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Need a response to constantly being asked "when are you having another"

(66 Posts)
Daisychain1974 Tue 17-Feb-15 23:33:10

I have a 5 yo DD. Since she was born I've been asked by friends, acquaintances, strangers in the street as to when I will be having another, how it's selfish not to have more, your poor DD, 3 isn't a "proper family", what a shame, you can't just have one! etc etc.

I've had two miscarriages since DD was born, the last of which was a life threatening traumatic ectopic only 3 weeks ago. To my horror I was asked the dreaded question by an acquaintance this evening. All I could reply to being asked "so will you have any more?" was "No", to which I get "oh no! Really?! I have five and you have 1!" It was like a knife through my heart. I left the event immediately afterwards.

I'm 40 now, I can't risk another ectopic and can't face another miscarriage. I shouldn't have to justify myself it if was my choice to have one, I shouldn't have to explain myself if it's not my choice - I just shouldn't be asked! I would not ask someone with 5 why they don't STOP breeding and it's such a "shame" they have so many!

What can I say to shut them up that doesn't invite further questions about my selfishness (if I make out it's by choice) or having to go into explanations about my fertility when it's none of their business? I also don't really (although tempted) to respond with a bitchy comment to an ignorant question but don't want to be left feeling like an inadequate woman who doesn't measure up either. Any tips much appreciated! Thanks.

Quitelikely Tue 17-Feb-15 23:34:29

Say your dh has had the snip.

Bluestocking Tue 17-Feb-15 23:38:33

Say you can't stand the thought of incessant sibling fighting. I have only once said that and it shut the nosy multipara up properly. Her children were indeed taking lumps out of each other at that very moment.

Daisychain1974 Tue 17-Feb-15 23:39:51

Haha! I think that would result in "oh no, why? What a shame! After ONLY one? Your poor DD". People always feel they have the right to pry further.

Daisychain1974 Tue 17-Feb-15 23:42:12

Ive tried the siblings fighting line before and I get "oh my two just adore each other, I'm so lucky. Blessed really" and I just want to be sick down myself.

HootOnTheBeach Tue 17-Feb-15 23:57:50

"i'll have another once I go for a week without some nosy cow asking me when I'll have another!"

"oh this one isn't mine, I'm just babysitting"

"She's actually a twin, the other one was right here a minute ago-!"

In all seriousness, 'I would say, why do you think that's an appropriate question to ask?' and then not say another word. People will get into a flap and realise how incredibly over the line they were.

PossumPoo Wed 18-Feb-15 01:48:57

I got this recently from a well meaning but nosey friend. I said I've just had my second mc in a row. That really did shut her up.

Millionprammiles Wed 18-Feb-15 09:23:56

When the stars align and our dear Lord decides its time for the Second Coming? Might shut them up.

Misfitless Wed 18-Feb-15 12:07:21

I used to get this all the time, but also think I've asked it once or twice, too blush.

Re strangers, could you say something like..."Gosh, I've already been asked this three times this week/today, and it's not up for discussion...let's change the subject!" ?

I think if it were me, I'd be tempted to spell it out to family and friends who don't already know, so that you avoid being caught off guard.

I think I'd get DH to tell all his side of the family as and when he sees them (or even get him to phone them, if it's easier to not leave it to chance.) I'd make sure he makes it clear that it's not up for being the subject of general chit chat/gossip/judgement, and that you just don't want it being brought up, as it upsets you, and you'd rather concentrate on the DD you have.

Ditto for you with your side of the family.

If it were me, when I saw friends who don't know, I think I'd bring it up myself, when I was feeling able to deal with it, that way you're in charge, and aren't caught off guard when you're feeling most vunerable.

Eg "I need to tell you this as it's really getting me down. I'm always being asked about more DCs, but we're sticking with one. It drives me mad/really upsets me, and me and DH just want to focus on DD, instead of always having to justify/explain if we're having more or not."

I'm sure you'll find a better way of putting it, but you get my drift! My point is, if you bring it up and draw a line under it, they know the score, and have no need to bring it up again. smile

Primaryteach87 Wed 18-Feb-15 12:22:32

Not the same thing but DH and I had been married 10years and had 4 miscarriages in the last year. People would often ask 'when are you going to start a family' etc. In the end I just started saying "well actually this year has been pretty terrible for us as we've lost 4 babies to miscarriage, so I don't know. People were embarassed and shocked but I think they deserved it blush I realised I had nothing to be embarassed about. Probably not a conventional solution but sometimes the truth works...

DXBMermaid Wed 18-Feb-15 12:33:14

Not today

This is what I used to say when asked.

