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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!!

ladymia Tue 08-Jan-13 15:20:34

oh i hated this question, i had 2 standard replies depending on who asked:

1) wait until you are pregnant you will see how annoying that question is


2) why would you even ask that?

curlyclaz13 Tue 08-Jan-13 15:21:52

My Mum asked me that, again first thing she said.

My hair dresser asked me that. Didn't bother me in the slightest. I'm much older than the average first time mum, and so the general assumption is either the bump is a mistake, or a long awaited IVF baby. I'm quite happy to say 'yes, absolutely, the old biological clock finally caught up with me'.

Why do you need wise ass retorts? I don't get this offended attitude pregnant women take about everything from the odd foot in mouth comments people make, to unwanted bump touching. Just be nice. No one is trying to offend you. Most are just making conversation, and to be honest outside of immediate family and close friends no one actually has any genuine interest in your pregnancy. It's a bit like the random comments people might make about someone's new decor/car/pet... Not meant to be rude, but often are, as people don't actually care enough to think!

Librarina Tue 08-Jan-13 15:34:04

No-one's asked me that, but a couple of people have said 'But we thought you weren't having kids'... looks like my own propaganda worked.

Anyway, Like Worsester says, it's really that people don't really care enough to think and just need something to say in a hurry.

Snowflakepie Tue 08-Jan-13 15:36:56

Get used to the comments, they will be coming thick and fast for the next 18 years or so... I just ignore anything I don't want to answer and change the subject, if its a stranger then no issue, if its someone I know then I offer up something about bowel habits or milk supply, they soon get the message. However, bump touching is strictly off limits and deserves to be met with a slap. I don't go around touching strangers stomachs, and that is way over the bounds for me. Not even my own mother was allowed. Your body, you choose what goes on IMO. But the comments, that's the way it goes I'm afraid!

sheeplikessleep Tue 08-Jan-13 15:38:07

FIL: "oh are you after one without a spout?" (we have 2 ds's). Our response of 'no, we just want a third child, don't care whether a boy or a girl' just sounded so bleh in response. I'd love a witty response to any other 'oh are you just after a girl' reactions, which I'm sure we'll get. I just got this undeniable urge to go and poke his eyes out wink.

sheeplikessleep Tue 08-Jan-13 15:40:48

I think the question of 'is it planned' is offensive because ...

a) it's highly personal
b) it sort of suggests or implies the baby isn't wanted.

BTW OP, I was asked that when I announced our news question 3 months after getting married at 30. If ever there was an 'expected' time to get pregnant.

MisselthwaiteManor Tue 08-Jan-13 15:44:18

I've been asked by two members of DHs family 'how did that happen?' confused I'm tempted to buy them a where-do-babies-come-from picture book.

TwitchyTail Tue 08-Jan-13 15:44:24

Mother-in-law asked that grin She didn't mean any offence and I didn't take any.

Honestly I don't think people mean any harm by it, or are particularly interested in your sex life. It's just an inane baby-related comment, of which you'll hear thousands over the next few months. Just smile and say something non-committal like "well, we're really happy about it".

PixieHot Tue 08-Jan-13 15:51:57

Hmm, someone at work asked me that. I think it's rude - it's suggests that you're either bonkers to want to have a baby in your position or feckless. Or both.

I will smile sweetly and say Congratulations if / when the same woman tells me that she is pregnant.

TheFarSide Tue 08-Jan-13 15:55:26

Thinking about why people might ask if a baby is planned, maybe the question just slips out because they have been taken by surprise by your announcement (the subtext being, oh, wow, you're pregnant, what a surprise, was it planned or was it a surprise for you too?).

I don't think a "clever" response is necessary.

weeblueberry Tue 08-Jan-13 16:15:15

I've never been asked silly questions but when we announced to MIL and FIL that we were expecting they shouted 'omg we're going to be grandparents!!' which wouldn't be so bad if DP's brother didn't have stepchildren with his new partner. blush

I cringed soooo hard and could see my SIL/BIL doing the same (luckily the kids weren't there). Particularly because when DP and I spoke about how we'd announce it he'd suggested 'you're going to be grandparents' and I totally vetoed it because I thought his brother and brother's partner would be really hurt by that.

They didn't mean it to sound hurtful but my heart really did break for SIL.

