Reproduction isn’t small talk
15th June 2018
Do you have kids? Oh do you not want them? You’re leaving it a bit late aren’t you? Would be nice for [insert name] to have a sibling, no?
Do any of these sound familiar?
Women we’ve spoken to have often had to field these questions. Whether it’s at the school reunion or in the workplace. Small talk can often be quite painful, and most of the time the intentions behind these questions are well meaning. With the person in question searching for common ground and a way to strike up conversation.
Behind closed doors
But reproduction isn’t small talk. You never know what is happening behind closed doors. Maybe that woman you’ve just asked whether they want children has just gone through her third round of IVF unsuccessfully. Maybe she’s just had a miscarriage. Or has one child already but is now struggling with secondary infertility.
Or maybe she’s decided that she doesn’t want children. Whatever the circumstances, women should not feel they have to explain their personal circumstances or decisions.
But is this increasing the taboo?
You could argue, that by not talking about these topics we are just simply increasing the taboo. We are not. At Adia, we are big advocates of having honest and open conversations. These conversations can provide much-needed support. But they must happen on women’s own terms, when they are ready to talk.
We are profiling amazing women, who are opening up about their experiences and piercing the taboo. That is empowering. Feeling forced to justify why you do or don’t have children, is not.
So the next time you are stuck for small talk, use an open and non-judgemental question like ‘what’s keeping you busy at the moment?’