8.15.2013

On Having Children


This post has been a long time coming. I've known for awhile this was something I needed to get out but the time never felt right. Well here I am. The time feels right. (This article started the fire a bit)

I have heard a few times in the last few years, "When are you going to have kids?" or just blatently, "Why don't you have kids yet?" Just this weekend, I got it nonchalantly from a guest at the wedding I did. I never really know how to answer that question. "Well, person that I barely know, let me fill you in on the extremely intimate and personal details of my life to explain why I'm not living up to your standards." 

I understand that most of the time these people mean well. I know they are not trying to be invasive and it's probably in good nature. But when did it become appropriate to ask such questions? It's unfortunate that if a couple has been married for more than a year and does not have children, it must mean they are choosing not to have children. **I just want to clarify that I am not talking about family or close friends. This question can be successfully brought up in the right situations and with the right people. And sometimes it is good to have those conversations. I am talking about the people that bring it up at church, weddings, big group gatherings, etc.**

These three short years of marriage have gone very differently than I ever thought they would. Only within the last year have we been able to successfully support ourselves and live on our own. Only within the last year have I had a chance to work through depression and find better mental health. We have had money issues, job issues, health issues, housing issues. Not to mention, I chose a husband whose job requires a lot of time away from home. It has only been within the last few months that I have had him home regularly. 

I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, when our teacher would ask us countless times what we wanted to be when we grew up, my first thought was always, "I want to be a mother." But even my seven year old brain knew that wasn't what they were looking for. So I made something else up. If that little girl could see the future to my today, I know she would be shocked she wasn't already living her dream job. And I would tell her, "Our story has been different than we expected, but it has all been for the best."

I can be honest and say it hurts to take negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test every month. It hurts to get word of another friend's announcement. It hurts to fill the box in the closet of things for future offspring. And it hurts to answer all of the questions. But I also know that our time will come and it will be bliss and this time will feel like a distant memory.

So when are we going to have kids? Maybe in a few months, maybe next year, maybe in 3 years. Whatever the time frame is, it is none of your damn business.

42 comments:

  1. Here here!! And while they are at it they can stop asking me where my engagement ring is.

    People these days!!

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  2. thank you for opening your heart. your vulnerability is special. you'r wonderful!
    xx

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  3. i think i needed this blog post. my husband and i have been married for four years (tomorrow is our anniversary) and we just began to try to have kids last year in june. it just felt right. never in the wildest imagination did we think we would have issues in getting pregnant. i hear you.. the month after month of negative pregnancy tests. it has worn me down (and i've had one too many breakdowns). i hated talking to people about it because i would always hear the same thing - "stop thinking about it and then you'll get pregnant". and i try so hard to believe that i wasn't thinking about it.. but really how can i not? i think for us.. this past year, people have stopped asking us. i wish to be a mother soon. i wish you the best in your journey to motherhood. thanks for your post. it's been hard for me to open up on my own personal blog but this is actually the second time where, through other's blog posts, i've been able to comment about it..

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    1. You're beautiful and I understand you too well. I hope things look up and you both have peace in your home.

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  4. just keep your head up. our 4th anniversary is this month and i have been hearing those comments for most of those 4 years. eventually people get the hint to stop asking (except my dad for some reason ???). and then my dear sister complains to me about her kiddos being so much work, and that doesn't make it easier because i just want to tell her not to take them for granted. anyway... remember that sometime annoying fact that god has a plan for us, and i wouldn't take back these years of growth & learning for anything. i have needed them. xo

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  5. "Well, person that I barely know, let me fill you in on the extremely intimate and personal details of my life to explain why I'm not living up to your standards."

    YES. I am a very private person so this question every time is just...really? We tried for 5 years & decided that it would be okay to be childless. My rational thinking is that if a couple who has been married for two years (whats the rush) hasn't had a baby it's by choice or out of their control and it's still very much personal.

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  6. This will always be relevant. Very nice words.

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  7. this is wonderful. my husband and i are the "next to have kids" on both sides of the family and we constantly get asked. but then i have professors and professionals who look down upon us for getting married "so young" (I'm 22 and he is 24??) anyway, its liberating to just live and let god guide your life. its not their lives. its your life. your personal timeline. everyone has a different story.
    and yes.
    its none of their damn business.
    forgive my rant on your comment wall. ;)
    thank you for sharing!

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    1. Yes yes yes. My having children motto has definitely been: Let God guide your life. You're wonderful.

