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The Most Annoying Question…Ever

June 4, 2010

I find it so interesting that people I’ve known for 5 minutes have the nerve to ask some of the most obnoxious questions.  I took Maya to the park after school yesterday, and ran into this seemingly friendly lady who asked me about ten nosy questions in the span of 3 minutes. 

Random Park Lady (gesturing to Maya): “Is she your only child?”

Me: Yes, but she has so much energy that sometimes feel like I have 3 kids!”

Random Park Lady: “Are you going to have more kids?’

Me: “No, I can barely handle the one I have.”

Random Park Lady: “Oh, that’s too bad.  Your daughter will have a lonely life growing up.”

Me (inching away): “Well she has lots of cousins and friends.  I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

Random Park Lady (with a “knowing” smile): “It’s not the same thing as having a sibling.  Just wait, you’ll change your mind.”

I’m probably blowing things out of proportion and I know I have got to stop letting people bother me so much, but this topic really bothers me.  I mean, do I really need to explain to a complete stranger that:

  1. I developed a life-threatening blood clot during my last trimester and was advised not to have any more kids? 
  2. Does she need to know that if I am crazy enough to consider having more children I would have to inject blood thinner into my stomach again, 3 times a day for 9 months instead of just 3 months like I had to do with Maya?  
  3. Does she really need to be so mean as to point out that Maya will have a lonely life as an only child?  Does she not think that hasn’t occurred to me? 
  4. And finally injections or not, I WILL NOT change my mind and decide to have more kids.  If I had a dollar for every person who has said that to me I swear I could buy myself my dream $5 million condo in NYC, and I’d probably have enough left over for the flat I’ve been eyeing in London.

I will say this though – if I could hire a live-in nanny to deal with the inevitable sleepless nights that another colicky child will bring, if I didn’t have watch myself gain and lose another 20 pounds, if I didn’t have to inject myself with Heparin 810 times (yes I actually calculated this number), and if someone could assure me that I wouldn’t have to sell my soul again to provide this child with a guaranteed coveted spot in daycare, I may just consider having another child.  

Mainly so I could take cute pictures of Maya, like this one:

Then again, borrowing a baby for another picture might just be the smarter, easier, cheaper option?

62 Comments leave one →
  1. Anjum permalink
    June 4, 2010 5:52 am

    Wow! People need to back off. Your life, your decisions. Only you can make them. Ignore commentary. I know what you went through!!!

  2. June 4, 2010 6:05 am

    I hear you sister. I don’t understand why people think it is OK to ask when and why you have kids or will or will not have more. I am turning 30 next month.. you would not believe the number of times people at work at the gym or random store say.. “you need to hurry up before your eggs dry up” really people really.. my eggs will dry up?!?

  3. June 4, 2010 6:45 am

    Ok, seriously, who the hell is this woman to tell you your daughter will or wont be lonely growing up!?

    My vote is for the borrow-a-baby option. Because you can give it back when you’re done!!

  4. June 4, 2010 6:51 am

    Oh the NERVE of some people!! She was very rude and nosy. People need to mind their OWN business!!!!!!

  5. Michelle permalink
    June 4, 2010 6:52 am

    I am so sorry about that nosy woman. obviously there’s a lot more going on that she didn’t take into account.

    I’m also a fan of the borrow-a-baby option. I think I’m just going to stick with that my whole life 😉

  6. June 4, 2010 7:00 am

    People are definitely too nosy sometimes. It’s one thing to ask if you have other children — totally acceptable. But there’s no reason to ask WHY not. Who cares why not? The woman should have responded, “Well, she’s cute” and moved on or something.

  7. June 4, 2010 7:02 am

    wow what a rude person! sometimes people just need to keep their mouths shut. good for you for sticking to your guns and doing what makes YOU happy & healthy & sane.

  8. June 4, 2010 7:03 am

    That’s so annoying. You’re a better person than me. I’d say something to make her feel really bad like, “Well I almost died during this pregnancy and there’s an 95 percent chance that my next one would kill me. I figure she’d rather have a mother than a sister, don’t you?” Or, “It must be nice that you can have multiple children. For me, another pregnancy would be life-threatening and I mourn that fact daily.” And then see if she calls future Maya lonely. Some people.

