As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted a large family. My barbie families had at least five or six kids. I started babysitting as soon as my parents allowed me. I love kids and have never kept my desire for a larger family a secret. So when my husband and I got married last year, it didn’t take long for the questioning to start. Realistically, it was there when we got engaged, but it was much less frequent.
Part of it is probably because I’ve always been so open and vocal about my desire to have a lot of kids. Part of it is also probably because I’ve been open with my family and friends about our decision to use natural family planning. But here we are, a week away from our first anniversary, and I am tired of the questions.
I love my parents and in-laws. I love my friends and my extended family. And I have always been one to ask a newly married couple when they want kids. I guess it just took being that newly married couple to understand just how horrible a thing to ask that really is. So here’s why I will never again (at least try not to) ask anyone when they are going to start having kids (or more kids).
1. It is none of my business when someone else decides to have kids. That is between the couple. I wouldn’t ask about their sex life or their money situation. Why on earth would I think it okay to ask them such a personal question?
2. If they want to talk to me about it, they will. I know personally I have two girlfriends who are at different stages of their lives than I am, but who will listen to me about anything. When I need to talk about anything of a personal nature with someone other than the hubs, I go to them. But I bring it up about me, not asking about their personal situation, but talking about me. If they want to join in with their personal happenings, they are more than welcome to. But I don’t pry.
3. It is none of my business. Oh shoot, I already said that one.
4. Here’s my biggest one. I don’t know their situation. Maybe they’ve been trying and haven’t been able to. Maybe they suffered through a miscarriage. Maybe they’ve hit a snag with jobs, school or finances and it would be extremely irresponsible to start a family or to add more children at this time. They may not be waiting for children because they want to. And having to constantly tell family and friends no when all you want to say is YES, that is really hard. Personally, we would probably fall into this category right now. And I know both of our parents want grandchildren. I know our siblings want nieces and nephews. We know that. But we also want children. Really bad. And it always seems like just when we start to come to terms with the fact that we have to wait a while longer, someone asks and we have to start all over again. Are we doing the right thing. Couldn’t we find some way to make it work. No? Okay, let’s work through that. And if they’ve suffered a miscarriage or have dealt with months of trying unsuccessfully, that pain. Man, I know family isn’t asking in an attempt to cause pain, but it can.
So, next time you think to ask someone when they’re going to start having children, just pause for a second. Remember you don’t know what they’re going through. Truly, their choices for family planning should be between them and God. When they have something to share, they will.