• You just hit the nail on the head! Currently dreading those words “when are you having a baby” as I just don’t feel up to it right now! Really wish people would understand that this is a decision best undertaken by the two would-be-parents involved.

    • Rachna Parmar

      Thank you Ghata! The worst is when known aunties or mil or her friends badger you. You can’t even get rude with them :).

  • You are bang on, Rachna!! This is the most intrusive and a very rude question that we commonly hear! The worst is when the couple is struggling to have a child, nothing works for them, the stress is immense and on top of that you have people throwing this insensitive question at them! 😐

    • Rachna Parmar

      Thank you Shilpa! Culturally, we need to develop more sensitivity.

  • Oh, they even ask the mother in law the question. Fat lot of good me wanting a baby would do! In fact my daughter in law’s mother scolded me and said, “You are the mother in law, order them to have a baby.” Pity one cant Flipkart one or Jabong one :/

    • Fab

      That is really funny!!

    • Ritu, thank God one can’t Flipkart them! Imagine an entire generation customizing their order! 🙂

    • Rachna Parmar

      That is really funny Ritu. Poor mil, I didn’t even think about the pressures exerted on her and the other members. I knew of an aunty who would crib about her son and dil living with her not yet thinking about having a baby. She wanted help from us friends to broach the topic. She felt they had grown too modern in all this planning business :).

  • For me it is a bit different and a bit worse. It is surprising for people around me in my husband’s family as to why are we still not trying for a baby! For them the most normal thing is to miss the first period after wedding. Just done with 18 months of married life and the surprise is getting into the verge of shock! But they are really nice and never really got angry or anything. The questions itself are really annoying especially for a person like me who is quite reserved.
    I know of a couple who got married 1 year after I got married and within 3 months the woman is pregnant. Their conversation was like that of strangers. It was weird.
    Lovely post. Felt good after reading. 🙂

    • Rachna Parmar

      Thank you Pritz. You are so right! The married couple feels the pressure; the family starts feeling antsy. And, as time passes, people start jumping to their own conclusions and making assumptions. It is so annoying. Glad you liked the post. I wish you luck with these nosey pests :).

  • Fab

    True, true and true again!!! I think the basic problem in India is that no one seems to understand the concept of privacy or personal space!!! Everything, including your reproductive life are public knowledge!!

    • You know, Fab, I got married at 33 (already up the hill and rolling down) the “when are you getting married” instantly turned to “any good news?” 🙂 Well as it happened, I had “good news” three months later. I can’t even begin to imagine what would have ensued if I didn’t have that good news! 🙂

  • Oh Lord! Pressure pressure everywhere, haina? Now that we have produced one, people want to know when we will be ‘completing the family’..no end to it, eh?

    • Rachna Parmar

      You are right, Nidhi! No end to it. I have two boys. There are still some idiots who say that we must try for a daughter :). Looks like this is our national pastime encouraging people to keep having kids.

  • We all have our share of horror stories – nosy relatives, insensitive colleagues. And God forbid, if you don’t have a child after you’ve been married a while – you have to put up with unsolicited advice about infertility and all that bullshit.

    And like you said, parenthood is a life altering experience. And most of us are emotionally ill-equipped to handle the pressure of being a Mom.

    • Rachna Parmar

      So true Purba! Even though I planned my children, I didn’t have much of a clue about parenting. Websites and books helped me, even friends. Suddenly from being a girl, I was grappling with a crying baby and a body I couldn’t recognize. It feels like a nightmare. Yet people are relentless in their queries and always being judgmental about your parenting. It is so so bugging.

  • 🙂 And the moment they know someone’s pregnant, name suggestions, gender-guesses, parenting tips, diet tips…it never ends.

    Great post, Rachna. That’s some neat nail-hitting on the head!

  • Rachna Parmar

    Oh yes, absolutely right! The suggestions and unsolicited advice just never seems to end. Thank you so much Vidya, for liking the post. I was a bit apprehensive that the post was bordering on the harsh but happy to know that so many of us could relate to it.

