It seemed to have happened overnight. My mother went from a protective, compulsive prophylactic preacher to winking at me whenever she mentioned a friend that recently became a grandparent. The winking quickly gave way to less subtle hints when my partner and I became engaged, and eventually, to out-right questions once the big day approached. Now we’ve been married a whole month and we can see people on both sides of the family starting to speculate.
Here’s the thing: I’ve always been open about my sexuality and the fact that I want more than anything to have a family of my own. If I had questions about sex or relationships, I went to my family for advice or answers. When I wanted to start on birth control pills, I talked to my Mom about it. I’m generally an open person, so why can’t I just give them a firm answer on the baby? It comes up at every family occasion! Will we or won’t we? Place your bets! WHY and WHEN and WHY NOT NOW?
The answers to those questions are somewhat complicated. The reason we’ve decided to be mum (ha!) on the whole situation is not: quite simply, it’s none of their business.
We all know that the decision to have a child is a big one. Even if it’s a life-long dream of yours to have a family, ideally this decision is being made by both parents. It’s a decision that involves a lot of intimate conversations about the things you want from your life, and what it will mean for you as a couple to bring another tiny human into the world. For me and my husband, it was our line in the sand between them and us.
“Them” = both sides of our families that love us to bits, and who only want what is best for us, and who have so many opinions about how we can make our lives so much easier if only we’d listen. “Us” = the team of two who have to live with our decisions.
The truth is that the opinions of his side of the family differ greatly from the opinions on my side of the family. One believes in slow and steady, that your twenties were made for globe trotting and not potty training, the other… well, I already told you about my mother. The conversations continue on both sides, each working so hard to sell their point of view, each growing more frustrated as we sit back and smile noncommittally at them.
I must interject that we’re very fortunate when it comes to family. No matter what their advice may be now, we both know that whenever we decide to take the plunge, both families will be there to love and support us no matter what. I think this makes it easier for us not to break our vows of baby silence. We let them decree that my fertility is decreasing, that our youth is diminishing, or controversially, that our lives of careless abandon will be cut short should we choose to breed now. We listen, we smile, and we never, ever, contribute. And yes, there’s a sick part of us that laughs at watching them squirm in frustrated anticipation.
The line has been drawn, and we’ll never break. It’s nice knowing that we’re keeping something for ourselves, especially something so intimate. I think if anything, the decision not to make it dinner conversation has brought us closer as a couple. When all is said and done we’ve made the choice together, without letting any pressure overcome what we both want. When the time comes, we’ll let you know.
Until then… how about that local sports team?
Comments on My ovaries, his sperm, and other dinner conversations: why we’re not discussing our conception plans
Both of our families started asking baby-related questions the moment that my husband and I got engaged, and things just got worse after we got married. We finally decided to have a talk about what *we* wanted, and began forcibly chanting “Baby Free til 2016” every time they ask (well, I chant, he’s a lot nicer about it). Setting a seemingly-random date has returned them to treating us like human beings instead of baby-producing machines. I highly recommend it.
People amaze me.
We had our first baby almost exactly 9 mos after our wedding. But at Thanksgiving, a family friend was asking me (in front of my in laws!) if we wanted another one, when we wanted another one, whether we wanted a boy or a girl (umm, shouldn’t you know by age 60 that it doesn’t work like that???) … and so on. At that point I hadn’t even gotten my cycle back. So I got to explain publicly how nursing a baby suppresses your fertility, and since we were still nursing so frequently, I wouldn’t expect to have one anytime real soon but that we were totally open to life and don’t use contraception. Awesome conversation to have in front of your entire family on Thanksgiving!!! I should probably have said MYOB, but was sort of caught off guard. I never thought people would start asking for another one so soon …. (the current baby was only 8 mos old at the time …)
Wow! That is INTENSE conversation, even for Thanksgiving! (A time I know many families looovvveee to dig into more than mashed potatoes).
I think sometimes people are just so excited for you, or babies in general, that they truly don’t consider the repercussions of their well meaning comments/questions (or their particular audience!). I know in my own circumstances I’ve been subjected to this as well (generally with smaller amounts of family). It’s a fine line between being open and standing up for your own right to privacy!! And it’s true, I still find it more difficult to speak to my in-laws about this sort of thing than my own side of the family.
Did they have any follow up to that particular conversation, or are they generally more quiet on the subject?
