“So when are you and Paul planning on having kids?”
I never saw myself as a mother. (I also never saw myself as married, and look how that turned out.) Paul and I haven’t really done things in the “traditional” order, but soon after we got married, the inquiries started, as if it was only a matter of time before it happened. They get a little more intense as time goes on. Sometimes it feels like people think I can’t add, or that I’m not aware of the passage of time and what that means as far as my biological clock goes. Trust me, I know the implications of waiting to make this decision.
For about a 11-12 month period a few years ago, I felt a pretty strong drive to have a baby. Perhaps it was coincidental that my sisters-in-law were all either new moms or pregnant, but I doubt it. We started with the oh-so-decisive “we’re not going to try to get pregnant, we’re just stopping birth control” method. For the first few months I was disappointed that I didn’t get pregnant right away. After that faded, I was just annoyed by the two-week-wait.
One morning I woke up and my first thought was “this is a mistake – I hope I’m better not be pregnant!” For the next three weeks that thought echoed in my head constantly. Obviously, I wasn’t pregnant but it was hard bringing up my change of heart to Paul.
I think Paul would make a fabulous father, and the thought that I could deprive him of that and cause him to resent me for it hurts. On the other hand, I just don’t feel the…drive, need, desire – whatever – to have a child. I had a long conversation about this with my doctor last week, and her observation was that people who choose not to have kids generally don’t regret it. That gave me something to think about.
What I do dislike are probing questions about it. Sure, ask if I have kids; but I just don’t feel like talking about my inner dilemma about having them or not with everyone I meet. Personally, I feel that asking “have you thought about having children/when are you having kids/how many kids do you want?” is pretty personal and none of my business. If someone brings it up I’m happy to talk about it with them, but I feel like I’m prying if I open the conversation.