  • @ritu LMAO for your flip kart comment.
    @fab it is true that our reproductive system is quite public for anyone to comment on or even raise doubts on.
    @rachna I have a three year old daughter and everyone has the same question to me “when are you getting a brother for her”? I wonder why they don’t say sister? Anyways, I have perfected my “it is none of your business” smirk which shuts most of them off. 🙂

    • Rachna Parmar

      I am so glad you have perfected a nice icy smirk, Swapna :). Yet, it can get so bugging especially if your close friends, relatives and colleagues don’t leave you alone. What is with this curiosity about others’ lives that prompts us to be so intrusive?

    • Swapna, I seriously need to learn the ‘None-of-your-business’ smirk from you! I’m tired of giving vague replies..@Ritu, love the Flipkart reference!!

      • Rachna Parmar

        Prerna, I agree, difficult to master that one ;-).

  • Haha!
    Loved reading this post and not to mention the comments..I am just 21 and have at least 7 years to handle such kinda pressure but man! I never thought things could be so nasty…You guys have given me a lot of suggestions for future requirement
    🙂

    • Rachna Parmar

      Hi Harshita, Thank you for liking the post. I hope you put the tips to great use when time comes.

  • It’s not funny actually. I have been there and going through the same again as no one seems to get a point that a couple can be happy without a child for life. Parenthood is a frivolous notion in our country and society and the kids are seen as a fixed deposit plan that you encash in old age. Root cause of all evil in relationships I think 🙁

  • Rachna Parmar

    I know Sangeeta. It is not funny at all. And, it is so bugging to be subjected to this kind of treatment. I can understand what you must have gone through. In our Indian society, people would not think twice before jumping to conclusions and offering you unsolicited advice. I think the one thing we clearly lack is sensitivity.

  • janu

    This doesn’t stop after the birth of the first child. Ek hua nahi, doosra kab hai?
    The trend is changing but, just a bit. Nice write up.

    • Rachna

      True Janu. I’ve had two and some still ask me if I am going to try for a daughter. How exasperating!

  • spot on rachna ! like you say bringing a child to the world and moulding him/her is no child’s play and it is imperative that the couple are in full consonance and understanding of the impact the decision may entail. Besides, for all that we know there may be other issues and hence a whole lot of sensitivity is required !

    • Rachna

      Thank you Priya! I have noticed that no relative really chips in when you struggling with a little baby,but they will condtantly heckle you to have one.

  • Lol, those are the bloopers I totally try to avoid. Rach – I have a friend who has been wanting to have a baby for 9 yrs now. I have seen her suffer, and then sometimes I dont know why its such a big deal to have babies anyway. She gets questioned by friends and family on every possible occasion. The other day my mom asked me- so when you going to have another one. I had to remind her- wait a minute Mom, you didnt attend me when I delivered my first! Mine was a c section and I and DH were alone with no support, now that I think of it, it was good in many ways. great post as always!

    • Rachna Parmar

      That’s so sad about your friends. People are really callous. And, I agree about asking to have a kid but no one is then around to chip in. Mom and dad in today’s nuclear families then struggle with all the responsibilities. Thank you for liking the post, Poonam!

  • So true…you see, unsolicited advices is absolutely FREE. Planning a baby is such a personal topic but everyone want to poke nose in others affair. We took our own time to get ready to be a parent and faced so many pokey cooments, advices….one relative even gave me contact details of an infertility clinic as well !! We tried everything from poker face, smiley face, straight face or nerd face to dodge these discussions!!
    Now when my kid in barely a year, I had started receiving advices about how single kid lead a lonely life!! Gosh!!

    • Rachna Parmar

      Thanks Nabanita! Looks like it is a real deep malaise afflicting all of us. Hope at least in our generation, we will be a little careful before doling out free advice to others. Why this obsession with others’ lives? It is quite a pain.

