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"Was it planned?" and other stupid questions people ask...

(91 Posts)
june2013 Tue 08-Jan-13 15:17:43

It really took me off guard this morning when I told my colleague (currently only working with a director and her, administrator starts in 2 weeks). Her FIRST comment, the very FIRST: Wow, was it planned??

It might be because I am doing a PhD so surprises people that I might want to be pregnant, but still. Are they asking if a condom broke? If my contraception didn't work or if I was so stupid as to decide to get pregnant now? How much detail about my sex life are they looking for? It makes me feel really uncomfortable because there's obviously a value judgement attached to whatever answer I give. If she had asked if I was happy, that would be different. Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I didn't know how to respond, "errr, well, hmmm,.... you know...." and she waited and waited for a response!

I have a feeling this is going to happen again, any suggestions - including wise ass retorts - would be awesome!

I know it's just one of many inappropriate questions yet to come, but I'd like to build up an arsenal of responses! Any other stupid questions you keep being asked and have good answers for are also welcome!!

jennybeadle Tue 08-Jan-13 18:06:14

I'm shocked at how many people would be offended by this. I found many people asked me it when they just wanted to gently check that we were ok with it, and not having a massive freak out.

It was handy the first time round, because we'd been having ivf, and hadn't told a soul. 2nd time was a surprise, but just at the perfect time, and 3rd, a massive surprise (for various reasons) which still didn't mean we could find offence in people asking.

Because I was always happy to be asked this, it would never ever occur to me that anyone might mind. I know now though! What I'm not sure about then, is what you say when someone tells you, you say congratulations, and they say it is a nightmare, they don't know what to do about it etc etc. That's happened to me much more than the other way.

LaurenCaddy Tue 08-Jan-13 18:30:27

Oh dear some of these stories are rather cringey. I feel sorry for some people.

I suppose the tone in which it is asked is whether i'd be upset by the comment or whether it's just the normal to say these days.

My parents where really happy, mum practically screamed down the phone. My OH's parents didn't believe us at first, just because growing up, we'd always said no kids for us, careers first, and wind them up about it (we're 21, been together since 16 is what i mean by growing up). Work on the other hand was like "oh, wasn't expecting that", not exactly congratulations but i was expecting some form of sarcastic comment from them.

I got the is it twins, just because i showed quite early, and we both have twins in the family, so again that didn't annoy me as much.

What bugs me is strangers asking to feel. Who the f**k do they think they are?!
"Oh hi says the random stranger on a bus, you have a baby growing inside you, kicking you to bits, you have backache, occasionally feel sick and i, and i, a weird lady would like to touch you with my hands that you don't know where they have been..."

Grrrr.

butteroneverything Tue 08-Jan-13 18:58:17

I got this a lot when I started telling people after my 12 wk scan. I think it's a very bizarre thing to say to someone, particularly when I'd tell them in an excited kind of way (i.e. there was no chance I would be gutted about it. Even from FIL, BIL and best friend! So, I decided to laugh AT them rather than come over all offended. I used to say something sarcastic along the lines of, "What? Was it planned? I've been managing to use contraception successfully for the last 15 years, do you really think I would've messed it up now?" And then people would realise that it was a totally stupid, rude and insensitive question and apologise.

Somersetlady Tue 08-Jan-13 19:19:10

I have been asked no stop by dh family unacceptable questions for the last 5 years (out of 10) I have been with him.

He is Irish and we live in Ireland it's started with when is he going to out a ring on your finger/ make an honest woman of you mainly at weddings then once we got engaged it was what's the wedding date as they all expected to be invited ( even 5th cousins twice removed)

So I was delighted when we got the wedding out of the way and the queries would stop but oh no such luck. They have been asking for the last 2 years if I am expecting or when we are going to try for a family!!!!

I mentioned this to an irish girlfriend and she said it gets worse they have been having ivf and she gets asked constantly when they are going to have a sibling for her dd!

