I wrote a post, recently sharing about a question that I am honestly exhausted with being asked about because it’s so personal. If you haven’t read my guttural response to one of the most annoying questions I am asked, it’s probably because I deleted it.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that not everyone out there is inquiring about this because they are genuinely trying to make you feel uncomfortable or rush you into having children. Some people are excited about the prospect of new babies and sometimes their excitement propels them to ask rather personal questions. It doesn’t make it right, but I know there’s some people who truly mean well.
As a result, I thought I should probably elaborate since it’s a pretty emotional post, simply because it’s one that plays on a lot of my insecurities and anxieties. It just felt like perhaps, just maybe I was being too harsh and that I should explain further why it’s so harmful to ask that question.
So in today’s post, I am sharing not only some rambles I have regarding this question, but what I encourage you to do instead, if you are a believer, the next time you feel compelled to ask.
I have not gotten tested to check whether I am fertile because I am afraid. I know that not everyone has the ability to bare children with ease and that some births can result in death or even infant illness. Pregnancy is a beautiful gift and it’s definitely something my husband and I have talked about at length both before marriage and now that we are.
Your intentions may be well, but when you ask me that question my coyish response isn’t what I really want to say. What I’d really like to tell you is how I’m actually worried that once we begin actively trying, it won’t come easy or that there will be issues. When people ask, I get anxious that they are expecting it without understanding that children are gift but not certainly a promise to anyone.
Like did you know that a baby can have a bowel movement in the womb and that can cause serious issues including infant death?
Did you know that some women struggle having children and that they have to go through different treatments to even do so?
Did you know that even something like nutrition and diet can affect your ability to have children and that stillborn births are highest among minorities?
Did you know that some women of color do not receive quality prenatal health care, which contributes to the fact I shared above?
Even when I was born, both my mother and I almost died during childbirth.
It’s scary how much can go wrong during a pregnancy or even during a child’s first year of life. This is why pregnancy, to me, is such a beautiful thing, but it’s something that shouldn’t be rushed by being asked an endless amount of times when you’re going to have one.
When you ask me if I am pregnant, my mind immediately rushes to the thought that I am being asked because I look bigger and I get insecure. Have you noticed that when you ask me this question not too long after I begin scooting further under the table to hide my stomach or I put something in front of it to hide it? It’s because now I feel super insecure that my bloat is making everyone think I am expecting.
To put it out there, yes I want children and so does my husband.
In fact, we often talk about what it would be like to have kids and what we hope to do as parents, a lot – especially now that I am approaching thirty in a couple of years.
We’ve talked about it and we have a timeline set in place that we feel comfortable with based on our finances and maturity, but a lot can happen. We could have a child before then. Our desires could change and suddenly we want to start trying now instead of in a year or two. We can plan all we want, but it’s totally possible, as with what has happened in other situations, that things happened outside of what we originally planned.
When you ask me when we’re having kids, please consider what I have written above. When you feel yourself tempted to ask me or my husband when we’re having children – especially if you aren’t the pardoned five people I mentioned could ask – could you pray for us instead?
Could you pray that when we do get to that point where we are actively trying that we are able to do so with ease?
That if we are able to do so that we have a healthy child with no complications during or after the pregnancy?
That when it is time that we are emotionally and financially prepared as much as we can be?
That we raise our child or children the best way we can?
I want to encourage you, especially if you’re a believer, to do the same for those in your life that you may feel tempted to ask. Instead, ask them how you can pray for them or how everything is going in their life.
If you do not believe in God or in prayer, in addition to not asking, why not ask them about how their career is going or what is something they’re really excited about?
There’s so many things we can talk about and rejoice with people with that don’t require asking questions that may open up some intense emotions for them.
You never know what someone is going through or what they’re experiencing, so it’s better to not ask.
Have you ever been asked this question? How does it make you feel and how do you respond to it? If not, have you ever felt tempted to ask someone else this question that isn’t a super close friend or family member?