How to respond if asked, “When are you going to have kids?”

Yes, it’s only early October, but we’re heading into the holidays fast, which probably means seeing lots of people who may or may not know what’s going on in your life. And if you’re of a certain age, or in a certain relationship, you may get bombarded with the question, “When are you going to have kids?”

Depending on who asks, it can feel harmless one day and nosy the next. If you feel pressured, the question might make you resentful. If you’re ready for kids, but your partner isn’t, the question can hurt. With so many potential emotions, it can be a tough question to answer, so here are a few suggestions in case you need them.

Polite—a short response and a smile can quickly move you on to the next subject

  • “I’m not sure. But enough about me, tell me about your holiday plans.”

  • “When the timing is right. It’s as simple as that.”

  • “When we’re ready. So, how’s your job/family/holiday?”

Funny—joking and laughter are a great way to move past the question

  • “After we’ve put in hundreds of hours practicing.”

  • “How soon do you need to know? And what’s the best way to notify you?”

  • “We keep trying, but I think our careful use of birth control is getting in the way.”

  • “We’re thinking about trying tonight. Any suggestions on positions?”

  • “Already have one.” Then point to your partner.

  • “As soon as we’re ready, you’ll be the third to know.”

  • “What’s children?” (If asked when you’re having children, say this with a straight face like you’ve never heard the word before.)

Abrupt—these will definitely shut people down, so use them cautiously

  • “I’d prefer not to discuss that. Thanks.”

  • “That’s a really personal question and I’m not comfortable discussing it with you. I hope you can respect that.”

  • “I have no idea. Maybe never. Now let’s discuss other things more suitable to this occasion.”

  • “Every time I get asked this question, I postpone it another year.”

You can always pretend you didn’t hear the question and walk away, but keeping your dignity and answering in a way that is comfortable for you is usually best. And it really isn’t anyone’s business, so please don’t feel guilty for not wanting to talk about it. You are entitled to privacy on this subject and many others.

We’d love to see some more answers, so please tell us how you answer this question. And until you’re ready to have kids, we hope you love your birth control.



P.S. Do you have questions about pregnancy, birth control, STIs, or periods? We cover all that and more in our Questions section.

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