This is a public service announcement. Call it a good deed if you’d like. Here we go:
PLEASE STOP ASKING MARRIED COUPLES WITHOUT CHILDREN WHEN THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE KIDS.
I’m begging you. Pleading. I’m on my knees.
My wife and I have been married a little over four years. I’m 37 (she’s multiple years younger than me, but I’m too smart to post her exact age on here). So, I get it. I’m old and the “biological clock” is ticking. But I’m not sure how that makes our reproductive life anyone else’s business.
I realize I’m going to offend people here. A bunch of people reading this have probably asked us when we’re going to have kids. I apologize if I sound snarky. I think you’re all lovely people, but enough is enough. We got asked twice in one day at two different social functions recently. One of them was by someone we barely know. Some people literally ask us every time they see us. It’s as though it’s the only possible question they can think to ask. You could ask about the weather. Boy, that winter we had was crazy. This summer sure has been mild. How about that storm the other night? Yowser!
Not only is it frustrating to answer the same question over and over again, from multiple people, multiple times per week, but the question itself seems pretty rude. Am I the only one who sees that? I know having kids and raising them is a
miserable joyous experience for most parents, but the process of creating those little devils angels isn’t always joyous. Let me throw out a couple of possible reasons why your innocent question could be incredibly painful for a couple:
What if we’ve been trying for a long time and are emotionally wrecked by our inability to get pregnant? Thanks for bringing that pain to the forefront of our minds in the middle of your wife’s birthday party. Look, it’s time to eat cake.
What if we just miscarried the day before you asked us if we’re planning to have kids soon? “Well, yeah, but what are the odds someone just miscarried?” you ask. I don’t know for sure, but it’s not 0%, so why risk it?
Thankfully, those two examples aren’t true for us. But, sadly, they’re true for lots of couples out there. I know many couples who have dealt with, or are currently dealing with, one or both of those issues. How do you think your question would make them feel?
Or what if we’re three weeks pregnant, and since we don’t want to make the pregnancy public yet, your question forces us to awkwardly lie? I don’t want to lie to you. Remember, you’re a lovely person.
Frankly, it just doesn’t feel like it’s anyone else’s business if we’re going to have kids, when we’re going to have kids, where we’re going to have kids, how we’re going to have kids … especially if I barely know you. It’s such an incredibly personal question. Stop to consider how often we must get asked about it, and how annoying it would be to have to answer the same question over and over again.
Just wait to find out if we’re pregnant the old-fashioned way—wait for Liz to turn down wine in a social setting.
We still friends? Okay, good. Looking forward to chatting about the weather next time we hang out.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Hebe Aguilera