03 June 2016

"When are the babies coming?"


When I tell people I've just met that I'm a newlywed, a common question is "when are the babies coming?" I reckon I'm asked this twice a week.

Adam and I went out to an event four days after our wedding and five people asked us about babies. It was awkward.

These questions have made me feel "normal, just like everyone else" because many friends have told me they were asked about their plans to have kids immediately after their wedding too.

But what people who ask these questions don't think of is that having children might not be as simple for me as for other women.

And they might not realise there have been people in my life who have told me I shouldn't have children due to the (low) likelihood of passing on ichthyosis. Oh, they have.

Sometimes strangers have asked me this, with their hands waving around their face in the universal language of "I don't know what to call it".

They ask, "What's the likelihood of you passing on your condition to your children?" And it's awkward because until recently I hadn't had that conversation with Adam, or my geneticist, and people are so damn judgmental of someone with a disability passing that disability down to their children.

Also, the desire (or not) to have children should not take away from our existing and future achievements.

Sometimes I get clucky when I see babies and baby clothes. And then I hear a screaming kid and think that I like our current low-responsibility life.

If women want to have babies and openly talk about it, we should be able to. If we don't want a family, we should be able to talk about our choice; or not. And if it's complicated - we shouldn't be expected to go through the pain of explaining why we can't have children or gritting our teeth and smiling at these well meaning conversation starters.

I'm not comfortable being asked when we will have children. Next time I'm asked, I'm going to say this - that I'm not comfortable discussing babies - instead of politely smiling and saying "maybe one day".

(I wrote this last year, it's about all the things I think of around having a child.)

(Picture: closeup of Adam holding my hand, close to my tummy, I'm wearing my wedding dress, he's in his suit. It was taken by Fresh Photography.)

Did you like this post? Please consider buying me a drink!



  1. I find it to be such a personal question and it irks me that people think it's ok to ask. We had been married a few years and tried for nearly 3 years to fall pregnant with my son...during this time people would ask me and I'd want to cry and yell at them. But instead i'd smile and I'd say the same 'maybe one day' It was heartbreaking. Then after he was born people started asking again. I've gotten better at avoiding answering at all but it still irks and upsets me. Enjoy your beautiful life with Adam, Carly. If you guys decide to become parents one day then it'll be your decision - and no one elses business x

  2. Don't you hate it when people ask that 20 MINUTES after you get married?? I mean, you haven't even gotten out of your wedding clothes yet or left the venue.

    Calm down people, geesh!! :-D

  3. I feel for you, and I totally get where you are coming from. And it's not just strangers that feel they have the right to ask the question - family and friends thought it was also their right to know. My husband's family got really aggressive one Christmas about our lack of children and it got so uncomfortable I stormed out on 30 people at the dining table. I now no longer spend their big Christmas celebration with them (I head to friends instead if we are in Victoria, leaving my husband to deal with them). A couple of them apologised to me after, telling me they were sorry. I told them sorry is one thing, but remembering to never ask ANYONE that invasive question would be a better resolution, and that I expected better of them.

    It's hard to know what to say to people when they ask, or accuse, or assume.

    I still don't know and I'm now 46.

    But basically it comes down to this: It's no one's business. No one's. Not family, not friends, not strangers. No one has the right to ask what is very much an intrusive question. Sadly they won't stop asking, but I tink your approach to future incidents is very sound and wise! Good luck!

    (And by the way that photo is STUNNING. as are all your wedding photos)

  4. I really dislike this 'right' people feel that they have to ask the most personal questions. My daughter and I were at the checkout one day when she was pregnant and the teenaged checkout attendant (a boy) asked her if she intended to breastfeed! The matron of honour at my wedding did not intend to have children. She found people were so confronted and confrontational about the idea that she ended up telling people she 'couldn't' have children. But taht was nearly 40 years ago, no doubt, if you tell people that you can't have kids these days, they will trot out their knowledge of IVF, adoption, surrogacy etc. I have no advice, I wish I did, but I feel for you, surely some parts of our lives should be our own business. By the way, now that my daughter's daughter is born and has a disability, people are asking "do you think C will be able to have children?" C is ten. Sigh.


Thank you for reading my blog. I love receiving comments :)
I really appreciate the time you've taken to write to me, and to share something about yourself.


Related Posts with Thumbnails