Why I’m tired of the mentality that marriage = babies

Guest post by Katie
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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about when the right time will be for my husband and I to start trying to conceive. We’ve talked it out and have decided that it will be soon, but still not as soon as our loved ones are hoping for. We have decided that we don’t have to be in that perfectly ideal place financially and otherwise to have kids because, let’s be honest, I don’t know when or if we’ll get there. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel completely ready for such a gigantic shift in our lives and our priorities.

Thus far, life hasn’t gone for us how we’d expected, so I think letting go of some of the control of “when” feels freeing. Still, though: when it’s time, it has to feel right for us.

Right for us. Us, just the two. Spouse + Spouse. Potential parent + other potential parent. My friends do not get to decide when. My family does not get to decide when. ESPECIALLY those that are distant except when prying into our lives about such a personal thing.

It doesn’t feel right yet.

I’m not even going to get into the million reasons why it’s incredibly rude and insensitive to bother someone about when they’ll “finally” have kids. That’s not what this is about — that’s a rant for another time.

What I’ve been considering a lot lately, and what has been upsetting me, is that marriage seems to = babies according to common logic. I find myself not just frustrated as a woman that is simply not damn ready to have a baby yet, but also insulted for pretty much any family that has done things differently.

Why is it that as soon as my husband slipped that wedding band on my finger I suddenly became a baby making machine? Why is it that baby making is associated with marriage at all?

Sure, I’ll cut my own friends and family some slack because it’s known that I do want children someday. But what’s with all my Child-Free friends constantly having to deal with pressure to procreate even after they’ve made it clear that kids aren’t in the picture — ever? They should be able to enjoy their sparkly rings and champagne toasts without, “Okay, you’re married, NOW you’ll have kids, RIGHT?!”

Even more than my Child-free friends I think of my friends that have kids and aren’t married. Some of them will get married when they’re ready, some may never get married, some are single, some hadn’t even had the option of marriage until recently (in Washington) or still don’t — the point is THAT marriage had nothing to do with their beautiful children. I believe that each of those children were a result of sex — not marriage. Certainly a child conceived by other means was the result of a desire for that child. Surely love plays a part, but love exists without marriage.

Comments on Why I’m tired of the mentality that marriage = babies

  1. Thanks for this post so much. The day of my wedding people were asking when we were going to have kids. It became apparent to me that as soon as I was married I passed from an individual with quirks and dreams to a walking “baby oven” in the eyes of some who all of a sudden became very vocal about what should be in my uterus. I have had family members go so far as saying I am embarrassing the family by NOT having kids yet. My husband and I want kids eventually but we just want each other right now and that is fine with me. 🙂

    • “My husband and I want kids eventually but we just want each other right now and that is fine with me.”

      What a great way to put it! Love it.

    • My husband and I were married 6 years before we had our daughter and were hounded by people the whole time. So we had a baby and then, and I am not kidding, two weeks later we had people ask us when we were having another. You can just never win with some people, that’s why you just have to do things your way!

  2. or what if you and your husband were trying and not succeeding and not sharing it with everyone. I think it is rude to ask people about that anyway, unless a door has already been opened for that conversation.

    When I was pregnant with my daughter, people were asking me when I was going to have another. I found it alarming.

    • I was asked the same question by my mother of all people. . . .. ummm let’s get the first kid potty trained and make sure I can provide for him before we plan a second . . .

    • My first words, literally, after giving birth were “Let’s do that again!” My husband was a little less enthusiastic.

  3. I don’t find it very difficult to understand why marriage=babies to a lot of people. Many people as recent as my mother’s generation didn’t use birth control because it was still kind of new, and people didn’t want to necessarily take pills all the time. So, many people still waited for marriage to have sex, and sex makes babies. So, marriage=sex=babies. People are still used to things happening that way.

    • It’s not as if I don’t understand where the mentality comes from, I just don’t like it. As a personal choice, of course it’s fine. Pushing this on other people is what doesn’t sit with me right.

      And this is just my own personal experience, but most people I know started having sex long before marriage was even a consideration for them.

