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The "when are you having kids?" question

(35 Posts)
lucifermourning Fri 14-Nov-14 16:14:39

So a lot of my friends and co-workers have gotten pregnant lately. And more people seem to have decided that it's okay to ask me when I'm going to have kids, whether all these pregnancies are making me want one, etc.

As someone who's been trying to conceive for nearly a year, it's actually a pretty sensitive and upsetting subject. Trying to keep positive etc., but I don't really want to share with all and sundry. And even if you've only just started trying, how do you even answer that?

I've never been secretive about wanting kids someday, but I just don't know how to respond to a question about timings when the answer is "as soon as possible" but I might not get pregnant any time soon. The last thing I want is people wondering what's wrong with me sad

And some of these people are good friends, the kind who I'd never expect it from.

Suggestions very much appreciated.

Spanielpuppy Fri 14-Nov-14 16:37:01

It's really hard, there is no real advice I can you other than stay string and have a list of answers.

I went through the exact same it took 3 1/2 years to get our ds, all I wanted to do when asked was scream I'm trying I'm really trying.

I would say things like

We only just brought our house there are things we want to do it

We are happy just having fun at the mo and have exciting holidays booked

Dh isn't ready

We are not ready

Maybe start thinking about it next year.

The important thing is that your dp is supportive to you and your needs. If your feeling sad then let it out. It seems like the world and their wives are pregnant when your trying.

If possible try not to track everything and have sex when you both want it rather than because a chart or stick says you need to.

Good luck xx

Trinpy Fri 14-Nov-14 16:39:47

I used to dodge it by saying something like 'when I'm pregnant, you'll be the first to know!', but that usually led to the inevitable 'you don't want to leave it too long' comment. I think the only answer you can give them which shuts them up without going into details is 'its none of your business' - but I was never brave enough to say that!

Good luck with ttc. It took me over 1.5 years and 1 mc to become pregnant with my ds but it's worth all the stress and worry when you finally get there smile.

lucifermourning Fri 14-Nov-14 16:51:29

thanks. i really hate lying and saying we're not trying - it just makes me super uncomfortable. so good deflections are appreciated!

samc85 Fri 14-Nov-14 17:46:20

Lucifer - I have the exact same thing! We have been trying for a year and I swear there are pregnancy announcements and people saying 'it'll be you next' everywhere I go! I don't really have a any advice (I had to go to the loo to cry last week) but wanted to sympathise with you. Xx

Nomio230 Fri 14-Nov-14 18:04:21

I completely sympathise. We have been trying for years & it seems like everyone around you gets pregnant with no effort, while you are struggling on.

I tend to try & deflect with humour & just say something like 'I enjoy my sleep too much to give it up yet!'

I agree that it is really hard to deal with, especially if you are in your thirties. People seem to think it is ok to point out that you may not have much time left. Gee, thanks!

Hopefully you will get your bfp soon & then can tell the whole world!

Innocuoususername Fri 14-Nov-14 18:18:43

Ugh I hate this question. I just don't understand why people think it's ok to ask it, it's basically asking about your health, sex life and finances all in one go, but casual acquaintances seem quite happy asking it!

We tried for 2 years before conceiving DS and in the end I started answering "I don't know" in a tone which shut down all further enquiries smile. IME it's often asked by people who've had no problem falling pregnant and have no idea what it's like to wait month after month without success. I didn't feel it was my job to educate such people about the ins and out of infertility so can understand why you wouldn't want to share, but I think after about a year I did start telling close friends, and actually this made the whole experience a bit easier as they were a bit more sensitive.

It's a really shit situation and I hope you get your BFP soon.

CoffeeOne Fri 14-Nov-14 18:24:14

I've been getting this about having DC2. Lots of "you don't want too big an age gap". Ugh.

What are you supposed to say? Well actually me and DH were at it just before you came round? There's never an appropriate answer. So far I've been using the house as an excuse, as we're selling. Hope you get your bfp soon.

