First comes love, then come marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Or so they say. This catchy, seemingly harmless children’s rhyme is engrained in us from an early age. Though this is the timeline that my husband and I have followed, it has been at our own pace.
I will never forget returning from our honeymoon, immediately following our wedding. We were newlyweds on cloud nine, having the time of our lives.
“When are you going to have kids?”
“Are you trying”
“When are you going to start a family?!”
The honeymoon sunburn had not even gone away when people began asking when we were going to start a family. The questions were almost always well-intended, but equally as unnecessary.
See, here is the thing. My husband and I were a family long before we ever began to think about having kids. We knew we wanted kids (though I recognize this is not the case for everyone and that is OK). We also knew that we wanted to travel, focus on our marriage, pay off more student debt and enjoy a few years of marriage before we even thought about having kids.
After nearly three years of marriage, we welcomed our daughter into the world. We were over the moon in love. She was perfect.
“Isn’t it time for _____ to be a big sibling?!”
“When are you having another?!”
It wasn’t long after we brought our sweet girl home that I was asked for the first time when we would begin trying for a second. My c-section scar had barely stopped hurting. I was still not even close to sleeping through the night. I laughed the first few times people asked, sure that they were joking.
It is one thing if your closest girlfriend asks you this. A friend who knows your backstory, your heart and your desires. However, for me, that’s where it ends. I don’t need acquaintances and certainly don’t need complete strangers informing me that it’s the right time to expand my family. The only people I am comfortable asking these questions to are my very best friends.
There are so many factors that are often forgotten when these personal questions are thrown out, most of which are unseen. It’s not safe to assume that because someone is married that they even want kids, let alone are able to conceive. Maybe there are reasons they don’t desire kids. Maybe they have been trying to conceive for years or perhaps they suffered a miscarriage. Whether a woman is a mom of 5 or has no kids, these questions are personal. Private. Not my business.
Social media allows people to feel a connection to people that might not otherwise exist outside of its realm. With that, people often feel that they have some sort of say in life decisions that have nothing to do with them.
There are certain questions that as women we should never have to justify. We need to support one another and encourage each other at whatever stage we find ourselves in. Let’s be a generation of women that doesn’t assume, but rather rallies around one another.