Thursday, 17 March 2016

Stay Out of My Womb, Stay Out of My Business.

Something happened on air this morning that totally threw me off.

We were discussing whether or not a parent should compensate a babysitter, or even a friend, if their child breaks something of theirs.  Like a phone, or laptop.  My stance is, if my child broke something belonging to someone I had asked to look after them, I would feel compelled to refund them or at least contribute towards the cost of getting a replacement.

Big mistake, so it would seem.

A female listener called the show.  Sternly, she asked me if I have any children, to which of course I answered in the negative.  She went on to say that the only reason I had that opinion is the fact that I do not have a child, as no mother would ask another mother to pay for something broken by a child. 

(Please note, she ignored the fact that I said I would feel compelled to refund if my child had broken something belonging to someone else.  I didn’t say that I would demand money from someone if their child broke something belonging to me.)

I am rarely rendered speechless.  But I was.  And I’ll tell you why.

I understand that there are many things I can’t comment on when it comes to motherhood.  Like the pain of childbirth, the love a mother has for a child.  The only experience I have of that love is from a child’s perspective.  In this instance however, I do not think the fact that I am not a mother had any bearing on me sharing my opinion on this topic.

I am exhausted by the comments I deal with, almost on the daily, as to my childlessness.  People seem so concerned that I don’t have a child.  Like there is something physically or mentally wrong with me.  Like I am too selfish and ‘precious’ to just get on with it and get pregnant.

‘’Siima, what are you waiting for?  What is the problem? We want a baby! Give us a child!  Ah, you like doing your nails, you can’t handle being a mother.  We want twins!  Why are you wasting our time? We want to see what you’ll look like pregnant!! Just get a baby!’’

There are many reasons I have not had a child yet, none of which I am willing to share here, and none of which I have to tell anyone.  I know I am not the only woman my age that gets such comments regularly. 

I shudder to think of the number of women who have had such insensitive utterings thrown their way, and yet they are physically unable to bear children.


So next time you feel like rubbing some chick’s tummy and asking her when she’s going to ‘use it’, next time you tell a woman YOU feel ‘should have had a baby by now’, next time you ask me why I have puppies instead of ‘just getting a baby’- just don’t.  Stay out of my womb, stay out of my business and mind yours.  I’m not here to have a child for you like you’re going to have anything to do with it,  FFS.

31 comments:

  1. Thank you for this interesting piece. Personal boundaries are very important and people have a strange aversion to minding their own business. Unless we're having the child together, what I do with my womb is not anyone else's business.

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    1. Thanks Joan! Totally. Some people simply have no clue about boundaries.

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  2. Yaaaaasssss!!! Thanks.Right out of my mind to your fingers.

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  3. you is an angry woman. Its very easy to pass judgement on older childless women, even jokingly without being sensitive to their choice or not for that matter. Thank you for the reminder and for telling off he nosy ones. People should generally just stay out of others business.

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  4. I am so using this against my family members that can't stop asking me to get married AND HAVE KIDS,LIKE IT'S THEIR BUSINESS! Mind you,i pay my own bills. Thanks Siima.

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    1. You are very welcome!! Just do you!!

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  5. Funny how the conversation went from being answerable for damage caused by one's child to actual child bearing or lack thereof. Siima if your puppy ate my favorite slippers I'd expect a replacement or sumt to that effect n that's not becoz it isn't 'human' but common sense would dictate that that'd be the right thing to do, or is that just me thinking funny?

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    1. Hahaha I know right?! Nothing to do with 'you're not a dog owner therefore you can never understand.' Sigh. Ah well.

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  6. Yasssssss!!!
    You know spirit animal!!!
    Do people ever sieve the words they say?!!
    Whatever happened to "words are swords!!"
    Poor upbringing. That's just it. Good parents teach you to respect boundaries.

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    1. Lol @ spirit animal.

      I've written a post about Ugandans and our general lack-of-tact-badly-disguised-as-honesty (http://kanyindo.blogspot.ug/2014/11/to-be-tactfully-honest.html). It's so frustrating.

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  7. Now that's the mind of a mentally emancipated woman, liberated and free. I have always wondered why people think birth is the only design, society's template for happiness. Conventional mindsets produce these pressures on a daily. Journalists often asked mother Theresa about this and Oprah too but when the question was mirrored back to them as "Do you think you are happier than me bse you have children?!!!" Silence often fell and they were lip locked.
    Subtly they got the message, they were asking the irrelevant question to the icons.

    #zamba

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  8. Wait..... Why is my comment reading hamid bukenya.

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  9. I dont know why people "love" getting into our business...even when their opinions are not solicited. I love ur bravery..."Iam behind ur behind on this one". Twakowa!

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    1. Thank you my dear!! And thanks for reading.

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  10. Ugandans think having a child makes them superior to those with no kids ...

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  11. Siima, this is it! Last night i had to delete a workmate from our work whatsapp group because of his continous haranguing me to get pregnant & have a baby. This Geoffrey guy got a lady who sells airtime outside our offices pregnant & then proceeded to abandon the poor lady. The child proceeded to die as soon as it was born; clearly saying; this moron wont be my dad!
    When he is nagging all the women at work, we just look at him and wonder if he ever swallowed sewage!
    Eish!

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    1. Hahaha deleeeeeete!!! You don't need that nonsense!! Thanks for reading Kiggy. Much appreciated.

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  12. Thanks for this Siima. Many need to read this. We all have our plans and priorities that people have to respect.

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    1. Indeed we do!! Thank you so much for reading!!

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  13. There are those who have a sense of misplaced entitlement, that (to them) validates their right to speak obtusely into other peoples lives. It is amazing that these same individuals feel you have no right to your own opinions, yet assume they have the freedom to subject you to theirs.

    Your age, and maternal status, do not disqualify you from expressing an opinion; especially one that espouses courtesy and redress over something that may cause loss or consternation to another.

    Refreshing and succinct. Continue being true to yourself. :)

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  14. I usually skip past any post with the word 'womb' in it, but seeing as it's you I made an exception. You may or may not be aware that I don't have a womb, yet I am always enraged when I hear people wielding the fact that they 'somehow' got impregnated and gave birth to a kid, as some kind of gift of wisdom. With this in mind, it is compulsory that you ignore what that woman said. No woman should feel disempowered from having an intelligent opinion on any subject whatsoever, simply because they don't have "A Womb with a View" (E M Forster would be proud of me for slipping that one in).

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    1. This just made my day. Thanks Jony.

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