When People Ask Us About Kids

us laughing

We’ve been married seven and a half years. And in those years we have been asked often about kids. I know this bothers some people, but we tend to assume that people are well intentioned and just genuinely interested in our lives when they ask so it doesn’t bother either of us. However, just because it doesn’t bother us doesn’t mean that we’re going to share personal things with every person who asks.

I actually learned this in our second year of marriage. An acquaintance walked up to me and asked if I was pregnant. I stammered a response, “Um… no… why? Do I look pregnant? Did someone say I was?” Later that day I reflected back on the moment and realized what a weird situation it was. What if I had been pregnant, but not ready to tell people? That would put me in a situation where I would either have to lie to the person asking or be honest and tell this person before I even told my own family and friends. I’m not comfortable lying so I came up with a vague, non committal comment that I could make every time someone asks me about kids. I always say, “Oh, you never know…” in a sing-song voice. Because truly, unless we fill you in, you don’t know. 😉 Plus it sends the message of “this is kind of a personal question that I’m not going to answer” without having to say that outright.

My husband, while typically a very honest sort of person, has no problem making up random answers in response to questions about future kids. His responses are all over the place and tend to be pretty hilarious so I enjoy hearing what he comes up with each time someone new asks. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Christopher’s responses to the question “Are you guys going to have kids?”

“Definitely. At least six. All boys.”

“No way. Have you met our spoiled dog? Clearly we aren’t good parents.”

“Only if we can have twins. Can you request that? Is that a thing?”

“Sure! I’m hoping for an even dozen.”

“Oh man, I don’t know… we practice all the time, though…”

“Whenever we figure out how. Do you know how it works? Can you explain it to me?”

Oh that husband of mine, he makes me laugh.

So tell me, do you get asked this question? If so, what is your normal response?
Love Rach

 

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84 responses to “When People Ask Us About Kids

  1. Oh my goodness. Christopher’s responses slay me. So so funny!! Don’t ask me to choose a favorite because I tried and I can’t. I would love to see the persons reaction when he gives any of those lines.

    It really is suck a personal question. I have never understood how people think it’s okay to ask.

    • Reactions nearly always include a bit of a shocked look and then a lot of laughter. He is definitely careful who he gives these sort of responses to, though. If a sweet, elderly lady from church asks, he’s a lot more likely to go with “oh, sure, we’d love to someday!” or something generic like that. But most anyone else gets something pretty comical. 😉

  2. People drive me nuts with those kinds of questions.
    Our kids are 10 years apart and I hate when our younger one is referred to as an accident.
    And Christopher-those answers are hilarious!!!!!

    • Yikes! That’s definitely not kind for people to say that. Sorry you’ve had to deal with that. 😦

      And yes, his answers never fail to crack me up! These days when people ask me, if Christopher is anywhere nearby, I just tell them to go ask him instead because I like to hear what he’ll come up with. 😉

  3. “Whenever we figure out how. Do you know how it works? Can you explain it to me?”

    This one is my favorite.

  4. thehipandthrifty

    Ok, this post had me in stitches! :’D
    People can be so weird sometimes. I don’t have any kids, but I’ve always thought the way that people seem to think it’s ok to grab a woman’s stomach when she’s pregnant is kind of creepy. What is that??
    Personaaaaaal spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace…

  5. Those responses are great! lol! I think hitting people with humor on those personal questions is just the best. I admit I used to often ask friends when they were going to have babies or if they wanted to have babies etc and after the last two years or so I’ve kinda eased up on that. I found out a friend was actually struggling with infertility for over 7 years and then we were getting nervous that it would never happen for us as well. It’s personal, but like you, I assume when people ask they mean no harm, they just genuinely wonder about your life. I just know now that it stings when you really want to say “well, keep your fingers crossed because we are kind of stressing out.”

