“When are you guys going to start having babies?”
My husband and I got married 12 months ago, and have been together for a total of eight years.
Even before we got married, the questioning about when we were going to have kids was relentless. The wedding provided us with a socially acceptable response, we would laugh and say “lets actually get married first then we’ll think about babies.”
That excuse now no longer applies, meaning we have to come up with something else.
Jokingly, I tell people that I’m too much in love with red wine to possibly even consider falling pregnant.
The truth isn’t as funny or witty. The truth is partly that I’m not ready, and partly that I'm undecided if I ever want to have a baby.
As women, I feel we are chastised for not wanting to procreate. Jennifer Aniston summed up so eloquently this week, societies perception of women without children, when she addressed media speculation that she was pregnant: "This notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children."
You've hit the nail on the head, Jen.
As a society, we are so quick to judge others and their life choices. We pass judgement on those who have a different view to our own.
Listen to Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley and Kate De Brito discuss Jennifer Aniston's comments about not wanting children. Post continues after audio.
The concept of my husband and I not having children leaves people aghast. It is incomprehensible to them that, we may choose not to have ANY MORE children.
That's right, we already have a child. My husband has a daughter from a previous relationship, making me her step mother. I realise biologically she is not my child, but I am completely consumed by love for her, and together the 3 of us are a family.
When asked when we’re going to have a baby, “we’ve already got one!” is not a satisfactory response for them. They smile and say “yeah, but…” YEAH BUT NOTHING. She is our child, stop discounting her existence. Just because biologically she is only my husbands, and just because she does not live with us full time, doesn’t make her any less important, or any less apart of our family.
For some, the idea of giving birth is alone is enough to scare people off wanting to have kids. Here, women confess the things no-one tells you about giving birth. Post continues after video.
The fact that my husband and I are yet to have a child together, after being together for eight years, lends to the idea that it must be ME who doesn't want anymore.
Some have had the gall to ask my husband "what if Nat doesn't want kids?" The conversation follows something like this:
Husband: "Then we won't have any more."
Judgmental person: "But don't YOU want more children?"
Husband: "Yes, but only with Nat. If she doesn't want any more then that's fine. I'm not going to divorce her just so I can go have a baby with someone else."
Does he really have to explain that to people? It is any of anyone else's business whether or not we have more children?
Generally speaking, it's people who already have children that are so horrified at the idea that we may not have any more. Like our decision is somehow a judgement on THEIR life choice to have them.
I think one day, I will be ready to have a child. But at the moment it's not something on our radar. I love it being just us three, we can devote our attention solely to our daughter when she is in our care.
If and when the time comes that we feel like talking about our plans for more children, we will let you know. When we would like your opinion on the matter, we will ask. And to answer your question about when we’re going to have a baby, when we’re damn well ready.
The next time you ask the 30-something woman when she plans to "settle down" or "start a family", or when you ask the couple who have seemingly been together forever when they're going to have babies consider this: perhaps they have been trying for years and nothing has happened. Perhaps they have fertility issues. Perhaps they're not sure if they want children at all. Perhaps they don’t think they can afford a baby at this time. Perhaps they have other plans for their life.
Perhaps in the end, it’s none of your business.