10 Questions You Never ask a Couple Who Hasn’t Had Their Second Child Yet


With four kids, I’m so far past the annoying questions, thoughtless statements and very personal comments that people make when a couple has only one child. I’ve got a whole new set of inappropriate comments, questions and statements to respond to on a daily basis (yes, we know how this happens; no, we didn’t plan on having twins; yes, we were surprised; thank you, but we already know we are finished as much as we love that you’ve made this decision for us; no, they are not identical; yes, much better us than you – and the list goes on). We live in a world where everyone is offended on a regular basis. We forget that most people simply make it a habit to speak and then think, and most people ask questions and make statements that to them seem harmless and amusing, but to us seem exceptionally irritating thanks to the fact that this is the 7th time we’ve heard the exact same phrase since entering a public location that day. People just don’t know any better and our job as parents is to ignore them.

For those of us that occasionally say things that we might later regret, here is a simple run down of the things that most parents with only one child are not interested in hearing. Perhaps they are offended by your line of questioning, perhaps you really have no business asking, or perhaps you just want to take a moment to smile and move on. Either way, you might want to keep these words in your thoughts only when speaking to parents that have yet to have a second child.

So, when are you having another baby?

I’m guilty of asking this one, and I never thought that it was a question I should avoid until I had one baby and then I had two miscarriages. I only add this question to the list because sometimes this is a painful question. For my aunt, this question hurt because it took her 8 years to get pregnant with her second child – trying every month and using so many different fertility treatments in the process. For me, it was painful because we were already trying, and we’d lost two babies in a row. Perhaps you want to know the answer to this question – and it’s totally normal to want to know – but allow me to suggest you wait until the parent brings it up to ask.

Are you trying for a second baby?

Let’s rephrase this so that you hear this question the same way that parents of one child hear this question, “Hey! Are you having sex?”

Your life is so easy!

I have four kids, and I look back and realize that my life was so easy with one, but it did not always feel that way with just one. In fact, it sometimes felt downright difficult. And it’s insulting to first time moms since it sounds a bit like, “Oh shut up, your life is easy and you suck at it if you think it’s not,” and that’s not awesome. Also, her kid might really not be all that awesome yet, so it might be difficult.

Don’t do it!

I mean, don’t, but seriously; do what you want. No one likes to hear that they shouldn’t do it, hilarious as you think you are. I often joke this way with my friends and family, but it does get old.

You will understand when you have a second!

It’s true; parents will understand and learn a lot more when they do have a second baby. But that doesn’t give you the right to basically say to a mother of one, “You’re not a real parent who understands real parenting issues since you only have one kid, so shut it.” Just nod, smile and think this thought to yourself. I do it all the time.

Poor kid; his/her life is going to be so lonely!

Why? Because he has no sibling? I spent my entire life wishing I was an only child – even though I love my brother now. Kids aren’t necessarily lonely because they haven’t any siblings. They might actually enjoy their lives with their parents and family and friends, and to assume they are lonely without a sibling is to assume that they are incapable of happiness on their own.

Lucky, it’s so difficult to have more than one!

First and foremost, parenting is really only as difficult as you make it. Trust me; I have four kids and I make it as simple as possible. If you want parenting to be hard and expect it to be hard, it will be difficult. If you have expectations that you can handle this, you can handle this. Additionally, it sounds more like you are complaining about your own kids, which could be difficult to hear if another parent is struggling with having a second baby.

Your life is going to be over with more than one!

It’s not, I promise you. We have four and our lives are full and exciting and fun and enjoyable. As for those who are issuing this statement, why do you feel the need to scare people? It’s not nice.

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if you had twins this time?

Okay, so I say this a lot considering we were surprised with a fourth baby in addition to the third baby we wanted. It’s my go-to line these days. “Hey, wouldn’t it be hilarious if you pulled a Raiford and were surprised with twins?” Unfortunately, some people don’t like to hear this and it makes them angry. So, you know, just nod and smile and congratulate them.

When are you going to try for a *insert opposite gender of your current child here*?

I know that typically people assume that everyone wants one girl and one boy and they’re done, but that’s just not the truth. Sure, we love that we were blessed with boy/girl twins so that we could have a son, but we’d have been just fine with three girls, or four girls, or whatever God decided to bless us with. Kids are pretty special, so we’ll take what we can get. And sometimes, it’s offensive to parents to hear this question since they’d also be happy with a baby of any gender. It also implies that a parent might not want to have another baby of the same gender, and that makes it seem like they don’t love their kids all that much.

What to say to a first time mother about a second baby – nothing, unless she brings it up first.

Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images


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