When are you planning on having kids? Does that question make you tense up? If not then you might be the kind of person that would ask it. Though the question might seem harmless enough it can send a cold chill down the spine of any person you ask. Having a child is an incredibly personal decision; sometimes it isn’t really a decision at all. When a person asks “When should we expect to hear the pitter-patter of little footsteps?” it can really put someone on the spot.
If the thought of this being offensive is strange, here’s some things to consider:
They Don’t Want Kids
What a shocker! Some people don’t share the same life goals as others! It’s not selfish or absurd to stay offspring-free, it’s a personal choice. Asking someone who doesn’t want kids if they are planning on having kids can make them feel uncomfortable, as a lot of people are judgey about it. People who choose not to have children are not heartless weirdos. They have their own plans in life, and children just happen to not jive with that. Maybe they want to travel, party, or live life on the edge. Perhaps they don’t have confidence in their ability to keep another human being alive, let alone a tiny one. Whatever their reason, it’s none of your business if they do or don’t. The world is overpopulated as it is anyways.
They Are Already Expecting But Not Ready to Tell People
People don’t like to be liars. If you ask someone who is in the early stages of pregnancy (or their partner) when they plan on having kids, you are putting them in a position to either lie, tell you a half-truth, or tell you the full truth before they are ready to. It can be incredibly uncomfortable, and it can ruin their “Pregnancy Reveal” or make them feel anxious that you are going to openly share the good news with others when perhaps they still have important people that they haven’t told yet.
They’ve Experienced A Miscarriage
Miscarriage is an absolutely devastating tragedy. If a family has miscarried a child, they don’t want to be reminded. It’s already on their mind. Asking someone who has miscarried when they are planning to have kids can be rubbing salt in the wound. It can be a reminder of something they’ve tried to push deep inside to keep the tears at bay. (Tip: If someone has told you that they’ve miscarried don’t ask when they will start trying again. It’s incredibly rude. The trauma, for some, can be enough to never try for a baby again for fear that they will have to go through the pain again.)
Infertility or Medical Conditions
Some people might desperately want to have a child of their own, but due to infertility or medical conditions such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) or Endometriosis they cannot. Or it could prove to be very dangerous. Asking someone who cannot have a baby because of infertility or other medical reasons can be very emotionally painful for the person you ask. And though adoption is an option, the process can be long and difficult, and a lot of people want to have the experience of birthing their own to pass down the genes. A person could also object to having kids because they have hereditary problems that they wouldn’t want to pass down.
Currently Trying for a Baby
If someone is actively trying to conceive it can feel like time is at a standstill. Maybe they’ve been trying for months or years, and are wondering if there might be something wrong with them. Asking someone who is trying for a baby, but it hasn’t yet happened, when they are planning on having kids can be very frustrating. They might want to throw their arms up in the air and yell “I DON’T KNOW! LAST YEAR??!”, as the ‘planning’ hasn’t been right on cue for them.
You don’t need to ask because if it happens it happens, and if it doesn’t it doesn’t. It’s likely that if you are close to someone it will come up in conversation at some point eventually anyways, so there is no need to push the question.