As I get older and experience more life, I’ve been convicted that there are questions that you shouldn’t ask. Questions that I’ve probably asked lots and lots of times. Questions that I shouldn’t have asked.*
* Now, when I say YOU shouldn’t ask these, I mean that you shouldn’t ask these in general. There are people in your life that you are close enough to ask these questions to – sisters, daughters, best friends, mentors. But my point is that I have asked these questions of people whom I shouldn’t have. Wisdom has taught me to keep my mouth shut. Wisdom that comes from stupidity!
“When are you guys gonna have kids?”
I am one of those that’s guilty of asking this question to married-women-without-kids. Til I got married. Then I stopped asking.
Why did I stop asking? It was partly because I became one of those married-women-without-kids and realized that it wasn’t that fun to be asked that. But, to be honest, that’s just a small reason. We were only married for a year before we started trying to have kids and most people don’t even blink when you’re a newlywed and not pregnant. The real reason that I stopped asking is that I became aware of how personal this question is and how painful it can be. I mean, what are a woman’s options for an answer?
If her reasons are financial, now she feels like she’s just invited you into her financial life. A place you probably don’t belong.
If her reasons are marriage-based (i.e.: hubby isn’t ready or their relationship isn’t in a good place), then she has a decision to make: Should she tell you that her and hubby don’t agree on this issue? Tell you that her and hubby are having a rocky time in their marriage? Again, probably not the place in her life you’re supposed to be in.
If her reasons are infertility reasons, now she’s reminded of it. And she has to decide whether to let you into the “inner circle” of people who know her struggles. That’s probably not your place in her life either. If it was, you’d likely already know her struggle.
If her reason is “desire” (i.e.: she just doesn’t want children), then she’s potentially just invited a debate with you. Some people are REALLY, REALLY opinionated about kids and would even go so far to try to convince you that THEIR decision on children should be YOUR decision on children. And they probably mean well and are sincere in their beliefs, but again, probably not their place. The people in my life know that I think being a mom is awesome and that children are so fun. If I’m talking to someone who doesn’t know that I think that, then I’m probably not that close to them. A simple “Oh, I have just loved having children. They can be so fun!” is all that is needed compared to “Don’t you know that God requires every single one of us to have children and you’re sinning if you’re not?” One invites further conversation and the other will just shut down the relationship.
If she is pregnant, but not public about it, now she has to decide if she should lie or not. Obviously, she isn’t close enough to you to tell that she’s pregnant (or she probably already would have), but she doesn’t want to lie either.
I’m all about kids – I love being a mom and I wish we wouldn’t have waited even that first year to have started our family, but since I’ve been on the receiving end of the kid question, I’ve realized how personal this really is. There are people that I didn’t mind asking me that question, but everyone else is better off not asking.