Sunday, June 13, 2010

Are You Done Yet?!

These simple words are often used everyday. Are you done eating yet? Are done in the bathroom yet? Are done......(fill in the blank) yet? Most people probably don't even think about the fact they are using them.

But as soon as you start having children, and usually after the second, they words are quite common to hear soon after the birth of another addition to a family arrives. And I don't think people think about how rude these words can be!

I first heard these words after the birth of my first son, and now my family was "complete"- a girl and a boy the perfect American Dream! "So you're done right?!" Well Gee I don't know- I'm 18 and in a bad relationship, hoping for the day I can get free and find someone who really loves me. And maybe he'll want children of his own and I'll want another- thoughts that go through my head as I say "I don't know".

And then I find him and we have a child and again I am asked "Are you done yet?". I've been asked this EVERY TIME I've given birth. And as the number of children I have increase so do the questions (and rudeness of the questions). "Are you getting fixed?" Umm am I broken? "How many DO you WANT?" Really this one I can't answer- when it feels right the time will come and I have set limitations on my body (all by myself- because guess what I'm a big girl now and get to make those decisions!). I know I don't want to have children after 35- I am 33 now so as you can see the road is coming to an end.

When you start having children or even just when you reach adulthood it seems your life and sex life become open game. People don't realize they shouldn't ask those kinds of questions, or think how they may make others feel. I love it when someone hears about our big family and congratulates us- but usually this is from foreigners that believe large families are a good thing!

Do you think that normally it would be okay to ask complete strangers "did you have sex last night?" But it's okay to ask a mother or father "Are you done yet?" or "Are you getting fixed?"
Our sex life and reproductive life really are none of your business and those questions make parents feel inferior.

Why does your opinion (and yes it comes out in your tone! Even if your question is innocent) really matter? Why do you feel the need to ask such a personal question and judge our choices? Don't you realize it makes others feel inadequate? Or less of as a parent? Didn't your mother teach you to think before you talk? "Do you want more?" is at least a little more positive!

So next time a friend, family member or stranger has a child please don't ask "Are you done yet?"- please instead try to be positive and supportive (something society has lost the knowledge of how to do and something we actively have to try and do). Step back and see these parents as the talented people they are for raising children, whether it's 1, 2, or 9. Parenting is THE hardest job in the world. And ignorantly, or blindly, being unsupportive of that journey is one of the worst blows to a parents self-esteem you can do.

"Am I done yet?" I don't know- maybe but maybe not. We don't see this as a decision that is completely up to us- and leave it in Our Higher Powers hands. There is a question of whether or not it's even possible and that just makes the question that much more hurtful. You see you never have all the information!

"Are YOU done yet?!"

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