“Do you have kids?” is a seemingly innocent question to ask someone when trying to get to know them. But whether asked with good or bad intentions, this personal question can be invasive and embarrassing because there are many factors beyond a person’s control that may result in them not having children.
For much of history, a woman’s worth was measured by her ability to conceive. It is an ideology that, despite our advancements, is still held by some in the 21-st century. We asked 10 women without children to share what they are tired of hearing. These are their responses.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT
“I am tired of hearing people asking me what am I waiting on … and when do I plan to have a child. They also like to ask why don’t I have a child.” – *Tamara, 44, supervisor
WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR WOMB?
“Something they always ask me is what are you waiting for to have children? Or, they wonder [out loud] if I can have children.” – Delicia, 45, teacher
“Often times, they ask me, ‘Can’t you have any children or don’t you want any?’ – *Marilyn, 50, accountant
BUT YOU LOVE CHILDREN
“There are children I work with and help, and they refer to me as a mom, so people tend to assume I am their mother. Some people know that I am not a mother and would ask me, ‘Aren’t you going to have a child?’ , ‘Is it that you don’t want to have a child?’ … or ‘No man, you love children too much, you need to have a child’.” – Sellean, 46, social worker
NO HUSBAND YET?
“Yuh nuh find yuh husband yet? How long are you going to wait to get married?” – Theresa, 50, teacher
HALF YOUR LIFE IS MISSING
“A nice woman like you, and you don’t have any children … what a waste of your life.” – Britney, 54, bank teller
YOU’RE NOT A MOTHER; YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND
“One of the worst things I hear someone say to me is, ‘How yuh nuh have nuh pickney? Yah mule?’ or ask if mi barren. They also sey yuh nuh understand how to raise a child. This mostly comes into conversation when I disagree with a parent’s action to discipline a child.” – Paulette, 61, customer service representative
ARE YOU A ‘MULE’?
“Dem sey me a mule, and sey I turn away all the man dem that come to me.” – Susan, 70, retired teacher
GOD WILL HATE YOU
“Yuh nah guh get married and have children? God is going to hate you if you don’t have any pickney.” – Amoyia, 21, student
WHEN WILL YOU GET MARRIED AND HAVE KIDS?
“Why are you not married at this age? Don’t you realise that you’re almost 30 and you don’t have a child?” – Mackeda, 26, customer service representative
* Names withheld on request