You’re back from your honeymoon for a few weeks and WHAMMO…someone asks “When are you going to have kids?”. That someone is usually a well meaning family member. Why are parents and family members so hung up on when you’re going to have kids? Shouldn’t they just be excited that you’ve met and married the love of your life?! Whether you have decided to wait a while, or are choosing not to have children at all, prepare yourself (and your spouse) to field questions on the subject numerous times. Being prepared and united as a couple on the topic of babies can minimize the impact of family questioning on your relationship. From your parents or your spouse’s, the insinuations about having babies are not something that really want to deal with as a newlywed, but you must also understand the reasons that parents feel so inclined to speak up on the subject. Their curiosity might have more to do with fears of their own mortality than anything else. In many cases, the desire to have grandchildren is linked to the desire to carry on the family name, family ownership of a business, or simply the bloodline.
In other situations, the concerns regarding your decision to wait or to not have children at all can stem from the desire to relive their own parenthood or worries over your fertility as you get older. Many parents look back at their child-rearing years as the best time of their lives. When those children have left the home, it is the hope and anticipation for grandbabies that provides them the most joy.
Whether it is for one of these reasons or something else altogether, it is obvious that your family love you and wants you to be happy. So next time they ask about you starting a family, remember that the feelings tied to the questions likely run deep. For that reason, be considerate and assure the person that you understand and appreciate the concern, but also be firm.
The best way to answer the “When are you having kids?” question eloquently is to understand your own reasons for making your decision. Does the decision tie to financial reasoning? Is genetic illness playing a role in the decision? Are you simply tied to a profession that wouldn’t provide enough time to properly care for children? While you may not want to express them all, you will feel much more certain of yourself if you’ve identified your core reasons for waiting or not having children. Whatever your reasons are, be sure to point out that despite the questions, comments, and concerns voiced by others, the decision is one to be made as a couple and that is exactly how you intend to make it.
Have you been hounded by family about having babies? How have you handled the questions and kept your relationship healthy? We’d love to hear in a comment!