Dear aunties and meddlesome family members,
This one’s for you. This letter is actually from my womb to you.
Weird, I know, but since you constantly ask me when I’m having a child, it seems important to give voice to the part of my body that you put the most emphasis on. My womb has some words for you. It’s probably not what you want to hear, but you need to hear it nevertheless.
Every time I’m at a party or a social occasion I am filled with anxiety. I schedule a session with my therapist (yes, therapists go to therapy too), and I start catastrophizing about the “aunty comments” I’ll have to fend off.
“Oh no, your daughter must be so lonely because you only have one child.”
“When are you having another? Time is ticking.”
“Are you pregnant yet?”
My womb and I need you to know something—asking me when I’m going to be pregnant is not going to knock me up on the spot.
Asking me personal questions about my lack of another child is also not going to make me run to my husband and demand that we have sex in the hall bathroom, just so you’ll stop asking me when I’m having a second child. In fact, whenever you do ask me about when I’m having a child, the only desire I have is to run away screaming.
Having a child is a really personal matter, and for a reason I can’t quite fathom, it’s turned into a public affair where everyone and their mother feels comfortable questioning the state of every woman’s womb.
Here’s the key thing that is lacking in these conversations: empathy.
You have no idea what anyone is going through or has been through. You have no idea what trauma, anxieties, or physical issues the woman that you are interrogating is struggling with. You have no idea what decision someone has made about their life—and guess what? You don’t need to know. It’s none of your business. These decisions are our boundaries and you (aunty—are you listening?), need to respect this.
Your questions and comments are hurtful. Maybe someone has had a miscarriage. Maybe someone else has fertility issues. Maybe she decided that she hates kids and she doesn't want anymore. But none of these situations are of any concern to you.
When you continue to question women at parties, when you bombard them with questions about why and when they don’t have a child/more children, I can assure you—you are not providing any convincing argument that is going to change anyone’s mind.
Also, can we just take a moment to discuss the number one comment you can feel free to stop using.
"Your daughter is going to be so lonely."
Actually, she is not.
She has cousins and friends. She also has parents who are extremely attentive. She gets more than enough attention, and your idiotic comments are not actually benefiting her in any way.
And now on to the other number one comment that's on the lips of every meddlesome aunty:
“But don’t you want a boy?”
No honey, I don’t!
I love my daughter. I would love her regardless, because I love my child—not her gender—which is irrelevant to my unconditional love.
We’re heading into that awkward time where we can once again be social. This is causing enough anxiety. Aunties… let’s not add to it.
My womb and I retroactively thank you. And so do the other wombs who would like you to mind your own business.
A therapist who’s also a mom who is tired of hearing this shit at every party.
About the author
Manjot MannMore by Manjot Mann
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