    I get the when are you having kids question all the time from strangers who assume I’m married so what am I waiting for?

  9. June 4, 2010 7:03 am

    Wow… talk about getting personal!

    I’d start getting creative. Like, when she asks if you’re going to have more children, be like “well, my baby daddy is currently in prison, so we discussed it and if he can stay out of jail for over a year and I can kick this coke addiction, we’re going to consider it. It’s all about family planning, you know?”

    That’s what I’d do. Purely for the amusement I’d get out of the facial expressions…

  10. June 4, 2010 7:19 am

    It just never stops! When you’re dating, it’s, “When are you going to get married?” When you get married, “When do you want to have kids?” And then after you have one, “When are you going to have another?”

    Geez! 🙂

  11. June 4, 2010 7:22 am

    I don’t know why people put so much stock in siblings. I have two younger brothers, and I managed to be perfectly lonely growing up. Haven’t spoken face-to-face to either one of them in about four years.

  12. June 4, 2010 7:36 am

    I really hate it when complete strangers feel the need to hash out advice; I had to put up with the same kind of thing regarding my weight. Like you pointed out, there’s so many things that strangers have no idea of knowing, so they should just do everyone a favor and keep their mouths shut.

    I’m an only child, and while it might (?) get lonely at times, this is just life how I know it and I honestly couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to have a brother or sister, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything at all. Friends and extended family are enough company, and Maya always seems so happy, so I don’t think she minds being an only child 🙂 There are certainly perks…

  13. tra permalink
    June 4, 2010 7:54 am

    OH MY GOD> that is so silly. A lot of people always tell my mom, oh you must be so sad that you only have girls. WTF?! i mean, mind your own biz you nosy parkers.

    dude, next time that happens at the park i better be there, so i can be the “weird adopted asian that lives with the family”…thus allowing me to CUSS HER OUT IN CHINESE! =D

    went to trader joe’s today….and thought of you guys!

  14. June 4, 2010 8:02 am

    Um, that question was random. And then, the follow-up comments was an invasion to privacy, obnoxious, and rather rude. I would have totally told that lady about your condition, and what you’re dealing with from pregnancy. That would shut her right up.

  15. June 4, 2010 8:07 am

    Don’t let nosy people like that get to you. Just enjoy a lovely with your beautiful family 😀

  16. June 4, 2010 8:17 am

    We’ve talked about this before and I share your shock with people being so invasive! I don’t want kids at all, so if/when I disclose that opinion, I have to do so carefully. People are very pushy about their beliefs with parenting. I think they’re just trying to rationalize their own choices. We all want to think we chose the “best” path. You have a beautiful daughter and you should feel happy in your choices. There’s nothing wrong with having one! That would be a total handful for me! I can barely manage my basil plant.

  17. June 4, 2010 8:19 am

    That is annoying. My husband and I aren’t sure we are going to have children and one lady actually told me she felt sorry for me. um…thanks!

  18. Leah @ Why Deprive? permalink
    June 4, 2010 8:36 am

    I would be CHOKED if someone asked me something like that. Its none of her business end of story. And telling you Maya will live a lonely life? Thats just mean, and not necessarily true. I have 1 sibling, and as you know, he’s more of a stranger to me than a brother.

  19. June 4, 2010 8:57 am

    oh my goodness! asking questions and making polite conversation are one thing. Telling you your daughter will grow up lonely? shes corssing some lines!

  20. Jessica permalink
    June 4, 2010 9:10 am

    People are so nosy.
    I’m kind of the same way about having children – I just don’t. Anytime someone asks if I am and I reply “No, I’m not”, people throw themselves into speeches trying to convince me of why I should have children. I’ve never wanted kids and I cannot see myself changing my mind. Oh well.

  21. June 4, 2010 9:15 am

    Ew gosh!!! People have some nerve!! I can’t stand people sometimes… who do they think they are?

    I get some comments like that about my diet. “well, if you don’t eat meat, what DO you eat?!” “Oh…. you’re not getting enough (iron, calcium, protein, blahblahblah fill in the blanks)” ugh!!