      And again, my own personal experience, but I mention all kinds of different families that I know… with all different backgrounds… and that’s kind of my point. I know so many people that didn’t travel the marriage –> sex –> babies path.

      • “. . . Most people I know started having sex long before marriage was even a consideration for them.”

        I started having sex in my mid-teens, and it was the same for most people I’ve known. I didn’t even consider marriage for myself until much later. Though I have been in a happy, unmarried-but-monogamous relationship for a decade, I know what will happen the second we go official. I am not looking forward to being hounded to breed. I endured enough of that crap in my teens and early twenties, when I fully embraced lack of interest in motherhood. First it was a chorus of “You’ll seeeeeeee” and “It’s different when they’re yours” and “You’ll change your mind like I did” and “You’re too young to make that decision”. Next it will be “BUT YOU’RE ACTUALLY MARRIED NOW!”

        Guess what. We have considered ourselves married for a good long time. If babies were going to happen, we would be raising them already. The foreseeable path, for us, has always been togetherness -> marriage -> togetherness.

    • I agree. I think it’s just people making conversation, for the most part. It’s the same reason relatives constantly ask you what your major is the second you sign up for college. It’s not cause they actually think you know already, or even that they care that much, it’s because they can’t think of anything else to say so they just follow an easy cultural script.

      • I can agree with this to a certain extent. I’m sure that often, perhaps usually with the people you don’t know as well, it can be a matter of making small talk. I think it’s fair to acknowledge, though, that conceiving a child is a very personal issue and it’s not one that should actually be used for small talk. I also don’t think this is the case every time. I can tell you for certain there are many people very eager for me to have a baby and it has nothing to do with simply making conversation when they bring it up.

        • I will admit that I have done this once, when I was young and single. I clearly didn’t get that reproduction is not small talk.

          I find myself using props to avoid people asking this question as small talk at parties. Whenever I have a beer bottle in my hand, nobody asks if I’m pregnant yet!

          • It is for this reason that I will be required to drink cream soda out of a beer bottle for the first 3 months of pregnancy. I’m a bit of a boozer, and any time I drink a non-alcoholic beverage at a party I get asked if I’m growing a tiny human from scratch. Sometimes it’s medication reaction, sometimes it’s just that I’m not in the mood, usually it’s just because I’m driving but even then I will usually have one or two beers depending on how long we will be there. And thus, my mister is going to have to be in charge of feeding me cream soda in beer bottles. Or having me go classy and drinking out of a glass.

        • I have a similar issue with my MIL. The first thing she asked after the wedding(at the reception) was when we were going to start trying to have kids because she wants a grand daughter. I admit I was a little snarky when I told her the more she asked, the longer we would wait. She still jokes about it from time to time, but I think she got the hint. We will not be pushed into something for which we are not ready.

  4. I think you’re very right. It is so damn rude to pry into other’s personal life plans. I think it’s one thing to be gabbing with some girlfriends about your plans, but for random aunts, uncles, parents, strangers to put pressure on you is rude. For me, nothing makes me feel worse than when someone is like “Why haven’t you had babies yet??!!” and even though they’re well-meaning, and I can laugh it off, inside in my head it just reminds me that I can’t have kids. GAH

    • Try dealing with your future mother-in-law throwing you a lingerie-themed bridal shower for one specific purpose (and I quote):

      “Babies! I want babies! I want grandchildren!” Said shrilly. In front of everyone.

      Most pictures of the bridal shower show me opening racy negligees from great aunt so-and-so, and looking mortified as everyone giggled around me. Ugh. So intrusive. Like I want to publicize any aspect of my sex life to my in-laws and extended relatives.

      For me, part of the discomfort with the pressure to have kids as a married woman is that others feel entitled to make creepy, unwanted jokes or assumptions of about what I do in the bedroom that would never be socially acceptable outside this context. I mean if someone said that at work, it’d be construed as sexual harassment, but if it’s Uncle Joe talking about wanting more relatives it’s suddenly okay? I’m a very private person, and when gender roles are enforced by those around you, the resulting prying tends to strip you of that privacy. I hate that feeling of vulnerability as much as the implication that I forfeit all privacy and respect if I have a uterus and a ring on my finger.

