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"Was it planned?" and other stupid questions people ask...(91 Posts)
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!!
Well I got asked at the checkout if my dds (17 months apart) had the same father!! One had fair hair and the other dark, was too stunned to think of any sort of response!
I like, to answer questions that dig a bit to deep with... an air of mystery and humour by saying, .... That's for me to know - eye brow raise, wink, wink and then I could top it with but I'm really looking forward to being a mum.
Developed after my boss kept on quizzing me on what my contraception malfunction was with my DD1, really it was too personal! I wasn't feeling proud of it.
The question that really got to me was "When do you plan to have another one?" I wouldn't have minded so much but I was only 4 months into my first pregnancy!
Even after reading every post on this thread, I still can't for the life of me see what's wrong with that question. I have asked it once and got the information I was looking to get which was essentially "can I offer delighted congratulations or what that be completely inappropriate"? For some reason a simple "are you happy about it?" seems more callous, although I'm not sure why. To the mothers and mothers to be - is this a better question?
My friend, by the way, replied with a "no, but we're delighted" which is kind of what I was expecting. I wouldn't ever expect anyone to give more information than a "yes and we're thrilled", "no but we're thrilled" or a "no and to be honest we're both a bit shell shocked/devastated". I don't think anyone wants any information on your contraception usage; most people know though that no form of contraception is 100% effective and that some people don't have the option of using more than 1 kind (side effects or complications of some types for some people). Accidents do happen and people are just looking to suss out how the pregnant woman feels about the pregnancy herself before diving in with congratulations (or commiserations).
Incidentally, I read a post by a woman who had to take a flight but was in the very early stages of pregnancy and had morning sickness. She decided she had to tell the cabin crew as she thought she might not be allowed to fly if they thought she was ill with something life threatening or infectious. She then had one air hostess chatting away enthusiastically about the joys of having children for the entire flight despite the fact that she was on her way to get an abortion. So there are pit falls to assuming that the person is delighted, although I'm not sure what questions would be appropriate in this situation.
While it wouldn't bother me being asked if it was planned, the one question that I always think is absolutely none of anyone's business is the weight of the baby. And yet it seems to be totally standard to ask this. If the birth was extraordinarily difficult, I don't want anyone and everyone knowing about it. Why can they not just ask if the baby is healthy and happy?
I had a lot of silly comments looking back (DD now 20 months) but to be honest they all blow over in time and now i can't even remember most... I think the thing that bothered me the most is that once people realise you are pregnant it's almost as if you become public property... A little like being a celebrity in a non glamorous way! You get known as 'that pregnant girl'- total strangers try to predict the gender of your child based on the shape of your 'bump'. A security guard at Zara- 'oh you're definitely having a boy'... Nope... Scan said girl...'oh no trust me you're in for a shock- it's a boy'... Me freaking out as everything i bought is pink and start panicking over whether or not i kept receipts... When i had my daughter i wanted to go back there and show him- ha! A girl! Told you so! Lol
I think people want to know the weight to satisfy their concern- whether or not the child is healthy... Also for other parents to compare! Let's face it we all do it... I am very proud to tell people i gave birth to a 10.5 pound baby in a midwife run unit with not so much as gas and air... Not that the size of the child has anything to do with the level of pain (that would be the contractions!) by the time you get to pushing it doesn't matter whether you are pushing out a raisin or a watermelon- it's just a relief to know the contractions will soon be over! My opinion.
I have 2 boys and think I am expecting another boy and my pet hate is "I bet you want a girl". I say no I want another boy (although I genuinely dont care) just for the 'oh gosh really?"
I found people's attitude changed with the more babies I had -
First? - "ah, wonderful"
Second? - "great"
Third? - "lovely"
Fourth? - (the real facer) "Are you pleased?" (like, well, you obviously can't control yourselves!)
Fifth? - ......By that time, people realised we liked babies. I found myself saying things like "You don't have to use a machine gun to hit the target lots of times - just be a sharp shooter!"
Not so much a question but I have just told one of my colleagues at work as they now need to know as part of my risk assessment & he responded with "oh gosh, I am so sorry" then went on to give me a hug. Like this is the worst thing to happen to me. Yeah I'm 18 but it's not the end of my life!
I got asked if DC2 was an accident today!!!!! I'm 6 months pg and whilst it was a surprise I thought the word 'accident' inappropriate as a first response to news I am thrilled about.
This question seems nice and breezy - but it is awfully personal when you really think about it as they are basicalluy asking you 'How did you have sex?' I addressed this, and other personal questions in one of my blogs -
The Confinement Chronicles : Watergate - This Time It's Personal
because im classed as a young mum (im 21 but was 19 when pregnant with my daughter) i found it offensive when people asked this. i said "yes of course!" as that was the truth. i had wanted one earlier but my partner( now 27) said hed rather i waited a little. truth is its not actually anyones business whether the baby is planned or not and if anyone says it to me this time around i will say "yes, not that it is any of your business." people never actually seem to realise what that sort of question implies. i find it offensive because its like they are suggesting you were being irresponsible. id rather people just said "congratulations" and left the silly questions behind xx
My doctor said this to me, andI almost had an accident through laughing as I was 7 months pregnant at the time.
I don't mind being asked about the weigh either I'm proud to say I gave birth to a 9.14 ds in a midwife led unit with only G&A
It was just the whole thing with my management team I knew my pregnancy was highly inconvenient to my workplace and was made to feel like it the whole time . Made my much waited for pregnancy pretty miserable actually .
Anyway not feeling sorry for myself was worth every minute
"Was it planned?" annoys me greatly too. The vast majority of people don't announce a pregnancy they are not happy with or have not yet co e to terms with and it's nobody's business which of those it is?
Also from DD turning 1 I seemed to get constant "when are you having another?" questions which were at times excruciating as I had two miscarriages along the way. How on earth are you supposed to answer that? You either don't want another yet when the inference is you obviously should do; or you're trying in which case the answer is still as long as a piece of string; or you've had losses and are devastated; or you're in the early stages of an unannounced pregnancy and are basically forced to lie.
When I bought a test 1st of January to check whether our plan had worked over the Christmas the lady at the pharmacy said, "You are starting the New Year well!" I thought it was bang our of order.
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