PacificDogwood Fri 14-Nov-14 18:31:14

Sypathies - it's bizarre how all and sundry seem to think it's appropriate to enquire about your sex life and fertility when they feel the time is right for you to have children, isn't it? hmm

"When are you going to have children?"
Dismissive laugh "Oh, who knows? That's a lovely jumper you've go on - where's it from?" (People love to be flattered and asked about themselves - good distraction, usually works)

"I hear your sister is expecting - it'll be you next!" <raised hopeful eyebrows>
"You think? Well, I would not want to steal her thunder… That's nice necklace…." grin

"Now, it's your 25th/30th/35th/40th birthday today - you know time is not on your side, don't you?" <concerned headtilt>
"Yes, there is no denying biology. That's a gorgeous dress you've got on…. "

Do you see a pattern emerging?
I got rather adept at deflecting all enquiries (except my mother's - she does NOT know when to stop and head to be told to Drop It in no uncertain terms)

I have also used "I don't want to talk about this at all as it is very upsetting to me" with some (good) friends as I did not want to lie. It worked but was a bit of a conversation stopped at the time - we all got over it.

Good luck thanks

Blue2014 Fri 14-Nov-14 18:35:22

You know, if it were up to me I'd say tell people straight. I hate that we are expected to hide that we are trying and haven't "succeeded" yet. It makes me feel I should be ashamed of it when I'm bloody not (2 years and I really am doing the best I can)

DH not so open though so I tend to say "oh yes when the time is right" and change the subject

anothergenericname Fri 14-Nov-14 20:23:43

It took us a long while to conceive DC2 and I had a miscarriage in that period. I started off deflecting, but found blunt honesty was a very satisfying way of shutting down the conversation. People who were genuine friends offered much needed support, people who were just being fucking nosy got as embarrassed as they should have been and either changed the subject or disappeared off as fast as they could.

It cheered me up in a perverse way.

"Well, I had a miscarriage last month, so I thought I'd maybe just finish recovering from that first, yaknow?" Kind of thing. But then I was getting a little bitter by then.

I'm sorry you're feeling sad. It's so tough.

Readyforthefuture Fri 14-Nov-14 21:13:19

It's hard, and most people don't realise how hurtful their innocent question can be, but occasionally you get a really insensitive person who wants to see you squirm. When this happened to me I replied with

Wow, most people would never ask someone a question like for fear of causing embarrassment or awkwardness, it's great that you feel you can just cut through all of that!

Then I went and cried in the toilets :-( it sucks but you'd be amazed at how many people do understand without ever saying anything

BobsyBoo Sat 15-Nov-14 01:14:45

We conceived easily with our DD but have been TTC #2 for almost 2 years. When people have asked if I'm having a second I've always lied & said no we've decided not to have anymore. I've hated lying. I've told a couple of people the truth. The most insensitive comment was after my work pal announced she was pg with #2 (had caught first cycle of trying) a woman who works in same building who doesn't know me that well, said 'so when are you getting pregnant with baby number 2'. It was the way she said it too I found it quite hurtful. I was very shocked & said not having anymore.

lucifermourning Sat 15-Nov-14 14:10:11

thanks so much for the support y'all. i'm usually a really open person so never got bothered by the "do you want kids someday" question which was more common a few years ago. it's just when people start asking about the timing it's like WTF? a couple good friends know we've been struggling but the rest... some people seem to think it's a good way to make small talk!

Beansprout30 Sat 15-Nov-14 16:20:51

I've had it a few times at work by a group of guys and one telling me I need to get a move on (cheeky sod) I was quite blunt with them and said 'don't u think that's a rather intrusive question and quite insensitive to someone who may not even be able to have kids' . They soon shut up and haven't said it since!!

m33r Sat 15-Nov-14 16:21:08

I hated this too ... BUT I think people just don't realise. Before I got married I told everyone I couldn't wait to get pregnant including all my work colleagues. I then moved jobs - thank The Lord! Because it then took me 20months to conceive and tbh I had opened myself to these questions by being so honest (and naive).

When I moved jobs I used to say to people 'yeah right! That's just what I need! I've enough to with this job'. It made me seem job focused but honestly could lead to some very upsetting comments 'you'll never be pregnant with that attitude'.

I also had many cry in the toilets days but I understand why people did it - it's just naivite. They think they're being lovely.

Now, when I talk about my pregnancy I make very clear how long it took and tell 'my story' because I think it's an issue that should be out there, and I'm lucky enough that I don't get the pity now.