      My husband gets his family to lay off by jokingly threatening to have kids, but give them long-winded names like “Lord Tiberius Poopingsworth IV, Esq.” It also helps that my future sister-in-law now shares the pressure, but is gung-ho about having kids right away. Makes it easier to fly under the radar.

      • that scenario with the lingerie shower… I’m terrified that will happen to me… absolutely terrified. I’m not sure I could keep myself from sheepishly feining sick or being in a super bad mood and rudely walking out of the party. I am also a very private person, especially when it comes to such delicate topics.

        I wonder if any other private people, who are snarky but strive to be “polite” have any good zingers to answer with when the inevitable prying question is asked? So far I’ve always had things to answer with like “I can’t feed myself reliably let alone a small human” when I was an art student, but as adulthood settles in that answer doesn’t work anymore. I like your husbands way of joking to get the family to lay off, but I feel I need a way to say “it’s none of your business” nicely and firmly

        • There was a post about this a couple years ago. http://offbeatfamilies.com/2011/10/nosy-coworkers-want-pregnancy-details
          It had a lot of great responses, but my favorite idea was this.
          “‘Ooooh, bit of a social faux pas for you, there!” following it with the aforementioned champagne laugh, and then leaning close and whispering conspiratorially, “Don’t worry – I won’t tell anyone!” and winking extravagantly, before moving the conversation on.”

        • http://offbeatfamilies.com/2013/03/keeping-conception-plans-secret

          This one had a lot of great responses. My favorite (which is not for the shy among us) was:

          “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. ”

          However there were a lot of other (less scandalous) suggestions!

        • After years of dating and my husband and I telling anyone who would listen that we NEVER wanted to have children, after we got married, many family members (mainly those not invited to the wedding) began snarkily asking if we had FINALLY gotten married so that we could make babies, and when would we be starting? I gave a big smile and replied, “God willing, soon….I keep swallowing and swallowing, but I am starting to think that my uterus isn’t connected right!”

          Never asked again.

        • Just as a sidebar about how to avoid sexy lingerie at a bridal shower, my wife and I had a ‘theme’ where we only asked for scented things. You know — candles, soaps, bath salts, etc. If you set a specific type of gift for the shower, you can avoid that whole nonsense!

      • Not to defend your MIL, but is it possible for older women to get a different rush of hormones that make them crazy and want grandbabies? Like grand-babycrack? They KNOW it’s not the right time, but they can’t help but want them?
        http://offbeatfamilies.com/2011/01/babycrack

        I think my Mom had a grandbabycrack episode once… and then she started breeding rabbits. Saved by the lepus!

  5. I am with you! I was married for about 4ish years before we felt it was the right time for us to have a baby. We now have a 10 month old and yeah, will probably have another down the road (if we are lucky enough!) but we’ve been getting “So… when’s baby #2 coming?” I MEAN REALLY. The kid isn’t even a year old! What is WRONG with people?! Not even my good friends ask me about baby #2- and they KNOW we want more eventually. It’s always random coworkers and aunts and uncles we aren’t even close with. So rude.
    Also, when I did get pregnant, I had a bunch of rude family members ask if we had been trying since the wedding. WHAT?! Whose business is it? (We weren’t, in fact. Like I said, we waited until the time was right for US).

      • This question baffles me waaaaaay more than the “When are you having babies???” question. The immediate “Was it planned?” or “Were you trying?” response. SO INTRUSIVE AND NOBODY’S BUSINESS. Bet people would think twice if they had to phrase it to reflect what they are *actually* asking: “So, did you fuck up your birth control or what?” 😉

        • I have to agree — while asking *when* a couple is going to have a baby is intrusive and sometimes awkward …

          I do think it’s even worse when someone stares at your 6-mo-pregnant self and asks, “Was it planned?” It’s no longer a theoretical exercise at that point, and if it wasn’t … what do you say???? That’s like asking if you *want* this baby you are carrying around.

