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Mar 3, 2016

No, I'm not Pregnant, and Please Stop Asking.


It's incredibly rare that I get on a soap box about anything, and frankly, even more rare that I craft a post with such a blunt, honest title, but enough is enough.

Six months ago, when AJ and I said "I Do," people warned me that the next question we'd start to get would be "so when are you having kids?!"  They were right, of course, and those questions began not long after we arrived home from our week in the Dominican sun.  The first few times, I chuckled and shrugged them off.  And frankly, that question doesn't even really bother me all that much.

What bothers me are the people who blatantly ask me if I'm pregnant, or what we're having, or when we're due, or when they offer up a well-meaning prayer over my womb.  (Yes, it happened, and while sweet and well-intentioned, was just weird.)

If you're a girl, and if you're reading this, you probably are, then you can imagine the flood of insecurity that those questions bring to mind.  Am I fat?  Do I look pregnant?  Maybe my posture is really, really bad...  I try to laugh off those questions too, but let's be honest...those insecurities are tough.  I'm not exactly at my smallest (thanks, newlywed weight), but I also don't think I look pregnant.  As someone who is trying to be confident in who I am and how I look, I frankly just don't like having those insecurities.

Now in my situation, those questions aren't terribly off base, and usually, I can understand the confusion.  I work at a large church.  Almost every other staff member in their twenties either just had a baby or currently has a wife who is expecting.  It's an easy mix-up.

But here's the thing:  when did it become acceptable to flat out ask those questions?  Didn't everyone watch that Bryan Regan clip about never asking a woman when the baby was due?  It's just not ok, and it only puts both you and the person you're asking in a seriously uncomfortable position.

And if being uncomfortable isn't reason enough not to ask, consider this:  you never know someone's story.  You don't know if they're desperately trying to get pregnant and it's just not happening.  You don't know if they just suffered their first, or second, or third miscarriage.  You don't know the state of their marriage and you don't know the state of their finances.  You have no idea if they're ready to be a parent.

AJ and I would love kids someday.  But that day is still a long ways off for us.  There are plenty of couples who do have kids shortly after getting married, and trust me, I am not opposed to that in any way!  It's just not what we want.

We just hit the six-month mark in our marriage and honestly, we're still learning what marriage means.  We're praying and looking for a house and working on saving for our future and trying to climb out from under the six figures of school debt that we have.  And mostly, we're enjoying time together right now.  (Plus, we have a puppy, so that's good for now, thanks.)

Marriage was something I waited for for what seemed like forever.  I watched most of my friends get married while AJ and I were dating, and by the time we got married, many of them already had babies.  And don't get me wrong, I love those littles and I am so excited to get to witness them growing into little people!  But that doesn't mean that I don't want to savor my newlywed time.  It doesn't mean that I don't want to enjoy this time with my husband, just the two of us.

When people ask us when we're having kids, and then say "but didn't you just get married" when I tell them that we're not pregnant yet, it's like saying that just being married isn't good enough.  It makes me sad, because for us, we want to take time to savor this season and to really dig our heels into this marriage thing before adding kids into the mix of our lives.

We're in a season where we're incredibly busy.  We are working our butts off to build a small business, I'm working full time, we're trying to get ourselves healthy, physically and financially, and some days, we are like ships passing in the night.  Right now, I can't imagine adding kids to that mix, and right now, I'm not ready to give up living that lifestyle.  There will come a day when we're ready, but it's not today.  And that's ok.  And it would be ok even if I never wanted kids.

There are plenty of women out there living successful, fulfilling lives who aren't married and who aren't mothers.  That's not everyone's dream and it's not everyone's passion.  Being married doesn't automatically mean that I need to have children just like being a woman doesn't automatically mean I need to be married in order to be a valuable member of society.

There are so many women in my life who have contributed to who I am as an adult and to who I look up to who aren't married or who aren't moms.  They are strong, they are creative, they are successful, and they are loved and valued by Jesus.  Being a mom is an awesome, awe-inspiring accomplishment.  But so is successfully leading a ministry.  So is getting into every law school you applied for.  So is graduating from college and landing a job that you love.  So is having a creative passion that you pursue relentlessly.  Having children is absolutely a fulfilling and amazing thing, but it's not the only thing that can leave you feeling fulfilled.

Being constantly asked if I'm pregnant yet doesn't remind me that pregnancy and starting a family is an amazing gift from God, it instead makes me feel pressured and less-than when people seem disappointed with my answer that we're not ready for that yet.  I don't mind telling people that we're still waiting to start that chapter of our lives, but it's disheartening when people act like I'm lying to them about wanting to wait or that I have other things in my life that I'm passionate about right now.

So, I'm not pregnant. Trust me...when I am, you'll know.  But until then, please stop asking.

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