10 Things Not to Say to a Newly Married Childless Couple

Rant 11

When Fergie and Josh Duhamel tweeted their pregnancy news this week after four years of marriage, it made me think about how awkward it can be for a couple when it's been a while and no babies have arrived. Whether you're purposely waiting to have kids or whether you're trying -- and failing -- and more than a little stressed about it, it's amazing how tossed off questions about your "plan" can land like grenades.

Fergie and Josh have been gamely telling interviewers for years that they're "not ready" for kids, that they want seven kids, five kids, two kids, that it's "not really in our hands," but that they're having fun trying! Who knows. The deflection-with-a-smile is part of their job as famous people. But what about the rest of us? Why is the are-they-or-aren't-they question so tempting even for our friends?

Here's some advice: If you know a couple like the Duhamels of a week ago, you should not utter/ask/offer/suggest the following 10 things, even though you really, really want to.

1. It's so wonderful you've made your career such a top priority for so long -- I mean, when would you even find time for kids? Translation: "I guess you really don't want any."

2. How old are you guys? I hope fertility isn't going to be a problem. So many people I know have had trouble. Trouble, really? I thought the stork just dropped babies on your doorstep when you stopped taking the pill.

3. Is everything really OK in your marriage? I.E. Are you guys even having sex?

4. You've probably seen every single Oscar movie. You're so lucky you have so much free time. Because not having kids means you have absolutely nothing to do.

5. Are you not drinking for a reason or just not drinking? Yep. Some folks still ask this!

6. Having children changes EVERYTHING. This one is a little scary. It implies there's a world you as a childless individual can't possibly wrap your head around. It also implies creepy things about what having kids does to your body. TMI.

7. I didn't feel alive until I had children. The secret club thing again. It's like the mom version of Mean Girls.

8. So what ARE you waiting for anyway? Everyone wants a reason. See #1 above.

9. You seem so stressed out. If you ever want to have kids you need to just relax. The worst. Has anyone ever successfully relaxed when told to relax?

10. It's so cute how your dog is like your baby. Just to be clear, dogs are not babies.

What's the most inappropriate question someone asked you before you had kids?

Image via enchantedbelles/Flickr

celeb moms, marriage, sex, sex drive


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mommy... mommytojack0524

I had a girl that I just met ask me if I wanted her fertility doctor's business card. Um, no...I haven't even done the laundry from my honeymoon yet. Seriously, we had only been home for a week!  I'm sure the fact that  I was 37 when we got married had something to do with it. But that doesn't mean we necessarily needed any help in that department. I was stunned.


Wheep... Wheepingchree

While I would never say or ask any of these things to anyone, anyone who has children will agree that it does change everything.  It is very true that childless people can not begin to wrap their minds around a parents life or emotions, because it's not something you can understand until you have kids!  

ethan... ethans_momma06

I really don't think #6 is that bad. I mean... really. It does. And really.... you have no idea how much until you have them.

I've heard that choosing to have children is like choosing to have a facial tattoo done. You need to be really really really really sure that you want one.

Personally, I think it's a good discussion to HAVE- with friends.

Vegeta Vegeta

Some people aren't cut out to be parents. If you got married its cause you liked that person not to turn into a baby factory.

MaryC... MaryCimino

I joke with my sister about being childless, she's been married for 5 years now and no kids yet. But she does spoil her nieces and nephews so it works out for her.

Miche... MichelleNYC

married 3 years, no children yet by choice. I get all of these questions and then some. I hate how people say "soon by you" 

Sara0211 Sara0211

My husband and I have been married for almost four years and don't have kids yet. We're both in our early 30's and plan to wait a few more years until we have our first child. Luckily, there's been no pressure or comments from either side of the family. 

Sweet... SweetMelancholy

Wait...being married 4 years without having kids is considered a long time? That seems pretty normal to me. Me and my husband wanted to wait AT LEAST that long to enjoy being married with no kids. Gives us time to build our marriage, travel and just enjoy things for awhile.

Lance Blackstone

"...how awkward it can be for a couple when it's been a while and no babies have arrived. Whether you're purposely waiting to have kids or whether you're trying..."

This article - especially the quote above- is a perfect example of the attitudes childfree people have to deal with. Does it not occur to occur to one that some people are neither waiting nor trying to have children? That in fact they are actively avoiding?

Having children should be a well thought out choice, not a societally-driven requirement. If more people thought before breeding there would be far fewer unwanted and/or abused children in this world.


nonmember avatar Meg

This hits home for me. I'm been married 8 years and a little over 2 years ago we decided to stop birth control and leave it up to God if we would have children. So far nothing has happened. We are honestly ok either way. The problem is every time I'm visiting my parents I get the baby pressure. My parents want to be grandparents so bad I don't think they realize how awkward their questions and talking can be. I don't want to discuss my sex life with my mom!

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