    • I still remember the day I quit asking this question. It was just such a normal part of conversation for newly weds and I remember a couple of years into our marriage, I asked some friends about future kids not thinking much of it. They gently and kindly shared with me that they would love to have children, but had suffered multiple miscarriages and lots of fertility treatments. I was so horrified with myself for asking and apologized profusely, but they were so beyond kind about it. I always try to remember how they acted with such grace and no offense when I asked a question that turned out to be so insensitive. I haven’t asked that question to anyone since, but every time someone asks us, I always remember that other couple’s kindness and try to replicate it.

      Also, I am SO happy that you guys are having such a great pregnancy with baby boy! He’ll be here so SOON!

  6. If there is ONE question that no one should ever ask a woman (especially a stranger) it’s “Are you pregnant?” It’s just rude!

    • HA! It really is a sticky question to ask. People used to ask me this ALL the time, though, because I’m generally slender and have lots of dietary intolerances that leave me pretty bloated and looking definitely pregnant. I’ve learned how to eat to control most of that now so I’m not asked quite as often, but I do always try to have grace for people who ask. I know they are just excited for us. 🙂

  7. My hubs and I have encountered just about every “kid question” in the world. I love your humorous responses. We’d love to just say, “We’re conscientious objectors.” Lol!

    • HA! That’s a really good one too!

    • Oh my goodness, this is AWESOME! Being a conscientious objector is the BEST answer ever!! 😂😂 Ever since I was young I knew I never wanted kids. Even now as I approach 40, I know that has been absolutely the right thing for me. The #1 reply when I tell someone I don’t want/don’t have kids is: “Why?”. Talk about a personal question!! I’ve learned that no one who says they have kids ever gets asked the same thing, so now when people ask me why I ask them, “If I had said I had two kids, would you have asked me why?”. I try to say it with a smile and some humor – and it’s usually followed by some stammering and a quick change of topic. But boy, I love the “We’re conscientious objectors” !!!

      • That’s a really good point! I remember when we were engaged and talking about whether or not we would have kids, we talked a lot about WHY we would want to have kids. It just seems like such an automatic thing. Like, you date, get married, have kids. It’s just part of life. But maybe it shouldn’t be. So that has definitely been a question we have explored! I’m glad you’re in a place where you did what was right for you and can look back on it and be grateful! 🙂

  8. I just sent this to Melissa! She will love this post. People always ask them if they are going to have another. She started saying the same thing as you!

  9. Christopher’s responses are so hilarious! Love them! I hate getting asked that question, especially from strangers.

  10. Ha! I like his answer about practicing all the time. That’s a good one! I never liked that question because we were trying and it wasn’t happening and so it stressed me out. I always went with, oh you just never know. It seemed to work.

    • Oh goodness, the best part about the “practicing” one was that he said it in front of a bunch of teenage boys that he used to mentor. His co-leader in the class (a middle age, ADULT man) asked Christopher in front of the guys about us having kids. And Christopher returned with the practicing all the time line. They all LOST it. Half of the guys wouldn’t talk to me for week and then other half came up to me immediately after class and told me that “Mr. Chris” was sooooo funny.

      I’m so so glad that you guys have R now, healthy and happy! I know your story is so encouraging to people who have struggled. 🙂 I definitely have found that the “oh you never know” line works really well. I’ve rarely had people badger me with questions. Usually it’s just in passing and that quick little response from me ends the conversation and moves it to something else. Occasionally someone will push it and ask more and at that point I just direct them to Christopher because he excels at the hyperbole. 😉

  11. Oh my goodness, Christopher’s last response… So funny!! XD I think you came up with a great answer on your own, though! So weird for someone to just walk up and ask if you were pregnant!