          Extra awkward for me, since we don’t do any kind of birth control, so no, it wasn’t planned, but it was wanted … but should I have to have that conversation with a stranger??

        • I have the flip side of this issue. My son is just about to turn a year old and we are expecting a little sister for him in August. We chose to have them close together in age, but someone (not even a close friend) had the gall to respond with “Omg, you guys must never leave the bedroom!” We’ve gotten all sorts of commentary on our choice and it makes me nuts.
          It’s just plain rude, insulting & obnoxious to assume someone’s intimate life is fodder for public discussion under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.

    • Like, what are you–a machine? It especially bothers me when people ask that question so soon. I have always heard that we should wait at least a year between pregnancies, in order to replenish everything and to strengthen the body. :O

    • My sister in law mentioned to a customer that she was taking time off to get married, and the customer responded with, “Oh, when is the baby due?” Complete lack of guile, as if the only reason that women in their 20’s get married is because they got pregnant. Or perhaps the only reason anyone gets married. In any event, my SIL was so flabbergasted that she gaped at the woman for a moment and walked off the deli line. Fortunately two of her coworkers heard the exchange and one helped the women while the other ran off to make sure my SIL didn’t break anything. Everyone is still amazed that the customer didn’t get an entire ham shank thrown at their face.

  6. Everyone who asks me when we’re having kids is told that I am in GRADUATE SCHOOL. One major life change at a time please.

    Also, my parents have not made a single peep, but my brother keeps teasing me about how his kid wants/needs a cousin. But he gives me a hard time about everything so that’s pretty normal. I just tell him that when they’re ready for #2 we’ll work on #1

    • I am so right there with you! Our wedding is five months after I graduate law school and only three months after my bar exam. People are already asking when we will have kids. I just want to shout at them that I will literally be admitted to the bar a mere week or so before the wedding- give me time to enjoy being a lawyer and a wife without the extra responsibility of children.

    • Ha! That’s what I always say, too (except about marriage, not graduate school, in my case). I always say, “We just got married six months ago… I’d like to have a little time to ourselves without any major, stressful life changes going on first.”

    • This is how I’ve been answering too. “Well, we’re moving continents in June, getting married in July, and I’m defending my PhD in August… that’s enough big life events for a while!”

  7. My now husband and I were barely engaged when I got pregnant. We ended up getting married when I was five months pregnant and although it wasn’t our original plan those are the beautiful sequence of events that led us to our current happiness. Recently a very close friend got engaged and there have been a lot of jokes about “Oh is she knocked up?” and comments such as “At least she’s not pregnant”. I feel like the next time I hear this about my friend I am going to stop biting my tongue and just ask point blank what would be so wrong if she was.

    Sex happens. Babies happen. Marriage does or does not happen. I’m sick of being made to feel like if you don’t get everything in the order expected or if you don’t want relationship/marriage/babies you’re doomed to fail at this thing called life. Life is not a checklist and I refuse to treat it that way.

    • This really shows the whole “Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t” situation that women get put into. It is frowned upon for a women to be pregnant on her wedding day, and frowned upon for her to not be pregnant the day after! How insane is the thought process that goes into that?

  8. When my husband and I got married, EVERYBODY but our parents were asking and bugging us about having babies. The answer was always the same ‘No, when we’re older maybe, but not now.’ Then surprise, surprise! Accidental pregnancy during our first year of marriage. Man, let me tell you all of the rude comments about ‘I knew you would give in.’ I got. It was horrible.

    Then like other’s have said, not two days after I gave birth there were questions from distant family, not so distant family, and even some friends (that one got the eye roll) about when we were going to have number two. I was always like ‘um…let’s make sure I can keep this one alive and my body is all healed before we start talking about that.’ Truth was that we weren’t even sure we’d want to have any more. We did, eventually, welcome number two, and after explaining to people that this was the last one, that I had had a tubal for goodness sakes, I STILL get it from people who KNOW ALL OF THIS about when we should have a third. That we should have a third.