Sigh.

curlyclaz13 Tue 08-Jan-13 20:59:07

not a question but dumb comment from OH's Mum (who doesn't like me and has never been particularly nice in 15 years ) ' look after yourself and look after our grandchild' FFS what does she think I am going to do ? parachute or base jumping ?

janey1234 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:19:05

Had this loads - doesn't bother me really. I'm 38 though so the news shouldn't be too shocking!

What I DID mind was a colleague asking today if the father was my DP blush

Harrumph

Alias78 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:31:31

"Was it planned" was one of the first things my boss said when I told her.
Knowing her it was meant as "so did you secretly plot to completely inconvenience the department/company?"

I said it was "unexpected" and left it at that. Which it was. Entirely planned to TTC but didn't expect it to happen first time of trying!

PrincessMononoke Tue 08-Jan-13 21:37:59

When I was pregnant with dt's people asked if I knew I would have twins which used to make me laugh, how on earth would I know that my body would release 2 eggs let alone fertilise them. grin
My employers asked if it was a planned pregnancy I think they were just testing the waters to see how to react.

Daisy299 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:42:36

curlyclaz13, your comment made me laugh (and sigh with relief). We told people very early (at the weekend) and one in-law said "Congratulations... and don't do anything you shouldn't". I know people REALLY don't mean to sound rude, but when your hormones are up and down, you are less likely to brush it off willingly!

forgetmenots Tue 08-Jan-13 22:46:26

A man at work said 'was it planned?' to me. I genuinely didn't think he had anything else to say so I wasn't offended. I have though been married for a few years and we've been house hunting for a while... The clues were there in terms of 'nesting', but think the poor fella was just a bit stuck.

Teapot13 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:09:27

A friend (who is lovely and generally just a lot more open about all this than me) asked if we had been trying. I said, "Well, we were aware this could happen." Jokey and not mean but got my point across.

stowsettler Wed 09-Jan-13 06:18:49

MIL, who is normally lovely, has managed to massively offend me a couple of times so far. I'm not easily offended so maybe it's got something to do with the hormones! When we said that Nipperette's second name would be my mother's name (who died in 1997) she paused and asked, "Did she have a second name?" Bitch, I thought at the time! Anyway, DD will still have my mother's name as her second. Actually thinking about that it still gets me angry.
Then on Christmas day she said, "I just couldn't cope if this baby was a girly girl" (she has 4 DGSs, 4 step DGSs and just one stepDGD). I responded politely, it being Christmas, but was thinking well tough titty MIL, she will be the sort of girl she will be so fucking get used to it!

mathanxiety Wed 09-Jan-13 06:25:44

Ask why they want to know.

vintageviolets Wed 09-Jan-13 06:35:19

Arghhhh I've just had this with a phonecall to my Dad and stepmother. (I'm 39)

She comes to the phone,

"I gather your pregnant?"

"Yes, I'm 20 weeks"

"Oh so your due in 4 weeks then?
How was it conceived?
Have you been having I.V.F?"

shock

Nishky Wed 09-Jan-13 06:49:31

On the flip side I bounced into the room to congratulate a work colleague when I heard her news to learn that it was NOT planned, she was NOT happy about it and was hating every second of being pregnant.

Oops. Perhaps the question in the op would have been useful

Fortunately we are still friends.

JassyRadlett Wed 09-Jan-13 08:41:02

I am constantly amazed by how nosy people can be - especially people (I'm thinking work colleagues) who take zero interest in your life otherwise but the second they hear about your pregnancy, you're a public commodity.

I wasn't personally offended by the 'was it planned' question but I find it incredibly weird and quite irritating. I tended to respond with 'ooh, I didn't realise we were having a chat about contraception' in a polite tone, hoping that it would make them think twice about asking such a daft question of another person. Similar approach to the much more potentially upsetting/offensive 'when are you going to have kids/try for a family' question - wasn't a big deal for me, but I'm hoping my response of 'are you asking about my sex life?' (where appropriate) stopped one or two people asking the question of someone having a devastating time TTC or who's just had a miscarriage.

Ultimately, the appropriate response to news that someone's pregnant is 'congratulations', and let them tell you any details they want to share.

Asking 'is your husband/partner pleased' is also a pretty stupid remark.

