Today I’m speaking up for those who don’t speak up for themselves. I’m speaking for the ones who politely smile and give a pained answer when asked this question. I know the ones doing the asking don’t intend to be hurtful or rude, but it often causes overwhelming grief and discomfort when asked.
Stop asking “Are you ever going to have kids?”
I have been married for over six years and do not have children. I can’t even tell you how many times someone has asked me this question. Before we get into the meat of today’s post – I’ll tell you my completely honest and transparent answer.
We are not planning to have children at this time (April 2017). We are not anti-procreation, but at this point (April 2017) neither of us have a desire to start a family. For today’s post, I’ll even add that we’ve never tried to have children. We’ve never lost or miscarried a child. With that said, please know that I’m never hurt or offended by this question. I’m speaking up for those who are.
Why do I think everyone should stop asking this question?
I just scrolled through the contacts on my phone. Half of the married women who are on that list have experienced some kind of difficulty related to pregnancy, whether it was infertility, miscarriage or something else. And those are just the ones that have shared their struggle with me. I’m sure there are more of my good friends that have suffered in silence.
If you’re asking the question, “Are you ever going to have kids?” there’s a good chance you’re asking it to a woman who has suffered heartache or loss in her motherhood journey.
I won’t even get into the fact that it’s really not anyone’s business when a couple decides to have children. Making babies is the most intimate thing a couple can do…and I don’t imagine you really believe someone’s sex life is your business. That’s awkward, isn’t it?
Just the other day someone said this to me – “This might be a personal question, but have you and Paul ever thought about having kids?” Every time someone asks me that question, I just take a moment and pray for my sweet friends who have to fight back tears when they find themselves being asked.
I want to say, “You’re right, that is a very personal question and it’s none of your business!” But I don’t – I always give the answer I mentioned above. I know that people usually have very good intentions when they ask me. They aren’t looking to be rude or to cause pain.
Please remember this – for so many sweet women, that question causes incredible pain. What should you do instead of asking, “When are you going to have kids?” Here are two options:
- Don’t ask anything at all. That’s always a safe solution.
- Ask this instead, “How can I pray for you?” This question will certainly convey the care and love you intended, and may also give you an opportunity to encourage them in their struggle should they desire to open up about it.
There are other versions of this question that I believe should also be avoided:
- “You look so natural holding that baby! Doesn’t it make you want one?”
- “When are you going to have another baby?”
- I wish women would also be careful when bitterly retorting, “Just be glad you don’t have any kids!” You may have no idea how much that sweet woman who has struggled for years to become pregnant would gladly change places with you.
In the video below, I talked about this subject a little more and discussed a few of the comments that my sweet readers left on this blog post.
This post has been on my heart for a long time, and I think it’s appropriate that I’m writing it just before Mother’s Day. I am not writing this as a rant aimed at people who annoy me. I’m writing this to an audience of well meaning people who may never have considered the pain that can be caused by the question, “Are you going to have kids?” Stop asking. ❤