I want to share with you some suggestions for talking about pregnancy–specifically for when/where/how to share about pregnancies and new births. Most people have children biologically without any problems. But you need to understand that some people have many problems getting pregnant.
We all know this. But looking back over our experience, I can tell you that well-meaning, loving people will say things that they don’t even know are hurtful to couples who have no children. Be assured that we are past this, so I share these so that you will know how to best (not) address this issue. Again, you may mean well, but depending on the circumstances, the following situations can be uncomfortable at best and hurtful at worst.
1. “When are you guys going to have kids?” This can be a valid question, but unless you know for a fact that the couple hasn’t been trying, then keep this question to yourself. If they have been trying, but have been unsuccessful, they will feel very awkward because they know you are just being nice, but they don’t really want to tell you, “Hey, we are trying, but something’s not clicking!”
2. Don’t talk about pregnancy in a group where you don’t know everyone. If you are pregnant, and someone asks you about it, be brief in your response. Then change the subject.
3. If you know someone is struggling to get pregnant, keep your suggestions to yourself about how they can be successful. Chances are, they have already tried it.
4. When someone tells you they have decided to adopt, please don’t tell them about your friend who decided to adopt and then got pregnant with twins. Choosing to adopt is a big step, especially if they have made it public. Telling them that story somehow cheapens the decision they have made. And it may be physically impossible for them to get pregnant.
5. “Well, don’t you want to have your own kids?” This one is specific to adoptive parents. It is very important to adoptive parents that you use words like biological and adoptive instead of real. Of course, now I’m getting in to a post just for adoption.
Let me reiterate that we know you mean well and that your statements and questions are innocent. But couples reach a point where they feel they need to say something because they are tired of hearing it from everyone. If you the unlucky person who gets that speech from a childless couple, know that it wasn’t just you. Your comment was just the final straw.
Bottom line: If you know couples without children, you should avoid talking about pregnancy at all costs, unless they bring it up.
Have you experienced this?