That’s it. That’s the blog post.
I’m joking of course! But truth be told, that’s all that needs to be said. Women don’t need to answer, nor do they need to justify that age-old question (that only women seem to get asked) of when they’ll be having children.
We still live in a society where it’s favorable for men to go to work and women stay at home to look after the children. It’s outdated and honestly quite boring. It’s a common misconception that all women want to become mothers. After all it’s what our bodies were made to do.
Our bodies function from an early age to produce children. But just because our bodies are built to grow other humans doesn’t mean that all of us want to.
Stop asking women when they’re going to have children
Some of us do, some women don’t want children and others are undecided. Each is valid and each is justified in its own right.
There are so many reasons to stop asking women when they’re going to have children. The main one of course is that a woman’s uterus is nobody else’s business but their own.
Some women feel guilty about the pressure to want children when they really don’t want to. Others want it more than anything in the world and are unable to. And again for those at the back, it’s nobody else’s business.
Women who don’t want children
There are various reasons why a woman may not want to have children. As a mother, the idea that someone might not want to have children because they value 8 hours of sleep a night or they like going out on a weekend doesn’t seem that wild! There are a lot of things I miss about my old life since having babies. Having children is a huge lifestyle change and a massive responsibility… for life!
If women don’t see themselves in a parenting lifestyle, then that’s totally okay. And the response of ‘I don’t want children’ should be left at that.
Thankfully it feels as though we’re entering a time where it’s becoming acceptable for women to not want children. There are a number of women out there now voicing their opinions on why they’re undecided on or don’t want to become baby makers. Lucy Mary, Victoria Magrath and Miss Jordan all speak openly about childfree futures which I think is highly applaudable.
Hats off to these women normalizing what society deems as shocking. Because it’s not shocking – it’s completely normal and valid.
Women who can’t have or have lost children
For others who want it more than anything in the world, but can’t or have lost, it can feel like you’ve failed. For some the worst thing in the world is their monthly bleed and monthly reminder that they’re not yet mothers. I’ve cried numerous tears over negative pregnancy tests and although I’m a positive case now I can appreciate just how belittling seeing a single blue line can make you feel.
Fertility struggles are way more common than you’d first think. 1 in 8 of us struggle and 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Although they’re never malicious, throwing questions around like ‘when will you be having children’ can be incredibly damaging.
Without talking about it we never really know who these women are. I feel conflicted in my opinion that yes we should talk about fertility struggles to normalise them and make others feel less alone. But on the other hand it’s a really quite private matter and truth be told I’ve never really spoken about our initial struggles.
My judgment as a mother
I didn’t have my first child until I was 28. I say it like this as when we first told people at the end of the first trimester of our pregnancy we were met with comments like ‘we didn’t think you wanted children as you’ve not had any yet’. Honestly we’d probably have become parents three years earlier if we could have, but life didn’t quite work out that way.
This narrative however of being an ‘older mum’ at 28 absolutely dumbfounded me. I didn’t know how to respond as to me it’s a totally normal age to have a baby. Reality is whether you have children, or don’t have children there’s judgment. And for me it was the when rather than the why.
Three years later, I had my second daughter at 31 and was still met with judgment of ‘we wondered when you were going to give her a sibling’. Now it’s the ‘will you be having anymore’ which is usually said with jest or commiseration. As if two children is fine, but any more is too much hard work. The judgment as a mother is WILD! Judgment as a woman is WILD!
As women we just can’t win. Have a child, they’ll have something to say. Don’t have a child, they’ll still have something to say. What’s the best thing to do? Let’s not say anything at all and stop asking women when they’re going to have children.
Ask women about their career aspirations or where their dream holiday destination is? As a mother I’d love to be asked these questions rather than ‘is she a good baby?’ Or ‘does she sleep well?’ Yawn.
About the author:
Claire Mac is a parenting & lifestyle blogger based in the North East of England.
Her lifestyle blog covers a wide range of topics from parenting to self love, fashion and skincare. It’s a space where (parent or not) readers can come back time and time again for relatability, reassurance and encouragement.
You can find Claire on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
[…] this year I published a wonderful guest post on my blog from Claire Mac about why you should stop asking women when they’re going to have children. It’s an excellent read, I’d highly recommend popping over to that page and checking it […]
This article is very good, your content is the best! Congratulations!
Are we not living in a modern time, I for one love to see ‘Chelsea Handler’ proclaim that she’s ‘Child-Free’ and that she can have a cocktail at 09:30 in the morning because she doesn’t have children.
I look at other people my age (30s) and regardless of gender, I just couldn’t bring a child up because I struggle getting life correct for myself!
I think it’s time we moved on from placing expectation upon women to have children, it’s 2022 right?