    -Tia

    • Oh girl, that used to happen all the time. I’m tall which makes me look pretty slender, but I have a bunch of dietary issues that can bloat me really easily. And a lot of bloat on a slender person definitely looks like pregnancy. So before I learned which foods bother my stomach, I got asked if I was pregnant aaaall the time. Thankfully it happens a lot less now than it did back then, but I do try to always have grace for people who ask. 🙂

      • Wow! That must have been a bit frustrating at first! I would have (in my own cynical way haha) thought, “Nope, not pregnant, but thanks for reminding me that my stomach is pouching again.” Haha! I’m sure you were (and are) much nicer and more graceful than me. 😉

        • Oh yeah, the very first time I was asked hurt my feelings because I thought this guy was implying I looked pregnant and I was sensitive about my tummy area at the time. But after I got over the initial shock, it didn’t bother me again. I really do think people are well intentioned and just curious so it doesn’t bother me. 🙂

  12. LOL…in a few months we’ll be celebrating 20 years of marriage! We were married 12 years before we decided to start our family, you can imagine how often we were asked if we were ever going to have kids by friend, family, and strangers alike…but to be honest, it never really bothered us, we’d just smile and shrug and say, “I don’t know…maybe? Maybe not?” At some point our friends and family just figured we weren’t going to, but as you know, one day we just said, “hey, let’s have some kids…” and it was just right…so we did. 3 kids back to back, what a party it’s been 😀

    • That’s awesome! I love this! I think people kind of expect a certain timeline for everyone else’s life, but that timeline isn’t always what’s best for each couple. I mean, just look at you guys with your precious three kids! 🙂

  13. Hahaha!!! Christopher’s answers are PRICELESS! I can only imagine the awkward look on that person’s face when he asked them to explain “how it works” lol!

    I agree– I think this is totally a personal thing. I know I shared with you a little while ago about Will and my situation, so when people ask when we are having kids it can sometimes be especially uncomfortable for me (and we’ve only been married for ONE year! I can only imagine how many times more we will be asked LOL!) But like you guys, I realize that sometimes people are just curious and well intentioned. Maybe I just have to start asking them to explain the logistics to me 😉 hehe!

    • Oh my goodness, yes! People’s reactions are always so funny! Sometimes when people ask me this and Christopher is standing nearby, I just tell them to go ask him instead because I like to hear what his answer will be. 😉 You are so welcome to borrow any of Christopher’s lines any time! 🙂

      I know it has to be especially hard on you guys considering your situation so I love that you are staying mindful of the fact that people are generally well intentioned. You have such a sweet spirit, girl!

  14. Christopher’s last response HAHA. I think I need to use some of those answers next time someone asks Jimmy and I about kids!

  15. Your hubby’s responses are so hilarious. I even showed it to mine and we both had a great laugh 😀 Can you tell me how it works.. Heheh.That should get the person who asked, to do some serious thinking . 😛 We have been married for around two years ( completing second year this June) and so thankfully we have not faced it till now . But these responses are quite some counters . Thanks for sharing 😉

  16. Haha! Your husband is so funny 😀

  17. Get this, no one will even be done asking after you have one, then it will be “when are you having another?” I’m 44, have three and people still ask “would you guys ever have another?” Easy one word answer “Vasectomy!”

  18. Your response is perfect, and your husband’s responses crack me up 🙂

  19. HAH, this is awesome, we are SO going to use these responses the next time people bug us about kids…! 🙂

  20. Well as of now, our response is our first one is 6 months away…

  21. So its weird, because I used to hate the question when we had zero and people were asking about a first. Now that we have three and people ask “Are you going to have a fourth?” it doesn’t really bug me. I answer it totally honestly. Not sure what switched, and not saying others should feel the same way. I just think the binary (kids/no kids) is more uncomfortable than the spectrum (2/3/4/etc.).

    • That definitely makes sense. Though, I have a couple of friends who easily got pregnant with kid #1 and then have had multiple miscarriages since. Or had trouble getting pregnant with the first and decided to have no more because of the cost of IVF or other health reasons. It seems to be a dangerous thing to ask people in general. Again, it doesn’t bother me personally when people ask, but I do know it really bothers some people so I try to be respectful of that and not ask unless someone brings it up. Hope you guys are doing well, by the way!

  22. YESSSSS CHRISTOPHER! His responses, esp the last one and the one about practicing all the time!! WINNNN.

  23. Bruce McLartys' Dog

    I love Chris’ responses. He needs to come up with some more…

    Maybe:

    We already have 3 kids. You haven’t met them? We need to hang out more.

    Our dog ate them.

    I lost my kids… Can I have yours?

