Thursday, May 29, 2008

expectations

I was speaking with a good friend of mine recently and she was telling me about how frustrated she is with the fact that because she is single, and has been single for an extended period of time, people assume that there is something wrong with her and are constantly looking to "fix" her and her situation. Though I haven't been single for a while, I sympathized with her because I know how frustrating that is and/or has been in some of my other friends' lives as well. It then began to dawn on me that Caitlin and I are struggling with a something akin to my friend's situation in our married life: babies.

Countless people ask us "so, now that you're sister is pregnant, when is it your turn?" or " you guys should get on it and have a baby, everyone else is." It almost seems like the fact that we're childless is some kind of stigma since so many of our married friends are pregnant right now. I am excited for all of my friends who are having babies, I really am. I could not be more delighted about it and I am excited for the future with you and your new families. However, I would like to issue a polite missive, in a spirit of love, to all of you: please stop asking when Caitlin and I are going to have a baby or pressuring us to have a baby. We have been married just over a year and a half, we are not ready to have a baby yet, and we don't want to have children right now. It is not a sign of weakness nor a poor marriage that we don't want to have children this very second. We know you love us and that's why you ask about it, but to be honest the two of us are getting a bit tired of the baby talk and questions. I don't mean to sound rude at all, please believe me--my friends are the best friends that anyone could ever ask for and I love you all so much. It's just that we have other things that we want to do before we have kids and constantly hearing "you guys need to have a baby right now" gets a bit old and is discouraging, making us feel like we're only "in" as a couple if we are pregnant. Hopefully this doesn't get any of you pissed off at me because that is totally not my intention.

Thanks y'all...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

But I wanna be an auntie...so get crackinlackin (when you are ready, of course) By the way, you probably get asked so much by your prego friends because they would love to have their kids grow up with your kids.

Anonymous said...

so, when are you having a baby?

br

chris said...

How's this:

Don't have any children until mine are all grown and leave home, no longer requiring your support.

How's that for backing you up while serving my own selfish motives!

CN

impactmatt said...

anonymous totally took my joke... well done good sir or madam!

You and C rock... keep doing what you're doing. You know how Clo felt about getting knocked up!!! We are very very glad that we waited... even though we weren't expecting this one.... oh well! We'll be coming to visit soon!!! Yay!

barb said...

Hi Matt,
I enjoy your blog (found via Yarns from M), though I don't think I've posted before. This one hit close enough to home to compel me to comment.

To me, asking people when they're going to have kids is as much of an intrusion of privacy as asking them about their sex life. So, I guess if the friends with whom you're close enough to share that kind of information are the ones asking about your reproduction schedule, that's one thing. But for everyone else, the question should be off limits.

For one thing, it assumes that every married couple necessarily wants children. That's not always the case, but it's hard to explain to people. Good on you and your wife for choosing when you want to have children, and for acknowledging that there are things that you want to do first. That kind of mature thinking is what will make you good parents if/when you do have kids.

The other problem with the question of "when are you having kids?" is that there is an assumption that you CAN have them. And, you know, infertility rates are rising. It's a terribly painful and awkward question to have asked of you if you desperately want children and physically can't. This was the case with my best friend and her husband, who had been trying for years to get pregnant and only finally did through in-vitro. They did not make their struggles public, only a select few of us even know how their kids were conceived, and I watched what they had to endure as their families and friends - both seriously and jokingly - continued to pester them about having children.

Having kids is a choice. People who have that choice are lucky. Bravo for stepping up and asking your friends and family to respect your choice.

Barb J
(ps - thanks for the birthday wishes)

Michelle said...

what Barb said. :)

James Kingsley said...

word up dude - i know the feeling. i usually just respond with "oh, we just want to practice a bit more first." that usually brings enough laughter to throw them off the track, or they just get really uncomfortable and start talking about politics or something else...anything else.

R2 said...

actually i'm kind of stoked that you are waiting. this way we don't have to worry about our kids dating or anything else that makes me cringe ;)

AJ Renton said...

I personally think you are way to selfish to have a child anyways. It would be a horrible decision :)

Really seriously, I'd say I agree with the first comment here that many might be asking because we want our kids to grow up together. Not need, but just desire. But I don't think I've asked or bothered too much have I? Ah well

"Let's talk about sex, baby" !!