So….When are you going to have children?
There’s something incredibly invasive I find about being asked this question. Especially when it seems to randomly insert itself into an otherwise generic and lighthearted topic of conversation.
I think I preferred the equally irritating “Are you going to lose weight for your wedding’ question instead!
Every time I am asked, I want to squeal. Get all hot and flustered and slightly embarrassed and irritated in equal measure, that now everyone appears to be interested in my sex life and something so personal, private and intimate.
As if the piercing sound of my biological clock ticking isn’t enough. It seems as soon as you’re married it gives free rein to family (acceptable), friends, Facebook friends, acquaintances, work colleagues and even strangers (!!) to ask this what I deem as a very personal question.
As I’ve discovered at 3 years into marriage people think it’s more and more pertinent to ask, as if it is completely abnormal for us not to have had children by now.
From societal expectations when dating to: ‘when are you getting married?’, from engagement to: ‘will you be loosing weight for your wedding’, to marriage and the pressures to procreate almost immediately after saying ‘I do’. Society. Please stop. There is no one size fits all formula with marriage anymore.
As women we get The BIGGEST of all expectations placed on us to naturally want to be mothers.
The BIGGEST of all expectations to have the perfect body aesthetically and to have the perfect functioning fertile bodies.
There’s all sorts of reasons why children aren’t in people’s lives and no-one has the right to assume. It’s quite rude, insulting and ignorant. Jennifer Anniston
Why is it not ok to just ‘be’ married and to be happy with that? Why is not ok to just enjoy being with the one you love and having an adventure together for a little while. Why can’t we just stand still and be present for a moment?
There is this bizarre assumption that something must be wrong, or that life after marriage is insignificant or incomplete without 2.4 children and a cat and dog running around the house.
I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings? Marisa Tomei
I wonder when people ask, “So, when are you going to have children” with a big cheesy grin on their face they consider if a couple actually doesn’t want to have children like the Oprah Winfrey’s and Jennifer Anniston of this world.
Or much more common than many realise, I wonder when they ask this question in a busy public place, if they even take a heartbeat to consider that a couple are desperately and painfully longing for a child and cannot have one because they are infertile and have medical complications.
Or what if couples are simply undecided – I mean parenting is a big deal right?
I remember being at a family event with Mr Nu Bride with some children running riot. It was pure chaos, noise, mess everywhere, food on the floor, screaming, fighting, everything you would associate with bored and frustrated children. I felt like we’d done a full round in a Boxing ring. As the children and their parent left it was just Mr Nu Bride and I left behind with three elders in the room (who were grateful for the peace and quiet). They then turned their attention to us and asked, ‘so when are you going to have children’. We erupted in laughter as the events that had unfolded hours before was not an advert for parenthood. lol! Although it was asked in jest, we still didn’t answer them though!
I recognise it is a question often asked in innocence and intrigue (and sometimes just pure nosy-ness) never the less it is invasive and weighted so heavily to those of us who do not have a clear, direct and uncomplicated response to give….Like me.
The number of friends I have who decide to embark on motherhood and discover there are complications and feel so let down by their own bodies. The pressures to be mother Theresa and feeling completely inadequate become magnified every time you are asked this question, over and over again.
I’ve been amazed at the sheer pressure for newlyweds to procreate, it’s almost unreal, some friends of mine who have been married just 2.5 months are already being asked that question.
Please. Society. Stop.
There are a multitude of valuable reasons why a couple doesn’t have children, all are valid, and most importantly private.
The next time someone asks a couple ‘when they are going to have children’ – just one request, please stop and think about the myriad of complexities of what they might be going through first.
I want to have kids when there’s nothing else I want more. Sarah Silverman
Have you felt pressured to have children and felt uncomfortable being drilled post marriage – or does it simply come with the territory?
Main Photography: Rabbit and Pork Photography
Header Image: Victoria Mitchell Photography