Why is the topic of having kids fair game?

There are certain topics of conversation that you would never dream of raising with a near stranger. Their sexual past, (or present or future, for that matter,) their medical history, or, heaven forbid, their political position. And yet, the topic of having kids, or decision not to, seems to be fair game within a matter of minutes of meeting someone. A woman, that it. It’s rare that you’d meet a man and start quizzing him about his decision to, or not to, procreate. So why do people feel the need to question women, particularly of a ‘certain age’, about their intentions to have children? While the person asking the questions may not feel as if they are being judgemental, the person being questioned will almost certainly feel judged. 

But why not ask them why they don’t have kids? What’s the harm? 

I recently discussed this with a friend of mine, who, incidentally, doesn’t have kids. (And no, I don’t know why, because IT’S RUDE TO ASK, as I’m about to outline.)

The thing is, for a lot of women, having children is their greatest ambition in life. Personally, it has always been mine. However, for some women, who are in no way more or less admirable, it is not. For women who have children, or who dream of having children, it may be unimaginable to never want kids. Well folks, try and imagine it. Without feeling the need to question a childless woman about it. Because, like as not, there is one of two reasons that the woman in question doesn’t have children. 

Reason one: she doesn’t want them. This is her choice, and she doesn’t need to justify this decision to herself, her family, the rest of the world or, indeed, you. 

Reason two: she desperately wants or wanted children but for one reason or another has not been able to have them. This she almost certainly doesn’t want to be questioned about. Can you imagine the heartbreak of being asked to talk about a personal struggle in such a casual manner? 

The decision whether or not to have children is a personal one. Let people choose when and if they discuss it with you. 

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