Why to never, ever ask again, "So when are you going to have kids?"

What a great conversation topic to ask married couples. {Not.}

Why do we feel the need to ask couples who are married when they're planning to have kids? I know you're just asking because it's what you're supposed to do, but really. {Heck I'm guilty of this one myself} Why not just ask how they're doing, what their weekend was like, what they're learning about marriage, or something related to the state of their couple-hood that doesn't have to do with bearing children or starting a family?

Because here's the thing: This question can hurt. Bad.  

This question hurts because when I have to answer and tell you that "we'd like to sometime," or, "we're not sure, whenever God decides," or "probably in the next year," with a smile on my face, what I'm really trying to say is that I just found out last week that I'm not pregnant again and you're reminding me yet again that I don't have that very thing that my husband and I have been praying for for quite some time. I'm tired of the superficial answer of "sometime soon," or "we'd love to anytime," and then you encouraging me with your fertility tips or the anecdote of the fact that it took you two years to get pregnant after you were thirty or reminding me that pregnancy peaks at age 25. Thanks for reminding me, because I know this.  

I also didn't like my answer to this question earlier in our marriage when my husband and I weren't trying and were traveling instead. I always felt like I had to defend myself with my reasoning as to why we chose to take some time together early on in our marriage before we had children because it never quite fit with the expected answer to the "when are you having kids" question. 

It's not that I think you're particularly trying to hurt me when you ask my when we're going to have kids, but I think it's truly just because you're not sure what to ask since I'm almost thirty with no kids and a dog, and that's just the thing to do. What I would love though, is for you to ask me about me. About my faith. About my marriage maybe. About my job or about my traveling or about anything else besides when I'm having children because I'm trying. We're trying. We're trying to have kids but for some reason, it's not in God's plan for us at this current moment and we're trusting him for His timing on what having a family might look like in our lives. When we do get pregnant or have a family, you'll be one of the first to know. 

Going through this and faced with the reality of our-timing-may-not-be-God's-timing has taught me a lot in the fact that you never know what someone is going through, so asking them a private question related to when they are going to share in an intimate moment with their spouse in order to conceive an embryo and then be pregnant for nine months before delivering a baby is actually not the most sensitive or appropriate question to probe in anyone's life. (Unless you're my sister. Then it's okay.) 

Because the other thing in being extremely candid is that it's really painful to hear stories of recent conception and when people are having their fifth when we're trying to have one. And when you ask me when I'm having kids, my heart just stings a little as I try to come up with a polite response that won't overwhelm you or be rude depending on what day it is. I do rejoice with the lives God has given to families and I promise you my friends, I am overjoyed with the blessing of children in your lives. Truly, truly and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. 

But maybe if you've ever been in my position, you know the fleeting thirty-seconds-of-sadness when you see someone else's ultrasound posted to Facebook when you could have sworn you were pregnant that month... only to find out that you're not. And of course then you recover as you always do and become positively thrilled for that friend hoping it will be you some day. 

So, the next time you want to ask a newly married couple, "So, when are you guys planning to have kids?" instead maybe you could ask, "So, what do you like best about being married?" or better yet-- "Let's get coffee soon so we can connect about life," because maybe then I'll share with you the real truth of that having-kids question. 

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