My Least Favorite Question

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.

What I’ve learned after one month of marriage.

Yes, you read that right. I’m sharing marriage insight after only a mere 31 days. Ryan and I got married on March 1, and while a week of this past month was spent in paradise on our honeymoon, we have already dealt with the things that any married couple, regardless of the length of the marriage, has to deal with.

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Here are ten things that I’ve learned during our first month of marriage:

1. Not a whole lot changes. We lived together for about a year and a half before we tied the knot, so there weren’t any surprises when it came to shacking up after marriage. I still don’t put the lids on things tight enough, and he still places apple and fruit stickers all over the house–both because it drives each other crazy.

2. Everything changes. There is a weird sense of security with marriage. Not that I thought he was going to leave me before if we had a fight, but now I know he can’t (well he could, but we won’t go into those details). With that security also lends the opportunity to say things you might not normally say–things that might hurt a little bit more just because you can. This might not make sense to the average person (or any male), but for me and lots of women, we like to see how far we can push our counterparts. This is something I’m working on…

3. Now we are REAL adults. I’m 26, he’s 28. We’ve been adults (kinda) since we graduated college and starting paying our own bills. It’s different once your married–you have to sign each other as dependents, talk about who has the better insurance, fill out a bunch of tax info, deal with the government to change your name, and talk about a real savings plan so that you can someday have that house with a walk-in closet.

4. We are a team now. And being a team means we need to support each other every way we can. Since we’ve started dating, we’ve always shared our personal and professional goals and dreams. We talked about the “one day” and “what if’s”…but now for whatever reason, we are set on making our dreams a reality. We talk about what we need from each other to move forward, and what we can each do to make whatever it is we need, happen. We both want to be successful and happy, and while we realize we might have to make some sacrifices now, we are on the same page in terms of having our long-term goals be our motivation.

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we may be a team but we can still challenge each other to drinking contests (he usually wins)

5. We rely on each other more. I’m super close to my parents, especially my mom. We talk almost every single day. And while I don’t want that to change, I do realize that Ryan is my person to confide in now. That doesn’t mean that I still won’t tell my mom just about everything, but I also need to clue him in just as much as her. Example: I got a flat tire the other day and the first person I was about to call was my dad…but I didn’t. I needed to call my husband. He’s my go-to person now and that is going to take some time to get used to. My parents have been my go-to people for 26 years…and change is hard.

6. My family is his family. And vice-versa. Before I would say “Ryan’s niece” or “Ryan’s brother,” but now I’m learning to say “my niece” and “my brother-in-law.” It’s really cool to all of a sudden have a HUGE amount of people that are automatically inducted into your family. I come from a very small immediate family of only 5 people including me. I gained 11 immediate family members when I married Ryan and that’s pretty cool.

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7. I still need to hang with the girls. I love hanging out with Ryan…it’s honestly one of my favorite things to do. I realize, though, that it’s really important to still have my girl time. Sometimes I just NEED it. Ryan doesn’t get why I watch 10 episodes of The Real Housewives, or why I have to go shopping once a month, or why I need to get a pedicure TODAY–and that’s ok. My girls do get it. It’s so important that I maintain my lady friendships.

Image8. I still need time for myself. This one is really hard for me because honestly, I don’t like being alone. I’d much rather be with people than by myself. I know it’s still important to just be alone, even if it’s for a short amount of time. And by being alone, I don’t mean that you have tobe  completely alone, but just not with other people you know. My alone time is usually spent working out. I don’t go to yoga or the gym with friends that often because I know how important it is to just take that hour to focus on myself. It’s my time to zone out, think through things, and work on becoming a better version of myself.

9. There aren’t many secrets anymore. Like I said, we lived together for awhile before we got married, so it’s not like there was really much to share after we got married–at least not in the verbal sense. I’ve always been pretty comfortable physically around Ryan, but I would never, ever change my clothes completely in front of him. On our honeymoon, I found myself getting out of my swimsuit and into my next outfit right in the middle of the room. I didn’t think much about it–until he said something. I realize that I’m so much more comfortable in all senses around him now that he’s my husband, and there’s no reason to hide anymore—at least not all the time.

10. I’m a Mrs. This has been the biggest change in the past month. I have a new name, I have a husband, and now I’m a Mrs. In my mind, the term Mrs. was saved for ladies who were 1st and 3rd grade teachers. It never really hit me that I would someday be one. “I’m Kelly and this is my husband, Ryan” is also really weird to say. I hear you get used to it, but change is strange.

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Clearly, I’m not an expert in my short 30 days of being a wife. I have a lot to learn…but I’m really lucky that I have a great partner in crime to learn new things with. Cheers to marriage!