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To ask for discretion re future siblings in front of DD?

33 replies

RunningWithScissors · 11/05/2011 11:16

After many miscarriages, we are unable to have a sibling for DD (3). DD has asked to have a sibling, and has been told gently why she can't have one, but clearly won't really understand.

I am perfectly fine with people asking me whether we are going to have any more children, as it is a natural question to ask (even though I always have to paste a smile on while answering), but people quite frequently ask me when the next one will be on the way while DD is there.

I don't think that this is appropriate, and wouldn't do it to anyone else, just in case there is a problem of some sort; do you think IABU?

OP posts:
dixiechick1975 · 11/05/2011 13:15

I've found if you are honest people back off. Launch into a detailed explanation and they look shell shocked (mine takes at least five mins to tell the whole tale!).

Just say I can't have any more children.

My DD aged 5 has never asked for a sibling - she knows it is not possible due to my medical condition. i've told her directly and also from her overhearing questions.

minipie · 11/05/2011 13:30

YANBU OP and sorry to hear about your miscarriages. The questions are thoughtless of course, but I must admit I would not have realised there was anything wrong with such questions until quite recently.

You can of course ask people you know not to ask questions in front of DD but there may always be someone you don't know and who hasn't heard who asks the same sort of question.

If you feel able to tell them some version of the truth (eg sadly there won't be any more), I do think that is the best option.

TandB · 11/05/2011 13:37

How difficult. And I am particularly shocked by your last post - even if people don't think about the possibility of medical problems, if you are in your forties, I would have thought that most people would hesitate to ask about further children simply because the vast majority of people are aware that a woman's childbearing window will almost certainly come to a close in her forties.

I can quite understand why you have a problem with people asking these questions in front of your daughter - if you don't want to send her mixed messages then you have to be truthful but then you are in the unfair position of having to reveal extremely personal matters to someone you may not want to discuss them with. You don't want to discuss your fertility with every Tom, Dick or Harry who is crass enough to ask.

Not sure what to suggest. I suppose a simple 'no' might get the point across if they ask you "are you having any more children?" but not sure what to say to people who ask more complicated questions.

Perhaps a very pointed "oh is that the time, got to go" might work!

aldiwhore · 11/05/2011 14:36

3 or 4 time a week is excessive, are people asking more than once? If so, then THAT is rude, I'd forgive a first 'offence' but not a second round.

I've only ever asked the dreaded question if I've been a having a relevant conversation, I can't imagine ever just asking out of the blue!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 11/05/2011 14:37

I really don't understand this, OP. So sorry that you can't have more DC's by the way. Surely, those near and dear to you will already know the situation so certainly won't ask you that question... and if you've got random people asking you then I just wouldn't answer the question... it's bloody rude! Confused

I'd probably respond with "warm weather we're having for May/June/July, etc., isn't it?", if you can't do a suitably withering look.

I would never ask the question... you just never know people's circumstances and I'm flabbergasted that anybody would be so rude. Shock

VajazzHands · 11/05/2011 15:05

It is not a natural question it is a rude and potentially hurtful question to have.

Why do people ask personal questions like this?

I think you shoudl say after several miscarriages I have decided not to try again thank you. That should shut them up.

Northeastgirl · 12/05/2011 08:34

For a lot of people, if you have one child, they assume that you could have more if you chose. They just don't think about other issues that could prevent it.

It is rather tactless and upsetting for you, but well intentioned and curious, not meant to be spiteful.

RunningWithScissors · 12/05/2011 09:13

Northeastgirl, absolutely no-one that has asked has meant to be spiteful at all; all lovely people, I just wish that they wouldn't do it!

Secondary infertility is not widely known about, it seems. People either assume that you can have children or you can't; I know that it was a great shock to me when we couldn't have another.

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