These conversations get even more intense when you’ve lost a baby…since my son is over a year old now, I get “Would you like to have more kids?” all.the.time. I’ve realized that while these questions (generally) come out good intentions and interest for your well-being and life, they can be nosy at best and incredibly painful and hurtful at worst. To those that I know, and are genuinely interested, I tell them that I’ve had miscarriages since my son was born and usually, the line of questioning ends there. To those folks I’m not comfortable with speaking about my personal pain, I simply say “I hope so!” which answers the question vaguely and I think kind of implies that it is also not really their business either.
My husband and I kept all of our baby plans to ourselves. His family was the one asking all the questions, and my family didn’t even bring it up once. We decided not to divulge any of our plans because of the same reason:
It’s none of their business.
We both personally believe that deciding when to have a baby and attempting to make that baby happen are very private things. Quite frankly, I’d rather not talk about my sex life to everyone! Because that’s what making a baby is all about! YOUR SEX LIFE! I think people make this disconnect that it’s not reeeeeeeeeally your sex life if you’re trying to get a baby out of it. Which blows my mind really.
The people asking us about it want to know because they want cousins’ ages to be close together, etc. But we planned it all out a while ago and said to ourselves, “Whatever happens, happens.”
I completely agree!!! I could never imagine actually saying to our family “We’re trying for a baby!” because in all honesty it’s just saying “Oh by the way family, I plan to have sex on Saturday in case I’m ovulating. Just FYI!”
Exactly our thoughts.
And another reason to keep things quiet for starters at least is that it might not work quickly. Then you have people asking why you aren’t pregnant yet (Sometimes it just TAKES TIME, but people forget that), and then you start worrying, when it might just be that you are one of the people who takes 6 months to get pregnant.
I mean, its different if you know there is a problem and you want the support network, but for everyday people who are just deciding when / if to start trying for a baby, no-one really needs to know that. When else would you tell your parents about your sex life? 😛
yes yes yes — we didn’t tell anyone except my sister (who was also struggling to get pregnant) but then she went and told my father. And didn’t understand why it felt like such a HUGE violation to me and why I was so upset she told him we were trying. Ugh. It ended up taking us a little over a year – and some medical intervention – to get pregnant.
One other quick point — 6 months to get pregnant really isn’t much, in the scheme of the infertility world. Sometimes it takes more than just time; it takes serious medical intervention or adoption or some other route… It might be you are one of those people who takes years, some surgery maybe, lots of drugs and a couple rounds of failed IVF and/or adoption to start building your family. That is something SUPER HARD to try and explain to family when the emotions of that journey are so raw.
I used to tell friends that if family or other busybodies started asking about our procreative plans, I’d reply with “oh, we only do anal” to remind them of the fact that they’re asking about our sex life.
Oh my god I wish I had the balls to say that!
Bahahahaha! We’ve joked about doing that, too! Hilarious.
Ugh, cousins! My sister has two toddlers, so there’s a lot of pressure on us other two sisters to have babies soon so that all of the cousins are the same age. Really? Ignore the fact that my husband and I kind of want to have a house and NOT be living in a tiny apartment when we have a baby, ignore the fact that we want to make sure we’re financially stable….NOPE, the cousins have to be the same age.
My husband and I (been together for 6 years) were so good at brushing off our families’ vocal demands for a baby that when I did reveal that I was almost 3 months pregnant, half of them didn’t believe me! I believe the direct quote from my father was “wait, you’re playing a joke on me right?” Apparently, I played the non-parent card so good that my family is downright amazed that I am “a natural” at being a parent.
Secretly, I always knew I’d have kids somehow, someway. And I kinda want gobs of them… But shh… don’t tell!
For my Husband and me baby-making is a very personal choice and something we chose to be very ambiguous about during any conversations that were brought up amongst our families. So both times we’ve announced pregnancies everyone was in a bit of shock because it always seemed so out-in-left-field when we did have our babies, but that always makes for a good laugh. First time round my Grandmother said “Oh Honey, it’s ok” when I told her I was pregnant because she just assumed we hadn’t wanted children because I never talked about it. The second time around people where equally surprised to the point that when I showed my mom the sono pic to announce it she just thought it was a picture from my 1st pregnancy and couldn’t understand why on earth I was showing it to her!
I think this is definitely one of the many benefits of keeping it to ourselves! When we do tell family, we can make it a surprise! There’s nothing I’d like more than to see their reactions.
