Stop Asking Me

“So when are you guys popping out a kid?”

Goddammit.

PSA: NEVER ask a couple when they plan to have children. You have no idea what they’re going through.

And you know what?

It’s none of your business.

The stereotypical perception of adulting tells us we must be professionals. Adults are organized. They’re ambitious. They’re mature, they’re financially independent, they’re homeowners.

They’re parents.

Wait. What?

If you’ve gained nothing else from my blog, I hope you take away the fact that there is no solid definition of adulting. No one is doing this perfectly. Adults are not always mature. They might try to be professional, but don’t always succeed. We make mistakes. Our ambitions are all different, money is complicated, and owning or renting your home has nothing to do with your ability to adult successfully. We don’t always know what we’re doing. We don’t all do it the same. And that’s okay! Good, even!

Just because you are an adult does NOT mean you are expected to become a parent.

Somehow, we’re halfway through 2020 and society still squints at a married woman in her late 20’s and wonders why she hasn’t popped out a kid yet. (Popped… Like it’s that simple.)

And there are still those who think it’s okay to come right out and ask you about your timeline for procreation.

“So when are you guys popping out a kid?” a friend asked us over dinner.

I could feel a poisonous concoction of anger and annoyance swirling in my abdomen and I clenched my fists.

You know what, bro, maybe we’re trying to pop out a kid, but haven’t had luck yet.
Or I could have decided that I now hate kids.
I could be heartbroken over a loss.
Maybe money isn’t in order yet, or we just really love saving it.
Perhaps I’m just hyper-focused on a career at this stage in my life.
It could be an overwhelming combination of all these things.

Or, imagine this, it could be NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! 

Stop asking me.  

“We’re enjoying our money right now,” I responded half-honestly, taking a sip of beer and averting my eyes.

“Kids aren’t that expensive,” he pressed, tickling his own baby’s chin. The child gurgled, and grinned, and I would have thought it was adorable if I wasn’t so pissed. 

“I could afford an entire herd,” I countered, Italian temper flaring with my nostrils.

“She just means we’re enjoying the freedom,” my husband, Mike, hastily clarified as he kicked me under the table. “We leave for vacation in a few weeks.”

“Ah, yes, this is true,” our friend sighed. “You do lose that freedom to pick up and go whenever you’d like.” 

I opened my mouth, a snarky retort sizzling on my tongue, but a glare from Mike sealed my lips. I sighed. “We’ll get there eventually,” I said dismissively, waving at the waitress for the check. 

To be fair, Mike and I are the last of all our friends to have children. I get it. Everyone’s curious. I imagine them all whispering about us, asking what the other has heard about our plans for the future.

“So what’s up with Kaitlin and Mike? Are they planning on having children? Does Mike want children? Kaitlin has always wanted lots of babies. What are they waiting for? What have you heard? She’s running out of time. It must be hard seeing everyone else with children.”

That’s all in my head. Those conversations might be happening between friends and coworkers and family. They might not be. It doesn’t really matter either way, because our plans are just that: OUR plans. Not theirs, not society’s, OURS.

I understand curiosity. I understand we’ve been conditioned to expect the natural progression of relationships. We meet. We date. We fall in love. We get married. We procreate.

I’m not the first woman to point out that things don’t work that way anymore. The modern woman doesn’t have to be married to have a child. She doesn’t have to have a child when she’s married. She doesn’t have to get married at all, ever. She doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do, and society’s natural progression means nothing to her.

“When’s the wedding?”
“When are you having children?”
“When is baby #2?
“Are you going to try again?”
“How many kids do you guys what?”
“Are you trying for any babies yet?”
“When are you due?” (ALWAYS a bad idea if you don’t know her.)

Sometimes, these questions can be painful to hear, hard to answer, complicated to consider. There are so many factors that influence whether a couple has children or not. We should feel comfortable discussing them when we want, and I don’t want to stop the conversation around the hard stuff, but we should never feel obligated to participate in that conversation and we shouldn’t be pressured to fit into a standard.

The reason why Mike and I do not yet have any children is inconsequential. There may not even be a reason. Maybe I’m fine. Maybe I’m not. It doesn’t matter, really.

Don’t ask me.

And if someone asks you, you don’t have to answer. Talk about it if you want, if you’re comfortable, or shut it down if you don’t. That is yours to own.

We can be badass adults with or without children. And we don’t need pressure from anyone when considering that step.

