Nine years ago, I found myself pregnant and single when my boyfriend had a change of heart. If I was asked one question about my new status, I was asked one thousand. A lot of the questions I was bombarded with were personal, rude, and gave me anxiety. The last thing I wanted, or any single pregnant woman wants, is to be interrogated. Just like women who are expecting with partners at their side, we want to enjoy the special journey while navigating hormones, pregnancy clothing stores, and midnight cravings. See, she’s just having a baby.
Here are some nosey questions to, please, avoid …
1. “Where’s the dad?”
If the woman established she’s single — accept that she’s single. Understand that husband/partner/friend isn’t a dad. The dad is directly related to the child. There might be a dad who is somewhat involved, not involved at all, deceased, or not around because she went to a sperm bank. A lot of women are taking the plunge and having babies solo.
Bottom line: If she wants to tell you about the father, she will.
2. “Was it an accident?”
It totally could have been an accident, but if she’s having the child, she’s not keen on referring to it as that anymore. “Accident” has a negative connotation. Think car accident, broken vase accident, accidentally sending your boss the wrong email accident. Drunk dialing accident. None of these scenarios add up to a beautiful baby on the way.
Instead, try something sweet like, “Wow! What a surprise! How do you feel?”
3. “Did you weigh your options?”
This is you — asking her — if she looked into having an abortion. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s 2016, people. Women are aware of their rights and how to proceed with their reproductive issues. At this point, yes, she weighed the option and she’s having a baby!
4. “Don’t you think your baby needs a dad?”
Honestly, this is a valid assumption. Some dads (but not all of them) are awesome, and those of us fortunate enough to have ‘em lucked out. But a blood father isn’t the only man who can be a good influence on your child. There’s uncles, grandfathers, coaches, and friends. Chances are this single pregnant woman knows a few good guys.
5. “Wait, can you afford a baby?”
Burn. If she’s working, clothed, and eating, she likely has her priorities set. Give her the benefit of the doubt and consider she’s not a dummy and realizes that bringing a baby into the mix will cost money and make a dent in her savings. Additionally, how do you know she’s not cool with the baby’s dad, who will, ahem, be paying child support? Asking about someone’s finances in any context is so tacky! Just stop.
6. “What will you tell the baby about the father?”
Whether the dad is MIA, dead, or #2663611 from the sperm bank, the last thing she is thinking about is the dialogue she will have with her child — down the road — about dear old dad. Like any pregnant woman, she has her eye on the prize: championing through morning sickness, avoiding raw fish, deciding what color to paint the nursery, and every other immediate XYZ pertaining to the here and now.
7. “OMG! How will you handle a baby … alone?”
Well, for starters, she’s not about to rear a lion cub or fly to the moon. She’s going to have a baby she wanted. The love couples feel for their child is no different than a single woman’s feelings. And if you really want to know, maybe examine your own family. Are you handling it alone? Do you have a nanny or a carpool that helps out? It takes a village no matter what your family looks like.
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“7 Things Not to Ask a Single Pregnant Woman” originally appeared on Babble.com.