Here’s a pro tip that unfortunately most people don’t seem to know. It is rude to ask people when they are going to have children. It may sound like a great icebreaker for a party, but essentially, you are asking near-strangers when they plan to have unprotected sex.
The “when are you going to have kids” question is problematic for many reasons. But this question is most offensive to one specific yet growing group of women: Women who are child free by choice.
Although I have two kids now, I am quite familiar with this loaded question. It fits right in with all of the other probing life questions that may make you feel uncomfortable about your next stage of life. Are you dating anyone? When are you going to get married? Are you going to have kids? Are you going to have another kid? Are you done having kids?
Yes, yes, I know all of these questions are just social niceties, and I am probably guilty of saying them myself. But now I think twice before asking my childless/child-free friends when they plan to have unprotected sex and get impregnated because I simply don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.
A woman may not have kids yet because she isn’t ready, she has health problems, or she simply doesn’t want to. Nowadays, women no longer finish school, get married and settle down to have kids in that order. There are infinite ways that a woman’s life can go with limitless possibilities, especially for those women who decide never to have kids.
That’s right — I said never. Certainly, it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not she has children, but Today Parents still calls it a “controversial decision in this day and age.” As expected, there is also a glaring double standard. Men who choose never to have kids may be applauded for making a smart decision. Women who choose never to have kids are scrutinized and often judged for their choice.
If you are a woman who is child free by choice, more power to you. You know what you want and make no apologies for it. Hopefully, the “lonely child-free woman with cats” stigma will soon be lifted so that you can get the respect you deserve. As for the rest of us who may now have children, take a moment to remember what it was like before you started a family. Keep your questions to yourself.