    It’s exhausting. And rude. What people do with their sex lives is none of any one else’s business dammit! Babies aren’t the gateway to happily ever after. Babies are a big deal, and each new one is another challenge. It got to the point that I’d just say ‘Are you going to carry it, birth it, and raise it for me? Because I already have my hands full with these two.’

    Ugh, I could rant about this one forever. But I agree. I am SO over the whole mentality that you need to just be popping out babies from the time you end your vows until you reach the end. SO over it. 😛

  9. Thank you for this! My son was two when his dad and I got married, so we had the opposite problem where as soon as people found out we were pregnant, the constant “when are you getting married?” started to fly. And people got MAD when I’d answer that I didn’t know if we would get married. We worked on our relationship as a couple, and when we realized it was a decision we were ready for (which happened to be when our son was about 10 months old), we got engaged. What’s also annoying at this point, is that certain family members try to tell my son “Mommy and Daddy got married and then had you!” Um. Nope. Not even close. Now that he’s almost three the barrage of “When are you having another one?” “Liam should have a brother/sister!” have begun. Because, you know, I decided to have one child which means I’m now going to make a ton more. We’ve decided one is enough for us and we constantly have to explain to family members that we aren’t having anymore. No matter how much they argue with us. Thank you for posting this!

  10. I hate to say it, but this is one of those sticky moments when being a straight woman sucks! It can be so hard to blaze your own path when it seems like you are on the same path as “everyone” else. Obviously there’s lots about having kids when you’re gay that people don’t handle very well, but at least people make fewer presumptions about how you are going to fulfill your destiny!

    • As a straight woman, I would much rather deal with the rude questions of baby-making than not having my marriage recognized.

      • When same sex marriage is the law of the land (soon, I hope!), I think my straight friends will still be faced with this problem, and related ones–negotiating with male partners over domestic duties, juggling careers and child care, and so forth. My empathy for Katie’s predicament is real.

  11. “We have decided that we don’t have to be in that perfectly ideal place financially and otherwise to have kids because, let’s be honest, I don’t know when or if we’ll get there. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel completely ready for such a gigantic shift in our lives and our priorities.”

    A big fat THIS!

  12. The VERY first day I met my (then future in-laws) they both asked me separately when I was going to give them grandkids. Woah, awkward.
    Since then, no one has mentioned it (except a couple of guilt-laden comments from my dad and a couple of friends assuming I was pregnant if I happened to be ill for more than a day). No one’s poked their nose into my bedroom. My husband and I knew that we were going to start shortly after the wedding because we’re both starting the ladder climb to 40 and although there are a ton of “older” moms, I didn’t want to be over 40 and pregnant. It’s scary to me.

    Now that I’m pregnant, I feel that weird “are we even ready?” panic.

    • I’m with you on this one. My parents were close to my age when they had me, and my mom was pregnant with my younger sister at a time when it was considered high risk simply to be over 35 and pregnant, so my younger sister is the only one with pictures from before she was born. I personally don’t want to be 45 and taking my child to kindergarten for the first time.
      We are planning to have kids, if we can. First, my new hubby needs to finish healing from back surgery. He had 2 levels fused, but that didn’t stop my younger sis from asking at Easter when we were planning to have kids. I gently reminded her that Tinman’s surgery has precluded the necessary activities to get pregnant and told her we’d like a chance to have a honeymoon first. Since the honeymoon is on hold until he’s fully healed, I honestly don’t care if that’s when we conceive. However, I would like not to be 9 months pregnant in high summer in South Texas.
      Sorry, I lost the thought train there. Part of me is actually terrified that I will mess up a kid irreparably. My mom apologizes to this day for her perceived shortcomings as a parent, though I think she and my daddy did a fantastic job considering what a problem child I was. If she thinks she did poorly as a parent, how much worse will I be?

  13. Thank you! When we first saw my dad after we got engaged, he said “I’m so happy for you guys. I can’t wait to be a grandpa.” As if engagement meant automatic pregnancy. My fiancee and I like kids, but we honestly have no idea if we ever want them. We’re not ruling it out, but if neither of us ever start thinking “omg we have to have one” then we won’t. I wish people would realize just how personal it is and just stop. You’d think the people who already had kids would know that, but apparently not!

