What to Say When People Ask Why You Aren’t Having Children

Nothing could have prepared me for the invasiveness I face about my fertility plans as a married woman in my late 30s.

What was once an occasional topic of conversation five years ago when I first dated Mike, now my husband, has become a full-blown speculative crisis since we tied the knot in April.

I understand the concern. In our youth, many of us were taught, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage.” There’s no asterisk after the ditty clarifying “these milestones might never be accomplished in this order, or at all.”

Well-meaning relatives touch my arm and ask when we’ll start a family. I bristle at the suggestion, as if me, my sweet fella and our delightful cat aren’t already a complete family. Their faces drop when I break the news that we plan to be child-free.