I am twenty-right, married, and childless. As a result, I get a lot of questions from friends and strangers alike, most of them variations on the theme "When are you having children?" Some people are polite in their interest; others are considerably more nosy about the matter. Sometimes, these questions come from people who love me. Other times, they come from mere acquaintances, at best. Sometimes, people are willing to drop the matter after a few moments. Other times,people keep pressing for information.
Image: MisterAitch via Flickr
When I hear these questions, I respond in a variety of ways. Sometimes I tell the truth: I say that I'm not ready for children yet. If pressed further, I might even admit that the responsibility of children terrifies me. Other times, I make jokes about waiting for children to come with an on/off switch or I joke about wishing babies came with warranties. Or I simply say that I don't have children and leave the matter at that.
What I really want to say is this: It's none of your f--ing business why I don't have children. Absolutely none of your business.
I shouldn't have to answer to friends, colleagues, and students alike as to why I don't have children. I shouldn't have to put up with questions about a decision that is, at its very core, a deeply private and personal decision.
And the truth? I am grateful that my current child-free state is a matter of choice. If I were infertile and trying to get pregnant -- or if I were in a situation where I wanted a child but lacked the resources to care for one -- the simple query of "When will you be having children?" would be a slap in the face.
So please: If you meet a woman who is of a certain age and childless? Just don't ask. It's none of your business.
Rachel Velamur is the author of the blog "A Post-Mormon Life", where she writes about what life was like as a Mormon and what her life is like after leaving the Mormon Church.
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