If you are recently married, you can probably contest to the constant questions of “when are you having a baby?”, “Are you guys trying to have kids?”, or “No baby yet?” Also, if you are Haitian like me, you get this more often than most. My husband and I usually uncomfortably laugh and shy away from the question in some vague way—not leaving any room for further conversation on the matter. We simply say something along the lines of “only God knows”, or “No, not yet”. It seems like there is an expectation post marriage to immediately have children that I was not aware of. What some people may fail to realize is, getting married is not a license to have kids. It’s a license to be married! I get asked this a lot and wondered should you even ask this question to couples? Because everyone wants to know!
I believe, there are a few things to consider when asking a couple, a question like “when will you have kids?”
1. It’s Personal
We may not realize it, but this question is a personal question. Depending on your relationship with the person, you may be crossing an uncomfortable line. I believe it is a harmless question. However, it may be perceived a bit intrusive coming from someone you rather not want to open to about the matter.
2. You Create a Timeline
It is the “When” at the very beginning of the question that creates a pressure of time. You put the couple in a position to think that they are losing out on a window of opportunity to have kids. The ‘when’ makes them feel; no more time should be wasted.
3. You Could Be Insensitive
Asking “when will have kids?” can imply the couple hasn’t been trying. I knew someone who miscarried multiple times. She never told people they were trying in fear of getting her hopes up. Also, the couple may be experiencing infertility which can cause the couple pain, and potential embarrassment to bring it up in a casual conversation. You may ask this question and open a womb you may not be aware of.
4. They May Not Want Kids
This may be a hard idea for most people; however, we can’t assume that every couple would like to have children. Family begins with two. No matter our views we may be putting them in an awkward position to have to feel force to answer the way people would like to hear.
5. Maybe It’s Not the Right Time
In everything there is a season. There is nothing more misleading than finally being married, and the thought must now be, “they are now ready for parenthood”. The couples are the only ones who knows the truth of their relationship to understand if it is the right time. There are no real manuals to parenting. However, give the couple room to get to know one another and what is right for their family. Especially if the marriage may secretly be rocky right now.
6. They Want to Enjoy Their Lives
There is nothing wrong with enjoying your life and your freedom as an adult. Though children are a joy there is a difference in adult time and time for the kids. Some couples may want to just live guilt free without feeling selfish after having children.
No matter where a couple lies in their decision to have kids, It is theirs to make. Its easier to ask if its ok to ask this question rather than feeling entitled to knowing parts of their life they may not want to share.