I love this! When we finally decided to have kids we moved into that place easily, too, and my family was still surprised because we poo pooed it for so long!
At a family reunion of sorts, my grandmother walked into the middle of the room, looked at me pointedly, and announced that she really wanted some great-grandchildren. So I looked at my 13-year-old cousin and said, “Lina, you’d better get on that.” I didn’t hear a peep about it after that, but they were so excited when we announced a pregnancy a couple months ago.
I usually try to direct my mother towards my older brother when she busts out these comments. It doesn’t entirely dissuade her though!
Before we had Da Booger (our daughter), I got this from family all the time. My best response to my grandmother, who decided to ask this in the middle of a crowded restaurant during a luncheon of all the women in our family and her personal friends, was to ask her what sexual positions she recommended for me to conceive in. She, being a proper Southern Lady, was mortified and tried to scold me for being crude; I just scolded back saying if she wanted to ask about my sex life and anything involved with it, she should be prepared for the conversation.
My Southern Lady Granny would have responded with something quite off color and hilarious, I’m sure. My other Grandma would have chastised me and become quite flustered. Funny how some grandmas are prudish and others quite perverted. Off topic but just made me smile thinking of my Granny going into detail (or worse, asking me questions she actually DID want the answers to!).
I have the opposite problem. No one seems to expect or encourage me to have a baby and I’m doing it anyway. I wish people would get excited and ask me! But they all assume I won’t have one. Even though I’ve talked about it for years. Even though I’m totally in the right place in my life. Even though I have a room set aside for this. Even though I work with children all day. Even though I’ve done all my tests and chosen my donor. This is probably because I’m a single lesbian (so the “ideally a decision made by both parents” part of this isn’t MY ideal), but SURPRISE, I’m doing it anyway. And when I do tell people, they think I’m joking. Then, they’re shocked and embarrassed and very serious. They tell me all the bad things, and about how HARD it will be, and and ask me if I am sure. At work, people I barely know joke that I’ll never have a baby (despite never talking to me about it, but just knowing that I’m out at work). People definitely don’t react the way they do to you and, honestly, it makes me jealous (even if your situation isn’t perfect either). So if you want to send all your (and the other commenters’) families over to me to ask a million questions and talk all about names and stuff, please feel free to do so. Because I sort of feel like I am missing out.
Wow, HollywoodMarie, I never considered that perspective. Thank you for sharing. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the details of the how and when, and what people say and think, sometimes we forget how precious the end result is. I would love to chat with you about names and baby stuff ANY time 🙂 – keeping in mind I don’t know much at all!!! – I hope you have the wonderful experience you deserve with your pregnancy!
You’ve picked your donor? Do you have an appointment set yet? Are you waiting until you’re pregnant to turn your spare room into a nursery or are you already getting furniture and decor? Do you think you will name after family, go with names that have meanings you like, or just pick something that sounds pretty?
If the mods decide this is too offtopic, feel free to email me at stephanie.witcher at gmail dot com. I especially love names and decorating!
Aww. You’re going to make me cry! I’ll email you so we’re not off-topic. Thanks for being the first to ask.
PS I’ve sent you an email. It may have gone to spam because my email address is silly. The subject line is “Offbeat Families” 🙂
Congratulations on (almost) having a baby! I hope your friends and family start giving you the hoopla and excitement that you deserve.
Thank you! People are getting excited now that it’s closer. Friends more than family (friends have been awesome). Family is on board, but it just feels…different. They were very different when my brother and sister-in-law were trying to conceive and no one really asked me about it before I decided to do it. I’ve been lucky that, unlike the OP, no one has ever pressured me to have kids or to get married (which I can’t anyway). But sometimes I want that since it seems to be such a “normal” thing for straight people. But then I feel guilty for wanting to assimilate and for wanting people to treat me negatively like that. Our society is such a mess when it comes to how it treats us that I don’t know how I feel. But back to the beginning of our conversation, thank you, and yes, it’s cool with the people who love me, but sometimes I feel like (mostly straight) people don’t know how to react.
Aww, like someone else said, this perspective hadn’t even occurred to me, and now I want to punch someone. How awful is it that those of us who DON’T want kids yet get bombarded just because we’ve got penile vaginal stuff going on, yet you who DO want kids get ignored because it’s not “traditional”. Argh!
Start a Pinterest board with baby stuff on it. That should help you get excited at least. What ARE the babies names you’re thinking of?
