I actually don't blame her for this reaction. This post isn't about her, at all; if I've heard this once, I've heard it 1,000 times. Many of my friends are on child #2. To many people, I am "behind."
Recently, at my father's 60th birthday, I saw several former teachers who guided me through elementary, junior high, and high school. My mother told them (and everyone) that I'd gotten my PhD, and these teachers said, "We're so glad for you. Do you have any children yet?"
This has been an unusual reaction for me. I'm not sure what I expected -- I've been too busy to wonder what other people would think -- but I find it odd that my identity, while for me has been defined as academic, scholar, teacher, wife, friend, and daughter, is not complete to other people unless I adopt the persona of mother. People are often quickly apologetic after they point out what they see as an omission in my life. They say, "Oh, I know I never liked it when people asked me." "It's none of my business of course." "You don't have to tell me."
Isn't it odd that, while I've finally achieved self-sufficiency, while I've gone to college for 10 years, searched for the right job for almost as long, own my own house, have a successful marriage, and am involved in my community, because I'm a woman, it isn't enough?