So, when ARE you going to have a baby?…

WHEN am I having a baby?

AS a woman in my early thirties, I have lost count of the amount of times I have been asked this question over the years. Safe to say it’s probably in the hundreds.

It seems that once you’re in a committed relationship of some description – or in some cases, even if you’re not – everyone wants to know when you’re going to have a baby and if you’re married, well, quite frankly the level of baby scrutiny increases 10 fold. (If you’re planning on getting married one day, don’t say I haven’t warned you.)

Over the years, it’s been interesting to note that this question has pretty much always been aimed at me – the woman – not at ‘us’ the couple, although admittedly in the latter years my husband has found himself having to answer the dreaded question too occasionally.

It’s also never failed to amaze me that the majority of people ask when are you going to have a baby?’ not would you like to have a baby’ as if by the very nature of being born a female, it’s a given that you will be having a baby at some point. Talk about presumptuous.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can quite understand immediate family and friends being interested in our family plans and this isn’t really what has bothered me over the years. It’s more the fact that every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to think they have the right to ask somebody – mainly women – such a personal question.

Since my early twenties, I have been interrogated as to my baby plans by distant relatives, people I’ve met in business and even strangers, I kid you not. I’ve even been asked by one person if I knew ‘what my womb was for.’ Pleasant ey?

The fact is, asking such a personal question of anybody – especially when you don’t know them very well – can be very intrusive. Firstly, perhaps the person you’re asking doesn’t actually want children. After all, not everyone does.

Or, just maybe, the person you are asking is desperately trying to conceive but isn’t having any success or worse still, maybe the women you’re asking has recently suffered a failed preganancy. Imagine just for a second, how being asked that question will make them feel. Can’t be very nice, can it?

So for those people who continue to ask this bombshell question, I say this, please, just think on. If you’re a family member or close friend,  then tread carefully. Have some tact, ask gently and don’t just presume that everyone wants a baby or can have one naturally. And, if you don’t know someone very well, play it safe and don’t ask! Stay clear of baby questions – unless perhaps the topic naturally pops up in conversation – and try asking them something else instead, like what their holiday plans are for the year. Something less prying if you like.

Finally, if you’re a woman sick to death of having to deal with baby questions all the time, then you have my sympathy. If you’re brave, you could tell them (politely of course) to get knotted. Cheeky? Tell them you’ll have a baby when they get some manners or if all else fails, do what I’ve done  in the past and answer every baby question with a simple generic answer  like ‘maybe one day’.  Not great options I know, but they may just make it a little more bearable.

Till the next time,

Katie

x

P.S For everybody who’s asked me this question over the years, this is just for you….

All being well, I WILL be having our first baby, sometime in July. There, you can all go and knock yourself out now. ;-)

 

 

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29 Discussions on
“So, when ARE you going to have a baby?…”
  • Haha. Another great post. It is the bane of the woman in her childbearing years. I’m glad I got it all out of the way nice and early. Now I have two preschool age children, no-one asks…and if they want to know if I’m planning on any more, well they get a very brief reply!

    • Thanks Catherine! It really is!

      Lucky you getting these baby questions out of the way.

      I’d love to know what your reply would be though if someone did ask! ;-)

  • Very true…. I honed the art of being evasive otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise when it happens would it?! It gets worse after you’ve had one and they get to around 2 years old!

  • This is a question I’m always getting asked! Luckily my younger siblings have recently had babies so the pressure dropped for awhile but I know it will all start again soon! X

  • YES!! This is so true for me too. As soon as my hubby and I got engaged, people started asking us ‘The Question’. I couldn’t even visit my dentist without the nurse interrogating me…she even looked at my tummy for signs of pregnancy!

    The worst was at Christmas just gone. I had just had a miscarriage and went to an Xmas party – I was overwhelmed by asking people when we were going to have a baby. So much so that I just burst into tears.

    It makes me so angry that women have this all the time! Why do we HAVE to have a baby? What if we can’t have babies, or don’t want them?

    Grrrr!

    • Firstly ‘I Am Into This’, I’m so, so sorry to hear about your miscarriage.

      Make sure you be kind to yourself and try to remain positive.
      *sends HUGE hug*

      I cannot imagine how awful it must have been for you at that Xmas party :-(
      This is exactly why people really need to more sensitive around the whole baby subject.

      For us, we were hoping for a baby but not having much luck.
      Every time I was asked the baby question, it felt like I was being punched in the face.

      I know how lucky we are to be now expecting but I will never forget how awful it felt
      to be asked time and time again by people who had little tact or sensitivity.

      I really feel for every woman who has to go through it.

      Thank you for sharing such a personal comment and take good care of you. Katie x

  • It was a tough few months, but I am feeling myself once more and incredibly positive. I just get so angry – I know of many, many women who can’t have children (or don’t want them) and these kind of questions are just so thoughtless.

    I am so glad it has worked out well for you! You give me hope :) You will be a fantastic mum, I have no doubt about that. Looking forward to the blog post where we get to meet baby Portman! xxx

    • SO glad to hear you’re feeling more like ‘you’ :-)

      Thank you for your lovely, lovely words, you’ve just made me shed a very happy tear!!

      I can’t wait to meet baby Portman too (!) and I live in hope that you get your happy ending.

      My fingers and toes are crossed for you x x x

  • Great post Katie. There’s another side to it as well for us ladies of more advanced years. It’s the “Have you got children?” question and the interesting looks you get when you reply “No, I haven’t”. People know I’ve been with my partner for a very long time and you can see them thinking either “Oh, she’s one of those career women,” or “Oh, she’s a selfish cow who doesn’t like kiddies”. I don’t mind if people ask me why not. I’d just rather they didn’t make assumptions about the sort of women I’ve chosen to be.