Yeah, I mean, there’s a little privilege involved in that, but we’re all working through privilege, so I’m not upset. The responses have been great on here, and I knew they would be! Also it’s tough reading stuff like this sometimes and I wanted to show another side.
I don’t pinterest (just not my style), but I bring it up in conversation when appropriate. I’ve never gone through this as a straight, married woman, so I don’t know what’s the common response, but as of now, I say it, people have their reactions, and then it’s sort of forgotten. I have one more test coming up, and then I’m clear. Yay!
I like “J” names for boys and “V” names for girls. I’m also trying to make the names gender-neutral/gender-swappable if possible. It’s so hard to keep things gender-neutral! I’m finding that the more and more I get into all this!
Thanks for your interest! It’s great how the community rallies.
It is hard to find gender neutral names. I did see a study though that said that women with gender neutral names (like Morgan or Sam) are more likely to be successful in their career.
Aww, there’s that damn patriarchy again! What a bummer (but not surprising, though very interesting)! I just like them because I don’t want to set up any sort of gender expectations. No matter where my kid(s) fall on the gender spectrum, I want them to love their name(s). I want them to have options of what to be called or call themselves. I’m looking at names with gender-neutral nicknames (like my actual name). But yeah, they are hard to find.
I downloaded a book from Amazon called something like 1001 unisex baby names. Because my partner is trans, it’s important to us that we don’t feminize or masculinize our child and let them express who they are… plus, it’s a legal nightmare to change your name.
I have more to say about keeping the baby making private or not, but will post in the main thread.
We got the family planning questioning early in our engagement, and ended it pretty quickly then with a firm and resounding “Nope. We’re broke, selfish, and not interested.” It shut people up nice and good through the wedding planning and well after the big day.
Then it backfired when we let our immediate family in on the know about Creature: the first question we got from my MIL was the seriously icky “Was it planned?” I wanted to be like, do you REALLY, REALLY want to know the answer to this? Well, actually, yes and no, if you must know. We pulled the goalie and rolled the dice. It was a great 3 months of unprotected sex with your son too! Enjoy the mental image, y’all!
I think people forget that while they’re thinking about bouncing cooing cuddly babies what they’re really asking about is fine details of your sex life which is seriously plum icky.
At least when we have kids, everyone will know it was planned since I made it very well known (in order to shut them up) that I’d just had an IUD put in so that we won’t get pregnant before we’re ready. My mom was like, “Well, birth control fails all the time. Half of you guys were accidents…” until I point out that the IUD is not the same as the Pill or condoms. The IUD is equally effective has having your tubes tied. That shut her up.
This is why I love my mother. When we told her, she was like, “OH! Tell me everything!!! No…wait…not everything…hahahahaha!”
Oh, geez. We got “Was it planned?” all the time when I was pregnant with our daughter last year. Like, you’re asking me if we used a condom, you realize that, right? Or worse, people straight up assuming the pregnancy was an accident. I am young (a couple months shy of 26 when she was born), but she was 100% planned and we tried for several months.
One of those “I could have written this!” posts, exactly. My mother wants ALL THE GRANDBABIES! and has basically been asking since I was 17. (Though she says ‘I know you’ll make the right choice for you’ it’s still code for ‘but I secretly think my way is the best and I’m not getting any younger you know!’) and his parents are ‘do not have kids for another ten years. Better make that fifteen. Even twenty’ but would absolutely spoil and adore any children, were to have them.
We’re still firmly in the undecided camp. And that’s where we’ve been for our entire relationship. After eight years together and three years of marriage, the questions have slowed down, but I imagine that once I hit 30 (‘old maid’ status in my family of early breeders!) the questions will start back up again.
Basically I agree with everything you’ve said here. None of their damn business. I don’t plan on announcing our plans once we have made them. I figure once a life changing event is in the works, I’ll find the right time to let people know.
My MIL said to me “I’ll never put pressure on you to have children”, which is totally code for “but I’d like more grandbabies”.
So we are having one. And being very vocal about the fact there will NOT be another. (of course, I said for a long time I didn’t think I wanted to have kids at all. So I suspect they will be waiting for me to change my mind. Having now experienced pregnancy? No way, no how am I changing my mind on that one!)
Amen to that. I’m only 6 months into my first pregnancy, and I’m tempted to have the doctor deliver the baby and then promptly tie my tubes. Don’t get me wrong, super stoked to have a little one on the way, but somehow people just don’t seem to get that we want ONE. That’s it! Already I’m getting comments on ‘when you have your next baby…’ No, people.