    Are you pregnant? Nope! I was just about to ask you the same question! Whew… You just made this so much less awkward. 😉 ( you have to wink)

    I read online that there is a 1 in 150,000 chance I could develop rabies from the epidural. So… Nope!

  24. I never know what to say as people are already asking me about the next baby. I’m more of a “we shall see…” response. Christopher’s responses are awesome though. The OREO response is my favorite! Haha. He is a good sport. (Christopher I mean, but I’m sure Oreo is too) Love you friend. XO

    • The Oreo one is legit! We really did spoil him (because he’s so stinkin’ cute) and it definitely shows in his attitude. Even though he’s a dog and not a person, we still try to keep it in mind for future human kids. Discipline, structure, and consistency… we were super on point with those when we first got him and he was awesome. Then we got super lax and now he’s kind of a brat when he doesn’t get his way, ha!

  25. I can’t believe someone asked if you were pregnant? I really thought everyone had learned that lesson by now. at least you guys have a great list of replies! I will have to keep these handy 😉

    • Oh girl, that used to happen all the time. I’m tall which makes me look pretty slender, but I have a bunch of dietary issues that can bloat me really easily. And a lot of bloat on a slender person definitely looks like pregnancy. So before I learned which foods bother my stomach, I got asked if I was pregnant aaaall the time. Thankfully it happens a lot less now than it did back then, but I do try to always have grace for people who ask.

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  27. first off, hugs! 🙂 i can’t believe someone asked you if you were pregnant.. that’s a whole different level of awkward. i used to get really offended when people asked me, like what if i was having issues?! but now i just kind of shrug it off and say the same kind of non committal thing you do. i know we’ve talked about this, so you know how i feel, lol but yeah i try and remember people really do mean well. most of the time!

    • Oh girl, that used to happen all the time. I’m tall which makes me look pretty slender, but I have a bunch of dietary issues that can bloat me really easily. And a lot of bloat on a slender person definitely looks like pregnancy. So before I learned which foods bother my stomach, I got asked if I was pregnant aaaall the time. Thankfully it happens a lot less now than it did back then, but I do try to always have grace for people who ask. 🙂

      And yes, we’ve definitely talked about this so you know how I feel about a lot of this. I still remember the day I quit asking people outright about their plans for future kids. It was just such a normal part of conversation for newly weds and I remember a couple of years into our marriage, I asked some friends about future kids not thinking much of it. They gently and kindly shared with me that they would love to have children, but had suffered multiple miscarriages and lots of fertility treatments. I was so horrified with myself for asking and apologized profusely, but they were so beyond kind about it. I always try to remember how they acted with such grace and no offense when I asked a question that turned out to be so insensitive. I haven’t asked that question to anyone since, but every time someone asks us, I always remember that other couple’s kindness and try to replicate it.

  28. Ahhh yes, yes, and yes again. I know people are well meaning, but if you don’t have kids and someone asks you, you are usually in one of a few groups. 1) You don’t want kids AT ALL and feel constantly judged. 2) You just don’t want kids right now, (or the pressure and constant questions that come with choosing to wait), and that is usually for very person reasons. 3) You haven’t be able to have kids, or you’ve experienced infertility. Do you really want to talk about any of these things in a super informal exchange with an acquaintance? (haha… obviously this is something that bothers me!) I definitely have some of the stock answers you’ve mentioned.

    • I have a couple of friends who have struggled with infertility/miscarriages and aren’t afraid to share it with people who ask – even in that informal casual acquaintance conversation. Let me tell you, there are some awkward silences that follow those honest answers. “Hey, are you guys going to have kids?” “We’d love to, but we just lost another baby and don’t know if we can afford another IVF treatment.” *crickets* But it’s certainly effective at letting people know what a personal question they just asked. I definitely am not that person. I like my non committal answer. Christopher and I tend to keep personal things pretty close to the chest. 😉

  29. Oh my your husbands answers are awesome! PERFECT! I hate HATE when people get all when you having kids? When is #2, 3, 4, 5, coming? ITS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS! Girl seriously makes my skin crawl! We get it all the time with when are you gonna have #2 and what people don’t know is that there may never be a #2 so back off! Ugh!

