“You’ve been married for some time now, when will your wife conceive?”, “When are you planning to have a baby?” “Has your wife given birth?” “What stops you from having a baby?”
The above are some of the frustrating questions we’ve had to battle with from friends and distant relatives as married couples.
In most multi-active (Africa and some parts of Asia) communities and/or cultures, for example, there’s a standard for the first 3 months in marriage – which is for the bride to conceive. After 3 months, questions begin to troop in. All manner of questions relating to pregnancy are asked ‘by heart’ without considering the feelings of the recipients. This may come as a shock to you if you come from a linear-active culture (The West). However, this is very common in multi-active cultures.
Marriage is a union of two individuals; decisions in this institution solely lie on the participants. To take you through our marriage journey:
Prior to our marriage, we discussed our plans as partners and goals as individuals. My partner wanted to further her education and realize her career just like I intended for myself. We agreed to get our visions aligned, support each other achieve our goals as partners and as individuals.
Immediately we started to live together, she started her studies. The nature of her program was such that conceiving may hamper her study journey. Therefore, we decided to hold on to making babies immediately till the last year of her studies or the end of her studies. We agreed on this decision and later informed our parents who responded affirmatively. With this, we had our peace of mind to study and enjoy our marriage with no baby making pressure from them.
Having said that, questions from friends and distant relatives became unbearable. Yes, there was one that got on my nerves some time back. In a conversation with a friend, this ensued:
Friend: How are you and your wife?
Me: We are doing fine.
Friend: Is she pregnant yet?
Me: No, she’s not.
Friend: What is keeping you guys from making babies? God has given you the opportunity and you don’t want to utilize it. This is sinful!
Me: (My heart nearly jumped out my throat. In fact, I got so upset and my immediate reply wouldn’t have contained the best of words).
So, I ignored the message. Perhaps in the mind of the questioner, she may think she cares and has a positive intention. However, the approach caused more harm than good.
I think we must stop asking married couples why they aren’t making babies yet. Some of them (in my case) may have decided legitimately to wait for some years before having a child, whereas others may be due to ailments. Sensitive questions like the above can cause psychological trauma and/or depression.
Let’s allow people to build on their fate. Some things are just not for us to question. We should only observe. Let’s be considerate and learn to mind our business!
Have you ever experienced this? Kindly share in the comment box. You could also join the conversation on our Facebook page (Lukumanu Minute).