      • Nibedita ….not Nabanita 😀

        • Rachna

          So sorry Nibedita:)

  • nice 🙂 its general tendency to poke your nose in business of others nothing new ..they would always ask offensive questions knowingly ..to make others upset..
    ..its same here in American society too ..not jus indians I have two boys .. american women’s will ask no baby girl?? why?? ..when I came home after delivery .. nurses kept on saying best of luck ..for next time ..for baby girl..
    I mean it never stops.. if you are fat ..then why no gym??
    if walking to school ..no car?? why are you walking today..
    if you are alone for shopping.. why your hubby is not there??
    IT SUCKS

    • Rachna Parmar

      Thank you Harman! I get asked that question too about daughter though big families are no longer a norm in Indian cities. That bad is it. I thought only Indians were this intrusive and shameless.

  • I agree 100% Rachna. Esp parents and in-laws can put SO MUCH pressure. There are mothers and mother-in-laws who rush the newly married girls for a medical check up if she continues getting her regular periods for four or five months after the wedding. (I have really seen some of them!) . Thats entirely the decision of the couple. Having said that I also know a few couples who simply keep postponing it , not wanting to take up the responsibility. Considering biological clock etc, one should get ready to take up the responsibility at some point rt?

    • Rachna

      That’s do horrible taking them to the gynaec assuming that there is a problem. What if they are using contraceptives? 🙂 I agree that they should keep the biological clock in mind but should only have kid if they are ready. Finally they have to bring up the child. And some couples are happy not having kids. They have the right to that choice too.

  • Aah! It doesnt stop at one baby. The advice now floats in for me on when to have the second one, how much age gap is ideal and how raising the child alone is a complete No-No 🙁

    I am making sure many people read this post of yours and stop asking me when I ll have my second child.

    • Rachna

      I hope so, Sirisha. It is so bugging that people have no qualms butting in such personal domains. I remember how I was continuously quizzed after my first child.

  • Jack

    Rachna,

    We should let the couple decide when to go for parenthood. There should never be any pressure for that.

    Take care

    • Rachna

      Thank you Jack, I agree.

  • I urgently want to send this post to a friend of mine who doesnt have kids yet and dreads this qn….:)

    • Rachna

      I hope it gives your friend some tips on how to handle the pests, Latha.

  • Saru Singhal

    It is a personal choice and people have to respect other feelings. Most of the times, I sense some superiority in the voice of those who are already a parent and most of them are not good parents, mind you. It’s a huge responsibility.

    • Rachna

      Absolutely Saru. It is a personal choice. And, it is ridiculous to feel superior because one has kids.

  • Oh ask me, how I have suffered. Thankfully the close family understood. It was the rest of the family who did not and ultimately my mil panicked. It was dreadful.
    And now it is…doesn’t your son want some company?? 😀

  • Rachna Parmar

    Oh yes that is the next question :).

  • Without mincing words, you have pointed out where the aunts, grannys and MILs are interfering. You can add the neighbours too to the list.

    But, I observe that nowadays, young ladies are confident enough to laugh it off and take it as a joke. I also see MILs and mothers warding off the question”when are you becoming granny” (even they are not spared), with a smile and some elegant quip.

    • Rachna Parmar

      And that is a welcome and wonderful change, Pattu! I personally faced no hassles in planning my babies, and my family and friends never badgered me. But yes, distant relatives or acquaintances try to butt in unnecessarily. We also then learned to laugh it off.

  • Absolutely agree with you….its a personal choice and neither grandmother or mil has any say in it !!! But its time ppl understand that.

    But I think all these ppl will keep poking into our personal lives sometime or other…I’ve learnt to ignore them all and do things my way. Its very difficult but at least I am happy that I stood by what I thought was right.

  • Rachna

    So true, Uma. That is the right way of going about your life. Hope the change will come in with us.

  • Often these questions put a lot of pressure on people and they succumb to it and create babies even though they are not prepared financial and/or mentally. I am not sure why people start with personal questions like this. Probably they are so bereft of ideas to discuss that they can only think of a personal question.

    • Rachna Parmar

      What a valid point! I forgot to include financial means in my post. I totally agree, Sabyasachi. I mean is there any paucity of topics that one has to get so intrusive.

  • So very true.. I dont know why we have this habit to ask people , first we harass young people for studies , study study study.. then get marreid get married and the moment they are married the WHen you having a baby comes..
    I mean why is it so important to everyone ..

