I love pizza.
I have been surrounded by pizza my whole life. I like making pizza, I like having pizza and I like living my life with pizza in it.
Do you like pizza?
If you do, and like it as much as I do, you may wonder about those people in your life that don’t. They’re weird, right? I mean who doesn’t like pizza? You’ve probably questioned them – why don’t you like pizza? You’re 30-something, you should like pizza. I don’t understand why you don’t like pizza. Etc.
But maybe they secretly really do like pizza, but they can’t have it. Maybe they’ve tried but discovered that they are incompatible – maybe it’s a gluten sensitivity, maybe it’s a dairy allergy. Maybe it’s something they can’t pinpoint. But they would give up everything to have it, but they just can’t.
Maybe they want pizza but are told that because of who they love they can’t have pizza.
Or maybe they really don’t like pizza. They just don’t want to have any. Some of these people don’t mind being around others enjoying pizza. It’s just not for them. And some would prefer not to be around pizza. It’s their choice. And no coercing from you will change their mind.
Now the pizza-loving population is pretty big, I would imagine. Whether they are able to enjoy pizza or not, they all have their preferences. Some make their pizza themselves. Some people can’t make it themselves, so they order out. And some can make it themselves, but prefer to order out. And that’s all okay.
It doesn’t matter where all this pizza comes from, just that it is enjoyed by us pizza lovers.
Toppings are are a personal preference too. Some people can only have one topping. Some only want one topping. Some people have lots of toppings because they want to.
Are you beginning to see that we really aren’t talking about pizza? That’s right. We’re talking about kids. Let me break it down this way.
Some people like kids. Some people don’t.
Some people want kids. Some people don’t.
Some people can’t have kids, even though they want them.
Some people have experienced a loss that they have kept private.
Some people go through months of infertility treatment to have kids. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Some people adopt kids, and some people have kids through a surrogate.
This isn’t a one-size fits all situation. I know people that fit all these categories. And I can only imagine the pain that some would experience at the hands of someone else’s question or comment, well-meaning or not.
So when you see a married/together forever couple with no children, don’t make assumptions. A person’s preference for or against having children is really none of your business. Maybe they don’t want kids. Or maybe they do. Maybe they’re desperate for kids – would give up everything – and it’s just not working out for them. Maybe they were pregnant but lost the baby. So just imagine how much it hurts them when you open your mouth.
You wouldn’t force your gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free friend to have a meat lovers pizza from Dominos now would you? So why would you project your preferences about children onto someone else?
The moral of this story is as follows:
You don’t know someone else’s story. So don’t presume to. Be there to listen if they want to talk, or be there to talk about something else when they don’t.
Just don’t be an asshole.