Once I started to tell friends and family that I was expecting, I was surprised at the number of questions I was asked about my plans for the baby. I have to admit, it was a bit overwhelming–after all, didn’t I have months to figure this all out? The questions brought me back to five years ago when my husband and I shared the news that we were engaged. Within minutes, everyone wanted to know: Have we set a date? Did we register yet? Have we found a band? Announcing we were having a baby didn’t feel too much different. Here are the top five prying questions I have been asked during my pregnancy–and my answers.
Have you thought of a name yet?
Yes, we have! And no, we aren’t sharing it. Here’s why: Just like me, I am sure many of you have asked a friend or relative what they are going to name their child and cringed upon hearing their choice. My guess is that now that your friend’s baby is born and named that not-so-fabulous name, you probably think the baby is the cutest you’ve ever seen and that her name fits her just fine. So, I figure once my daughter is born and named, my friends and family will love her–and eventually learn to love her name too.
Are you moving to the suburbs?
I think many people assume once you have a child, you have to move to the suburbs because you couldn’t possibly have space for a new baby in a New York City apartment. But lack of space is something I’m willing to put up with in order to have the opportunity to raise my daughter in the city. I’m sure our one-bedroom apartment will get tight with the numerous strollers and toys sprawled all over our living room, but I am excited to explore the city with my daughter. There is so much to do with a young child here. And while we may only have one bedroom, we do have a dining alcove. Since I don’t see too much fine dining and entertaining in the near future, we’re converting that area into the baby’s room. Sure, more space would be nice, but we aren’t going anywhere!
Are you going back to work after you have the baby?
While it’s prying, I don’t mind when people ask me this question. It’s a tough decision for women to make when they are fortunate enough to have the choice. Personally, as a 36-year-old who has been working full-time for the past 14 years, I can’t imagine not returning to work. Not to mention, I really love my job. That being said, I know it won’t be easy to walk out the door every morning and leave my daughter with a nanny. Last month, I read the much talked about Atlantic Magazine article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” discussing whether women can excel in their careers while also balancing family life. I came away from the article with what I had already assumed: No, I can’t have it all. But who has it all in life, anyway? I am sure there will be days where I am at work and will feel terribly guilty for not being with my daughter. But I also think if I stayed home full-time, I would miss the challenges and social aspects of my job. All I know is that I will try to do my best to have a good balance.
Will you breastfeed?
Out of all the questions I’m asked, this is the one that makes me the most uncomfortable. I feel like people are just waiting to judge my answer. If you gather a few friends together to discuss breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, you will hear many strong opinions on the topic. I have done plenty of reading about the health benefits of breastfeeding and I am sure I will try it. But at the same time, I do feel it should be a woman’s choice based on what is best for her, her family and her lifestyle. If at any point I choose to formula feed, I would hope people don’t make me feel guilty about it or like I’m a failure for not continuing to breastfeed.
Are you going to hire a baby nurse?
I think some women feel caring for a newborn should just come naturally and wouldn’t even consider hiring a baby nurse to help in those first days or weeks. They may even judge others who choose to use one. But as excited as my husband and I are to bring home our new bundle of joy, we have no idea what we are doing and are not shy about asking for help. Feeding, changing, swaddling–it’s like a foreign language to us. If we can have someone in our home for a few days helping to show us the proper way of doing things, we’ll take it! Not to mention, I’ve heard those first few days home are a whirlwind. It will be nice to have a third set of hands on deck.