People make strange remarks about motherhood. These are a few situations with expressions that puzzle me.
In 2006, I told the dental hygienist that I was pregnant.
(South Carolinian) dental hygienist: “Congratulations! Wa’ you traa-in’?”
Me:” I’m sorry I don’t understand.”
Dental hygienist: “Were you traaa-y-in’?”
Me: “I’m sorry, could you repeat please?”
Then I understood the words “Were you trying?” but I kept asking to make sure because it was a very odd question to ask. She finally gave up. Did she seriously expect me to share what is going on in our bedroom?
I have since heard the expression TTC or “trying to conceive” for couples who experience infertility and often have recourse to IVF. When people ask me “trying” questions today, I happily answer: “we are not trying not to have babies”.
When I was expecting our second child, a waitress asked me ‘bump’ questions in a restaurant bathroom.
Waitress: “Is it a boy or a girl?”
Me: “We don’t know , we like to be surprised”
Her jaw dropped and she stammered: “Rea-really, I mean… you-you are not going to FIND OUT?”
Me: ”Well, no. We didn’t find out with our son either”
Waitress: “WHAT?? I have never heard that before!” and shaking her head, she returned to work.
After our baby girl was born, people would look at her, look at our son and satisfied, declare: “You are ALL SET! Now you have ONE OF EACH!” -sad, objectifying words-
Six years after the “traa-in” conversation, we have two boys and a girl and we are not trying not to get pregnant. People give me looks sometimes when I go to the grocery store with the youngest child in my MigoWrap, the middle one sitting in the cart and the oldest one walking.
Once an elderly man exclaimed “Wow, that’s too much!” as I was passing my stroller through a door, along with my two older children. I don’t know what he meant exactly but it sounded like I was trying to bring too many kids in. It was in a Catholic Church.
I don’t plan kids, I don’t use contraception, IVF and don’t mind baby genders. I am not trying to be rebellious, this is simply the way my faith and marriage move me to live my life.
I am happy and thankful for motherhood challenges and for the tiny, shiny pieces of Paradise.