Anyway, bit of a long post but wanted to say stay strong and good luck with the elusive BFP and all the cr*p along the way flowers

Innocuoususername Sat 15-Nov-14 19:25:40

Yes good point m33r: now that we're lucky enough to have our DC I'm very open about how long it took to get DS, because I don't think it is talked about enough, and certainly I had the naive view (fostered by years of sex ed in school probably) that it's really easy to fall pregnant. For loads of people it's not, and if that was more widely known then perhaps people would be a bit more careful with their nosy questions.

LuluJakey1 Sat 15-Nov-14 22:10:42

We didn't get married until we were 30 and then waited 5 years before trying. DH would have started a couple of years earlier but I wasn't ready then. We put up with 5 years of comments. At first it was easy to say 'well we've just got married, give us a bit of time!'
But then we could tell people thought we either were TTC and not succeeding and we got lots of sympathetic looks if someone mentioned babies, or they thought e didn't want them. I don't know how many times we were asked 'Do you not want a family then?' We started to get a bit pissed off.

DH's grandmas were funny. One- who is deaf and speaks very loudly- said to his mum when she thought we couldn't hear her 'Is there something wrong with them?' They asked us everytime we saw them if we were going to have any great- grandchildren before they die!

When I did get pregnant it was a bit of a srprise and when we told them one of them said 'Well done our ......' to DH grin The other one said 'Well I Never, we'd given up on the pair of you.' hmm

AnotherEmma Sun 16-Nov-14 00:13:17

Personally I would be honest and say something like "we do want kids but you can't always control the timing" or "it doesn't happen straight away for everyone", hopefully that would shut them up?! And with close family or friends I would probably tell the truth. I would hope they'd be supportive. Don't see why you'd hide something so important from people you're close to. Other people like colleagues, acquaintances, etc just need reminding that it's personal and potentially sensitive so they should shut the f* up!

sykadelic Sun 16-Nov-14 05:57:43

I've had a few people ask (now I'm in my 30s esp!) and I usually answer "we're not sure we want any". Sometimes I'll mention loving my sleep, liking having money and able to travel. If i get the age comments I'll say "so I hear". And sometimes I'll use the funny anecdote about MIL who told me we could have kids any time now, she was ready to be a grand mother. I told her I would tell her son that his mother had given us "permission to fornicate for the purposes of procreation". Funny funny!

MrsGingerbread Sun 16-Nov-14 06:55:41

My sympathies, you are right, it is a really personal question that anybody things that have the right to ask. At work people knowing you are ttc could be career limiting, so I find it really inappropriate there.

I really hope I didn't ask other ladies before I knew the agony of ttc myself.

Somebody asked me on my first day back at work after my miscarriage, which was a tricky one!

I used to say something about dh's job being a bit uncertain which worked okay. Now I go with

"After watching 'One Born Every Minute' I have decided to wait until flat pack babies are invented".

This seems to change the conversation nicely. smile

OwlinaTree Sun 16-Nov-14 11:31:00

It is horrible. One woman at my work just wouldn't let it go. After years of non committal comments I finally told her we'd been trying for 18 months actually, so could she give it a rest? She was mortified as she is a friend really.

Most people are genuinely saying it to make conversation, as a pp said usually those who have not had trouble conceiving. They don't really mean anything by it. One of my friends who's been trying for over 2 years is very open with anyone who asks that they are having difficulties and is able to talk about the steps in their journey. She finds that approach easier than the denial. I admire her for it, but couldn't copy with that myself.

Good luck op, hope it happens for you soon.

OwlinaTree Sun 16-Nov-14 11:32:24

Cope not copy.

Choccyhobnob Mon 17-Nov-14 14:06:59

I just tend to say "well it turns out it's not as easy as some people make it look". Sometimes saying "maybe next year" or "we enjoy our holidays too much" backfired as people would then start giving us reasons not to have kids, one of FIL's friends said "Oh I'm so glad I had them young, I would never bring a child into the world as it is today, they've got no chance in life" - errrm thanks! So now making us wonder if we're doing the right thing even trying at all!

Jenijena Mon 17-Nov-14 16:23:31

Been trying for #2 for well over ahead and getting lapped by people who weren't even pregnant when we had #1 and are now having their second.

I'm very honest: 'babies don't always come to order, you know' which usually stops the conversation.

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