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  8. thank you for being willing to be vulnerable on blog land. I may not be having the same struggles, but i've had people very close to me struggle similarly and my heart goes out to you and wishes you the very best. you're a special kind of beautiful Bri, the deepest kind.

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  9. I think this posts speak for the majority or young married couples. I am a hairstylist in a salon and clients who I don't know at all will ask me this question all the time, it baffles me how inconsiderate people can be.

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  10. Here here! It is hard when people constantly ask you! Even if they are even joking. It IS no ones business, and the fact that your husband is rarely home makes a big difference. Adjusting to marriage, and adult life in general is SO hard, and there are so many things we learn about ourselves, about our spouse, about life that can be hard to deal with. Sorry you have had some trouble the last couple years. I hope things get better for you! Seek help from friends, family, the Lord, and even a professional if you haven't already. I hope the best for you! You are a great girl!

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  11. I like that you posted about this. I read the article you linked a while ago and agreed with it. I think that you are right that it is nobody's business but your own. I think it odd that strangers or people that don't know you well would ask about it. However, I find it difficult to know what to say to close friends that I have that are struggling with this. It is obviously a trial for them and I want to comfort them...do you ever feel like talking about it? It is kind of like the depression thing you posted about--that maybe if more people opened up it would help others going through the same thing? I could be dead wrong though. I wish I could do more for my friends and family going through this than just never acknowledging it because it isn't my place to.

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    1. I have no problem with family or close friends bringing it up in the appropriate setting. Or even a friend from church asking on a lunch date or while visiting teaching. But it's the people that ask that have very little place in my life or they ask it in the totally wrong place: church, big family gathering, etc.

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  12. My darling baby girl...I am so proud of you for patiently learning the lessons that Heavenly Father wants to teach you. While I would take away your pain, I wouldn't rob you of its hard won wisdom and grace. The children that will come to you and Jordan are blessed.

    Lingering, tight, you-are-enough hugs. Love you BIG. Love you ALWAYS.

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  13. this really hits home to me. I've only been married for two months and that's always the first thing people ask, "when are you having kids?!" I don't know if it's because my guy and I have been together for 8 year before we married or what. but it's becoming a bit obnoxious, and I definitely feel your pain. when the time comes, it comes. it's none of your business. I love this post.

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  14. people can be so nosey and judgmental. it's frustrating. you said all of this perfectly.

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  15. I'm not married and I don't know if I want kids, but I'm turning 30 soon so I understand all to well the questions followed by the awkward pauses. And the social pressure. And feeling like you just want to tell to bugger off.

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  16. What a great post, Bri. Your time will come and all your experiences will make you a better mother and deepen your joy.

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  17. Hoo- freaking- rah!
    It really is no ones business. Thank you for this perfectly-worded and honest post. It's one of my favorites.

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  18. Amen. When people ask, I always just want to say "I DON'T KNOW, OK? YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE."

    I'm always shocked that people think it's an appropriate question to ask. For what it's worth, I think you'll make such a good mom.

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    1. Yeah me too. I am still at the point of giving a joke answer when they ask, but eventually I am going to get it on the wrong day and people will lose their fingers.

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  19. Bless you girl. I KNOW. You will be in my thoughts, and I pray your time will come soon. I haven't followed your blog for long, but the time I have has made me wish we could be the best of friends. I think we could get along great :). Hang in there!!!

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  20. Here here. It really is no one's business. I've been blessed with parents and in-laws that never ask this question. One time, after only a year of marriage, a woman from my old ward asked if I was having kids soon. I asked her, "Oh! Do I look pregnant?" And that made her feel a little awkward I think, which was my goal....
    It's a huge, life changing decision that involves MONEY and STABILITY. I mean, even without those things I'm sure one could find a way to bring a child into the world as long as that's the best thing for you and your spouse, you know? I feel like I'm rambling. Ugh. But as a "newlywed" I can definitely relate to this as babies become an option as I inch near graduation in December. Good luck to us both!!

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  21. oh my goodness, you are one brave little thing.
    this question is the worst. how do people not know it's the worst?
    if you're dying to have children and you can't, it's the worst.
    if you have marital/future parenting issues that can't be agreed on, it's the worst.
    if you're pregnant and haven't announced it yet, it's the worst.
    if you're married and happy to be simply married, it's the worst (you feel like a selfish criminal).
    it's straight up the worst and I'm glad you said something.

    truly though, thank you for your honesty. and I hope & pray that things go swimmingly for you dears. the rest is none of my business :)

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  22. I have no idea why people think it's okay to casually bring up when couples are going to have kids or when they're going to have more. I was always taught that it's between a husband, a wife, and God. People are crazy.