Haha young breeders. My sister had two babies in quick succession starting when she was 20, so now me at 28 with no babies….My mom keeps pointing out how fertility starts to drop after 28, so I need to have babies soon. I just point out that she had her first when she was 27, and then had 6 kids all spaced nicely with two years between them. I’m not too worried.
Luckily, my partner’s parents and mine are not too nosy about the when of our baby-having plans. I’ve talked to my mom about it, before, but I was the one to bring it up. A funny thing, though, is that my partner’s dad had a little talk with him a while ago about how he “shouldn’t wait” to have kids. We’re still trying to figure out exactly what he meant. Haha.
My husband and I had this exact policy, and I’m dealing with a bit of hilarious aftermath as a result – we recently started telling people that I’m pregnant, and half of them are asking, “Were you trying?”
I’m sorry, are you attempting to get details about the nature and frequency of our sexing? Do you really want to know whether our sex was for business or pleasure or what? I’ve figured out that people seem to think it’s a more polite way of asking if it was an accident, which is still in no way anybody’s business.
We’ve taken to responding to the question with, “Well, when two people love each other very much…”
You should just say something really awkward like, “Actually we WEREN’T trying. We didn’t think you could get pregnant from anal sex, but here we are!”
I LOVE IT. I should have said that to his nosy younger brother (he’s 23), and then that would have shut his face up. 😛
We are lucky in a way – we’ve openly told people that we got pregnant “as soon as we stopped trying not to”. Which is true. We were still on our way home from a six week holiday in Europe when wee Peanut was started.
Covers off that a) no, it was not an accident and b) no, we weren’t actively trying. Along with (for bonus points) c) we had a really awesome f-ing holiday, obviously. 🙂
I hate when people ask that!!! We’re not pregnant (or trying) at the moment, but I’ve seen/heard a lot of people ask this when friends and coworkers announce pregnancies and have always thought it’s SUPER awkward. I mean, you’d never straight up say, “So, did you f*** up your birth control, or what?” so why ask if they were “trying?” LOL.
If someone wants you to know whether or not their baby was a “surprise,” they’ll tell you. Jeez, people.
Right? And it’s coming from COMPLETE strangers sometimes! Something about pregnancy makes people assume that you can just ask or say freaking anything and it’s okay.
I also feel like, are you going to be happier for me if we were trying? Do I deserve more congratulations or something? Because the fact is, we tried years ago, discovered I had issues ovulating, and practically gave up trying. So no, we weren’t ‘trying’… but we’re freaking ecstatic that we got so lucky to have this work with no intervention. SO SHUDDUP. 😛
Yep! For whatever reason my husband and I both felt very private about this. People will wonder, they will *always* wonder, but I found it SO rude when (perhaps well-meaning) friends and family asked about our baby plans. In fact, I dropped a relative from Facebook (who I’ve only met a few times) because she would NOT stop telling me that we should be having babies. I mean, what if we had been struggling with infertility? Grr, just found it so rude. And I was surprised the questions keep coming, even now with a 5-month-old!
i realized long ago that the average (albiet usually kind-intentioned) guy/gal doesn’t readily understand what topics are and aren’t subject to public opinion. when the question comes up it usually depends on the interested party as to how i answer. i just got this question from my preceptor midwife over coffee this morning and i happily divulged our baby scheming. she commented that i will be such an amazing mother and how excited she was for me to experience the other side of the pregnant belly! i’m smiling now just thinking about the conversation. my mom, bless her heart, has the grand-baby itch big time. she had babies young and is wondering what’s taking me so long. she even brings home the occasional baby gear so some stuff can be kept at “grandma’s house.” i guess what i’m trying to say is that these inquiries are usually presented to me out of such love for my husband and me it’s hard for me to be irritated. if the more nosy individual inquires, i usually leave it to, “we’ll get around to it eventually.” P.S. i cannot WAIT to surprise my mom when the time comes. 🙂
I have the opposite problem. I had my son at sixteen, and I’m nineteen now. Unfortunately I have a lot of fertility problems and I’ve have two miscarriages. It’s unlikely I’d be able to have another child after my early twenties or so, but I desperately want one, or two.
I get a lot of “You’d better not be pregnant”, or “You should wait about 10 years for another one”. The last time I was pregnant, there were only a few people I told, and only one was supportive.
