It's 2019. Let Couples Try To Conceive In Private.
Our culture in Africa is generally the brother's keeper type, where they tell us that "it takes a village to raise a child". This is why it's not too much of a surprise when strangers are only too ready to offer you unsolicited advice. "Ah! Don't take cold water, it is bad for your baby," says a total stranger at the mall. Or "here sister, take this scarf. God doesn't like us to expose our hair," this from another sister at church. Will we ever stop asking TTC couples when they'll have kids?
Minding other people's business is normal in Nigeria. And if you dare take offence, people will come at you for being so ungrateful. We can deal with all that. What is totally unacceptable is the intrusion into people's deeply personal matters, like asking when a person will get married. Or when they'll have children. Totally inappropriate, and unacceptable.It's not the Stone Age anymore, let's stop asking TTC couples these awkward questions.
Respect People's Boundaries
So... man meets woman, and promptly falls in love. After a time, man marries woman. They become a family. Back in the day, the natural progression of things meant that the new family would immediately begin making babies, and increasing. But it's just not so today. With technological advancement, gender equality and the women's rights awareness, things have changed. More couples are placing procreation on hold to chase their dreams, further their careers, and live on their terms. There's also those who sadly have health challenges that threaten their dreams of having kids.
Too many people want to know what happens to a woman's stomach after she has said her vows. Whatever their reasons, the truth is the reasons are theirs and they owe nobody an explanation for the way they choose to live their lives. We have to, as a people, unlearn this culture of sticking our noses in other people's businesses. Let 2019 be the year we learned to respect boundaries.
Below are some questions to never ask anyone, TTC or not:
Are you on your period?
Whether you mean to or not, this is humiliating. And it diverts attention from whatever issue she was confronting. No woman should ever be asked that.
How many people have you slept with?
For heaven’s sake, digging up someone’s dating or sexual history in that manner is inappropriate. Honestly, what is it you're looking for in a body count? When you are dating someone, all you should care about is that they are with you and not whom they were with before you. If it’s a sexual health concern, then I believe there are decent ways to go about it, but asking for a list of their former lovers is not one of them.
Is it just me or have you put on weight?
So, what if they have? Some people are tactless and get a thrill from putting others down. They project their insecurities onto others because that makes them feel better about themselves and that’s really messed up. Don’t go around asking people why they are ‘fat’. If you can’t be nice just drink water and mind your business.
How much do you earn?
Why do you want to know? Someone else’s finances should be privy only to them. And if they choose to disclose it willingly then, well and good. Just don’t ask your lovers, spouses, friends, parents or siblings how much money they make. It’s inappropriate.
When are you getting married?
African parents and aunties take the gold medal for this insensitive prying. In life, people have different journeys, goals and priorities. And if settling down in form of marriage is part of the plan, then they will get to it at their own timing. But you have no business in being nosy and looking at the clock for them.
Why don’t you have children?
Here we go again. God forbid that a married couple has no children. Everyone will speculate, gossip and look at them pitifully. Some people will shamelessly step up to your face to ask why there aren’t children in the picture as if they want to donate some. It is rude and insensitive. Again, let's stop asking TTC couples this humiliating question. You'll eat jollof rice when they're ready, if they invite you.
Why aren't you in a relationship?
This is not a question that should be asked. People experience life differently and that is all that matters. Also, it shouldn’t be strange for one to be single. Nobody asks you why you are in a relationship anyway. You do what works for you.
As much as being a community is a good thing, we still need to respect people's spaces, and keep away from some subjects in conversation. People’s privacy must be respected.
Resource: Pulse NG