    I feel its a personal choice and one shud make sure they are ready for it and not give birth to a child just for the sake of it ..
    having a child is a big responsibilty

    lovely post

    • Rachna Parmar

      Thank you Bikram. All of us are irked by it and that shows how pervasive the questioning is. It can be so bugging.

  • Married an year ago…….I so very agree with the post… Its like you spoke the most of it that my heart had to say.. growing a tiny one from a scratch is way too hard and the decision should be only and only taken by the parents… No bullying plz!!!

    • Rachna Parmar

      Hugs Manjulika! I hope that those around you respect your privacy.

  • TTT

    How true ! I guess every indian female must have gone thro ‘when are you going to have a baby’ !
    Infact one of my Aunt who had decided to have only one kid was often asked “When is the next one coming ? !!!! ”
    But things are lot better now i guess. The pressure is more from family than friends .

    • Rachna Parmar

      Yes TTT, at least among friends we can rant and laugh it off. It is harder to push away older relatives.

  • Thankfully, Geet’s and my parents have been very supportive and have never asked such questions. The relatives of course are relentless but are dodged with a smile and ‘let’s see’.
    After a while, I have started replying the following – We are not going to have a baby. We love our freedom too much.
    The look on the faces was priceless.

    • Rachna Parmar

      Good idea, Amit :). I have come across some handy pointers among the comments about how to tackle this question. Alas, too late for me but hopefully the others might benefit.

  • Bang on Rachna. Both sides of the family put so much pressure and no one really readies you for the challenge and responsibilities that come with it. unless you are 100% prepared, no need to have children… one important question though – when are you having another baby 😉

    • Rachna Parmar

      I knew that one was coming, Jas ;-)! I am done after 2, or the rest of my hair will fall out pretty soon :). I guess the same happens with marriage as well. Just get married and hope that everything else falls in place.

  • I fail to understand why some people believe it’s their business to know if a married couple are expecting a baby. Seriously, it’s none of their business. I have seen young women squirm when an equally young woman (who has a baby) directs this query at her. Sometimes I feel they are taking a revenge of sorts by putting other people through what they have been. 😉 Great post as always, Rachna. 🙂

    • Rachna Parmar

      hehe Good logic :). I went through the whole mess now you must suffer. Really, it is a huge problem of sensitivity in our society. Thank you Destiny’s Child for liking the post :).

  • So very true! And, what about couple who have difficulty conceiving….how cruel it is that they have to keep listening to such insensitive questions!!

    • Rachna Parmar

      The question in every situation is insensitive, but as you pointed out, even worse when the couple is already in a tough situation, Roshni.

  • It is really sad that when couples have so much to learn about themselves and bond properly they are pressured into having a baby. And as you have pointed out, often when couples are finding it hard to get used to each other or having other differences, they are advised to have a baby to become more compatible. I wonder what kind of crooked logic it is. There is only one more thing to disagree about then. Typical Rachnaesque post 🙂

    • Rachna Parmar

      hehe My tongues lashes out often to my own detriment, and you know that so well, Zephyr :). This is something so silly and prevalent typically in our society.

  • ask me…

    thank god i stay in a different city .. my mom keep pestering me on phone with questions like ..it’s almost 2 years now, so what have you decided ..? if it’s not now, its never…!!!

    and i everytime reply back with things like the mobile signal is weak ..will call you later…and stuff ..lol 😛

    our typical orthodox old Indian mentality …!!!

    • Rachna

      And it is so difficult to ward off people close to you. You cab’t even be too rude to them :).

  • Hi Rachna,

    I agree. We all seem to be in one great hurry in making newly married couples parenting – courtesy…society… What if the couple do not wish to have children? What if the couple is having problems regarding fertility? What if the couple wish to adopt children instead? You have written well……

  • Rachna

    Thank you Shail! We sure are eager to express our views in matters that don’t concern us :).

  • Nischala

    Rachna – Good post. I am obviously reading the post rather late.. But am still tempted to post my reply to this question (no matter who asks). My response is 10:30 PM tonight 😉 – Ha Ha.. After that,no one says / asks anything!!!!