I have tried to write this post about 5 different times. It is extremely difficult to convey how angry this subject makes me without portraying me as a terrible person.
Here’s the thing: I want to have kids. But, not yet.
It seems as though everyone’s favorite subject after a couple gets married is “babies”. As soon as the clock hits midnight on your wedding day and the celebration is officially over, people switch gears and immediately ask when you plan on having children. Andrew and I (but mostly me) get the question almost every time we go out to meet with people.
“so, when are you going to have a baby?
If I am with Andrew, he can laugh it off and change the subject with ease while I internally seethe. When I am by myself and someone asks, I often get angry and am not afraid of people knowing it. I often reply with “excuse you?” or “its none of your business” or “I’m not going to answer that question” or “when I’m good and ready”.
“you know that’s what comes next, don’t you? You get married and then you have a baby.”
This is when I usually close my eyes and count to 10 because if I don’t, I’m afraid I will hit someone.
Sure, 50 years ago that’s typically what happens. Two people fall in love, those crazy kids get hitched, they buy a nice house in suburbs, husband goes off to work, wife stays home and cleans, the stork visits and drops off a bouncing baby boy, dad goes out and buys a football, and mom make a baby bonnet. The perfect life, right? Flash forward to 2013, that’s not exactly how it works. Its just as normal to have a kid before the wedding rings and the house as it is after.
The question gives me a lot of anxiety. I find myself over-thinking our decisions and convincing myself that I am a bad wife for not wanting to spawn right away. We decided to wait to have kids for a million different reasons. The main reason being that we just want to be married for a little while. We just went through a year of planning a wedding and settling into a new house- we haven’t had any time to relax and just exist. We haven’t even been on our honeymoon yet! We are both in our twenties and still have a lot of things we want to do before we have to think about formula, baby food, daycare, and diapers.
I feel for the other newly married couples out there that are getting the same questions. However, the reason that they don’t have kids could be completely different from mine and Andrew’s. Some may want to finish school first if they haven’t already, they may want to establish their career first, maybe they want to want to have kids and aren’t just there yet.
Its not fair that people think that they have the right to pry and ask such a personal question. Because that’s what it is- its PERSONAL. If a couple wants to put their decision timeline out into the world for everyone to see, that is their choice. But for the couples who don’t do that, there’s a reason for it.
So the next time you feel the urge to ask a couple when they are going to have a baby, please remember that it quite frankly isn’t your business. If they don’t want to offer up any information, please don’t put them in a position where they feel like they have to. Please don’t make them feel bad for wanting to wait. Please remember that they most likely got married recently and want to enjoy each other’s company while they can. Please be aware that there are couples out there that simply can’t have children and they may be trying to come to terms with that- you opening the wound over and over isn’t helping. Please understand that if you ask the question and you get a snarky response (or none at all), it’s because they have probably heard that question 34732894739 other times in the last 5 minutes and they are sick of hearing it. Please remember that people have things that they want to see and do before they have children and they shouldn’t feel bad about that. Please keep in mind that it’s ok for people to wait- no matter what their reason is.