Like most of my posts I debated about whether to write this but decided that it’s about a topic close to my heart.
I want to say first of all that you may be reading this and be thinking ‘Oh no! I say that all the time to her, she must hate me’. Well I don’t. I accept it’s something that comes quite naturally but I also think that it’s important that you know my views and basically don’t do it again!
I’m 34. I’ve been married for 9 years to a beautiful amazing kind man who is literally the love of my life (so far!). I have a great job that pays relatively well and I am surrounded by some beautiful friends and family who are an amazing support network. I don’t have a lot of surplus cash admittedly but I do have a husband who is a bit of a saver and always supports me if needed.
When I was young, I was constantly asked about whether I had a boyfriend. You would think that when I got married, those kind of questions would stop but no. Then comes the baby question.
“Any pitter patter of little feet”. ” You’re not getting any younger”. “You must get a move on”. Unbeknown to me, the rules are that if you get married, you naturally must be pregnant within the year, or two if you want to settle into married life for a bit. Two is acceptable. 9 is apparently just not on.
This morning I was asked about whether I had plans to have children. Normally I would shrug this off but this time it really upset me. Not through the fault of the person who asked but just years of friends, family asking me when we were going to start a family. I’m writing this not just for me but for all the childless women out there. Please don’t ask when we are going to have children. If we volunteer information then that’s fine. If not then there might be a reason but, put bluntly, it’s none of your business if I ever choose to have a baby. Here’s a few reasons why you should avoid asking about the baby question. I’m not saying whether these apply to me because if I haven’t talked about it to you already, then I probably won’t want to. That doesn’t reflect on our friendship. It just means that I don’t want to share.
1. Children do not make a family.
Okay, I know children are amazing and the love for a child is unlike any love that anybody has ever known. But maybe, just maybe the person you’re asking is pretty fulfilled as they are and don’t want children. They might not feel maternal. They might like the fact they can sleep in and do what they want when they want. Maybe they’re selfish. Maybe there’s lot of reasons but contrary to popular belief, women can be fulfilled and not have children. My amazing auntie who passed away from cancer was proof of that. She never had children but she was an amazing auntie.
2. One or both in the relationship are not ready for children just yet
The key word is ‘not ready’. Yes, there is never a right time for children but maybe they want to spend some time as they are before they have a label of mum and dad. Maybe one wants to but the other doesn’t. Maybe there’s all sorts of conversations happening that you’re not privy to because you’re not part of the relationship. Maybe mentioning children is actually harming the relationship because of all the pressure.
3. One or other can’t have children
Yes I know, there are people who (shock horror) can’t have children. It happens. And maybe months of tears and trying are compounded by you asking about whether there is a little one on the way.
So, this is a plea. Don’t ask me if I’m going to have children. Ask about my job, my career, my achievements, what I did at the weekend and my holidays away. Ask about how I celebrated 9 years of marriage. Ask lots of things but not children. If you mean a lot to me, you will know when I choose to have children. If not, you’ll find out on facebook like everyone else.