  22. Priyanka permalink
    June 4, 2010 9:23 am

    Honestly I am not trying to be a racist here, but many people from my own country give me a look of scorn mixed with sorriness when I say that I am married for 4 years and don’t have kids yet. I mean seriously take a sneak peak at the madness I live in and if you agree to be 24×7 at my call to assist me in handling it,only then ask me about my future. I don’t understand why people have to butt into others lives. Having a kid(s) is a mature decision only a couple have to make and no one else. I think Maya is a blessed child and no one has the right to say anything about her situation. Stupid people. Sorry but this post just struck a chord with me, hence the fury.

  23. actorsdiet permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:19 am

    argh that is irritating! why are people so nosy? what if you COULDN’T have anymore kids and were trying and just burst into tears in front of them. yeah, THAT would show them!

  24. June 4, 2010 10:36 am

    Wowzers! How out of line was she? People really don’t think before they speak sometimes! Maya is going to have a wonderful life. She has a wonderful mother that loves her! That is what will make a great life!

  25. kat permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:40 am

    I was a only kid until freshmen yr of high school AND LOVED IT! You can’t get spolied like that with brothers and sisters around !! I definitely wouldn’t been able to buy everything my heart desired at Disney World like I was able to.
    BTW- I’m more out going than my best friend who grew up with 3 other brother & sisters . And honestly whos to say they will get along well; b/c having a brother or sister doesn’t make you instant bff . So have a great weekend and forget about annoying park lady!! =)

  26. Aimee permalink
    June 4, 2010 11:52 am

    She sounds like one of those people that suffers from ‘word vomit.’ And her comments were just as appealing. Who cares? This is a little out of the box, but having one kid can be even seen as responsible, given the rate at which this world is overpopulating! She’ll have plenty of friends, cousins, and most of all her loving parents? That’s all a kid needs…honestly, the nerve.

  27. June 4, 2010 12:03 pm

    Wow, some people are so rude. A: I would never even think to ask someone those questions. B: Even if I did think it, I definitely wouldn’t open my mouth.

    I’m not an only child, but my sister and brother are both significantly older than me and where almost in college when I was born. Needless to say, even though I was the only kid in the house, I have a wonderful childhood and was never lonely!

  28. June 4, 2010 12:14 pm

    People really need to learn to mind there own business when it comes to things like that. Maya looks perfectly happy and growing up as an only child won’t impact her negatively at all. In fact, I’ve seen many people who DO have siblings and they turn out like weirdos. It all depends on the family and the personality of the child.

    I like the idea of borrowing a baby – you get all the cuteness but none of the unpleasant stuff.

  29. oc2seattle permalink
    June 4, 2010 1:08 pm

    OMG Random Park Lady! Outrageously personal questions from a total stranger!

  30. June 4, 2010 1:23 pm

    I can’t believe that! I agree that is really rude.

  31. June 4, 2010 1:24 pm


    lonely life… uhhh NO.. having a lonely life is being a random nosy lady at a park!


  32. June 4, 2010 2:00 pm

    Sorry I am also guilty in that too. I have one child and people (strangers and traditionalist family friends) asked me to have another kid. I said I could not afford it and if they’d mind paying $1k a month to me to help support my family. I have also said I was too old and would not see my younger child graduate from high school. But after getting this so many times over the last 7 years, I got inflicted by the same “nosey2” disease and started asking that question to other people myself. It is an individual’s decision of course. My apologies!

    • June 5, 2010 7:03 am

      Please don’t apologize! I’m sure it’s easy to get sucked into asking the same questions that bother you. I’m sure I do it without realizing it!

  33. June 4, 2010 2:41 pm

    that is SUPER obnoxious. It’s right up there when people tell you they’re “trying” to get pregnant–it’s like, thank you. Congratulations for doing what everyone else in the world is doing, and feeling like you need to inform us of it.

  34. June 4, 2010 4:47 pm

    Good post.
    I have questions I hate ppl asking also.

    I don’t even ask people when/if they will kids anymore. For all I know, people simply physically cannot. None of my business.

    Plus, it annoyed Bridget Jones….people ought to get the msg by now 🙂

  35. June 4, 2010 6:40 pm

    Ahh! That’s terrible!! I’m sure the random lady didn’t have all those things in mind, but indeed it must have really come off to rub you the wrong way. Sadly, she seemed pretty persistent too.