I usually just say “I can’t.”, which shuts up a lot of them… but then I get the “Why not?” and “Well there’s always adoption!!!”. Thanks for reminding me…
Two of my husband’s aunts (his father’s sisters) had their first children at 38 and 40 respectively, and they were always so pushy to me about how I had ‘years and years’ worth of time. Of course women are having children later and later, and of course that’s great. Does that mean that it’s just as easy to get pregnant at 40 as it is at 30? NO. So if I feel like 30 was a good enough age to wait till, I fail to see why anyone would consider that too young.
What’s that saying about opinions and buttholes… y’know, everyone has one, doesn’t mean it needs to be shared with everyone? 😛 Your timing is just that – your timing.
The BF’s mother kept pestering me about her future grandchildren until I threatened to add one month to the waiting list for every time she asked.
I have suggested this idea to friends who are having issues with family / in-laws “demanding” grandchildren / cousins. All have had positive results 🙂
OMG , WHYYYYYYYY did *I* not think of this?!! (Hits herself in the forehead)!!!
People stopped asking us about babies when I went to a fertility specialist and we were given only a two percent chance to conceive. Then two years later we were surprised with our son. God has His own plans and percentages don’t count. Lol. Best to you both with whatever your plans!
When the beau and I finally get married, we do plan on trying to conceive starting on the wedding night. I’ve only told a few people, but they all have said to wait at least 4-5 years after the wedding to even consider having children. These people apparently also believe that the sooner you have kids after marriage, the more likely you are going to get a divorce because you never spent any time “getting to know each other as a couple.” My maternal grandmother has even told me that I should “concentrate on my duties as a wife” before trying to conceive (meaning knowing what my “traditional role” in marriage is, which isn’t something I believe in anyway).
1. Isn’t the “getting to know each other as a couple” part the whole point of dating?
2. We’ve been together 5+ years already! Pleeeenty of time to “get to know each other,” I think.
3. My man is in his early 30s, meaning that if we were to wait too much longer to try to make some babies, his swimmers may lose the ability to even get me pregnant.
4. We know 100% for sure we both want children and have discussed treatments, donors, surrogacy and adoption as possible options in the event that we do run into fertility issues.
5. My mom and (bio-)dad were married for almost a decade before having me and my sister. The marriage didn’t last.
6. I know a lot of people who conceived soon after they were married and they are in some of the most happiest and healthiest marriages I’ve seen.
With all that said, I may be a little more careful in the future who exactly I talk to about the specifics of my timeline for having children. Simply because so many people JUST. DON’T. UNDERSTAND.
We got the whole “get to know each other” too. We dated for 7 years, engaged for 2, so 9 years together before getting married. Oh and we lived with each other for 5 years prior to marriage. If anything else major comes out of the woodwork, I’d be surprised. There will always be things that pop up that cause issues, but you work through them.
My DH is in his mid 30’s, and yeah, I feel ya
We have also agree that we wanted to start trying right away (Leave it to my husband to come up behind me and whisper in my ear “I want to start having babies right after the wedding” and make me melt and cry and hug him….in the middle of Walmart at 1 AM) We also disused adoption just incase
Neither of our parents marriages lasted. His was similar to your mom and father. they waited years, and still fell apart.
My husband and I got married when we were both 27, and do not want to have kids until AFTER we buy a house…as in, not even TRY to have kids until after we’re in a house. One thing at a time.
Of course, once we got married (and even before) the usual baby questions started. It’s like it’s still the old days before birth control where the marriage certificate became a go-ahead to have sex and as many babies as your body could handle. Sheesh.
Meanwhile, my younger sister got married at 20 and had a baby immediately WHILE she and her husband were living at my parents’ house. When they bought their own house, she immediately had another baby. All she’s ever dreamed of was to be a mommy, so she does not understand why I want to take my time having kids. My mom, of course, likes to mention all the time how fertility starts to drop after age 28 (which I just turned today!), and how fertility treatment is so expensive. I am very independent and enjoy my freedom, so I feel like I would not be devastated if I could not have kids (though of course my biological clock could start ticking any day now and THEN I might feel devastated…anything’s possible). I said this to my mom and sister, that where I am right now, I feel like I would be OK if I could not have my own biological children. My mom replied, “Well, unless you desperately want kids, maybe you shouldn’t have them.” As if unless I’m baby-crazy like my sister, I’m going to be one of those mothers that just locks their kids in the closet and hates them! Argh!
