Ask Kari: How do I tell people I’m not ready to have a baby?

Dear Kari,

I have been married for three years, and everyone keeps asking me when I am planning on getting pregnant. How do I get people to stop forcing their planning on me? I may want to have children in the future, but I want to do it on my time schedule not someone else’s. Please help me with what I should say to people to stop their interference in my personal life?

--Not Ready for a Baby

Dear Not Ready for a Baby,

I am sorry that you feel that everyone around you is asking you about your future parenting plans. I feel that most of the time people are just trying to make small talk with others; by accident they verge into a place of intrusion. For example, when someone graduates from high school, we ask them where they are going to college. When someone graduates from college, we ask them what they are going to do with their degree. When someone begins dating someone new, we inquire if they are serious about the other party. When someone gets married, we move into asking them when they are going to have a baby, and the conversations continue to go on from there for most of our lives. I suggest that you reframe the questioning into a place of conversation vs. an interrogation. Simply reply, that you are thinking about having a child at some point in your life and leave it at that.


As published in the March 2019 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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