    Don’t worry. I think that Maya will turn out just fine. After all, she’s already cultivated the knack of ceaseless question-asking, which is a very good sign. 🙂

  36. June 4, 2010 8:43 pm

    I get worked up when strangers are overly rude or nosy. I’m working on letting go of that because i waste time and mental energy thinking about negative/stressful things! With that said, this must have been SO frustrating to you. The important thing is that you are exactly aware of how Maya will make friends and meet people (cousins, friends, neighbors). Sounds like you’re doing a pretty good job to me, only child or not!

  37. June 4, 2010 9:18 pm

    I’m so sorry – that is just about the crappiest thing EVER. I don’t know when it happened, and not being a mother I can’t relate 100%, but it seems that nowadays, there is this total “cult of motherhood” and to join it, you have to follow some very specific guidelines. For instance, if you can’t or don’t breastfeed, you are a horrible person and you should be shamed because you child will suffer forever.
    I don’t know why people think that they have the “right” to comment on other people’s decisions, especially when it involves children. I mean, it would be something if you were a teenager with two children and someone said, “Maybe you shouldn’t have another child for a while….”. (Not that there is anything wrong with that…)
    But to judge your personal decision – definitely the most annoying question ever.
    I get the “WHY don’t you want to have children” from plenty of people, but yours takes the proverbial cake.

  38. June 4, 2010 9:43 pm

    aww doll I am sorry to hear people keep on this topic with you. That must have been a very scary pregnancy with Maya! People need to stay out of others biz, you know?

    I would just tell people I can’t have anymore. Or pull out some UFC on their butts 😉

    At least you have one beautiful healthy daughter. What more could you ask for? I think I only would want 1 because it is less work and less sickness rolling around here!


  39. Cindy permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:57 pm

    mosey people suck

    so sorry you have to explain (or not) your posituon on the matter.

    Maya having a healthy mother is important.!!!!
    not her implied lonely life.

    like I said

    mosey people suck

    I had blod clotting issues too…they felt it caused my miscarriages.

    So happy YOU AND MAYA are fine


    • June 6, 2010 8:59 am

      So sorry you had problems with blood clots too! It appears to be more common that I thought.

      Thank you for your kind comment, I really appreciate it!

  40. Cindy permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:58 pm


    it’s late and I don’t have my glasses on


  41. June 4, 2010 11:59 pm

    So does that mean you’re not even going to try!?
    I jest, I jest!!!!!! 😉

    People have a way of thinking they know how to live your live better than you do. I’m not sure what gave them that idea but I wish they’d knock it off!

    Plus, if you were to have more kids, the less time you would be able to sit talking to such obnoxious park people like her! Why in the world would you want to give that up?!?! 😉

    Kim turned me onto your blog and i’m hooked!

    Take care,

  42. June 5, 2010 3:44 am

    God people can be so insensitive! What if you were actually physically unable to have any more kids? So rude. Really.

    Don’t let it get to you. You are doing the best thing for your child by letting her have her mother for the rest of her life, rather than putting yourself in a high risk situation. And you know what? She will be fine. She won’t be lonely. She’ll have tons of friends. And she’ll have your undivided attention.

  43. rachael permalink
    June 5, 2010 3:52 am

    Ugggh I get that all the time too. “You can’t have an only child!” Even from some family members.

  44. June 5, 2010 6:23 am

    I think that is so rude. It is absolutely nobody else’s business what you choose to do with your life. Even if it was as simple as you not wanting anymore children, I think that people should respect that and not make nasty comments. However, its a sensitive subject and to say something like that to someone without knowing what is going on behind the scenes is just ignorant.

    I hate all the pre-conceived notions of how we are all “supposed” to be. I’ve had people ask me “why aren’t you married yet? when are you going to get married?” And I just think its silly, and kind of mean to make me feel like there is something “wrong” with me for not knowing what I want yet. Not everyone wants to get married, and not everyone wants to have children. Or maybe people want to have children, but not get married. I am not exactly sure what I want to do, but the point is that it is my choice and I have my own personal reasons behind whatever choice I make.

    Try not to let this woman’s comments get to you. You are a wonderful mother and I promise you, Maya won’t be lonely. She is surrounded by people who love her.

  45. June 5, 2010 8:00 am

    Wow that woman must have no concept of the word “stranger”! I mean .. how rude!

