Emily Bingham is today's Facebook hero of the moment, for writing a viral rant on her page against those nosy, pushy baby boosters who feel it's their business to tell other people when it's time to have kids. Whether they're your mom, your coworker, or your mom, once you get past 25 there's always someone in your life who feels it's their job to tell you your reproductive organs aren't busy enough. Bingham got sick of it, and posted this lengthy tirade to remind everyone that other people's baby plans are nobody's business but their own (until they have a baby, and then it's the baby's business too). Bingham's post must have struck a nerve, because in the last week it's gone massively viral:
Here's the full text:
Hey everyone!!! Now that I got your attention with this RANDOM ULTRASOUND PHOTO I grabbed from a Google image search, this is just a friendly P.S.A. that people's reproductive and procreative plans and decisions are none of your business. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Before you ask the young married couple that has been together for seemingly forever when they are finally gonna start a family ... before you ask the parents of an only-child toddler when a Little Brother or Little Sister will be in the works ... before you ask a single 30-something if/when s/he plans on having children because, you know, clock's ticking ... just stop. Please stop. You don't know who is struggling with infertility or grieving a miscarriage or dealing with health issues. You don't know who is having relationship problems or is under a lot of stress or the timing just isn't right. You don't know who is on the fence about having kids or having more kids. You don't know who has decided it's not for them right now, or not for them ever. You don't know how your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief, pain, stress or frustration. Sure, for some people those questions may not cause any fraught feelings -- but I can tell you, from my own experiences and hearing about many friends' experiences -- it more than likely does.
Bottom line: Whether you are a wanna-be grandparent or a well-intentioned friend or family member or a nosy neighbor, it's absolutely none of your business. Ask someone what they're excited about right now. Ask them what the best part of their day was. If a person wants to let you in on something as personal as their plans to have or not have children, they will tell you. If you're curious, just sit back and wait and let them do so by their own choosing, if and when they are ready.
The ultrasound at the top is a dirty trick, but definitely effective. Who can resist clicking on one of those black-and-white grainy "baby in a cone" pics when it shows up in their feed? Nobody, that's who.
Bingham's post, which currently has 200 likes and also 40,000 shares, has generated a lot of buzz among the childless and mostly-childless set. It's a good reminder that parenthood is one of the most private issues anybody can deal with, but often isn't treated that way by our culture. Her observation isn't new, but it's resonating with people because it's delivered in 2015's most relevant form of personal expression: viral snark.