• 73°

From the mind of mom: On uncomfortable questions

There’s no truer right of passage in young, married life than those inappropriate, prying questions.

You know the ones I’m talking about: “So, when are you going to start a family?” “When are you going to have kids?” “Ready to turn that spare bedroom into a nursery yet?”

And if you, dear child-free soul, think those questions will stop once said room has, in fact, moved into nursery status, you’re mistaken. Next come the questions of siblings, of delivery experiences and sundry things that are enough to make even the most outspoken person red in the cheeks.

A current and popular opinion: I’ve never been fond of any among the list. The questions are uncomfortable for anyone: the purposefully child-free, the fertility strugglers and the long-range planners alike.

But my unpopular opinion, or perhaps predisposition, has been to smile, to shrug, to laugh or change the subject. The questions will be asked regardless of whether or not one chooses to take offense to them, so why succumb to the ruffling of feathers?

Or that was my haughty headspace as I endured, grinning and bearing the prying questions while my first child turned one, two, three and four with no sibling in sight. Not a matter of choice, but a silent struggle, enough for a tiny little twinge of discomfort when those questions came. “When?” “How?” “Why not?”

I would not allow myself to be offended, I thought, nose heavenward. The questions were well-meaning, innocent. Even recently, I found myself listening to a child-free person rant about those constant questions. “Stop asking questions about my uterus!” she said, and I snorted at the preposterousness of the concept. That was a strong leap to make, wasn’t it?

Holier than thou, I went about my business of mothering my now two littles, readying my home for my infant’s next ventures into the world of sitting, playing and interacting. I reached out to a family member for an activity center I had loaned along the way and —

Silence.

“Oh. That thing? It’d been so long we assumed you wouldn’t be having any more. We threw it out.”

My chest tightens. My feathers ruffle. I’m 30 years old, I think, not menopausal!

And yes, I realize, an assumption was made. Maybe it was about my body, maybe it was about my husband’s, but it was deep and personal and uncomfortable and, holier or not, it smarted.

So maybe the questions will never stop. Maybe people will always raise their brows, exchange knowing looks or nudge elbows.

I’ll be in my corner, embracing my ignorance and finding new questions to ask, new topics of conversation.

Barring conversations with a health care professional, no uterine inquiries allowed.

Comments

Crime

Chase from Mooresville ends with crash at Rowan Mill Road; two charged

Kannapolis

Dearmons gift two public art sculptures to city of Kannapolis

Crime

Blotter: Woman’s camper stolen from side of I-85

Local

Local scouts sweep NC American Legion awards

Business

As demand lessens slightly, local homebuilders work through challenges to deliver dwellings

Local

Commissioners name Newberry Hall House county’s newest historic landmark

News

Senate budget uses NC revenue boon on more tax cuts, capital

College

Livingstone College alumna Quanera Hayes makes U.S. Olympic Team after first-place finish in 400-meter race

Crime

Blotter: June 21

Ask Us

Ask Us: What is status of ‘speed table’ on Charles Street in Spencer?

Local

East Rowan High graduate killed in motorcycle crash

Local

Political Notebook: Gov. Cooper vetoes Ford-backed bill allowing firearms at churches that are also schools

Crime

Blotter: June 20

News

Body of fourth tuber, age 7, found in North Carolina river

Nation/World

8 kids in youth van among the 13 lives lost to Claudette

Local

Hundreds turn out for annual Juneteenth celebration on newest federal holiday

Local

Between local champions and an upcoming state tournament, pickleball putting Salisbury on map

Business

Business leaders hope to draw big crowd for job fair at West End Plaza

News

Officers cleared in Mooresville shooting

Business

From firefighter to photographer, Brianna Mitschele is ready to capture more moments in downtown Salisbury

News

25 years later, runners reflect on Olympic torch’s trip through Rowan

News

Commissioners to consider designating Newberry Hall House as county historic landmark

Farm & Garden

51st annual Old Southeast Threshers’ Reunion set for July 1-5

Business

Biz Roundup: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation awards grants from Salisbury to Jerusalem