While catching up with my cousin a few months back, she told me that she was expecting and rather far along in her pregnancy. I was shocked. I had no idea she was with child. Before I could react, she stated that she hadn’t shared the news publicly or with many of our relatives because she didn’t want to deal with negative remarks.
According to my cousin, not everyone sent positive vibes when they learned that she was expecting another child. In fact, many chose to shame her for being pregnant again. For this reason, she decided to keep her fourth pregnancy under wraps. I should add that my cousin is very grown, very married, and self-sufficient. The fact that she couldn’t fully enjoy her pregnancy because people feel the need to make derogatory comments about her family planning choices and what she chooses to do with her body is disturbing and reflective of some of the double standards that exist within our culture.
At least once a week, I come across a post on social media that, in some form or fashion, serves as a reminder that other people’s wombs are none of our business. More often than not they’re written for tactless people who haven’t received the memo yet that it’s impolite and hurtful to ask a woman when she’s going to have children. Ironically, many of those same folks preaching that message will step right off of their soapbox, turn around, and make nasty remarks about another woman’s decision to have children once it’s deemed that she has “too many.”
Take KeKe Wyatt, for example. All summer, rumors have been circulating that the “My First Love” singer is pregnant with her eighth child. The news was eventually confirmed during a recent public appearance where the married mom donned a rather obvious baby bump. Without missing a beat, the very same folks who consider themselves to be pro-woman proceeded to speak terribly about Wyatt and her reproductive choices. Some even going as far as to say that the singer should tie her tubes. Seriously? What happened to keeping our noses out of other women’s wombs? The hypocrisy is equally sad and ironic.
While one can never know for sure what’s going on in anyone’s household, KeKe isn’t making headlines for child abuse or neglect. All of her kids appear to be happy and well-taken care of and the singer says that she has a system established to ensure that all of their physical and emotional needs are met.
“My secret to raising all these babies is keeping everybody content, which is making sure everybody has their own mommy/baby time, daddy/baby time, mommy/daddy/baby time. Everybody has their own time for them. And just doing what I’m supposed to do basically — make sure they have everything they need,” Wyatt told Essence in 2016.
It’s amazing how some of us are all about a woman’s right to choose until she chooses to birth or adopt more children than we’re comfortable with — as if she’s asking us to help her raise them or something. If a woman is self-sufficient and providing a healthy and happy environment for her children, what gives anyone the right to comment on how many children she’s chosen to create? Some people prefer larger families. We should allow them to pursue what makes them happy without shaming them or casting judgment. Telling a woman to stop having kids is just as hurtful as asking a woman why she doesn’t have children. We should practice keeping our our noses out of everyone’s uterus — not just a select few.