Dear Evie + Sarah: I’m so tired of people asking me when me and my husband are going to have kids. I just don’t want to answer anymore. The truth is, we’ve been struggling with infertility for years and I’m not sure it’s ever going to work. I’m 37. We’ve done a few IVF treatments and so far, nothing. My close friends and family know, but obviously I don’t shout it from the roof tops. But every time I go to a baby shower or a kids birthday party or even an adult event, someone inevitably asks me, “so, when are YOU having kids?” I just want to cry. I need a line that I can use every time, something that will put these people in their place and realize how inappropriate their question is!!! – Tired of Having to Explain Myself
Dear Tired of Having to Explain Myself:
Wow, people can be so nosy and rude, can’t they? I understand why that question could be a huge trigger for you and why having to explain something so deeply personal can be upsetting to you during an event where you otherwise would be having a wonderful time.
However, it’s important to remember two things. I’m sure you’re very well aware of the statistic that 1 in 8 couples has trouble conceiving. That means that it is VERY common that more than one couple at a party is going through the exact same thing you are. I understand that it seems very personal to share this challenge on the road to creating a family, but maybe if more people were more open about their struggle, it would become easier to briefly mention in conversation. Additionally, because many families going through IVF keep quiet, families who haven’t had to deal with that challenge may not even know what an inappropriate question they are asking! They may just see it on par with “how are you?”
So, to educate others that asking someone when they’re having children or if they’re going to have another child is super personal and violating, it’s important for the stigma of infertility to be completely lifted! To do that, families have to talk about it. Most likely the interrogator will be extremely sympathetic and probably embarrassed and won’t do that again!
Of course, if you’re uncomfortable sharing, you don’t have to, especially if you’re in a room full of strangers. So, you always have the snarky answer, “Oh, you have three kids? Cool. What sex position did you conceive them in?” Haha. Or of course, stay classy: “We may have kids some day. We’ll see.” And then walk away. If the person presses you, “Oh, but you’re just SOO good with kids, you’d be an awesome mom!” (of course you didn’t hear her because you walked away…but just in case you are still standing there, you can just accept the compliment, “Thank you!” and then change the subject or get out of there.
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