The single personal question I dislike the most is this one: “Are you going to have any more children?” For others it might be considered small talk, but for me the conversation is personal. Have I thought about giving my daughter a sibling? Yes. Do I think about the consequences of having an only child? Yes. Are there reasons why we have just one child? Yes.

Do I need to disclose those to you at a cocktail party? No.

Let me be clear. I am not talking about the friend whose connection spans over many conversations, years, and  is packed  with history. I am commenting on the casual acquaintance or a person I just met who feels the need to comment on my reproductive status.

I find it interesting that while we don’t ask people their salaries, the question of how many children a woman has becomes an appropriate conversation topic. The truth is that most people don’t know my backstory, nor do I feel the need to explain my lifestyle choices.

I hear the same complaint from others regarding this topic. Those who don’t have children yet, hate answering the question, “When are you going to have children?” or for others it may be related to other topics like the way they parent or whether they decided to enroll their children in public over private school. All of these subjects are ones where people have definite opinions and yes, insecurities. A particular decision has multiple layers of backstory and people don’t want to explain their motivations to the casual acquaintance.

I’ve shared my question. What question is deeply personal for you? 

 

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