hello, we are married. That’s certainly not happening! We also have a lot of things to take into account. I have discovered that I can’t have any kind of hormonal birth control because it causes me to have severe depression and anxiety and can make me suicidal. No thanks. After doing much research, we have decided against IUDs because they can actually be abortive. Once again, we are not okay with that. So, our method of choice is natural birth control. It has actually worked quite well for us, except for this past time when I miscalculated my ovulation because my time of the month came late one month. But, even if I hadn’t miscalculated, I probably would have been pregnant anyway because God has the absolute authority. No kind of birth control is going to stand in His way if He wants us to have a baby.

  1. “So, what do you do all day?”

Oh, I just sit around and drink coffee while vegging on the couch in front of the tv. I let the kids run amuck the whole time. It’s great. Oh, you want to know what I really do? Well, let’s see, I change a million diapers, do the dishes, do laundry, clean the house, make food, clean up after a hundred messes, keep my kids from killing each other and try not to grow a full head of gray hair. I guess I don’t do anything. Nevermind.

Thankfully, this isn’t usually a question that gets asked by other parents. Unfortunately, I have heard that some moms and dads will be asked this by their spouses. Being a parent is hard work! Though it may sometimes appear like we don’t do anything, we are actually doing a lot.

  1. “Did you plan to have this many children? Are you trying to keep up with the Duggars or something?”

Dag-nab-it! You discovered our secret! Shh, don’t tell anyone.

Since when did having four children suddenly become a commodity? It seems like society these days thinks that any amount of children beyond two is too much, and that mentality is leaking into Christian circles. Just because a family decides to have three or more children doesn’t mean they are trying to be like the Duggars or become the next reality show. Perhaps we just want a bigger family. Also, as far as the planning thing goes, it doesn’t matter how much we plan. Like I said before, if God decides He wants us to have these children, we will have them no matter how much planning we do. His ways are not our ways. Granted, we are not going to be careless. I have had complicated pregnancies. So yes, we are taking those things into consideration. We aren’t going to do something that will end up endangering my health. But once again, it comes down to it not really being anyone’s business but ours and God’s.

I know my post was mostly meant to be a bit humorous. But, I also wanted to make awareness of the ridiculousness of these commonly asked questions.  I think sometimes we get so caught up in thinking that we know what would be best for someone else’s family. The thing is, we don’t know everything. What if that couple had been struggling with infertility for several years and suddenly started being able to have kids? What if they had endured several pregnancy losses after having a couple term babies and just so badly want another child? What if they just decided to leave it all up to God? These are things we need to consider and remember the next time before we ask a question that would leave the parents walking away scratching their heads and feeling uncomfortable.

*Now, we have sometimes gotten asked these questions in a joking manner. Trust me, we can handle a joke. We usually just laugh and make some sort of funny, sarcastic remark in response. It’s all in good fun. But, there have been so many times when we’ve been asked these questions in a serious (almost judging) manner, and we’ve found ourselves a bit blind-sided.*

What are some other ridiculous questions you’ve been asked, whether it be about family size or anything else parenting related?

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  • Bailey

    Literally AT my sister’s wedding people asked her when she’s going to have babies. It’s no one’s business! Right now they’re deciding to put kids on hold until things get a little more stable job-wise. If she does decide to have kids, she might have infertility like my mom did. Or maybe she and her husband have decided children aren’t right for them, which is totally okay. Who knows. Point being, it’s not anyone’s business but her, her husband, and God’s.

    • Amen! It truly is no one business but theirs and God’s! It frustrates me how much people feel like they can play God in other people’s family planning. I can’t believe people were asking your sister that at her wedding! For pete’s sake, people, she JUST got married!!

  • YES to this entire list! People look at us like we are a traveling circus… it’s so weird! Four kids is such a blessing and I wouldn’t change a thing! I once heard you will never regret having children but you may regret NOT having them. I totally agree. My favorite question I have been asked is “you know how that happens, right” I mean seriously! lol

    • It just blows my mind when people ask that question! Good grief! One girl said her husband responded to that question with, “Why yes, and it sure is a lot of fun!” He totally made the other person feel so awkward. lol!