  14. As a woman who chose to be Child Free and sterilized, I get questions all the time about what I’ll do when I get married and change my mind about kids. I’ve been in a relationship for over a decade with a great guy, but we’re just not really ready to rush to the alter. Most people that ask about it don’t understand how a woman in her mid-30’s who’s never had a conventional (straight) marriage and never had kids isn’t scheming to have both as soon as possible.

  15. As (happily) almost perpetually single and childless Ive always been the one getting the “itll be your turn next” pressure – as if i cant possibly actually be happy, i must be crying myself to sleep wishing, right?! I have never stopped to think about the pressures placed on the people getting married, its an important change in perspective. I think it does take a community to say its not ok to butt into others personal lives, i will be more thoughtful of protecting others rights to privacy now as well.

  16. I’ve just started answering those rude questions with a rude answer. “When are you having babies” or any questions or a similar vein get the response “When are you going to keep your nose out of my sex life?” I am over being judged and vilified by my or his family for not doing what they want right now, I do not and will not put up with it. People are free to complain about me if they want but after living through the pain of my partners (I’m not even married) family putting actual cash bets on when I would be ‘knocked up’ I have come to realise I don’t owe anyone an answer about what I do with my own uterus. It’s not their business.

  17. It’s really surprising that this point must continually be made. The idea that everyone must follow the same life plan is so old fashioned. I was seven weeks pregnant when my husband and I took our ten-year wedding anniversary vacation. That entire ten years was filled with prying questions about kids from family and strangers alike. My twins are only five weeks old and people already want to know when we’re having another! “we’re done” is met with scoffs from everyone. Now I must follow the new life plan of “more than two children”? Somehow we have to convince people that it’s okay to make any choice you want for yourself.

  18. I was, and still am, bombarded by this issue almost daily. My mother-in-law started asking us about kids as soon as we got engaged and actually scolds us about it. She has trained all our nieces and nephews to ask me if there’s a “baby in my tummy yet” at every family function. Sometimes she tries the “but who’s going to take care of you when you get old?” line. But where I get it the most is at work. We just had 3 women go on maternity leave and since I got married in June 2012, everyone is betting that I’ll be next. When I tell them we’re not having children any time soon (if ever) they just scoff and say “yeah right, I’ll give you a year” or “sometimes things happen even though you don’t plan on it!” Well, the response to such remarks is not only none of their business, but would make for very inappropriate and uncomfortable lunchroom conversation amongst people I barely know. Needless to say I just smile in distain and return my attention to whatever book I’m reading at the time. I know they don’t mean anything by it, they think they’re just making conversation, but unfortunately the topic of choice is something extremely personal!

    • I had a few men in my office start a POOL for when I would get pregnant. I was the only married woman in the office who wasn’t. Left that job for grad school, where everyone is generally terrified of babies so it worked out haha.

  19. Fortunately, my mother won’t ever directly ask me… but I can pretty much hear the gears spinning in her brain any time I mention anything that could even possible be a pregnancy symptom. “I’ve been having lots of weird dreams lately.” “Oh, really? Hmmm… I wonder why. Why do you think that’s happening?” Also, I know she did it with my brother and sister-in-law after they got married (“He said she’s sick. Do you think she’s pregnant???”) so I’m sure she’s doing it with me too. She was so hilariously bummed out when she finally realized that my brother and sister-in-law aren’t going to have any kids… I tried to explain it to her that they just don’t want to have them, but she kept saying, “I just don’t understand. They could make it work.” Sigh.

  20. oh thank you. yes, this, all of it. im actually *scared* to get married just because of this- and we havent decided if we will ever have kids. i dont even want to face it, and i KNOW its coming, i know it’ll happen… ugh.

  21. Lol, I totally pulled a George Constanza “Leave on a high note” when a business meeting with 2 of my nonprofit’s board members turned to whose labor was longest today. Granted there was a 6 week old at the meeting and no one directly asked when we’re hoping to have kids (we’ve been married for a little over half a year), I felt like being the newlywed I was wearing A Scarlett Letter and bounced as quick as I feasibly could.

