Tuesday, November 14, 2006

So when are you having children?

I have to admit, I am beyond tired of hearing this question.

When we were dating, people would ask when we were getting married. We got really good at answering politely or with smartass remarks depending on the number of times that person had asked us. Eventually (after 6 years) people stopped asking. Thank God.

Then we got engaged. Apparently this opened new doors for people to ask the children question. Neither of us expected it though we probably should have. We started getting good at answering with a simple (and annoyed) "let us get married first" but had to be careful with the one we both wanted to use - "we don't believe in having children before being married." Though we don't, 2 of his 5 sisters are single moms. No need to offend anyone. Just not for us.

OK so now that we've been married for 3 weeks we keep hearing the children question. Please. Even at the reception we heard comments like "now they can work on having kids" and "do you think you'll try for a honeymoon baby?"

Whose business is it -- ours or theirs?

Wait, who said we're planning on having kids or if we can even have them?

We have friends who tried to conceive for 6 years after they were married. They hated hearing from their families the "aren't you trying?" question. The one day my friend's mother made the mistake of asking her son-in-law. His response? "We just realized that we've been doing it wrong. Apparently oral sex doesn't get you pregnant" The mother turned bright red and walked away. She never asked again.

Tell me, when did having kids become something that involves the entire goddamn world? Do I need to tell you about each time we fuck or if my period is late? Should I put an ad in the paper to announce that we're planning on having children?

I thought that having kids was something my husband and I got to decide for ourselves, not something that was required of married people. Having children is something personal for a couple and a major life-decision. If we choose to have children, we'll decide it on our own accord, not because you want us to. Besides, will you help pay for and raise our children?

Remember, what comes around goes around. As someone who has been bombarded by those folks and their questions, I ask one thing: be sensitive to others' situations. You never know when you might have to babysit their little monsters and get what's coming to you.


Anonymous Sonja said...

Amen. My husband and I made the decision not to have children partly because of some physical and genetic problems that I have. We've been married 19 years and do not for one minute regret this decision.
I understand how important the family unit can be, but when I see what the presence of children has done to some of the marriages I observe, I have definitely concluded that being married and having children is not a done deal, nor is it required for having a full life. I bridle at the idea that "a woman is not a woman until she's had a child." WHAT??? How about "women with no children get other things done in the world.'
Don't have kids unless you're absolutely sure you want 'em. None of those people asking you about having children will be caring for them, worrying about them, or arguing with or about them.

P.S. I love your blog! I am putting you on my blogroll.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous thordora said...

My husband and I didn't plan on kids, and were asked incessantly when we'd have some, told we'd change our minds, blah blah blah. The occasional question from relatives I could have handled, but not the constant harassment. It's rude, and no one's business.

I never thought of the oral sex answer. Damn that's a good one.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Billychic said...

I get this question sometimes from people...kind of a reminder: You are running out of time!

As if I was unaware of this.

People are really socially retarded and have a problem seeing past the end of their nose - and realizing that their questions and prying only alienate the people that they supposedly care about.

Congratulations on your wedding, btw! Enjoy each other and good for you for making a stand for your privacy - and your relationship above social expectations.

9:49 PM  
Blogger NYCbeauty said...

I think, for women, "children" is now the big "haves" vs. "have nots" out there. So much pressure. I have made the decision not to have them and people actually question me on it. "Oh, you haven't met the right guy yet." "Never say never, tee hee." I think that our generation of women is the first to realize that CHOICE has so many meanings including the choice NOT to procreate at all. How many of us had terrible childhoods b/c our boomer parents felt compelled to have families? Stick to your guns, woman! This is a topic that needs to be discussed MORE. xo jw

2:15 PM  
Blogger Full Frontal Honesty said...

From what I hear from pregnant friends of mine, it doesn't end there. They tell me that for some reason people have no qualms about saying the most ludicrous things to them simply because they're pregnant. As if that gives not only friends, but total strangers the right to ask the most personal and even offensive questions.

BOTTOM LINE: People should mind their own fucking beeswax and just be happy for whatever good things are happening in the moment.

Congrats on your marriage!

11:01 PM  

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