Food for thought.

gossip-image

I overheard a conversation the other day about a woman and her type one diabetic cousin. She was complaining about the audacity of her cousin wanting to have children. She exclaimed, with a tone of utter disgust, that her cousin already had two, why did she need more than that? I refrained from jumping in because I felt it wasn’t my place..or was it?

I was overwhelmingly upset about the comments. In a conversation that only took minutes from start to finish the woman explained that with being diabetic her cousin was causing so much damage to not only herself but her children as well. The other person in this seemingly one sided conversation asked if something was wrong with the cousins children.

“No. Not yet anyway!”

Not yet?

With someone who had such an abundant amount of knowledge about this disease did she not know that plenty of diabetic women have healthy pregnancies as well as perfectly healthy children. I can use myself as an example. Did I always take care of myself and my diabetes, no, but once I was put into a situation where it wasn’t just my life at stake I focused on being the best me, the best diabetic, and the best mom I could be. Life is not with out it’s ups and downs but that doesn’t mean that everything is going to go wrong all of the time. I have had two healthy pregnancies and two healthy children call me mommy. Why shouldn’t the woman’s cousin be allowed to have as many children as her heart desires? So long as her body permits and the doctors are by her side I don’t see a problem.

I certainly don’t understand why it’s anyone’s business.

Or why the woman decided she needed to tell everyone within an ear shot about her diabetic cousin.

Why am I now discussing it? Because I am outraged that people find it necessary to trash talk any woman, but in this particular situation a diabetic woman, and whether or not she should bear children. The topic hits close to home only for the fact that I have been asked why I decided to have children if I knew I was sickly, if i knew there was a chance that my kids could “come down with it..(diabetes)” Why would I put myself and others in danger?

At times I have fully explained myself when I felt as though the questions and comments were coming from a loving and concerned place. However, most of the time these questions can feel like attacks. Like I am being attacked for a disease I never asked for, like I am being attacked for wanting to be a mother despite these uncontrollable circumstances. Is it really alright to just walk up to people and ask them these sort of things? I deserve respect and so did that woman’s cousin. My decisions deserve respect whether you agree or disagree and so do the cousins decisions.

Furthermore I believe that everyone should be educated before even thinking about questioning people and the way they live their lives. People with diabetes, so long as it is managed appropriately, can live very wonderfully and successfully. Nothing is impossible, well except for creating our own insulin, but other than that we can accomplish so much. And diabetic women, specifically to this post, can most definitely have children and as many as they want!

I am not trying to speak for everyone and I am certainly not claiming to know everyone’s situation but I will say this…be careful what you say out loud and ask yourself if you were in their shoes would you feel offended at all, would you welcome criticism with open arms? Or would you want to be respected?

Jumping off my soap box now.

Have you experienced anything like this?

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5 Comments

  1. An older coworker recently got offended that I used the phrase “If I have kids…” in conversation. I use “if” because I do not yet have children. When the times comes, who knows what will happen? There could be diabetes issues, or a multitude of other unrelated issues that many couples struggle with. Until it is a certain thing, I will use “if” because I am comfortable with that term. As you bring up in your post, it is no one else’s business. Having children or not is such a personal decision that I, too, am shocked by how outrageous others treat the topic at times. Congrats to you on your own children, and hopefully the diabetic mentioned in your post will follow whatever her heart desires- cousin’s opinion aside!

    • That’s a very valid point. Women also have the right to not want children, they have the right to say “if” or “when” and everyone should really mind their own business about it. Thank you for reminding me of the other side of this topic. Thank you for commenting. It means a lot to be able to hear everyone’s thoughts on these things.

  2. Liz, thanks for posti this. I admire your restraint – i dont think I wouldve been as graceful as you were if I overheard. It’s funny because no-one is perfectly healthy – and even if everything looks “perfect” on paper there is always a chance that something may go astray in any pregnancy. I also get really offended when others make uneducated and judgemental comments like that. But I know that sometimes we are all guilty of sayung something uneducated or unknowingly hurtful to someone else. And i know it can be really difficult to jnterrupt a conversation to educate – some people might get defensive or not want to hear it.. In the end, we all have opinions, no matter how legitimate… You and other type 1 mommies are such an inspiration to people like me – type 1s who don’t have kids yet but hope to soon.

    • It was difficult not to jump in and correct her but I was also at work and felt it probably wasn’t appropriate. I just felt so annoyed that she was spreading false information. I hope one day I get the opportunity to educate her. In a friendly way, of course. Thank you so much for commenting. :)

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