When Are You Having Kids?

When Are You Having Kids © www.toothbrushtravels.com

If I had a pound for every time somebody asked me when I was going to have children, I’d have enough money to settle the lawsuits which came from stitching their mouths shut.

It’s a funny old question isn’t it?
One that seems harmless enough yet is such a personal pry into somebody’s life.

I mean, I remember when I first got back from my stint living abroad and for a short while the only questions people were interested in me answering were “how long are you back for?” or “where to next?” and after years of questioning who I was, I felt like people finally understood that living abroad wasn’t me experiencing something and getting it out of my system, it was something that jumpstarted my enthusiasm for life and adventure. Yet almost immediately after those questions had been answered a new one arose, and that question was: “But when are you having children?”. Which was odd, because I hadn’t indicated that the adventure of parenthood was what I was seeking next. Yet suddenly, without my consent, the conversation surrounding me shifted, and it was no longer about what excites me in life but a matter of when.
When was I getting married.
When was I having children.
When was I going to stop avoiding their questions and give them a solid date.
But no matter what my answer to the question would be, it was always met with a response which was pretty much along the lines of “could you just hurry up and have them sooner because us and the rest of society is waiting”.

I mean I kind of get it, I do. I understand it comes from a line of friends wanting play dates, families wanting cuddles, and society telling a women that she isn’t complete until she has bought life into this world. I understand that children are a force of life and will “enrich my life in ways I never knew possible” (<– an actual quote from some nosey lady at a social club despite my insistence that we don’t discuss the subject, right before I walked away). I have nephews and they’re great and amazing and I love them with every single part of me.
But I also love being able to hand them back at the end of the day.

I love not having to worry about somebody else’s routine.
I love not having to worry if I’ve packed everything into their day bag.
Heck I just love not having to carry an extra bag when I find my handbag annoying enough.
So to be faced with the question of “when are you having children?” almost every time I see somebody is more than slightly starting to piss me off. Because do you know what?
I don’t know.

I don’t know when I will be having children.
If I was asked two years ago I would have said “Never”.
If I was asked on Thursday I would have said “Well if you count the pizza baby I’m currently carrying then right now I guess”.
But what I don’t understand is why people ask.
I mean why does it matter? Why do I need to tell anybody? Why do I need to explain myself? Why do I need to justify my reasoning for waiting and choosing a time that suits my needs, my body and my relationship?

Emily Bingham said it best when she wrote:

“You don’t know who is struggling with infertility or grieving a miscarriage or dealing with health issues. You don’t know who is having relationship problems or is under a lot of stress or the timing just isn’t right. You don’t know who is on the fence about having kids or having more kids. You don’t know who has decided it’s not for them right now, or not for them ever. You don’t know how your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief, pain, stress or frustration. Sure, for some people those questions may not cause any fraught feelings — but I can tell you, from my own experiences and hearing about many friends’ experiences — it more than likely does.”

And the reality is, I don’t need to answer.
So I’m taking a vow of silence on the subject in the hopes that people will stop acting as though they have a right to ask. I’m taking a vow of silence on the subject because the question is intrusive, and it’s not one that people have the right to know. I’m taking a vow of silence on the subject because honestly?
My lady parts are nobody’s business but my own.

I’m taking a vow of silence on the subject because every time I sit down for a conversation with anybody, the question of when I’m having a baby pops up…
And I really think it’s time we talked about something else.

 

  • ramblingmads

    My partner and I can’t have children, luckily it isn’t something we particularly want. But the question drives me nuts. I do not need to explain my curcumstances to anyone.

    • I’m sorry to hear that that particular choice was taken away from you both and completely agree that people need to mind their own! It can be so hurtful for people to be put on the spot like that especially when nobody is entitled to have the answer to such personal questions xo

  • This is such a true post. I went threw phases of not wanting kids then I unexpectedly fell pregnant and wanted another but I agree about going through phases. I agree there is too much pressure on women to have kids and everyone expects us too. But you just gotta do what you feel best. Great + honest post x

    • Thanks Analgesia – I think that people need to do what’s right for them and realise that if somebody wants kids that’s great and if they don’t that’s great too! There’s no right or wrong answer and you can only do what you feel is right in life! xo

  • Jasmin N

    I hate it when people are asking when. When when and when. It’s like “hey, I’ll let you know when the time comes but it won’t come any sooner if you keep asking.” I think it’s people’s own choice when they want to have children or not.
    And when imagining ones who can’t have children, yes – people won’t necessarily know about their situation so I’m having a mixed feelings about people asking when, when you can’t really know how the person receiving the question is going to take it. I don’t know if this comment make any sense though 😀
    But yes, I don’t like when people asks you when you’re about to have children. I avoid that question, I never answer or ask anyone, it’s everyone’s own personal business.

    ♥: Jasmin N

    • Your comment made sense don’t worry!
      You never know what people are going through and I find the question too intrusive to be a subject that other people bring up for discussion. I mean it’s fine if the individual whose body it is brings it up, but if not there’s no need to enquire! xo

  • My boyfriend and I are always getting ask when we’re getting married and if we want kids. We’ve been together for almost 8 years and people are always surprised we aren’t married yet. There’s no rush! I’ve known people who have dated, gotten engaged, got married and had a baby and then split during the time my boyfriend and I’ve been together. Personally I feel like these days people just rush into things. I know you only live once and live life to the fullest, but there’s still no need to rush getting married and having kids. My boyfriend and I do want to get married and have a baby, but only when we’ve done the things we want to do and we’re completely settled down…when we’re ready! Sorry for this long essay of a comment!

    -Marie

    • As someone who has been in an 8 year relationship as of December… I feel your pain!
      Definitely got to do what’s right for you and your other half – as long as you both know where you’re at and what you want that’s all that really matters xo

  • Saccharine Soul

    I find it rather rude and intrusive…it is very personal and a decision a couple takes. Do not interfere with my body and my life plans. I understand some people maybe are genuinely curious? But then again, too much curiosity becomes intrusive 🙂

    • Completely agree with you!
      Occasionally some family members do ask, not as pressure but as general curiosity and occasionally it’s ok… But when you’re faced with it ALL the time it becomes WAY too repetitive! Leave people be is what I say! xo

  • I cannot relate as I am a single pringle. However, I agree with your post, I think that the question is too personal to be asked.

  • daytodayMOMents

    Ah, people will never stop though. 😉
    I have 3 children and everyone wants to know “if I plan on having more”, they wanted to know since they walked into our hospital room to visit me after I had just given birth to my last… No..actually they wanted to know when they found I was pregnant with my last baby. Same answer as you “I don’t know.” lol

  • Didier Van Nes

    We have made the choice to don’t have kids together, We prefer to play and grow up with the kids from others members of family like uncle , we have more time for us. I’ve a boys from a previous relationship and it’s enoughe, but don’t worry when I see a baby I’ve always the same sensation of beauty and beautiful things in the world

  • My answer will be never… dont get me wrong, I love kids, just not my own…..
    Great write up…..
    http://sepatuholig.blogspot.com
    ig @grace_njio

    • Exactly – and that’s your choice! May your ears be blessed with silence on the subject 😉 xo