Lovelylace Wed 09-Jan-13 08:46:38

laughing at the comments and questions on here, people can be very insensitive can't they? I have been with my partner for 14 years and got asked by a fairly close friend at a dinner party where my partner was present, after I had broken the news "ohhh whos the father?" then she stopped, turned red and the rest of us started laughing hysterically after a second of abhorred silence...she just stuttered "OMG I am soo sorry have no idea where that came from?" Both me and DP decided to laugh it off, but I did think it was a rather strange response..but then again, people do say the weirdest things..

plannedshock Wed 09-Jan-13 08:57:56

I've had this loads I think it's because I came across as not too fussed about having kids ( we actually were using clomid-didn't want to tell people so I guess I came across as nonchalant) my dad even said "oh, I didn't think you were like that?" I just laugh it off. Yep it was planned, I'm just not fussed about other people's kids but excited to have my own!!!

csmm Wed 09-Jan-13 09:42:41

I always think that 'congratulations' is weird. It's like saying 'well done, you had sex. Successful sex at that' grin

When I told my DP I was pregnant with our DS he asked me if I knew who the father was hmm

june2013 Wed 09-Jan-13 10:42:31

My manager said 'was it planned and are you happy'? I preferred that cos I was able to just say, yes I'm happy. I still find it strange, because honestly if I wasn't and didn't want to keep the baby, why would I tell her? If I wasn't happy, but keeping it, and told her what's she going to say? Err, sorry?? Don't think so, but at least it allows her to be guarded in case I am really pissed off about it all.

I think context matters a lot, like Alias, people at my work want to know 1) if I'm bonkers for wanting to get pregnant while doing a PhD and 2) my manager wanted to know if I had done this on purpose to scam our funders. She did actually say 'let's not tell the funders because they're going to think you did this on purpose to get extra money out of them'. Oh yes, because as a PhD student my grant is so huuUUUUUUUuuuuuge!

I agree with Lauren - it was the tone that bothered me. The people who quietly said "oh, do you mind me asking, were you trying?"got a lovely polite "oh yes, we were lucky it happened quickly" (had not long been married when I got pregnant). The one woman in my office who very loudly said "You're pregnant ALREADY? What, did you plan that?", causing everybody to turn 'round and stare got the response "Oh yes. Were all five of yours planned? Five is quite a lot...". Obviously that only works with people you know who have a lot of children!

Other odd questions I was asked:
"Has your belly button turned inside out yet?" - I just said that's a rather personal question and walked off.
"What will you do with the dogs?" I have two dogs. I'm not sure what this person was getting at so I just said I'd care for them as I do now.
"How many do you want?" Just one this time round. We'll see how that turns out!
And repeatedly from my father: "You want a girl, don't you? You wouldn't want a boy. What would you do with a boy?" Ironically, he was desperate for a boy when I was growing up!

elliejjtiny Wed 09-Jan-13 11:41:04

A few people I know seem to think it's appropriate to ask whether my children were planned or not hmm.

I have 3 DS's so I've also had a lot of "you must be desperate for a girl" comments.

DontSweatTheSmallStuff Wed 09-Jan-13 11:51:42

I don't find it most of the questions offensive. People are mostly just trying to make conversation and don't mean to upset/offend anyone, they just don't engage brain before mouth grin

It only starts to get annoying when you have been asked the question for the 37th time that day.

dashoflime Wed 09-Jan-13 12:05:48

At a Dubstep night, 5 months pregnant. 2 very young, very obviously drugged girls strike up the following conversation:

Girl 1: Alright, you buzzing?

Me: No, I cant take anything, I'm pregnant.

Girl 2: Aw cool, do you know who the father is?

Me: Yes, Im just waiting for him to come back from the loo now as it happens

DH returns from toilet to unexpectedly enthusiastic reception from pilled up teenagers

Girl 1 (spotting wedding rings): Aww their married- thats so sweet

Girl 2: D'you think he'll be born liking dubstep?

I was left feeling very old but oddly "down with the kids" like your mates much cooler mum or something grin

PrincessMononoke Wed 09-Jan-13 12:11:19

grin does he like dub step ?

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