Creamtea1 Tue 08-Jan-13 16:26:09

Sheep - this is what I'm waiting for! I have 2 DS and guarantee that when we go public everyone will think its ok to go 'is it because you want a girl' and then when we get nearer to 20 weeks it will be 'oh so you will be finding out what you're having wont you?' - which actually I won't, as it just fuels people like that to whisper 'it's because she wants a girl'
Although my mum will be desperate for me to find out as, and I quote, 'we only want another grandchild if it's a pink one'

lizziemaud Tue 08-Jan-13 16:32:44

I feel your rage. Gosh its an idiotic question I wouldn't even bother to answer it!! Maybe just respond with 'well thats an intersting question' then let them squirm for a bit when they realise what a strange thing it is to ask. I completely understand what you mean about studying and being pregnant, I am in the third year of an undergrad after many gap years I am 33 now, decided to go back to school. I know nowhere near a phd, but... Well we were trying for over a year, a few strategic breaks for exams and such, but I thought, women work and get pregnant so why wait!

lljkk Tue 08-Jan-13 16:33:16

I like to ask if it was planned. Because I love to know about unexpected twists and turns in other people's lives. I like surprises, I wonder how other people feel about them.
I was unplanned. So was DH. So were all our siblings and most our parents & our own children. No shame in it. <<Shrug>>

ohforfoxsake Tue 08-Jan-13 16:38:45

Oh god! I did this once blush and I STILL cringe. I don't know why I asked it - and she's a friend I met through MN. It was just a thing to say. Fuck knows why.

Haven't checked the thread to see if she mentioned it <cringe cringe cringe>blushblushblushblushblush

jasmine31 Tue 08-Jan-13 16:38:48

I have also been asked 'was it planned' and also (by SIL) 'how long did it take'. Took me by surprise a bit and I didn't manage to reply at the time. Should have said 'um...about 3 minutes' wink

CityDweller Tue 08-Jan-13 16:44:59

I often get asked whether we'd been trying for a long time (again, I'm older and everyone had given up on us having children). It doesn't bother me at all - in fact I'm somewhat flattered that people are interested in my pregnancy and our family planning... If questions do truly offend you then a vague reply 'oh, you know...' or 'yeah, sort of... not really' or a joke tends to deflect the question. As someone else said, I doubt anyone is overtly trying to offend you, they're either interested, nosey or tactless, depending on your pov...

scissy Tue 08-Jan-13 16:48:15

Not so much a question, but I keep being asked/told "you're still here?" (As in, 'you haven't had the baby yet'?) - I know they just mean it as general chat, but when you already feel huge/tired it gets irritating!

rrreow Tue 08-Jan-13 16:49:10

I have asked really close friends this question (as I was genuinely curious and at the time DH and I were talking about kids but hadn't decided to actively try), but for anyone else I wouldn't DARE ask that. I wonder what motivates people to ask that question.

BonaDea Tue 08-Jan-13 16:54:04

I got pregnant on honeymoon and a surprising number of people have had the audacity to ask me whether it was a slip up before the wedding. I mean, it's not like you have to be married these days to have a child together, but seriously, what a ridiculously personal question to ask someone.

I've also been asked whether I'm having triplets. TRIPLETS (I'm having a singleton FAOD). Cheeky cow.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Tue 08-Jan-13 17:00:09

I was asked if it was planned and how long we'd been trying by s friend but I think she was hinting that she thought i should have told her before, I waited til I'd had a scan too cos I wanted to be sure everything was ok.

We have 2 ds' and am waiting for the 'are you trying for a girl' which we weren't, it'll be sil who'll say it as they will soon have one of each and that's perfect apparantly so I must want a girl!

june2013 Tue 08-Jan-13 17:06:38

Thanks for all the responses, interesting + food for thought + some made me laugh.

I should say - though I see it came off that way - that I wasn't offended. I know my colleague and she's really not like that. Just really uncomfortable. I can see, as someone pointed out above, that she was probably really surprised herself and not sure what to say. I wouldn't hold it against her, as I'm sure your friend doesn't offorfox!

I was just really taken aback and want to be better prepared for the next time I'm asked!

TinkyPeet Tue 08-Jan-13 17:56:41

Oh I got a stunner from my MIL, we told them I was pregnant and she said "oh lovely, have you don't this because your hours have been cut(at work)?" -her exact words.
All I could do was stare at her like she's just smacked me with a trout.
Followed by Erm, no, and a raised eyebrow from me lol.
To which she then realised shed just accused me of deliberately knocking myself up with an unwanted child and trapping her son (totally the opposite btw we had been trying, this she knew because dh can't keep shtum, and were married with children already etc) and promptly followed with "ill just put the kettle on shall I?"
Quite funny now but I wasn't amused then

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..."


