I'm pretty sure the first time the Hubs and I heard "so when are you going to start having kids?" was literally the day after we said I do. Man, I thought, give a girl a hot second to breathe. My scalp still hurts from the bobby pins in my veil, and quite frankly, I'm beyond exhausted. Can a girl take a minute to relax and enjoy being married?
With our first year of marriage under our belt, you can imagine that we're still fielding those questions, but they've gradually gone from curiosity to what feels like the Spanish inquisition. It's gone from "so when do you think you'll start having a family?" to "so, do you have a date you can give me? Like a particular month or something?" Um, no, I don't. Sorry. I wish I did, trust me.
I learned the hard way a few years ago that asking such personal questions so flippantly could result in awkwardness for me and painfulness for the person on the other end of my casual "why?" As I got to know one of my former co-workers on a more personal level, I asked if he and his wife had any children. He replied that they did not. So, then, not thinking about why they may not have any children, I followed up his response with "Oh man, why not? You two would've been great parents!" Luckily, he was respectful in his response, but I knew in his voice that I had struck something within him. "We've been trying for about 8 years. We're on our third IVF treatment, which is our last shot." I was 100% right, they would've been fantastic parents, but sadly it wasn't happening for them. It was out of their control and no amount of want or prayer brought that couple a baby. They're still not parents to this day. And I'm sure every question about the situation was a painful reminder of that truth. The had enough questions between them and God. They didn't need mine thrown in there too.
To this day I'm always reminded of how a simple question about starting a family, etc...can be something so much deeper to the one you're asking. Maybe the couple wants to wait awhile and work on establishing a strong family foundation, maybe they want to enjoy being newlyweds for a year, maybe they're stuck waiting on insurance policies to dictate when they can and cannot start a family, or maybe they've been trying, tirelessly, and they don't need another source of friendly pressure. I'm sure in many of these instances, they're already putting undue pressure on themselves.
We all know time is ticking, trust me. We get it. But maybe the next time you want a more definitive answer from a married couple on their family plans, instead just make a mental note to pray that their journey goes smoothly. I'm certain if you're a trusted friend and loved one, you'll be one of the first to know. Some things are worth the wait;)