We’re all paving our own way.

And we’re killing it.

13 Comments

  1. Omatra7

    People can be rude with those things …

    They did that with my brother and his wife… she was lucky to have the ONE they have – medically she can not have anymore kids… that pains her very much, so when someone asks is a little hurtful

    I have also had people ask me if all my kids are same father… there is distance between all of them … I have 26, 18 and 13 …

    Yes they are all same father … we waited after first one until we be more settled … but then I had medical issues …

    Second came and I thought that be it… but 5 years later the last one came.

    That’s no ones business though … and that is rude to ask. There is no reason that would matter or not.

    So yeah people can be rude and thoughtless with things sometimes.

    I find it best to be honest and lay it out for them… you wanna ask those sensitive questions? Here let me answer that for you… if they feel uncomfortable – they asked the question in the first place – don’t ask questions for things you don’t want actual answer to. ✌️ I’m not that girl to do that with lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. itsgoodtobecrazysometimes

    I get asked a lot when we are having number 2, I have stopped being nice and just gone with, well we have been trying for nearly 6 years now so any day.

    Hopefully it will teach them to be a bit more careful when asking those questions, even if it doesn’t seeing them being very uncomfortable is worth it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TheCatLady

    This is so true! It really is none of people’s business and yet, I always feel like I need to explain to them that I’m not sure if I’ll ever have kids which brings on so many questions. I really should just get more comfortable with shutting down the question. It’s hard when it is close family who ask but you just might not be comfortable going into the details of your reasoning. I need to find a way of answering that shuts down further questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hashtag_Adulting

      It’s not easy to shut it down in a way that doesn’t come off as hostile, especially for those closest to you. I shared this blog post on my Facebook as a way to put my foot down for everyone at once, not an easy move to make! I hope it doesn’t offend them, but am glad to have it off my chest.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. traceyrawoot

    Ugh I used to hate this. Then I got sick and now I have a “good enough” reason not to. I can’t. Let me tell you when I say I can’t because of the severity of my Lupus it shuts them up. Permanently. There are some upsides to my disease apparently 😂😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hashtag_Adulting

      Isn’t it terrible we even need a “good enough” reason at all just to stop the questions? I am glad you’re able to bravely halt that conversation with the truth, way to find a silver lining there 😀

      Like

  5. Queen Bee

    You are completely correct when you say it is possible to be a functioning adult without children; however, I think for a lot of people, it is when they literally have to think about and take care of that other person that everything comes together. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I would have ever gotten my shit together if I had not had my first. In fact, I still may not have my shit together… but that’s another story. For people who have children, it is hard to imagine the transition from being/feeling/acting like a child to empathizing with Ariel’s father because she totally did not know Eric at all, and Disney pretends all went well after the 16-year-old married Prince Charming, but c’mon… we know where a relationship like that really ends up, without the little people we created/adopted coming into our lives.
    Also, not everyone should be a parent. I’m the first person to say that. Being a parent is hard, no matter what your particular circumstances and background are, so it is not a role that should be assumed lightly. However, although the unpaid job is difficult, for many people, it brings them the greatest joy they have ever, and will ever, know. Hearing the giggling joy of my sons lightens my heart. Holding my oldest in my arms was overwhelming – he was so beautiful (… my husband claims he “looked like an angry red potato,” but he is so, so wrong) and so amazing that I was instantly in love. I didn’t realize that my heart could be so full until I had my children.
    Don’t get me wrong – I agree with you, it’s not cool for people to constantly ask you when you’re going to have kids. I just wanted to provide some potential reasons; i.e., it may be coming from a place of utter incomprehension of how it is possible to “adult” without them, or it may be coming from a place so full of love and joy that they want you to experience those feelings too. I know that doesn’t excuse the behavior, but basically, I think a lot of us are too stupid and sweet to know better. So please, take pity on us. (Unless whomever is asking you voted for Trump. In that case, rage is not only acceptable, it’s expected, and it is your duty to stab them in the leg with a fork.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hashtag_Adulting

      Thanks for bringing in some conversation from the other side of things! I certainly hope the people asking me repetitively are indeed coming from that place of joy you’re describing…if I can keep that in mind, I think I’d feel less frustrated about it. I appreciate the fresh perspective on this– the questions certainly get old so it helps being reminded they could be coming from a place of compassion rather than simply out of nosey curiosity.

      Like

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