  30. Those responses are hilarious! I need to keep some of those in mind. It is so annoyingly personal when people want to ask about kids!–sometimes random strangers in line at the grocery store, even! I can’t tell you how many people have seen me pregnant with my second now and they’re already asking me about the possibility of a third. And it’s like, can I pop this one out, please, before I make a decision on that??

    • Ha! I’ve heard this from several people – that they get asked about the next kid even while they are pregnant. Their responses have been pretty much the same as yours. I mean, really, you want to birth this one before you think about the next. 😉

  31. Christopher’s responses are too funny! I will have to remember them when Trey and I get married. I am sure that will be the first thing people ask us after… and that was not a hint, we are not engaged yet… 🙂 haha

  32. It’s probably the Malaysian side of me, but I have no problem with being asked about having kids, or any problem being honest: “Whenever God gives us one.” People know what that answer means, and usually respond with encouragement, which is really awesome and happy. I totally asked my friend the week before she got married if they had any plans for kids and we had a good conversation, because that’s the kind of thing you can do with a friend of 12 years. It would be hard to be a very private person in a culture where everything is asked about (actually, being asked questions about salary and apartment rent feels more awkward to me than the usual kid question). Here, you gotta be okay with questions–when my Mom had baby #7 here, random aunties who saw her carrying a tiny baby would ask her if she was married and if she was old enough to have a baby. She was 36 with six other kids and had been married for 16 years.

    • Maybe that’s part of why personal questions don’t bother me as much – they were definitely like that in China too. Though they didn’t ask about multiple children. But other *very *personal, point blank questions. So maybe my few years there rubbed off on me in that way? Christopher and I definitely keep personal things pretty close to the chest, but we aren’t offended or bothered when people ask us. It’s really interesting to me how differently people take questions like that. It seems like most people we know are really bothered by questions like that so we try to be considerate of their feelings.

      Also, I think that your relationship with the person definitely comes into play with having these conversations. It makes sense that a friend of 12 years is one that you would feel comfortable asking personal questions. Honestly, I used to ask people this question all the time in our early years of marriage. It was just part of “normal” newly wed conversation among our friends. I still remember the day that I quit asking it. I had asked some brand new friends (like we had known them a day) about future kids not thinking much of it. They gently and kindly shared with me that they would love to have children, but had suffered multiple miscarriages and lots of fertility treatments. I was so embarrassed for asking and apologized profusely, but they were so beyond kind about it. I always try to remember how they acted with such grace and no offense when I asked a question that turned out to be so insensitive. I haven’t asked that question to anyone since, but every time someone asks us, I always remember that couple’s kindness and try to replicate it.

      Baby #7 by 36! My gracious! That’s awesome, though! I love big families! 🙂

      And finally, I may be reading into your normal response to people, but I’m a pretty good listener if you ever want to talk about baby things. 🙂

  33. So funny!!! I feel the same way about the “When are you going to get married” question. grr 🙂

  34. i get asked that and i’m not married or anything! and i get asked that too, lol. i think it’s rude. i’ve got tons of accomplishments under my belt, and some how none of those matter because i don’t have kids. i love them, i want them, but i’ve accepted it’s not going to happen. and that’s ok. i don’t ask anyone of they are having them bc it’s none of my business!

    • I think sometimes people ask about what they relate to. Which is why they don’t think to ask about your other accomplishments, but instead wonder about kids. I’ve noticed that when people who don’t have kids ask us questions about our lives, they ask about our jobs, our volunteer work, our travel, etc. Nearly always the questions about kids are coming from people who also have kids. It’s what they know so it seems like it’s what’s on their minds. Just know that I see you! I know what a well educated, well traveled, and super talented person you are!

  35. I always hate when we get the kid question. It is no one’s business and I feel it is very rude. What if we were trying and having problems? Or we lost a pregnancy? Or maybe we don’t want kids but we shouldn’t have to explain why we are deciding that for our lives. I love your husband’s responses, they are epic! The kid question is so personal and I feel like a rude question deserves a funny or sarcastic answer if you give one at all!

