I have always been what you would consider maternal. Many of my friends’ children warm to me pretty well, and I think many people can see that I love kids a lot. And I guess once people know you are getting married, the next logical step is children. But I wish people would have let the ink on the marriage license dry before the pressure started.
I know that I am thirtysomething, and that my time to conceive is limited, but my husband and I needed, and still need, some time to adjust. In the year before our marriage we dealt with a long distance relationship, cancer of a loved one, death of a loved one, engagement, losing a deal on a home, finding another home and buying it, moving, planning a wedding, a doctoral program, a promotion, and stepping down from the promotion, in addition to the every day stressors. It was imperative that we have time to ourselves. We would never be newlyweds again, and we wanted to enjoy it.
But immediately, the pressure started. Several friends, from several different circles of friends, announced they were pregnant, and the question always loomed, when will you be? When I would not drink a glass of wine one night, my mom asked in front of everyone if I was pregnant. His mom gave me a box of baby clothes as one of my Christmas gifts. If I mentioned on my facebook status that I was under the weather, everyone assumed it was morning sickness.
What makes it socially acceptable for people to pressure us and interrogate us as to why we are not pregnant? Had you considered some of the possible answers? What if we are trying unsuccessfully? What if I have quietly and privately suffered a miscarriage? What if I am dealing with some health concerns that make it a bad time to conceive? What if we can not afford it right now? What if we are not sure we want kids at all?
How do I tactfully address this with the people applying the pressure? I have covered it with my family, and they get it, but in laws and friends are a bit tougher. I do not feel the need to explain why I am not pregnant, and I am angry that I am expected to explain it at all. How does one politely say, without severing relationships, keep your nose out of my uterus?
I recently stumbled upon a book online that talks about dealing with the pressure to get pregnant, so I ordered it, and can not wait to read it (look for the review on my book review blog). And if we are supposed to get pregnant, well that is when we will. In the mean time, I am content with the pitter patter of little feet in our house belonging to our new puppy.