“So, when’s your turn?”

The community that I teach in is a community of big families.  Not exclusively, mind you, but we have lots of families with lots of kids.  We also have lots of high school students who have babies every year (two of my students will deliver next winter, one of whom already has a three year old).  Babies are a very natural part of life.  I have students at every grade level that ask at least once a month “Do you have kids?”  or “Why don’t you have kids yet?” and the ever cringe-worthy “Are you pregnant?”  It simply doesn’t make sense to them that I would be married at 23 years old and not be reproducing yet.  From the kids is one thing, but what’s astonishing to me is how many people we’ve just barely met who feel the need to ask, “So, when are you guys going to have kids?”

Believe me, it’s not that I don’t want to have kids.  I love kids.  In fact, I just dug through Facebook to find pictures of me holding babies, and unearthed this evidence, in reverse chronological order:

Ruby Pearson, June 2012

Newborn Ellie Kippes, June 2012

Karis Weiser, April 2010

Lydia Buerer (and her sisters, Katie and Patty), Summer 1996

So for someone who showed a love for babies so early in life, you’d think I wouldn’t mind people asking me when we’ll start a family of our own. Believe me, we’re going to have kids.  Tyler and I often talk about what it will be like when we have a family, and even what kind of parents we might be.  It’s going to be a wonderful, exciting, challenging part of our lives together – when we get there.  But somehow, it is a little uncomfortable when someone asks us about when that time will be.  Especially if I don’t know someone very well, I feel like that is a very personal question to ask.  Yet, I find myself asking similar questions of others (though, I admit, I try to avoid the ones about babies).

There are certain stages in your life that merit certain questions.  When there’s a lull in the conversation, one feels obligated to ask a

  • Senior in high school, “So, where are you going to college?  What are you going to major in?”
  • Dating as an adult, “So, is he/she the one?  Are you going to get married?”
  • Senior in college, “So, what are you doing after graduation?”
  • Engaged, “So, when’s the wedding?”
  • Married, “So, when are you going to have kids?”
  • Once you’ve had one kid, “So, when do you think you’ll have your next one?”

I have to wonder, once you’re really truly done having kids, are there any more questions that people feel obligated to ask you?  I haven’t gotten to that stage, but I have a feeling it will be nice not to be asked by everyone about what major life change is coming for me, and to not feel uncomfortable if I don’t have a good answer for them yet.

But as my dear friend Sophie reminded me, while those moments are uncomfortable when you don’t have a good answer, we look back on them later with fondness and remember that we did eventually figure it out.  We did figure out what college to go to, we figured out our lives after graduation (even though it was scary as heck for awhile).  Since this blog is a documentation of my first year of marriage, I will print our answer so that I may laugh on it later when it completely didn’t work out this way:

“We’re wanting to wait a few more years before we think about having kids.  Once I become a mom, I will be one for the rest of my life.  And I want to enjoy my time pre-mom while it lasts.  Once I’ve finished my Master’s degree and my fifth year of teaching (and marriage, all of which coincide beautifully), then it will be time to re-evaluate and see whether or not it’s time for that big, exciting step.”

I am well aware that life does not often go the way one plans it out, but it certainly doesn’t stop me from making plans.  And I think this is a good one for us.

Comments
2 Responses to ““So, when’s your turn?””
  1. Sarah says:

    Enjoy all the time you can as a newlywed. Once you have a baby, you don’t get that one-on-one time nearly as often. Having a baby has been the best thing I’ve ever done, but having a baby at 22 wasn’t part of our “plan”, but she certainly came at the right time in our lives despite all that.

  2. Shayna says:

    Lovely 🙂 if there was an option to like this message I would

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