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!


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


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?"


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 ?

dashoflime Wed 09-Jan-13 12:35:31

not, really no grin

janey1234 Wed 09-Jan-13 12:55:25

dash - love that! Although at least you were asked by drugged up teenagers if you knew who the father, not a colleague (unlike me) hmm

dashoflime Wed 09-Jan-13 14:51:46

Yes, you expect to hear teenagers on drugs talking crap- grown ups in offices less so. angry

Dogsmom Wed 09-Jan-13 16:36:42

I find 'was it planned' very rude, it's the same as saying 'was it an accident' and is nobodys business, an accident is usually something you don't want or regret and what child wants to think they were either of those?

I've been asked it a few times despite the fact I'm in my 30's and been married for 4 years.

On the other hand I've had lots of people be genuinely thrilled and given me congratulations and a hug.

Katiki Wed 09-Jan-13 20:02:40

On announcing I was expecting dc2 from my mother of all people. I got oh no how could you?!?

Dd1 was 9 mo when I fell pg with dd2. Yes it was a surprise. But a mistake? Never. We struggled for 3 years ttc dd1 and ended up on clomid. A fact I didn't share with dm... So whilst earlier than expected we were overjoyed to fall pg totally naturally....

My dh had very very stern words with her. Along the lines of she needs your support not your censure!! Closest they've ever come to a fall out. Dm quickly saw sense. Never forget that initial reaction though. Dds are 13 and 11 now.

All should engage brain before mouth. Particularly when addressing hormonal women! Especially if you know your view matters to the person you are talking to!

Rowan1204 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:10:28

Oh my god this literally happend to me today. It was my first day back at work after being signed off for 6 wks with HG.

A colleague who isn't even usually based in our office just outright asked me if it was planned and then asked how long me and my partner had been together?! I was like....erm 6 years and we already have a three year old!!
Tbh if it was someone i was a bit friendlier with in the office i wouldn't have minded so much. But if she knows me so little to not even know i already have a son, she doesn't know me well enough to ask such a personal and also irrelevant question. Honestly!
Sorry. Had kept that on my chest all day!rant over!

TwitchyTail Wed 09-Jan-13 22:08:42

Oh, I would love for someone to have asked me the belly button question. It's the single biggest thing that has freaked me out during pregnancy and I've been itching to discuss it grin

The first thing my mum asked was "have you had your coil out?". Everyone asks if this baby was planned because it's DC4. The one we haven't had this time is the one about getting a better TV.

purplefairies Thu 10-Jan-13 09:38:03

Ooops, I'm afraid I did actually ask "was it planned" once before. The girl was someone I considered to me one of my closest friends and, during our repeated "to have kids or not" talks, she had said time and again that she couldn't imagine having to share her DH with a baby, and really didn't fancy the idea at all. I was just interested in whether she had done a u-turn and why. I guess part of me felt hurt she couldn't confess to TTC before, like she was worried I might have judged her or disapproved.

weeblueberry Thu 10-Jan-13 10:00:51

It might not have been that purplefairies. Lots of people don't want to announce (to anyone, even best friends) that they're trying to conceive. I know I didn't. Even if they don't ask you whether you've been successful you know it's something in the back of their mind and (again, if you're like me...) every month you don't have an announcement you feel a little bit of a let down. At least if you don't say what's going on people don't know if you're trying or not.

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 10-Jan-13 10:03:40

Acquaintance of DHs said, "aren't you glad xx is sticking by you in this pregnancy?".
Umm, no, as he's my husband, and he was involved!

june2013 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:06:56

Ha - ISee, some people say the most amazing things!!

Purple - I tend to think that close friends asking me is not a problem. It's part of a conversation about me and my life and I am happy that it's something I can share with friends. I find it annoying when it's strangers or work colleagues I don't usually discuss personal stuff with.

purplefairies Thu 10-Jan-13 10:29:35

weeblueberry, you're right, I just never really thought of it at the time, I guess it was a silly reaction on my part. 2 friends do actually know I'm TTC now, and I'm starting to regret it. They are both nearing the end of their pregnancies and I can see one in particular eyeing my stomach every time we meet up. I end up ordering alcoholic drinks more often than I want to so that she "gets the message" early on in the evening sad

June2013, I see what you mean about work colleagues. I have one that keeps telling me my DH has to "get a move on" and recently joked, at a work night out and at a table full of people from my department, that we'd "better get down to DTD" during our impending holiday so that I'd have something to announce in the New Year. shock
I was mortified!!!