Thanks for sharing, I have not been asked a lot recently about it when I have I said I can’t really look after myself could I look after a child, also I’m not in a relationship so that will never happen any time soon. So its good for people to stop asking 🙂
I think if you’re single you definitely get asked less!
I loved your article, I saved it to my favorites in my browser to later see other content.
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I found myself nodding at every single aspect of this post in total agreement! I’m not sure if I ever really want children and it is nobody’s right or business to be in the position to ask that sort of question! A great post! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Absolutely! Your decision alone which you absolutely don’t need to justify to anyone.
I loved your article, I saved it to my favorites in my browser to later see other content.
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It’s totally agree that it’s ridiculous the constant asking of when a women is going to have children. It’s pressurising and if you aren’t planning on having children, I can imagine incredibly frustrating! It shouldn’t be anyone else’s business wether you plan to have children or not and that should be respected. It’s such a shame people feel the need to argue over it. I think a lot of people will relate to this post a lot. Thank you so much for sharing lovely Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
Thanks for your comment Elle, I totally agree, it’s ridiculous we still have to have this conversation in 2022!
Yes please stop. When my husband and I were first married people would ask us this all the time. His mother once told me she needed to know so she would know what to tell the ladies at church. Lol. We’ve been married for 32 years and still no children. People have finally stopped asking.
Oh for goodness sake haha!
100% this! I still get asked and I would consider myself well passed the age where you’d figure out that it’s clearly not likely to happen. I find it so uncomfortable to navigate these questions as then they expect an explainer as to why it never happend for me. Thanks for sharing this guest post!
That’s so annoying that even if you don’t want children they’ll still continue to ask!
It’s such a personal question. There’s an expectation on women in society to have it all, unfortunately. And no one knows what some women go through to have children because many will keep it quiet. I agree with you, let’s just stop asking women that question please.
Absolutely, you just don’t know a person’s circumstancesz
I have been seeing posts like this going round, and love that women are opening up about the biases surrounding motherhood they face. It is awesome that more and more stories and experiences like this are being shared, as it helps create community and spread a new awareness. 🙂
Yes I totally agree!
It’s definitely a thing that people shouldn’t do as much, but at the same time, I’ve definitely asked women before if they plan on having kids. I’ve had people talk about their fertility struggles, though, in response, but I also always make sure to listen and be supportive.
I think it depends who you’re talking to and your relationship with them for sure x
A great guest post by Claire. I haven’t been asked this question too much, however it is a lot more difficult for me to have a baby, so I would need IVF or something like that. But my experience, I feel even more pressure, because people are telling me I am getting older and need to do it soon. Thank you for sharing this post. It is definitely a private thing, that not everyone should be commenting on other people’s life choices.
Ugh the whole “you’re getting older” comment. It’s almost like women don’t just crumble and die at the age of 35?
I was laughing when I read this, and then I went back and read it again and now I’m not laughing, I’m really bloody angry. I went through all the questions about “when” too and it really is NO ONE ELSE’S BUSINESS. Fab guest post, Claire, and thank you for sharing, Jenny xx
It absolutely isn’t anyones business. I’m glad that we can see the funny side though – I think some women would definitely give as good as they get to those questions!
As a child of older parents, we hate shaming “women” for waiting to have kids. It’s no one’s business.
Nope, absolutely not.
Easiest way to get me annoyed 🙄
Thank you so much for having me! I loved writing this. Even as a mother of two I’m so passionate about telling people to mind their own business when it comes to questions like these.
The comments so far are lovely!!
Thank you for writing this for me Claire! I’ve loved reading everyone’s responses!
I love this post! I’ve been saying I don’t want kids since I was a teen. I’m 31 now, and people still TELL ME I’m going to change my mind. Like they know me better than I do. I don’t have a maternal bone in my body, honestly 😅
Oh for goodness sake I hate that when other people seem to know you better than you know yourself.
I agree with you. Since we don’t know about everyone. We can’t ask this question. Thank you for talking about it.
Yes absolutely not
Yes! This is such a good post. I don’t know why people do this- it’s such an offensive question (and you never know what that person’s experience of pregnancy or children is). Thank you for sharing this insightful guest post Jenny x
I don’t know either it’s almost like that’s the ONLY important thing in someone’s life?
One of the most annoying questions. I am honest with people when asked and just say I can’t have them, it isn’t anything I am ashamed of, it is just life x
Agree! People don’t think about these stuff and we really don’t know what others go through. And I really hate argument: you will regret not having kids when your old.
But what if they regret having them? There is no return policy. Just broken lives.
That’s great that you’re honest. I bet your honesty can throw people off sometimes!