I am sorry you are having to go through this. It must be hard enough to have had those miscarridges let alone having to justify/explain why you are not having another one.

Sending you an un-mumsnetty hug.

naturallysweet Wed 18-Feb-15 12:55:37

I just tell people I've been sterilised.

I'm not, I have the implant (as that's more reliable than sterilisation) but it's easier to close down the issue if I mention a permanent contraceptive - with the implant they'd just try to convince me to have it removed! I'm not embarrassed about it or apologetic in any way and I don't tend to face further questioning as they can see I've been decisive about it.

LittleBoxes Wed 18-Feb-15 13:00:41

Very similar situation here, just a few years down the line. I generally say 'I'm not, and it's not by choice'. Seems to shut them up.

MissYamabuki Wed 18-Feb-15 13:06:29

Mild ones:

"The stork is knackered"
" This body can't cope with another pregnancy"
"Good Lord, is the that the time?"

Or like a pp I find that mentioning MC shuts people up pretty sharp. But I don't always want to share the details or make people feel awful.

BTW flowers

ThreeFrazzledFandangos Wed 18-Feb-15 15:51:18

I have started to say "I just don't think that's going to happen for us"

It is a question you get pretty fucked off with answering no matter what the circumstances.

Asifbymagic Wed 18-Feb-15 15:57:27

My reply is 'DS is a miracle and I can't see it happening again'. Only 1 person has continued the line of questioning after that and when I told her about the 6 MCs even she left me alone or rather didn't know what to say.

SisterNancySinatra Wed 18-Feb-15 15:59:12

My elderly neighbour has asked me a few times , I'm middle aged and nearly all kids have left home . I must look good for my age grin

PickledLilly Wed 18-Feb-15 16:05:34

Oh god, they're not still going to be asking when she's 5 are they? <weeps> DD is 19 months and I must get asked this at least twice a week. "Oh just fuck off will you" followed by flouncing is what the next person is going to get and I've not even got miscarriages adding to the upset

Only1scoop Wed 18-Feb-15 16:12:54

I feel for you Daisy a similar situation I'm slightly older with a 4.5 year old dd and two MMC in last year. So I kind of get this.

To be honest I think I look so bloody old and haggered of late folk have stopped asking....

My retort would be simple....

"Are you going to have another"

"No....by choice"

My friend who has never ever wanted children uses this when asked if she wants a dc.

So sorry for your losses Op

I'd feel like retorting that to the parent with the brood of five aswell!!

Kittymum03 Wed 18-Feb-15 16:16:59

Hi,I got asked this when visiting family right after the birth.i hate it.i now say 'when are YOU going to have one?' Often get a horrified look back to that one,like 'i cant believe you just asked me that!' Just after id gone back to work after surgery for (secret) ectopic,friend at work said 'i think its about time you have another one' I snapped 'is it really' and walked off.it was like a knife through the heart.

sebsmummy1 Wed 18-Feb-15 16:20:08

I hate people that ask this, I wouldn't dream of being so personal quite honestly.

I think it would be perfectly acceptable to say 'I'd love to but unfortunately I can't have anymore' and leave it at that. If they are incredibly rude and ask why you can't have anymore, then either say you'd prefer not to discuss it or say 'ectopic'. I hate that people's lack of boundaries nowadays forces other people to either talk about something incredibly painful or come across as rude for not wanting to respond.

I am so sorry for your losses xx

Damnautocorrect Wed 18-Feb-15 16:21:58

I'm sorry to read of your losses.
My reply is always 'one works for us'

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Wed 18-Feb-15 16:25:20

Actually, I think something you said in your OP was perfect.

"I shouldn't have to justify myself it if was my choice to have one, I shouldn't have to explain myself if it's not my choice"

I think people need to understand that it's not ok to ask these questions.

Your right to ask what is to you little more than a small talk question is not more important than someone's right to not be put in a position where they feel like they have to justify themselves! Or worse still, you blunder in and stick the boot into someone's painful situation.

Then, if you are anything less than forthcoming or god forbid you're sharp in your reply, suddenly YOU'RE the rude one hmm not them for asking such a personal question in the first place.

People are fucking weird.

Daisychain1974 Wed 18-Feb-15 22:18:03

Thanks, it's helpful to know that I'm not the only one who gets this. I must get if at least once a week from anyone I happen to engage in small talk with whilst with DD. I think with Facebook and reality TV, people think that there are no boundaries any more and any topic is fair game. Oddly, DH never gets this. Blokes never say it to him and if a man is out with his daughter women say "ah that's sweet", rather than "oh what a pity" (if it was me).

Grrrr.

Lottie5 Wed 18-Feb-15 22:58:44

"Why do you want to know?"

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