    I always wanted kids at 28 and I turn that this October. My partner and I are working the topic into conversation as much as we can without scaring the shit outta the other, but probing from others still pisses me off.

  22. So much THIS. Like many commenters it seems, I’ve been with my bloke a while (9 years), not married (mainly because I dislike spending money!) and while its not a constant barrage, I have had it raised less-than-politely by family and coworkers. Never my parents, because funnily enough they know me well and aren’t jerks.

    I like to think the best response to the “When?” question is “Oh, we’re thinking in about NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS.” Because clearly it’s an issue which affects no one more than you and your partner, and most people aren’t affected at all (in the case of jerk coworkers). Exercise your right to tell people to butt out, that’s my motto – with all these things, babies, marriage, home ownership, career, all of it!

  23. I remember telling my dad I was pregnant. I was nineteen and had been with my boyfriend for ten months.
    His response, “Well if he’s any kind of good man, you just need to go ahead and marry him.”
    I know I shouldn’t have expected anything less from my father, but I was still completely knocked over. He was on his second marriage as was his current wife. Thankfully my stepmother (having been married at nineteen herself) spoke up at this point and said, “No. That’s not right.”
    My husband and I got married when my daughter was just shy of two. There was never going to be a shot-gun wedding, or even an guarantee of marriage. We had made a child and that was AWESOME but that act alone didn’t mean we were made for each other.

  24. I heart this a thousand times, and when I’m not supposed to be in bed, I’m going to read all the comments. I just got married, and one of my biggest fears leading up to the wedding was having to deal with a ton of “when are you having babies?” questions at the reception. One of my friends wrote “so when are you having kids?” in our card, as joke, because I’d so vociferously complained about how mad I would be if I had to field a ton of those questions (because really, the ppl at my wedding should know me enough not to ask). Luckily it wasn’t so bad, not many people said anything, but my dad took the opportunity of his speech to go on about how nothing brings two people together like a child (um, except when an inability to agree on parenting choices drives them apart, dad). He went on at length, and I would have been more angry if one, he wasn’t amusing about it, and I didn’t know he was doing it in part as a joke. Still, there’s a large part of him that wasn’t joking, and his other friend made a point of wishing me many children and grandchildren as well. My oldest sister thankfully said “there’s plenty of time for kids” in her speech and my dad and his friend are old Serbian men, so it’s almost inevitable that they’ll assume marriage means making babies, but really it doesn’t. Married people who choose not to, or are unable to have children are as married as those with 10 kids. As I’ve told my dad, he has six other grandchildren to enjoy, and my husband and I are just so..not…ready to have that kind of responsibility. Right now I’m enjoying just being able to focus on my career, which is pretty all-consuming at the moment, and otherwise just spend time with my husband and friends.

    • Oh my, I’m not sure how I would have handled a speech like that! Hahah… fortunately I didn’t have to deal with a lot of baby questions at my wedding. BUT at the end of the night, my husband’s adorable Grandmother came up to me, held both my hands, and looked me straight in the eyes. Then in her very thick Spanish accent she said, “May you be blessed with dozens and dozens of babies!” And I almost died right there. Hahahahah.

      • Haha! When people say things like that it makes you want to ask “don’t you remember small children? Why would you wish DOZENS on someone?!” LOL. One of my new uncles in law referred to me as Mrs. Ko, even though I’m not changing my name, I didn’t have the heart to correct him.

  25. I sooo understand where that is coming from. My boyfriend and I have been an item for close to six years, and only last weekend when I was babysitting my younger sister’s wonderful kids, she started asking when we would finally have children, and hinting that I was not getting any younger. (Hello? I am thirty!) And then there were the hints and questions and hints from all the mothers I know that as soon as I had spent a weekend with the kids I would definitely want my own, and NOW! In the end I told them that I would let them know eventually, at the latest by inviting them to our kids’ 18th birthday.

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