Tina Parker

Do you want to have kids?

Date of Post: 
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Well, I promised last week that it's about to get real honest in here. Then I dropped the mic; I skipped out on the blog. I'm ready now, so let's roll:

What a loaded question to ask someone. Isn't the expected, perhaps even required answer, "yes." There's that part. The answer's supposed to be yes and, if it's no, the silence is deafening.

And what if the answer is yes: you do want to have kids, but it's complicated. Perhaps you've tried; you've had losses; you've mourned. What a painful journey to re-live in front of what is usually a near-stranger asking the big question. What an awkward situation even in front of family who are typically always asking.

I have been there many times. My husband and I were married for 10 years sans children. "Do you want to have kids," we were asked over and over, and it was never easy. For many years, our answer was no, not right now. Then there came a point when we just didn't have an answer. It was too loaded to even get into.

Looking back, I see the reality of this question as the first of a series of what I think of as "parenting pressure." Dealing with the "Do you want to have kids business" is just the first of many such questions. It's as though, at a certain phase in our lives, our bodies/our choices/our very beings are no longer private, but are placed under a microscope for others to examine.

During the first eight years of our marriage, my husband and I didn't want to have kids. It felt right, even though the questioning sometimes made us doubt. Then, we decided yes, let's have kids. We thought it would just be like waving a wand; how complicated could it be? Just drop the birth control and presto-pregnant.

But no, we suddenly had a whole new answer to the dreaded question: we're trying. How awkward is that to share with others--we're trying to have kids. Again, no one's business; how do these things get made so public? Nonetheless, "we're trying" became our answer, at least to ourselves for quite a while. . . and so I pause till the next blog post: how long did it take you all to conceive?