I never felt the pressure to have kids until three months before I got married. I was holding my niece for the first time, and that is when it all began. The question on everyone’s mind, it seems: “When are you going to have kids?” I had no idea what I was in for. There are many times I wish I could tell the people who ask this prying question how I really feel. However, I usually try to take the high road by giving them a smile and a politely rehearsed answer. Here are nine things I wish I could say to the people who constantly ask me when I’m going to have kids:
1. To the People Whom I Love Dearly
Please stop asking when I’m going to give you a grandchild, niece, nephew, or a cousin for your own kids to play with. I understand you’re excited; so am I. I dream of the day when I can surprise you with amazing news that I’m pregnant, but right now, every time I see you I feel like I have to come up with an excuse as to why I’m not. When I hold and play with your children, I can’t help but think about having my own. So, although your comments are innocent, they make me feel inadequate.
2. To the People Who Think I’m Choosing My Career Over Having Kids
Every day that I go to work, I am preparing for a future. I am not deliberately working to avoid having kids. I’m actually doing the opposite. Kids cost money and working allows me to earn and save money toward having kids. I know you read in all those magazines that women are choosing a career over having kids more often than not. I am not all women.
3. To the People Who Tell Me That ‘I’m Too Old’ and ‘My Biological Clock Is Ticking’
Thank you for your concern about me and my biological clock. Your comments have caused me to enter things like, “Is 27 too old to have your first baby?” and “Can you still get pregnant when you’re 28?” into search engines on more than one occasion. Please be assured that I have had some detailed conversations with my doctor, and my biological clock and I are just fine.
4. To the People Who Always Want an Explanation
I think about you often—especially when I’m on my way to any social engagement. I diligently prepare my answers to the questions I know you will be asking. Past answers such as, “We are waiting till my husband is done with school,” or “We want to save money,” have not worked. I’ve even bluntly said, “I am on birth control and don’t plan on getting off any time soon.” Please stop asking. You realize you are asking me to give you an approximate timeline of my life that I may not even know myself, right? I don’t ask for the timeline of your life every time I see you, so please stop asking for mine.
5. To the People Who Think I’m Selfish
There are times when I agree with you. I am selfish for not wanting my husband to work two jobs and go to school full-time so I can have a baby. I am selfish for wanting to have a decent amount in my savings account before bringing a baby into the world. I am selfish for wanting to get my body in the best shape possible. Is there anything else you would like to point out?
6. To the People Who Think I Should Have Kids ‘Because Everyone Else Is Doing It’
I seem to recall my mother saying something to me at a very young age: “If Sally jumped off a cliff, would you?” It’s a good thing Sally didn’t have a Facebook or an Instagram because I very well may have jumped off that cliff. It’s easy to do things because other people are doing them. Social media has given us a front row seat to everyone’s life. Although the adorable Instagram pictures of babies are tempting, I think I’ll wait.
7. To the People Who Think I’m a Failure
There are many nights when I lie in bed feeling like a failure. I hope that one day when I am holding my child in my arms, he or she I won’t think I’m a failure for wanting the best for them. I may not be trying to have a baby, but that doesn’t mean I don’t consider what is best for my future kids every day.
8. To the People Who Don’t Know What Else to Talk About
Ask me about my goals, my recent travels, my job, my favorite food, or what I ate for breakfast. Ask me anything except when I plan on having kids.
9. To the People Who Don’t Know
I am not currently struggling with infertility. My heart goes out to all the women who are. I honestly don’t even know if I can have kids because I’ve never tried. That doesn’t mean every time someone asks me the dreadful question it doesn’t cause me pain and tears. I can’t wait to be a mom; it is my dream. For the sake of all of us women who are dreaming to be moms, please be considerate. You never know what someone is going through, so be thoughtful and choose your words carefully.