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.