  46. June 5, 2010 8:51 am

    Creepy random park lady needs an ass kicking, if you ask me. I may be projecting a bit, as I’m an only child myself and thing that despite some neurosis and a slightly dysfunctional family (is there any other kind?), I turned out pretty darn good. I had tons of friends and more cousins than I cared to force to do “Get In Shape Girl” with me on the front lawn. But the reason I was an only child is that my mom has had 13 spinal surgeries, is completely fused and medically couldn’t have more kids. That shut people up.

    I get the the same questions about why I’m not married or why I’m thin, so I just get creative with my replies if I know I’ll never see the person again. If it’s my grandma for the 100th time, that’s another story…

  47. June 5, 2010 10:23 am

    I feel you how some people can just be so annoying about our own personal life decision. Having a kid is a big decision and huge responsibility. And I love how you conclude the post..haha!

  48. June 5, 2010 3:22 pm

    So freaking true! And thanks for your background – I had no idea!
    No, but seriously…my worst question?? Oh – how about – “”how come you don’t run anymore , you should run? You always used to ?””
    NO i don’t, i can’t, and frankly i don’t even want to right now because i’m too emotionally wrought and depressed…so shove it up your a$$ lady…

  49. June 5, 2010 4:04 pm

    im guessing the movie “time traveller’s wife” might be bad.. my mom is a librarian and loved the book… but i read some and agree with you.. i didnt really enjoy it at all. i’ll prolly watch the movie soon so if i do i will let u know if its worth it or not.

    yea its puffed rice in the chocolate.. it was funny when i first opened it- i was like WOW..interesting! rice puffs in chocolate! lol

  50. June 5, 2010 7:11 pm

    Ugh, people are rude! I would have said something smart-alecky back. Maya will definitely not have a lonely childhood simply because she doesn’t have siblings!

  51. June 5, 2010 8:21 pm

    This woman was obnoxiously rude and nosy, and I am really sorry that you had to experience this. I just came across your blog for the first time about a half hour ago and I love what I am reading! You have a witty voice and can definitely maintain a reader’s attention. I look forward to reading your regular posts!

    Check out my blog as well

  52. June 8, 2010 7:01 am

    Wow! Thank you for this post! My BFF gets accosted with this very same question all of the time. It upsets her so much when people make comments.

    Like you, she had severe health problems throughout her pregnancy. Her beautiful daughter is a miracle.

    When women really go at her, she comes right out and tells them why she can’t have kids. Then they feel stupid and horrible and guilty. Which is awesome. Because they deserve it.

    I think – generally – that suggesting anyone have kids when they can’t or don’t want to is so impolite.

    I can barely take care of myself! Why would I want to bring a child into that? Aren’t I making the world a better place by waiting until I’m ready to be a parent?

    The problem is that there are still old bats living in our society who believe that there’s a set path to life and that it’s the only way to live. On that set path, there are kids – one is not enough, houses, gardens, jobs, work functions, vacations to Disney, etc.

    This feels like a jail sentence to me.

    No path should be forced on anyone! And nobody should be made to feel guilty for following their own path!

    Thank you for this post. I totally feel for you. Definitely tell those old biddies what’s up!

  53. June 9, 2010 11:39 am

    lol. Can’t people just be happy that you have at least one child without be intrusive with questions of having more? I think I would have probably snapped at that lady.

  54. June 9, 2010 2:37 pm

    Jeez. And I thought people laid off the stupid questions after you had one! People always want to ask about kids. Apparently that is why we are all on the planet.

  55. June 15, 2010 7:50 am

    I whine about not having siblings sometimes, but I know that being an only child has also shaped my personality in great ways. How dare people ask such intimate stuff!

  56. July 1, 2012 5:37 am

    The questions people have the nerve to ask baffle me. As soon as you get married they want to know WHEN you’re going to have kids. And then you have one and they want to know when you’re going to have another one? Let’s be honest here, why is your time in the bedroom with your husband anyone else’s business?! I keep dealing with the question, “And multiples don’t run in your family?” I just smile, and say no, but I really want to rip said person’s throat out. 🙂

    • July 8, 2012 1:52 pm

      Meghan…the multiples question? Never occurred to me. So glad that you pointed out how much it bothers you because I swear I will never ask it (not sure if I have but now I know I will not!).


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