I stopped being personally offended probably a decade ago. Since then, when people suggest or imply I should procreate, my mind immediately goes to the people I've met in the past 10 years who have struggled and are in so very much pain because they CAN'T have children.
So, it's happened twice this week on social media. In two very different instances from two very different people. Both are people I treasure dearly, and I know they mean their comments as compliments -- that they think I'd be a great parent.
1. I posted a photo of my cat with a story about her. A friend commented, "Have a child!" I just burst into hysterical laughter. How on earth does she know I'm not trying to! I've never talked ot this person about being CFBC. In her defense, she's currently pregnant (not her first) and has several stepchildren as well. So she's got hormones coursing through her fingertips and babies on the brain. But really? My husband noticed the comment on the photo a few days later. He was outraged. "WHO IS THIS PERSON? WHAT KIND OF COMMENT IS THAT?" I explained that I couldn't believe it either but that I wasn't taking it personally. Again, my mind now goes to the poor soul who is on the receiving end of such a comment later. I don't mind hearing it, but what if my lack of human children weren't by choice?
2. Last week was the anniversary of my meeting my husband. I posted an anecdote about this, and dozens of people gave it a thumbs up or posted comments such as "How sweet!" or "You belong together!" This morning, an elementary teacher of mine commented, "What a great story to tell your children." Sigh. Really? REALLY? She knows how old I am. It wouldn't be unheard of for me to have a child at this point, but the liklihood that I'd have trouble conceiving at this age is pretty high. So why would she say that? I'm sure she also means well, and as a parent of three and a grandmother of many, she doesn't think about other family choices.
Sigh. I just hope these same people don't make similar comments to women who are struggling ...