Quit Asking People If They’re Going To Have Kids


I like to think of myself as a graduation present…from high school. My parent’s were just 18 when I was born. Although I’m preeeeetty sure I wasn’t planned, I think I turned out ok. They were young, but stable, loving, caring parents. I was always surrounded by an extended family who loved me and my siblings who followed. But one thing nobody ever asked my parents was “Are you going to have kids?” They were technically, kids themselves. But had they waited a few more years, surely the question would have come up. 

I’m 34. I’ve been married for almost 2 years and our only baby is a 9 year old pup. Almost weekly, I’m asked “Are you going to have kids?” Sometimes it’s by close friends or family. Sometimes it the nail salon lady or a bartender. Sometimes it’s a coworker or neighbor. But it happens. A lot. And it’s rude. 

Why do we think it’s ok to ask such personal questions of people? We’re taught to never ask about money, politics or religion. But for some reason, it’s ok to ask about their plans around procreating. 

A few months ago I started experimenting with my answer to this question, purely for my own amusement. If I answered “Yes” the next question was usually “when?” or “how many?” If I answered “No” the conversation, more often than not, ended there. When I answered “Maybe” I often got a list of reason why I should have babies. 

The reality is, it’s personal. It’s a decision for my husband and I to make. The chances of your advice on whether I should or shouldn’t have kids, impacting my decision, is slim to none. If I want guidance on this very sacred part of life, I’ll ask. How do you know this isn’t a painful topic for me? How do you know we haven’t been trying? How do you know I haven’t been pregnant and miscarried? How do you know we’re not trying to adopt?

If you ask a woman this question, be prepared to hear an answer that makes you uncomfortable. Because being asked about having kids is equally uncomfortable. 

You never know what goes into making this life altering decision. And it’s none of your business. I know women who would love to talk about their journey to building a family or their decision not to. I know more women who would prefer you respect their privacy and their body by not questioning what it’s going to do.

If we do end up with kids, you’ll know. 




My Dog Can Do One Trick & It’s Wrong

IMG_6125When I first went to the animal shelter and fell in love with “Pippy” the puppy I couldn’t wait to get her home. And to change her name. (No self respecting dog wants to be called “Pippy.”) I had visions of her shaking my hand for a treat, swimming around with other labs and maybe even retrieving a beer from the fridge for me.

Now 8 years later Stella, my Oregon Black Dog (because she’s a black mutt from Oregon,) knows one trick. And it’s wrong.

I made a conscious decision not to teach Stella to fetch. I know plenty of dogs who sit at your feet waiting for you to throw a ball. And then keep throwing. And keep throwing. Drives me nuts. And though I didn’t really think she would ever get me a beer, it was a fun thought.

Before she got arthritis she gave me “hugs” by jumping up and putting her paws on my forearms when I got home. But she would never jump on other people. She makes a loud Chewbacca-like sound when I feed her. I like to think of it as a “thank you.” She comes when she’s called. She sits for a treat. She’ll never steal or beg for your food. She might not care for the swimming or chewing on toys and couldn’t care less about playing with other dogs, but overall, my dog is pretty awesome. I feel really lucky when I go to people’s homes and their dogs don’t listen to commands, they jump all over people, bark and beg for your food.IMG_0513

My Stella is a one trick pup. Here it is. When we give her a treat we attempt to get the Chewbacca noise out of her. We ask her “Can you say it?” She gets up, walks around in a circle and sits back down. She wags her tail and stares at us, so proud of herself. That’s her one trick. That’s it. photo

Of course, this has been going on for years, and there is no need to change it. It’s actually really funny. But my husband will never forgive me for not teaching Stella to fetch. Looking back, it is good exercise for dogs and it wouldn’t have hurt. But then again, her ONE trick wouldn’t be so funny if she could fetch.