“WHEN ARE YOU HAVING KIDS??”
AND OTHER QUESTIONS WE SHOULDN’T ASK
Are you engaged? Are you married? Are you pregnant? Do you have just one child? If you answered yes to any of those, then you know what I’m talking about: the relentless questions that your friends, family and co-workers ask you as soon as one of these things happens to you.
The minute my friends and family found out that my now-husband had proposed they all had the same question, “Have you set a date yet?” I feel like the answer was pretty obvious – no. We just got engaged, man. No, we haven’t set a date yet.
As soon as my husband and I tied the knot the question changed, but the fact that everyone was asking it didn’t. “So, when are you having kids?! *insert cheesy and overly-excited grin here*”
To be fair, in my case, everyone I’ve ever talked to for more than 15 minutes knows that I am baby crazy, and that kids (or maybe just a kid) are super-high on my to-do list, especially as I continue to get older (I hate that). But that isn’t always the case. These questions that our friends and family ask:
- “When are you having kids?”
- “When do I get a grandbaby?”
- “Are you pregnant?…..Are you pregnant now?…..What about now?”
- “Oh, she’s adorable. When are you going to have another one?”
- “No kids? You don’t want kids?”
These are (mostly) very, very well-intentioned questions. Our loved ones just want to share in any and all of our joy! And while the thought is very kind, these questions can sometimes be very hurtful to have to answer, let alone to have to answer over and over again. Unless you are extremely open with everyone in your life, it’s entirely possible that you and your significant other (SO, for short) have been trying to conceive (TTC, for short) for an entire year, without anyone being any the wiser. You might be struggling to cope with multiple miscarriages, or possible infertility, and these people that you love won’t stop hounding you about why you haven’t produced any offspring yet.
Luckily, this is not the case for me. At least not yet, and not that I know of. My husband and I do both want kids, and though only a few people (who I know in real life) know, we are going to start TTC in T-minus 33 days. The crappy thing is that I’m super guilty of asking these questions! I’ve really never thought twice about asking other people these same questions. Particularly, “When are you having kids??” It seems so innocent, and I really just want to find someone else in my life, who is in the same place, who I can talk to about TTC.
Fortunately, as I was reading one of my fertility books, the fact that these questions can be extremely insensitive became abundantly clear. Aside from the fact that it probably isn’t anyone else’s business in the first place, asking someone about…really anything related to their fertility is an insensitive thing to do. Don’t beat yourself up about it, though. It’s very easy to overlook the problems with these questions, unless you’ve experienced a problem with infertility yourself, or know someone else who has. And I know it is really hard to not ask these questions! I have, on at least one occasion, been guilty of getting a little tipsy and hounding my girlfriends about when they see babies in their futures.
We all just need to be a little more aware of other people’s shoes, if you know what I mean. Before you ask a question like, “When are you having kids??” try to imagine how you would feel if you had recently (or even long ago – I’m not sure that time heals a wound like that) discovered your own infertility, but had to keep answering that question! You would probably feel…very badly, possibly even depressed. And I know that none of us want to make our loved ones feel like that, if we can help it. That old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” is a load of poop. Words can, and do, hurt. So, let’s all promise to try and be a little more intentional, and a lot more sensitive, with which questions we ask one another. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.