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