Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stop Asking!

   Remembered we discussed faithfulness and hard on Monday, it's about to get real! The person on this side of the screen typing is real a person, with real and raw emotions. Our season of HARD is painful, emotional, frustrating and ironically has moments of solid peace.   

Stop asking the question, "So, when are you going to start a family?" 

"Do you have children?"

"Your biological clock is ticking." 

"No little ones yet?"

   After five years of marriage, you can only begin to imagine the insensitive comments and questions we have had asked and said to us about when we'll have children. For a while, it was okay, but then it got downright old, and I secretly wished I could go into hiding. You can only put off people for so long. I had a lot of excuses in the beginning, so it was rather easy, but now I can't put people off because if you've been married for five years, you should have popped out at least one kid by now. I've failed West Michigan and am a disgrace apparently. {Enter sarcasm or deep pain here}

    In conversations with other couples, these questions are always asked by others with children, and I can't help but feel awkward for them. You can see a childless couple with tension in their fake smiles or annoyed glances at one another; it is so awkward. Who wants to be a part of that? I certainly hate it and end up staring at the ground or giving sympathetic looks to the poor couple being scrutinized for not having a child on demand. Who honestly thinks this is acceptable to ask anyways? I just need to know.. 

Let me remind people, for some of us; this is a very painful answer, one we wish never to answer. Why? Grab your coffee mug, let's chat! 

Did you forget kids were around in the world? 

It's not like you wake up one morning and say "Honey, let's forget to have children." For people like Drew and I, we don't simply go around the world forgetting kids and babies are everywhere. Um, we love kids. That's why we borrow others. Couples without kids have their reasons. Some couples aren't ready for kids. This could be due to many issues- financial, emotional, unsteady living arrangements. One spouse might be ready while another spouse isn't ready. A couple doesn't have health care that can afford the cost of having a child. Do you know how expensive it is to have a birth? A couple has miscarried and hasn't talked with anyone or with one another. You asking reminds them of a loss, which is already difficult enough. Maybe it's a health struggle, and they aren't able to conceive, or it would put both the mother and future child at risk. You aren't previewed to "No little ones yet?" You don't know the reasons, you don't live with the couple, so it's probably better if you keep your thoughts and questions to yourself. 

Asking questions about when someone is going to start a family is just down right rude. 

It would be like me asking you how much money you make and what kind of money you have in your savings account? Wouldn't you find it distasteful if I started asking questions about how you spend your money, how much is in your savings account and why you shop so much, yet you can't pay your bills? It's almost a bit judgmental. My comments may sound harsh, but I think my point is valid. We live in the world where everyone gets to have an opinion, and this is not a place where others get to have an opinion. When asking this question, you're just making me want to honestly ask how much is in your savings account!! If you want to ask about what my ovaries are doing, I want to ask about what your finances are doing? We probably won't be friends at the end of that conversation, and I can almost guarantee you won't like my answers.

Some people have goals.
There is nothing wrong with waiting to have a child until you are ready. Every couple is completely different. Some couples have goals they want to achieve before bringing children into this world, which is entirely fine and acceptable. Many couples have personal goals, financial goals, travel goals, etc. There is nothing wrong with waiting to have children to achieve goals. Many couples feel pressured by others and society to have children. They later wished they would have spent the time doing thing earlier on in their marriage before having children. Wait until you are ready. Tell all the people asking questions to have another kid. 

Choose an alternative route.
Our culture has placed high expectations on women to have "their own" children without ever really giving them the chance to consider maybe they have been called to something different such as foster care or adoption. Every couple is different in terms of creating a family. Not one way is better, but each way can be the best for that family. Parenthood should be respected, cheer-leaded and honored no matter what road a couple chooses regardless of anyone's opinion because you don't have all the answers. Every couple has a different road, we were created different, so it's okay if our journeys aren't the same. 

Why you don't ask the whys? 
You don't ask the why's because on any given day; you could get a person like me crying. No, Drew and I  didn't forget to have kids! Yes, we want them! After five years, I'm pretty sure we have this figured out. At this point, life has thrown us some medical challenges that have deemed it not safe. Am I allowed to have moments where I lose it? Yes. Are there other moments where I am okay and completely am at peace? Completely. I know we will have kids at some point, in some way. My God is faithful and big. Until then, do us all a favor and stop asking the WHY'S! It's painful, and it shames us for something we have no control over. It makes us feel like we are less than. For those who struggle with infertility, for those who choose to wait, for those who medically cannot conceive or for those who have decided it is not right for them, please STOP ASKING!

Can we not tiptoe around the subject either? You won't offend me if you want to talk about babies. However, I may excuse myself from a conversation if it's too much. I can usually handle it, and if I can't for that day, I'll say it. I have my own boundaries. I'm pretty good at exerting my feelings {Clearly}  Shopping for clothes and gifts are a no and going to a baby shower, well forget it! I have grace for certain moments, but yes, I openly talk about it. Do I struggle with other aspects of it? Yes, I'm human. Give me grace. I'm getting there. It's not an elephant in the room like it used to be. Healing is happening, and the stain is slowing becoming clean. It takes time. Just don't question me about when and if we're going to have a child. If I knew the answer, it would have been a while ago. Deal? 

*SIDE NOTE: Kids, don't have the understanding about not to ask. Please note, I am not personally offended. As a child, I thought every woman could and was a "mom." The littles don't know any better. I won't take it personally if your littles ask why we don't have kids. **

Regular blogging will return to normal programming next week. This week, we have to deal with some icky real life. Thanks! 


KelseyJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I love this! You do what you need to do. I feel your pain sometimes.

Sarah said...

Sorry for your pain. It's a long road for sure, but know you're not alone.