I’ll be honest. “So, when are you going to have kids?” is the most dreaded question married women get besides “How’s married life?” Actually, I can’t decide which question is worse. After nearly two years, I am asked both questions on a fairly regular basis. I’m certain that I will still be asked about my married life when I am on my deathbed. I always respond with a curt “okay” because that question is always filler conversation by people I barely know and who aren’t interested in my life anyways.
(Although, if you are really curious about my first year of marriage, I can tell you the long sob stories of my lay off, my husband’s lay off, him miraculously finding another job and subsequently being laid off again. I can also tell you how exciting it is for a couple to both be filing for unemployment at the same time. “Did you file today?” “No, thanks for reminding me.” “No problem.” But, you know, that’s not what people want to hear when they ask “How married life?”)
When people ask me the dreaded kids question, I usually respond with “when you’ll pay for one.” Having children is not my priority at this point, much to the dismay of relatives who expected me to give birth nine months after the wedding. I am frustrated that this question is even asked in the first place because it automatically assumes that couples who are childless by choice are terrible people. (Obviously, they’re not.) Also, men rarely get hounded with questions about when will start families or how their marriage is coming along. No, this question is usually asked by women to other women, who will judge you no matter what you say.
MetaFilter has a list of creative responses to “So, when are you going to have children?” Here are my favorites:
- “As soon as the house is paid off”
- “As soon as I figure out how.”
- “Say: “Already have one,” and point to husband.
Sad to say, this questioning doesn’t stop once you have a child. My mom spent years trying to conceive me, finally did, had a very difficult pregnancy, and became infertile. Yet, people still asked her when she was going to have another child or chided her only having one child. (This was in the 80s when being an only child wasn’t as common as it is now and Chelsea Clinton, who lived in a state I had even never been to, was the only other only child I knew existed.) I hate the “When are you going to have another?” question because it makes children sound like accessories or collector’s items. Also, I know too many women who have secretly struggled with miscarriages or infertility issues to ask this question without feeling completely insensitive.
What are your frequent responses to “So, when are you going to have kids?” or “When are you going to have another?”