    • Thanks Mel and thanks for sharing your experience!

      You’ve added another really interesting side to this discussion.

      It seems that regardless of age, women are still stigmatised for not having children!

      What is wonderful though, is that so many of us do feel the same and ARE sensitive to others.

      I don’t think we’ll ever fully shake the baby/children inquisition but we can try our best x

  • Am I going to go for a third? Errr, that would be a resounding “NO!” Two tearaways are trouble enough! X

  • I’ve literally been cornered with someone poking me in the belly demanding “when are you gonna put a baby in there?”. As this was a few hours after my husband told me he wasn’t sure he wanted children, it was very uncomfortable to say the least. For all those who ask, try to consider this issue may be a sore point in a relationship. Lately, I respond “ask him” but it’s not very kind.

    • Hi Heather,

      Thank you for your comment. So sorry to hear about your experience!

      It really is such a delicate subject & I completely agree that people
      need to be more mindful of this when they ask ‘baby questions’ which
      is why I really wanted to write this piece.

      Hopefully at least now you know you’re not alone :-)
      Best wishes for the future, Katie x

  • Congratulations! I hope it all goes well!

    I was nagged about having a baby from the first time I met my now husband’s parents. I was told they wanted grandchildren and when I said ‘but we’re not even married yet!’ (we’d been dating about 3 months at this point), my FIL said “So what?”.

    We made them wait 6 years ;) until we were ready.

    But every visit without fail it would be mentioned. The last visit, we got a looong lecture about how if we didn’t have children we wouldn’t leave any legacy behind. What made it so much worse was that we were at a family members wake at the time and I’d just had my second very early miscarriage.

    They have no idea. But the resentment it built up is quite hard to get over. Even though we’re now having a little one in September.

    I will never ask the question purely on principle.

    • Thanks for your comment Nic.

      I must admit, even though I’ve had first hand experience of the dreaded question, I was still pretty shocked when I read about your experience.

      The rudeness and complete disregard shown by some people never fails to amaze (or disappoint) me. And I can well imagine that the resentment is hard to get over.

      Babies are wonderful healers though so with any luck when your precious baby arrives, things will improve!

      Best of luck with your pregnancy and I’m with you, I never ask this question, ever. Quite frankly I think it’s none of my business.

      P.S Thank you for your kind words about my baby! This was actually an old post I wrote well over a year ago when I was pregnant and I am now a proud mum to my beautiful Elsie :) x

  • hahaha so true Katie! Took me 3 years of trying to have Thomas and I was SO SICK of everyone asking me! It’s not like I wasn’t trying! And now I’ve had 1 the questions about ‘when are you going to have another one?’ keeping coming hahaha- does it ever end? fab post xx #BrilliantBlogPosts

  • This is brilliant! I was never brave enough to reply with a cheeky comment but I have a friend that says “well, we practice everyday” – that tends to shut people up! #brilliantblogposts

  • Hi5! Love this post. I once fell into the category of infertility mum so this constant questioning would drive me nuts. Its just plain rude. But some people are rude! The worst was the woman who firstly decided to ask me when and why I hadn’t had children and then proceeded to tell me that she only had to open her legs and she would be pregnant. I almost projectile vomited on her shoes. TMI! Great post thanks for sharing.

  • LOVE this post. I am 33 now and *shock horror* still unmarried and w/out child… I get asked this question all the time and am made to feel there’s something wrong with me and that I am very old and should get a move on! Rude!
    Maybe we’ll get round to children one day, maybe we won’t… but that’s our business… right?!
    Huge congrats on Elsie and thanks for sharing! x

  • It is amazing how everyone expects you to have children – I have been lucky enough never to have a stranger ask me though! Thanks for sharing and I love the postscript ;-) x

  • Hi Katie, I think that most women who are in a relationship and are over the age of twenty have experienced this! As I had made it clear from quite an early age that I never wanted children people who knew me didn’t bother asking; although after I got married my Mum would carefully inquire…Just in case I changed my mind (which I did!).

    After four years of marriage it was me who bought up the subject of having children ( I knew it was something my husband had wanted and I felt as ready as I would ever be!). We now have two teenage children that I wouldn’t swap for the world (well, maybe sometimes!).

    Now that you have Elsie people will start asking when are you going to give her a brother or sister!

    #BrilliantBlogPosts.

  • So now that you do have a baby, are people asking you about “when number two will be along” yet???
    My first is nearly two years old and we’re constantly being badgered about procreating some more… It drives me bonkers for the exact reasons you’ve mentioned above – just because someone has ONE baby doesn’t mean getting to number two will be all plain sailing. In our case, we can’t afford another child yet. I don’t feel like discussing that with others one bit and yet every time someone asks I’m forced to, or I have to make some excuse.
    Anyway, great post! #BrilliantBlogPosts

  • I have 3 and I still get asked this question all the time! Will you have more? Will you try for a boy? ect.. it doesn’t stop and no ones ever satisfied with the answer either they always want to nose abit more!

  • Ah I didn’t know you had an Elsie too! Mine is 5 weeks old :) Beautiful name! We have 4 now and once people stopped asking when we were having another, we realised the questions were changing a little. Now it’s ‘You’re not going to have any more are you?!’ x x

  • Such an important post chick and you are right, it’s always the women who are asked and it’s actually a very personal question, yes most are well-meaning but it’s still a private one isn’t it. As soon as you have one or two (and probably three), people ask if you want another. I think a lot of people just can’t make interesting conversation! Ha! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

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