Let's Stop Asking Women If They are Having Babies or More Children
I feel like we really don’t need to have this chat, but yet here we are.
How many times has one of us been guilty of asking newlywed couples, “When do you plan to have kids?” or asking the mom of one or two if “she’s finished.” I am just as guilty as any person because let’s face it, human nature makes us nosey and we have a tendency to ask.
I have learned over time though that this question should not really be asked. It’s one of those topics that treads into sensitive, private matters and quite frankly it’s none of our business.
When we ask a newlywed couple on if they plan to have children we walk right into a topic that for some comes with lots of heartache and challenges. Unfortunately millennials are often faced with infertility and miscarriges and the question on, “When they plan to have children” starts to feel like rubbing salt on the wound. The bottom line is that we don’t know everyone’s path, their struggles, the cross they bear or the heartache they carry.
Let’s focus for a second on the mom with one, two or three kids. She’s often met with the ever so popular question, “Are you having more?” A question that used to be fun for me because I was always curious about the family dynamic that others had planned for themselves, but as someone with three little ones I can tell you that I absolutely dread the topic.
Being asked weekly by friends, family and even nosey cashiers at the store on whether or not you’re done having children is perhaps one of the most exhausting topics, especially when you don’t even know the answer yourself. I know this question often comes with kind, supportive intentions but sometimes it also comes from a nosey place with less supportive intentions.
I have learned that asking this question is again treading in hard waters. Perhaps you’re bringing up a sensitive subject between a couple where one spouse wants one thing and the other doesn't. Perhaps they are currently hoping for another baby but again, fertility is a struggle. Perhaps at that very moment they are with child but feel the need to hide the news. What’s worse is the opinions and “thoughts” you are overcome with from people who believe their life experiences will reflect yours.
“Kids are expensive.”
“You’re going to go broke.”
“You better start saving now.”
“Are you out of your mind?”
I can list the numerous responses that come up every time this question is asked. Some I just have to laugh at, while others infuriate me because one person’s expenses doesn’t reflect mine or my beliefs.
Here’s the thing people, it is NOT up to us. Every child is a blessing from God. Every struggle and heartache we experience is a path we don’t quite understand. But sometimes we have to lean into God and understand His will for our path.
Psalm 139:26 says,
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
God knows from the start, before any days existed exactly who is going to be a part of each family. The names are written in the book of Life. It’s there. He knows. He knows us inside and out and knows just what babies are going to bless us. After spending my own time reflecting on this for a long time, I believe He has a will for each family and sometimes that may include more or less children than what seems ideal or planned on at the moment. Do we have to be realistic? Yes I do believe so. God wants us to be “fruitful and multiply” and while that can be interpreted as have allllll the babies, I do believe our Father knows what we can and can’t handle. He knows us better than anyone out there and He will know what is fitting for our lives at this time.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
John 1: 12-13
I encourage each person who reads this to think before you ask any couples if they plan to have a baby or more children soon. Think of the person and reflect on your relationship - are you close enough to pry into such a sensitive subject? Are you able to handle any answer they give you, even if they say “They don’t want children.” Are you prepared to encourage and pray for them instead of reflecting your own opinions? Stop and think about the emotions, challenges and private matters that your question can stir up.
Let’s just stop and realize that at the end of the day, not everyone has some grand plan. Some of us are just leaning into His will and precious timing. Some of us are treading through heartache and fears while trying to understand His will. Others are leaning into Him to guide them and their family dynamic and quite frankly, His will and the love and opinions of two parents are the only ones that matter.
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring are a reward from Him. Like arrow’s in the hands of a warrior, are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127:3-5