This may come as a shock to the women who got married solely to procure a committed sperm donor, but I am not in any rush to have kids and I wish people would just stop asking me.
When a woman hits her twenties, her decisions are no longer her own. Instead, we become the subject of unwanted speculation and are bombarded with questions by otherwise virtual strangers. When you’re single everyone wants to know why? When you’re dating they want to know when you’re getting engaged, and when you’re engaged they want to know when you’re getting married. So, of course, when you’re married they want to know when you’re having a baby.
I noticed this the very first weekend my husband and I came back from our honeymoon. Every other “congratulations” was followed up with “so when are you having a baby?” I was taken aback at the way people would ask that as casually as asking what I ate for lunch. My response? “I’m still unpacking my boxes in his house, but…um…I’ll keep you posted?” I figured that’s a better response than, “What does it matter?”
Sometimes, I wonder if what they’re really asking is if my husband and I are having sex. As if a couple couldn’t possibly be having sex if the wife isn’t pregnant. What is this? 1930?
The decision to have a baby is an intensely personal one between the two people contributing the DNA. There are all sorts of reasons why a couple may or may not have children at a given time. Some couples don’t have the money, some couples are having a heartbreaking time trying and failing to reproduce, some couples don’t ever want children and other couples are still sending out their thank you cards from their wedding.
My husband and I will be celebrating our six-month anniversary this month. Our wedding night was our first time having sex with each other and we would have been utterly devastated had I gotten pregnant that night….or any night including tonight. For me, having a baby in the first year of marriage would be totally against my will. I’ve already begged God not to allow it to happen and I don’t take too kindly to people usurping my prayers with “I dreamed of fishes!” comments. I rebuke that every time.
It’s not that we don’t want to have kids eventually, but right now we’re just enjoying each other. The DINK life (Dual-Income No Kids) is awesome. Granted, I’m sure when we do become parents, that will be awesome too. In the meantime, we’re just appreciating being newlyweds sans children. I believe that you should enjoy each stage of your life, even though life tries to rush you through. It’s not always about the next thing, next thing, next thing, all the time. Sometimes it’s nice to just relax in what is and enjoy it without the whole world pressuring you to get to what’s next.
Of course, the people who ask these questions don’t mean any harm. They’re probably the same people who walk up to unsuspecting pregnant women and rub their belly. It’s awkward and rude, but not malevolent. However, when I do get pregnant, I wonder if it would be appropriate to turn the tables on them by asking for financial donations or ask them to babysit my child. One unsolicited question deserves another, right?
In an age of Oversharing where every other post on Twitter or Facebook could easily be stamped with “TMI”, it’s not surprising that we’ve lost our couth. We’ve gone from willingly sharing the goings-on of our lives to feeling it’s appropriate to ask one another probing questions.
As for me, I refuse to succumb to the pressure. I don’t have baby fever and I don’t intend to catch it anytime soon. I am absolutely overjoyed for my friends who are pregnant – especially those who really wanted a baby. But, right now, I’m just not one of those people.
Have you ever felt pressured to have a baby? Has anyone ever asked you when you’re having kids?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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