Guest Rant of the Week: Why WHEN instead of IF?
Why does everyone ask WHEN, not IF you’re going to have kids? When I’m not around kids I think about maybe having them. But, when I’m at a function where kids are present I want to run from the room screaming and pulling at my hair to hide in a dark, quiet corner grabbing my knees, rocking back and forth and repeating “it’s ok, I don’t have any, it’s ok, I don’t have any”. Though my husband and I consider ourselves to be on the fence about the subject, this mutual feeling of wanting to run far, far away from them is probably a pretty good sign of which way we’re leaning.
Why does everyone, e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e ask WHEN instead of IF. Is the possibility of choosing not to so utterly alien and incomprehensible to people? We’ve tried wording it nicely so they don’t take personal offense: “We’re not sure that having kids is for us.” I thought it sounded great, but it’s only been met with hurt stares, glares of death, jaw drops, even the silent treatment. Followed by the inevitable arguments that it’s “so worth it” and “different when it’s yours” (which I’m convinced is what they have to tell themselves over and over again in order to cope). After all, it’s not personal, if people want to have kids that’s fine, nothing against them. But isn’t it better that people that don’t want to, well, don’t have them instead of conforming and then resenting them?
What I really want to say is that we thought we would have kids until we were around theirs. Famous for putting my foot in my mouth I still pat myself on the back for holding my tongue when a friend said her baby made her friend want to get married and have a baby, and I managed to just look at her blankly instead of retorting “made them want TO have a baby?!?!”