I’ve been married for less than eight months. In that short amount of time, I’ve probably heard this question fifty times….”So, when are you going to have kids?”
I never thought twice about this question before. Heck, I’ve probably even asked it to newlyweds. But, now that I’m on the other side of the question, I can’t think of anything more annoying. There is probably nothing more personal to a couple than their opinions, hopes, and desires about having a child. Why does it seem to be the first question that is blurted out when you tell someone you are recently married?
Truth is, when someone asks me, I don’t have a good answer. I usually just laugh it off and say no kids yet and no plans…but we have a dog!! When good friends or my family asks, I can explain my feelings in a little more detail. But, it gets complicated.
I don’t want kids…right now. But that is how I feel today. How I feel tomorrow or next year might be totally different. Which is why, when people ask when we are going to have kids, I just laugh and pretend I wasn’t just asked one of the most personal questions you could ask.
I get it. It’s a conversation topic and starter. You might think I’m overreacting and that’s the question isn’t really a big deal, but to me it is. The answer isn’t cut and dry. It’s something that requires A LOT of thought and discussions with my husband. And furthermore, what if we were trying to have kids but were having some fertility issues? How awful to have to answer such a simple question with a fake smile while knowing that it is more of a struggle than just deciding to have kids?
And let’s talk about the timing of the question. We’ve been married for less than a year. This question was first asked at the wedding, even before that! Is it expected to have kids within the first year now? Not saying it’s bad if you do, but come on…give a newlywed a break!
When I do tell people that I’m not sure if I want kids, I usually get 1 of 2 responses.
1- “Kids really are the greatest thing in the world. It is the hardest thing that you’ll ever do, but it is the most rewarding. You should really have them.”
2- “If you have even a thought that you don’t want to have kids, then you shouldn’t! You shouldn’t have kids if you don’t want them.”
There are things wrong with both of these answers. For the first response, I’m well aware that raising kids is hard work. And I’m sure to you that your kids are the greatest thing that has ever happened. But, that does not make me want to have kids anymore than I did before. I truly believe I will like my kids and I will think they are greatest things as well. Hello….have you seen how I treat my dog? With the second response, I’m bothered by the assumption that I have sworn off all possibilities of having kids and that I’ll be a resentful and awful mother if I do because of this.
I have friends that have recently gotten pregnant, and the comments have turned from before the pregnancy, “Kids are the greatest…flowers…butterflies..love…” to during, “OMG, you’re never going to sleep again, good luck keeping a relationship with your husband….you’ll never get your body back…etc.” Why is it that when you aren’t pregnant everyone comments on the joys and positives of getting pregnant, and then once you are pregnant, everyone comments on all the negativity?
I get this isn’t always the case, and I also get that many might disagree with how I feel about this situation. But, just like the personal questions you shouldn’t ask like weight, politics, etc., I think your preference on having kids fits right in that same category.
For me, it’s a personal decision to be made with my husband. Something that we have discussed and will continue to discuss and someday we will decide if it’s the right time or not. For now, please lay off the pressuring questions. I’m a great dog mom and aunt of the year and I am perfectly happy with those titles for now.