Saturday, August 25, 2012

An education

I am not writing this post out of anger or to rant, but to simply give some insight from my point of view.  What's my point of view? I am a childless Mormon.  Weird, I know, right?  I am always shocked about how often I encounter friends, family and even strangers who ask me "Why don't I have children yet?" or "Are you trying?" or "Are you and Luke planning on a family soon?"

I will admit that I am a very private person and sensitive soul.  This matter is between me, my husband and the Lord.  I have faith that God has an individual plan for each of His children.  My plan is different than your plan.  No matter how comfortable I am with that viewpoint, it is still incredibly awkward and sometimes painful when I encounter the baby inquiries.  I have tried responding to these questions or comments ranging from bitterly sarcastic to politely ambiguous.

I will give you an example of my latest encounter at a baby shower (where I was the only non-mother in attendance.)

Barely an acquaintance: "Are you guys planning on having kids any time soon?"

Me: "I guess it will happen when it is supposed to happen." (I went for ambiguous there, see?  Here is where I thought the conversation would end.  I was shocked when it continued!)

Acquaintance: "Oh, so does that mean you aren't preventing with birth control or anything?"

Me (dying of awkwardness) : "Wow that's a really private question..." (WHAT?!)

Acquaintance: "I just ask because like EVERYONE is pregnant right now."  (<----see how this might be hurtful and insensitive?)

I think people are well intentioned or they just want to make conversation and that is why I am writing this post. These questions can be incredibly insensitive and leave the childless feeling lonely, left out or upset.  I am a childless woman in her late twenties.  In many circles I am the only one who does not have a child to talk about or to chase after.  I sit through conversations about packing lunches, preschool problems and potty training, which is GREAT!  I love that my friends and family and ward have children!  Please continue to share!  But it can be difficult to engage in conversation in some situations.  I don't know the joys of sleep training yet, so I can't really participate in that.  I imagine it must be hard to not talk about mommy things so that's why I get a lot of questions about children.  But please don't.  You just don't know if she is dealing with infertility, miscarriage, financial reasons, schooling, etc.  Ask her if she's seen any good movies or read any good books instead.  She will thank you for being inclusive and friendly.


  1. Whatever your plan make the most of where you are at! I love that you got to take your trip to Paris this summer.

  2. I total get where you're coming from, sometimes people can be insensitive and inappropriate without really meaning to. I only have one living child because I lost my son when he died at birth. Pregnancy was extremely hard on me both physically and emotionally. I've had people ask me "why don't you have more children" and it's a very uncomfortable question for me to answer. I cannot have any more children and I am content with that. Thank you for sharing this post.

  3. Oh Whitney, I cannot agree with your post more. I too am a childless Mormon. Lol. And I got super angry (in my head) when people would ask why we didnt/dont have kids yet and stuff. Like all I'm good for is popping out babies or something?? But your right, they did not mean it to be mean or rude, they are just excited for us and its a fun thing to have happen in your life. But it has certainly taught me not ask others when they will have kids or why they don't have any yet. You just never know the circumstances. :) Hang in there. And we should probably start a club for the childless Mormons in our ward. The CM's. Word!