The question “When are you going to have babies?” is almost like a rite of passage for childless couples — they are bound to face it at one point or another. But sometimes, this can be a touchy or hurtful subject for the people who are on the receiving end of the interrogation. And it could lead to possible tension or arguments between family and friends.
One Bright Side reader found herself in this situation, and she sought our help through an e-mail. Here is her message, where she mentioned points that might be very familiar or relatable to some.
Hi Mariel, thank you for sharing your story with us. We at Bright Side are more than happy to help you, and here’s what we came up with.
- There are times when it’s okay to apologize, even if you think it was not your fault. And since you acknowledged that your brother was embarrassed, maybe you can try to reach out to him and say sorry for putting him in that situation. This could open a conversation, which will allow you to express your own pains over what happened. It takes emotional maturity to be the bigger person, but sometimes, prioritizing the relationship is better than insisting you are right.
- Talk to your family and friends about how you are feeling. Justify why you want them to pay a fee every time they ask about pregnancy, and shed some light on why it’s not a proper thing to bring up. Explain to them that their questions are making you uncomfortable, or are adding unnecessary stress and pressure. If they are truly concerned about you, they will sympathize with you and hopefully refrain from asking about it again.
- It might be less annoying and frustrating for you if you try to understand where their question is coming from. Perhaps they are concerned about your health, or it’s coming from a place of love since they are your family. According to one sociology professor, these inquiries are sometimes a result of society’s collective belief that having children is a natural part of life. It may not necessarily be an act of shaming, and other people may not even be aware that it is an inappropriate question.
- Try to find a peaceful resolution. Assess if the issue is worth losing the relationship you have with them, and if there’s a better way to solve the conflict. Maybe you can simply agree to disagree, or draw the line between your personal lives, and insist that your pregnancy timeline should not be their concern. Cooling off or taking deep breaths before answering can also help settle things calmly.
- We would also like to commend your idea of a “pregnancy jar,” as penalties can be an effective way to reduce unwanted behavior — or in your case, unwanted questions. Just keep in mind that there may be unintended consequences, like negatively affecting your relationship with your family and friends.
- Focus on things that make you happy. You can tell your family and friends that you and your husband are currently in a good place, and having a baby is not the only thing that makes you feel contented with life.
- If you find it extremely difficult to resolve this conflict, consider seeking professional advice. Experts, like doctors, counselors and therapists, may be able to help you and your family work through your issues.
Mariel, we wish you luck, and we hope that our suggestions would help you find the best approach to your problem.
How do you clap back when someone asks you an inappropriate question? And for those who are in a similar situation, do you have any tips or advice that we can add to this list?