As an adult, these are two of the most annoying questions I think I have ever heard in my life. Like many other I am sure hearing them can make you feel not very good about yourself. They may make you feel frustrated or angry. Or they may even make you feel sad also. Being the oldest out of my siblings and being the last to have a child and get married, it sucked to hear this. My boyfriend and I had just welcomed out first child in 2020 and that same year were together 10 years. No, we are not engaged either. However my brother who is a bit younger was married around 21 and had a step son and a daughter a few years later. My sister was also married fairly early and is also with 2 kids too. Hearing these questions were not a good feeling and to be fair near the end it was extremely frustrating and quite frankly made me angry.
People think asking these is harmless. It’s not. Maybe a couple has decided against doing all of these. Maybe they have been actively trying to have a child for years and have been unsuccessful. Or perhaps they have had miscarriages and this is a reminder of that. Asking these questions is extremely personal. Not to mention if they have answered this for people multiple times prior chances are that they wont be changing their answer. Or they simply do not wish to tell you.
Since I was the last person to start a family out of my siblings and was with my boyfriend for a long time I got this question often. It sucked. It made me feel like I should be doing something in my life to please everyone. And that is not okay. I was waiting to have kids as was my boyfriend. We never wanted kids young so we could live our life. But the outside pressures and always being asked was something we didn’t like hearing year in year out multiple times. Near the end it made us angry like our last answer wasn’t good enough so the question being asked continuously was annoying. Our answer never changed. We always said soon or we always said yes, we planned on having kids. We never said that we didn’t want to have kids or a family with children. It was just that it wasn’t necessarily convenient for us. We liked to have the freedom of being able to do a little travel within the country and just leave out dog home. We liked being able to do a quick day trip around where-ever without thinking about packing up the car and children. We had no problem waiting for kids and that is exactly what we did. Our problem was with people who would want us to have children sooner based on their expectations of it. The comments we have heard was “We’ll you don’t want to be old having kids” or ” you want to see them have grand kids” Which was super frustrating to me because my mom had a previous child in the 80s whom passed away, however my 3 siblings and I were born when her and my dad were early 30’s. The exact same age I am now. I feel like there was this pressure because my younger siblings had their own families so young that I was being pushed to do the same thing.
As I am sure you can tell I am becoming the black sheep of the family as I have a child and am also not married. My boyfriend has no desire to get married however I know that some day I would like to be married and it never had to be before kids though. I always pictured being married after we were finished having children and they would all be a part of it. My brother had proposed to his now wife after knowing her for a brief period and her being there after he went away with the military. My sister was engaged to her now husband after they were together a few years and had knew one another in high school. I have told my boyfriend that yes, I do want an engagement ring on my finger. However I am not going to start planning or anything as that isn’t even on my radar in terms of things I want to plan. But eventually yes I would like it to happen. Comments from friends and family like “You aren’t even engaged yet!” or “You have a child before getting married?”. Honestly, My boyfriend and I had just celebrated a 10 year anniversary, I would like to think that we are going to be going pretty steady if we aren’t broken up now. Especially since I know i drove him crazy from quarantine also.
I think at the end of the day you have to be honest about your feelings with this to people who keep pestering you. If you want to never have kids. Say it. If marriage is not in your cards. Say it. There is no shame in not wanting to have kids or marriage.
If you’re someone who asks these questions. Stop. They are never the outcome you want and it can be extremely discouraging when you have someone pry into your life like this. You are doing more damage then good. If a person wants to get married or they want to have kids you will know eventually. And if you did ask these questions before once is more then enough.
Before closing out this sensitive subject, I asked my boyfriend what he thought. He said this: “I think these questions are the same as finances, religion or politics, you just don’t ask”. I never really considered this to be true when it comes to this question but thinking about it from this perspective I don’t think I could agree more. I know for me personally having this question asked so many times over the years I tend to never mention this unless the person has mentioned it before.
Are you guilty of asking this question?
Have you had is asked of you and felt not so pleasant afterwards?
Let me know in the comments below!