Why you need to stop asking a woman when she is having a baby (or what to know before you do)

“When are you having a baby?”

“When is the next one coming?”

Newly married, I got asked this ALL the time. New to motherhood, I STILL got asked all the time… by well-meaning, curious people that I genuinely like. (Oddly, now I have three and most people don’t ask anymore) Thankfully, it was a joyful subject for us, but it’s not always.

Sinkholes and land mines. These questions causes so much pain for too many.

In honour of a friend’s latest book, Infertility Lies, this is a gentle reminder;

Asking a woman about when she’s having kids is not casual conversation, it’s intimate information.

You might not know it, but with one question, you are asking a woman about:

  • Her relationship with her husband
  • Her relationship with her kids (if she already has them)
  • Her personal hopes and dreams (which may or may not include children)
  • Her sex life
  • Her reproductive health
  • Her mental and emotional health
  • Her experience of motherhood (if she is already a mother)

That is a BOTTOMLESS WELL of personal, private, possibly-painful topics that are not causal conversation. It’s intimate information.

And if any one of those areas are painful, you may accidentally pour salt on a fresh wound.

I have friends that tried to conceive and lost multiple babies before their first son was born. They are still trying.

I have friends that had one child, tried to conceive again, and no longer could.

I have friends that have several children and miscarried after conceiving again.

I have friends that tried to conceive for years. They eventually decided to stop trying.

And, like my friend Karen, she and her husband tried to conceive for over five years but didn’t. They adopted a sweet boy from Thailand. He is incredible and so is she. She shares her powerful story of the lies and myths around building a family in her new book Infertility Lies.

Please remember, you just don’t know what you’re asking when you ask this question.

And you just don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.

You could ask a woman this question WHILE she’s miscarrying a baby and you would never, ever know.

So please, stop asking her when she’s having a baby.

It’s very personal. And potentially painful.

When a woman is having a baby and she wants you to know, you’ll know.

I used to take a hard position of never ask because so many people I love find the question too painful. However, some women also appreciate the opportunity to be vulnerable, invite others into their story and ask for prayer — so whether you ask or whether you don’t, just be aware that the question is not casual, it’s intimate. So, let’s treat it that way.

Asking a woman about when she’s having kids is not casual conversation, it’s intimate information.

Know someone struggling with infertility? Infertility Lies by Karen Snow is a beautiful, truth-infused read on the path of family-building.

1 thought on “Why you need to stop asking a woman when she is having a baby (or what to know before you do)”

  1. SO good, friend 🤍 And so true. Jonathan and I both have had really probing questions before about having kids and lately about having more. Usually we spare their embarrassment by answering gently. But when someone gets pushy and inappropriate, we’ve been straightforward to get them to understand the weight (and hurt) of their words. We consider it a gift to them because we’ll be nice and someone else might not be. 🤍

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