  36. hahah!! Oh am I so behind on commenting (sorry!!) but this is so funny 🙂 we haven’t even reached 2 years yet (August will mark 2 years) and in our first year people would ask us all the time about kids! I used to say “we practice, practice makes perfect 😉 ” haha and someone DID ask if I was pregnant when I was like 7 weeks and I lied to her… ahhh!! I just didn’t want to tell yet! I wasn’t showing! She just thought she heard I was (From who!?!?!) Either way, take your time and who cares when or if you have kids! I selfishly hope you do someday just so I can see a cute mini Rachel haha 🙂

    xo C

  37. Oh. My. Word.

    I want to hear how people respond to that husband of yours when he’s in a joking mood!

    Also…I’m allll about it being YOUR business. I’ve always been a “I’ll know when YOU tell me.” kind of person. Even if I THINK someone is pregnant, I never ask. I just wait until it comes up (or not). Now, if a friend wants to talk about this (and several of mine have), I’m more than happy to, but I never want them to feel like I’m prying! You know?

    Anyway….You guys will make great parents however and whenever it happens!!!!

    • Haha! Usually their eyes get real big for just a split second before they realize that he’s messing around with them and they laugh. It’s pretty comical. 🙂

      I’m sure your friends appreciate the way you let them have their privacy about personal things! It doesn’t bother us when people ask, but I know our response isn’t typically the norm. It tends to offend or annoy or hurt most people. So it’s definitely safer to just not ask unless they bring it up!

  38. Haha I love Christopher’s responses. I am sorry that you have to deal with people asking all of the time. That would be really hard if people have been asking for years. I got this a lot when Logan started to get a little older. Everyone was always asking if we were going to have a second one, and recommending the best age gaps between kids. I know most were well intentioned, but it started to really hurt explaining that we had been trying for a while, and didn’t know if/ when it would happen. I can say that looking back, God’s timing was the absolute best. I hope people give you a break after they read this post, and maybe even realize it isn’t their business. 😉

  39. This is so interesting to read! You all have some really great responses.

    In America I don’t get asked this often. In Asia? ALL THE TIME! I mean it is normal to get married and pop a kid out 9 months later. One of the 4 year olds in my class would draw a picture of Dave and I with a baby. She just couldn’t imagine us without one.

    I actually have a post in the works about all the things Asians said to me and there are numerous ‘where’s the baby?’ in that post. ha ha!

    I do sometimes get the impression that (some) people look down on us for not having kids and for not wanting them right now in our lives. Maybe I assume that they think that but it is weird to get that vibe.

    • Ooh I look forward to reading that post when you share it! While we were living in China, there were a lot of questions that were asked point blank and I remember my parents being really taken aback by some of them. Thankfully I had already learned some tact before I moved to China and then my parents helped reinforce culturally appropriate language for when I came back to the States. 😉

      Well, don’t worry about what those people think because I think it’s awesome to enjoy time with your spouse before having kids. It may not be the most common way to do things, but it’s good to think about it ahead of time and honestly consider whether or not you’re ready to add kids to your family. Christopher tells people sometimes that he’s too selfish for kids. He likes his sleep and he likes not sharing me with a baby and he likes our traveling lifestyle. I didn’t add that to the list because while he always says it in jest, there’s a seriousness to it as well. It’s something we’ve both said to each other about how growing our family will change things. We will be super excited when we have kids, but we also know that life will be very different (good different, but still different) so we want to make the most of this stage while we can. 🙂

  40. Christopher’s responses are hilarious!! I might have to steal the dog one, haha. My response is usually along the lines of “you never know…” like yours. I always assume people mean well by asking too, but I try never to ask that question myself, unless I know the couple well!

    • ​What does Steve usually say? The same noncommittal thing or something different? Ever since I posted this and shared it to Facebook, everyone who knows us in person has been having the best time with it. Christopher’s responses are definitely pretty hilarious. 😉 ​

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