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  23. Thank you for this! I have been thinking of writing a similar post ever since reading that article (and several other blog posts). I am a cancer survivor and long ago resigned myself to the fact that I may not be able to have children -- but my husband and I have been trying for several months now with no success. It is frustrating and saddening, and it really is nobody's business but yours and your husband's. I hope you're able to have a baby soon!

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  24. This rings true to me, I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for ten years. We met while I was in high school and we've been together ever since. I am constantly bombarded with questions such as this one and even though I try to be polite, at times I'm less than kind out of frustration for having to answer a question who's answer doesn't really concern anyone but us in the first place. Thank you for writing this, it meant something to me ♥

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  25. My marriage is still young...two years in. With his unsteady school plans, we could be moving anywhere...several states away...overseas...who knows.

    We, too, get the kids question spill from everyone.

    People don't live our struggles and they don't plan our future. And they certainly don't provide any of us with the money/stability/fertility/whatever else one needs to be ready for children.

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  26. Well put. What you are going through is one of the hardest things in life. If only we had a Chrystal ball...

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  27. i get that about kids, and marriage. this stuff is personal. obviously we have certain people to discuss these things with. can't people just be happy that we are happy?

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  28. I love this. Stay positive and remember to love what have you at every ever-changing moment.

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  29. Last line lady. I want to hug you! I 100% understand.....

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  30. Oh, Bri. Your heart is so beautiful. I have known since the day I met you that you would be amazing at whatever God brings to you--because it is your heart that lovely and kind and pure and that honors God. I understand the invasive nature of these good-intentioned but woefully ignorant people prying into your personal life. When people find out about my cancer disease I get the most incredible remarks--"All things work together for good...", "God must think you're strong to give you this disease--He's just making you holy", "Well, at least you don't have [insert another disease here]", and my favorite: "Well, everyone has troubles..." because I'm sure EVERYONE has dozens of tumors in their brain, spinal cord, and abdomen, has two children with the disease, and watched their Dad die a terrible death at the hands of the disease...I know everyone has problems, but when it's minimized with a flippant statement, I cannot believe it. And then when people get to the intrusive questions like, "how did you decide to have kids knowing you could pass on the disease..." Yikes. There is a not-so-bright lady that works at the Starbucks my best friend and I meet at once a week and she saw one of my art journals that I was showing Lisa one time and she said that my art was "cute". Cute? Really? I pour myself out in paint and mixed media and you say "cute"? Tell me it's good, tell me it's awful, tell me it's deep and melancholy or shallow and stupid, but cute? Anyhow, she probably doesn't know any bigger words. Point being, people say incredible ignorant things!!

    My best friend and I always talk about how inconsiderate people are and laugh about the stupid and ignorant things people say to us. We wonder if there is something wrong with us, or if it's everyone else. Anyhow, I got the "when are you having kids" question, coupled with "what about your disease" and I know what you are talking about a bit. Gary and I were married three years before Eva came along, and we needed that time to ourselves. It was a blessed time, a time for us to establish ourselves as a couple so we could be good parents. I cannot promise your time will come, but I believe that it will, and you are going to be every bit as good a mother as your own lovely mom. You have a way about you that will create a special warmth and safety about your home that allows kids to thrive and grow. You will continue to be in my heart and prayers, Bri, for all aspects of your life. You are an amazing lady.

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  31. People need to lose the ideas of time frames for how one should live their lives! Seriously. I too get asked that question on what feels like a daily basis. I'll be praying for you and your family and know that when that time comes, when you find out that you are going to be a mother, it will be the at the PERFECT time, just how it was intended to be. I had a friend who recently went through this and then it happened after so long of praying and praying for their first child.
    xo, Emma

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  32. I'm sorry to hear about your struggle. We got asked on our honeymoon, by a family we had literally only just introduced ourselves to, "are you having any kids?". It really took me by surprise as it is one of the most personal decisions a couple can make! I hope things work our for you.

    X
    Molly

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  33. oh miss bri... these words, these words feel like they came straight from my own heart. my husband and i have been married for almost 7 years and have no kiddos yet, we've been trying for almost 2 and half years now and what a roller coaster. but - even though day by day its soul crushing - when i remember the big picture, that its not up to us, its up to Him, we've managed. prayers being sent your way. thank you for sharing these words.

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