Don’t ask, Don’t tell

I felt inspired to write on this subject after reading this post on Dear Ms Leigh the other day. It’s a subject I keep speaking to friends about recently and so I realise it must be bothering me.

I’m turning 30 this year and I’ve been married almost 7 years. No I do NOT have children. NO I am not planning on having children any time soon. NO my life does not feel empty and void of love.

There I said it. When people meet me and find out my age and status, most of the time I’m asked in one way or another if I have kids or why I don’t. Most of the people who ask don’t know me very well. Most of the people who ask are young and naive but some are old enough to know better. It wasn’t until recently, having lunch with a friend that I realised I ought to be offended when I’m asked this question. Her shock that people even dared to ask, surprised me. And I realised that she was right.

When I’m asked (and it is a when rather than an if) I always think about who is asking before I answer. Sometimes the person is young and doesn’t realise that this isn’t something you ask people. Sometimes they are just being nosey and I want to tell them that ‘after the doctor removed my womb they told me I couldn’t have kids, and actually it’s a really sensitive subject’ and then fake cry at them…. (n.b. none of that is true)

What I find it hard to deal with is that by asking me the question, the person is projecting their beliefs about what they expect I should do with my life, onto me. They’re probably not judging me consciously, but even by asking they are making me feel judged.

I’m not going to go into my reasons for not having any children on here. I’m not going to explain myself because I don’t feel like you expect it. Your choices are yours, and my choices are mine. But I needed to get it off my chest.

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10 thoughts on “Don’t ask, Don’t tell

  1. No one should be judging you for that decision! I am 21, and at the moment, I can honestly say that I don’t want children. In 10 years time, who knows, I may have changed my mind, if I have great, if I haven’t also great! It really is a personal decision that people shouldn’t be questioning, its funny how people assume if you don’t have children that you have no love in your life! Thats what fur, feather or scaley animal babies are for! 😛

    1. Agreed! But also, I’m married so I have plenty and enough love in my life with my husband. It makes me feel a little sad that people assume I need something else and that my relationship with my husband is lacking. It makes me wonder what their relationships are like, to be honest!

      Thanks for the comment 🙂 xx

  2. Wow! You and I are incredibly similar. I am highly offended by this question when I get it. People become shocked when I tell them I’m offended and to me I think they are being hypocritical. It’s a very personal question and I don’t think people realize that. Just because I am married doesn’t automatically mean I should be having kids. Sigh. I’m glad I know another person who can understand the rudeness of this question. I too have thought about giving them a fake answer about not being able to have them, just to make them realize how insensitive their question was.

    1. Weirdly some of the people that ask me are un-married with children – I could so easily say ‘why aren’t you married?’ But I don’t think of that because I don’t judge them like that in the first place. High five to us married and happy without kids ladies 🙂

  3. I’m glad you felt inspired enough to write your own post after reading mine! I forgot to mention on my own that when I was in my young 20’s I always imagined being, or at least wanting to to think about being a mother by the time I was 30. But the more I come closer to that age, the more I don’t feel ready. I’m still finding out about myself, learning what makes me tick, starting up my own business. Aside that, the older I get, the more certain I think i’ll feel when I do decide it’s time to have a child.

  4. Ick, I’m sorry to hear that people are judging you for your decision. That stinks! Here in Texas, it feels like everyone gets married and has kids in their early 20s so me being 31 and single (although not completely by choice) is kind of rare. I say, enjoy the time while you can to travel, be completely selfish and in love with your husband – there is plenty of time for babies!

  5. Bravo! I think all these type of questions are exceedingly rude (when are you getting married/buying your own home/having babies). I guess that people asking it think that it’s a conversation opener, but it’s really really personal! Thanks for sharing though 😀

  6. I couldn’t agree more! Although Patrick and I do want and plan to have kids (probably sooner than later), I’ve never felt comfortable with people asking me about plans like this because of two things:

    1) People always say, “WHEN are you going to have kids” or “WHEN are you going to get married”, not IF. It’s so presumptuous! I know lots and lots of people who never want to get married or have children. Actually I feel like I meet more people all the time who don’t. One of our friends asked us, “Do you guys want to have kids someday?” and that didn’t bother me nearly as much.

    2) If someone answers, “Well, we don’t plan on having children” it’s almost always followed up by the comment that your feelings will change when you get older or when your friends start having kids, etc. Um, NO. I think it’s so offensive and obnoxious to tell someone that what they feel and think is wrong, but they just don’t know it! You have every right to be angry when someone judges you like that.

    1. Thank you for this reply! I’m actually amazed by how many people feel the same as me on this. No one speaks about it though so no one knows how they’re making people feel by asking. Sometimes I feel like I need to wear a badge that says ‘Yes I’m married, have no kids and I’m still happy. Ask me how!’

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