Hanikam Thu 10-Jan-13 10:45:57

Oh God, my own Mum asked me the very same question OP! Quickly followed by "I think you're mad" . What do you say? I blurted out, well we always wanted four and anyway I love children. Crap, I know, but I really wasn't expecting my Mum to react like that. Still haven't decided what a good response would have been.

ALittleBitOfMagic Thu 10-Jan-13 10:49:05

First thing my boss asked me was if I was planning on returning to work after mat leave . Then my supervisor said well if your happy about it then I guess congratulations .


june2013 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:14:51

Alittlebit my (phd) supervisor said 'well let's not tell the funders because they'll think you did it on purpose to get more money out of them'. She also told me her only experience of a pregnancy PhD student didn't go well cos the student didn't return to her PhD. When I told her I intended to return full time after 6 months (I've already applied for nursery) she said, yes well we'll see, lots of things can happen and change your decision. I won't go on, I've already ranted about this on the PhD thread...

Msbluesky32 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:35:24

A colleague at work who asked the 'was it planned' question. We were around a table with one other person and when he asked me my colleague chipped in and said 'what a rude thing to ask'. The first guy went bright red with embarrassment, I felt really sorry for him but was glad someone had pointed out it was a bit of a strange question.

I dont think it was meant in a harmful way - just not thought through!

JoJoCK Thu 10-Jan-13 13:42:50

My favourite pregnancy related question so far has to be 'you are really big, are you sure it isn't twins?' This is after both the 12 and 20 week scans, so yes, I am sure! Was very sorely tempted to tell the third person who asked to f* right off, but it was my mum... And I have put on a normal amount of weight and was not overweight before getting pregnant, arggh!

lia66 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:42:51

Wait until you announce pg number 6!! grin

Jux Thu 10-Jan-13 13:48:53

One person, when told dh and I were getting married said "Why? Are you pregnant?" shockgrin

BonaDea Thu 10-Jan-13 16:59:11

jojo - not sure if you saw my post above, but someone asked me the other day if I was having triplets!!! I'm having just the one thank you.

25BeautifulGnomes Thu 10-Jan-13 17:03:18

Haven't read whole thread but I was asked this a few times and I did actually find it quite offensive and rude for exactly the reasons sheeplikesleep said.

You could try the MN retort of " did you mean to be so rude?" grin

Moominmammacat Thu 10-Jan-13 18:00:19

When I got pregnant for the first time ... totally unplanned ... my husband spluttered "how did this happen?"

Martyn82 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:41:44

My friend and her husband announced there pregnancy to her parents over dinner and when they asked this, quick as a flash hr hubby replied ' no, not planned, but X is just a really heavy sleeper'! Queue awkward silence followed by hysterical laughter!! Still smiling at this one!!

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Thu 10-Jan-13 21:02:17

When they asked if the baby was planned reply 'Yes, were yours? it usually hits them then about silly their question was smile

Mof4 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:10:32

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!

Nettiejoy Thu 10-Jan-13 22:52:13

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.

MarriedToSonOfAPreacherMan Thu 10-Jan-13 23:29:41

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! shock

carefulobserver Fri 11-Jan-13 01:25:43

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?

abbyfromoz Fri 11-Jan-13 08:39:30

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

abbyfromoz Fri 11-Jan-13 08:45:45

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.

MrsHBaby3 Fri 11-Jan-13 09:15:26

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?"

FCPlantagenet Fri 11-Jan-13 10:36:09

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!"

PhieEl06 Fri 11-Jan-13 11:18:51

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!

Mylittlepuds Fri 11-Jan-13 12:44:01

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.

iamwhaticallpregnant Fri 11-Jan-13 13:20:48

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


mrsR1991 Fri 11-Jan-13 13:45:28

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.

ALittleBitOfMagic Fri 11-Jan-13 14:46:14

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 gringrin

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 . sadsad
Anyway not feeling sorry for myself was worth every minute smile

birdofthenorth Sat 12-Jan-13 07:51:44

"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.

AgiBee Sat 12-Jan-13 13:27:16

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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