Moms have a lot going for them, and we like sharing about those non-baby-related things if people would thoughtfully ask us. Here are 30 questions to ask moms besides “When are you having another baby?”
Last week while picking my child up from school, one of their former teachers spotted us in the hallway. “Hi! How’re you doing?” she exclaimed. “Great!” I answered. “How are you?”
“Just great,” she replied. “So when is your child getting a sibling?”
Well, that escalated quickly.
Later that week, while paying for a dental cleaning, the cheerful receptionist handed back my debit card and asked, “How’s your daughter? Any plans for another baby soon?”
Maybe. But you’re Team Dental, not Team OB/GYN, so isn’t that question just a little bit off-topic?
Finally, to round out the week, I call my aunt to go over plans for an upcoming vacation. “So,” she drawled during a lull in conversation. “When are you having another baby?”
When did I give you permission to be so bluntly invasive?
I get it: Children are a gift. We love ours more than anything and would be ecstatic to have another. And, everyone loves a newborn baby. They’re full of possibility and potential. They’re darling. They smell SO good.
But we mamas have a lot going for us, too. We run households, companies and marathons. We manage soccer teams, corporate teams and gaggles of teens. We fix computers, clothing, appliances, hair, meals, broken hearts and busted knees.
Birthing babies isn’t the only thing we do, and we don’t do it for your entertainment. There are lots of questions you could ask us besides when we plan on sacrificing our bodies again to make a cute baby. We have hobbies. We like to travel. We like trying new recipes (or new restaurants, if cooking isn’t our thing). We have goals. And we like sharing what we’ve seen, what we’ve heard and what we’re learning about all of those non-baby-related things, if people would pause to thoughtfully ask us about them.
Even my husband is tired of this question, and wishes people would ask him about the business he’s building or the half marathon he’s proudly training for instead of when we plan to procreate again.
But, you’re thinking, if a woman has just one baby or young child, it’s only natural to think she plans on having more. So, asking “When are you having another baby?” is okay, right?
Nope. What if the woman you’re talking with went to great IVF-fueled lengths to have her child, and having another isn’t financially or physically possible?
But, I’m this woman’s good friend/aunt/grandma/mom. It’s my right to know!
No, probably not. If you have the kind of relationship where you tell each other everything, you’ll know if it’s ok to ask this question. If you’re reading this and wondering if it’s appropriate to ask when your relative is having a baby, it’s not appropriate.
But, I just want to make conversation!
Excellent! You’re in the right corner of the Internet because here are 30 questions to ask a mom besides “When are you having another baby?” Some questions are lighthearted while others are more serious. They’re not political or controversial; they’re meant to encourage thoughtful conversation with moms without encouraging them to think about when they may or may not become a mom again. Some are more personal than others, so use your best judgement when posing them to someone you may not know well. Better yet, use some of the less-personal questions as a springboard for further (polite, non-baby-related) probing!
- How’s your day going? (Simple, yes, but you might be the first person to ask a mom this question on a day when she’s having a rough go of it, so it’s a question that never goes unappreciated.)
- How was your weekend?
- How’s your job treating you?
- How’s your family?
- How’s your husband/wife/partner/significant other?
- What’s been the best part of your day so far?
- That outfit looks great on you! Where do you like to shop?
- Do you have any fun plans for New Year’s/Valentine’s Day/4th of July/Thanksgiving/[Insert Upcoming Holiday Here]?
- Been on any fun trips lately?
- How do your kids like their classes this year? (Or, if the mom is in school, How do you like your classes this year?)
- What is your child interested in at the moment?
- How’s your business going?
- What do you do for fun?
- What’s your favorite snack?
- Have you read any good books lately?
- Which current movies do you recommend seeing?
- What’s a good date night spot my significant other and I should try?
- How are your pets?
- Is your favorite sports team having a good season?
- What’s your favorite part of your job?
- What do you like best about your significant other?
- Have been to/Are you going to any good concerts?
- If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
- What do you hope to accomplish this week/month/year?
- What do you hope your child[ren] will be able to accomplish this year?
- What’s your favorite way to unwind?
- What’s something that worries you?
- What do you like best about your community? What do you like least?
- What would you do with an extra $100?
- What can I do to help you out today?
Fellow moms, your turn: What would you like to be asked besides when you’re having another baby?
Read about more of our Perspectives in Parenting.