28?? pff there`s no rush to have kids. Your fertility is generally fine until you are 35; even then most couples have no issue before 38 or so. I had my first at 38 and wouldn`t change a thing.
But yes baby making questions are just plain RUDE especially “was it planned?”. That one kills me. This is a very personal topic and people should just mind their own business, family included.
I hate the “Was it planned?” question! I have been asked that during this pregnancy and the last one. I simply respond with “Well, I do have sex with my husband, and that’s how babies are made.” If you are doing an activity that makes babies, then making a baby could be the result! Duh!
My MIL started asking a little bit about kids after my husband and I got married in September 2011. We just always answered with “Some day…” or “In a few years…” and changed the subject. But my Mom didn’t ask me about having kids once ever. When I called her to tell her I was pregnant, she says “I didn’t know you were trying!” Yeah, Mom, you didn’t ask and I wouldn’t have told you anyway. It was cute though.
See, I think “I didn’t know you were trying” is a MUCH safer response than “was it planned?”, as it sounds a bit more excited rather than questioning.
I know my parents want grandbabies like crazy, but they’ve been pretty good about not really pestering us about it (well, aside from my Dad saying he hoped our marriage would be “filled with lots of love, and many grandchildren” in his toast at our wedding, LOL). They know we want kids eventually, but I haven’t really discussed a time period with any family aside from, “Not right now.”
My husband’s mother actually grilled him on the phone about it once, which was HILARIOUS. She asked if we were going to have a baby soon, and he said we were going to wait a little while, and she said, “Oh… is she on the pill?” Then let him know that we should try to have a baby in the summer, because that would be the best time to have a baby (he said, “I don’t think we can really schedule it like that,” and she said, “Sure you can! Just count back nine months and get going!”)
I almost died laughing watching him awkwardly stammer through that conversation.
Similar on the opposite end of the spectrum. My husband and I dated for 7 years, engaged for two, and the 28th of this month will be six months of marriage. I’ve always wanted kids, and never really made it a secret. I’ve also always been a very open person, and will discuss just about anything at any time. My MIL seems to be of the mindset that you have all the time in the world. I’m 28 now, and my clock has been ticking VERY LOUDLY for the past 5 years. To the point that I had ‘baby fever’ and we almost broke up because I wanted babies so much (Like starting to cry involuntarily when I’d see pregnant women) and he wasn’t ready. My MIL still feels we have plenty of time, but to me I feel like I don’t, partly because of the clock, and partly because I have medical issues that could interfere with me raising children how I want to. My mom has been well behaved though and hasn’t asked about anything, which is weird, because she wouldn’t stop asking when we were going to get married. I feel like I’m the only one excited that we’re trying for kids, because my mom, MIL, and even my husband shy away from talking about it. When you’re excited to talk about it, and people skirt around it and avoid it, it starts to feel like they don’t believe you’re ready or would be a good parent, which hurts. It might change if we run into infertility issues, but right now, I want people to talk to me about it.
I understand how you feel with regards to people not wanting to speak about it. I felt similar before my husband and I began opening talking about how we wanted things to go between the two of us. It was hard, because I always felt like it was an “out of bounds” topic of discussion. Even when we first started talking about, I felt hesitant like I was going to upset him by expressing how I felt. Part of the reason for our rule I think is because I don’t want to feel like I either can’t or should do something because of someone else’s opinion. I’m way too much of a people pleaser so I know I’d feel guilty no matter what! I decided the only important opinion was his. Sometimes I DO find it a little difficult to stick to our rule when I really want to ask friends for advice or weigh in on something, but then I remember I might not like the answer and it keeps me quiet. I’m all for being open when you’re strong enough not to let it influence you in a negative way (clearly, I have work to do in that department!) I think the main thing is that you two have to live with your decisions ultimately, not your MIL!! I wish you the best of luck 🙂
I would have really liked to keep our baby making plans private. It feels like an intimate things, and the idea of surprising the grandparents with good news was fun to think about. But after working with a fertility clinic the last 9 months and being in the middle of an IVF cycle, I felt like I needed to be open about the reason why I was stressed out, emotional, and cranky. It still makes me sad that it won’t be as fun to share the news when/if it’s time, and also the fear of whether the pregnancy will stick given all the emotional, financial, physical investment put into it I think will also affect how the news comes out. It’s good for me to remember though that it’s not like on TV where people decide to get pregnant and then wow one commercial later they are parents.