A Squared: When Are You Going to Have a Baby?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

When Are You Going to Have a Baby?

I've had this post in the queue for a while and have been waiting for the "right" time to post it. Since there really won't ever be a "right" time, here goes...

Recently I read a post on one of my favorite blogs Young House Love about this very uncomfortable question that inspired me to share my own thoughts/feelings on the matter.  I try not to get too personal/awkward on this blog and to keep things light and fun, but I feel like the question continues to come up more and more and lately, and answering it has weighed more heavily on me than usual. I don't know how to appropriately address this question in person (aside from brushing it off, getting visibly irritated, or providing a laundry list of excuses) so I would like to do it here...

My husband and I have been married for about 19 months and for almost that long people have been asking us when we are going to have a baby. It doesn't just come from family-- it's also friends, coworkers, colleagues, even random people who meet us and find out that we are [relatively] newlywed and want to know if we are on the baby track. I know that the question comes from a good place and an assumption that this is the next logical life step, but sometimes I don't think people also understand the kind of emotions that a question like this can evoke in the person (specifically, the woman) being asked.

My niece [baby] Maeve and me
I ask you-- politely-- to stop asking this question. Again, I know that the idea of a first baby is special and exciting and you're asking because, well, who wouldn't want to have a baby?! But, it's also something that is very personal to each couple and it is their business. There may be some very serious and personal reasons that a couple is still child free that you may not want/need to know about-- and that they may not want you to know about. Are they not financially ready? Are they having marital problems? Fertility issues? Do they want to have children at all? Frankly, it is for them to decide when they are ready to have a baby. And it should be everyone else's social responsibility to be happy for them when that happens, and not to badger them until it does.

For us, it certainly isn't that we don't want to have a baby. But the truth is that we are just not ready to be parents. Although we make a good living and are smart with our money, we live in a one-bedroom apartment in an expensive city so supporting ourselves while saving up to finally buy a home is no easy task. We definitely aren't financially ready to support a child and our home isn't ready to support one either. Where would this baby live? The bathtub? Balcony? That's about the only free space we have available.

The other truth is that we like our life the way it is right now. We have busy careers that are going well and I'm not sure either of us is ready to slow down that momentum. We travel, we sleep late when we want to, we stay out late with friends, we go to fun fancy restaurants without kids menus and high chairs, we don't own a car, and we walk to work. Selfishly, I am not in a huge hurry to give all of that up yet.

I'm well aware of my age and the fact that I am knocking on 30's door and that "it only gets harder after that," but I'm okay with it. I don't need anyone else to remind me of that or to make me feel bad or inadequate about it. Because that's how the question makes me feel: bad and inadequate. Like I am doing it all wrong. I know I shouldn't let it get to me, but it does. And that's really what I wanted you to know. No matter what the answer is, the question is and will always be an uncomfortable one.

So, to answer the question: When are you going to have a baby? 

We'll have one when we are ready.


  1. I definitely relate to this as we've been married for 19 months as well and I can't seem to have a conversation with any relative with out the baby question coming up - it drives me crazy! Like y'all, we live in a small-ish city apartment, are focused on our careers and generally love the way our lives are! We're 99% sure we don't want to have children at all but it seems that instead of accepting that, people's response is always - oh you will one day. Well no, I don't think we will, and I really just enjoy being an aunt!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Elle! I think it is an especially tough question for career-driven women since we already put so much pressure on ourselves... we definitely don't need it from everyone else!


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