When everyone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up it was an exciting question to explore. “The sky is the limit,” my teacher used to say. Well…. If that was the case I wanted to be a singer and “sing for Jesus.” Unfortunately Jesus didn’t give me the vocal cords so that didn’t happen. I evolved through an entire list as I got older and each year there were new expectations. What our teachers didn’t tell us was about a strange phase between 23 and 35 years old when people stopped asking, and started telling us what we should be.

 

The two questions I hate most: “Has he asked you yet?” or “When are you thinking about starting a family of your own?” Although I have my pre-memorized responses for both of those questions I am screaming from the inside. Who said I had to be a wife and who said I had to be a mom?

 

It’s none of your damn business.

 

Those questions always seem to trigger a wave of emotions in me because I either want them to be true or can’t stand the thought of them; it depends on the day. When my husband did finally propose, he might have been more excited about the prodding proposal questions coming to an end. I know he dreaded every wedding we were invited to because our future was always the topic of the dinner conversation. I always told him it was because people knew how lucky he was (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). However, we had no idea that a proposal opened a gate for people to ask the second question; before we even set a wedding venue! Why are people so eager to know how we want to time out our life? It really has no effect on you.

 

Yes, we are married now and have bought a house, (another question that people are dying to know about) so now we get asked at every public event about kids. Technically it’s next on the list. I can’t seem to escape the question. Heaven forbid, if I post an unflattering photo where a gust of wind happened to blow my shirt in an awkward way, in they come. The messages start flowing to find out if I am pregnant or not. And you know what, holidays are the worst. I made one small comment on the smell of my dad’s strange chicken-concoction and I heard whispers in the other room, “is Mekayla pregnant?” I escaped to the garage to cool down before I exploded.

 

Here’s the thing. We can’t get pregnant.

 

Not yet at least.

 

My husband and I went through some major health issues just 4 months after we got married. Trust me, I want to tell you more than ever that we are trying to get pregnant. I want to tell you that on my 27th birthday (1 month after we got married) we decided that we would start trying. I want to tell you that we have an ovulation calendar taped to the back of our bathroom door, and that we have a little basket of pregnancy tests waiting to be used.

 

I want to tell you that we are pregnant so bad.

 

Instead, I have to tell you how harsh the chemotherapy treatments were on the man I love. I have to tell you that I watched him suffer on the coach for three months and couldn’t do anything about it. I have to tell you that we ate Mexican food and pizza for 30 days straight because that’s all he could taste. I have to tell you that my husband held me while I cried when I found out all of my friends were pregnant. I have to tell you that we may not be able to have children; every time you ask if we are pregnant yet, this is what I want to say…

 

That’s what goes through my mind every time you ask me. So to save you from the downer story, I say, “It’s in Gods hands!” because it is at this point.

 

So the next time you start to ask someone those two very important questions– just don’t. Don’t even bring it up. If you really want to know, ask someone else or wait for them to bring it up. You never know what they are going through.

 

It may not be cancer, it could be infertility, sickness, loss, financial problems. At the end of the day, it is none of your damn business–even if you do love them.

 

For all of my friends who are still living out their short-lived yet exciting pre-adult-life. Consider this your warning. Once the clock strikes midnight on your 25th birthday, the world expects you to drop your dreams, find a suitable partner and procreate. That’s what it feels like, at least.

 

Don’t listen to them, live your life to it’s fullest and everything else will come when it’s supposed to. Life is short. Trust us, we know.

 

You can follow Miss Indiana USA 2014, Mekayla Eppers, on Instagram at MissMekaylaFitness and SpilledMilkClub.

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20 Responses

  1. Julie

    I am 31, no kids, lots of dogs, married. I went through all the same phases as you, minus the cancer but add PCOS and probable infertility. I do get asked about kids, but these days I find myself asking these questions first, usually for small talk, usually at family get togethers. I’m comparatively close with my extended family, but I have nothing in common with some of my cousins. These are the questions that usually come up. While you are going through a rough time, people might just be asking because they think it’s better than an awkward silence, not because they are trying to get up in your business.

    1. Mekayla

      Yes I can totally see that. I have probably asked many people and can’t recall. I guess I get the most frustrated with my family because they are the ones who truly know about the cancer. They know what we went through because we went through it together….and they know how badly I want to have a baby. Yet it still gets talked about or asked about. I am okay now but it was really tough at first.

      At the end of the day, I know it’s because they love me and they are excited to see my dreams come true. I remind myself of that often…. even if I still have to step out of the room to cool off.

      Thanks for the read Julie!

      1. Like Julie I have PCOS but also no see deive either due to as I see and the doctor agreeing ‘there’s nothing at the end of it’

        I feel for you because of the insensitivity of others, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked when are we starting a family you know, we have been together 13 years, married for 7 of them and have our own home as well as out adored cats (all 6 of them).

        I’m almost 40 and people tend to ask me, how many children I have rather that if I want them, again an assumption that motherhood is something everyone craves and desires, I’m straight up with people strangers or long distance relatives I say, I can’t have them unfortunately due to a condition called PCOS. Or I say yes, but my children have fur! That throws them a curve ball! The most embarrassing moment for me though, had to be a stranger I served through a checkout at work. Along came the ‘how many children’ question, whilst we spoke of hers as I scanned her shopping, followed by my standard reply that normally shut a conversation down. But no not this time, well meaning as it was I’m sure I’m given fertility advice for all to hear… the customers on my queue, the cashiers (and work-mates) scanning either side of me and any other passer-by …. mortified I was with no escape route … luckily that doesn’t happen often.

  2. I was 31 when I finally married. Many before this quit asking when I’d get married & had moved on to when are you having kids. 35 came along, studies were inconclusive on why we hadn’t yet become pregnant with everything “normal”,so I was started on Clomid. 3 months in a row I took the 5 day series but my clock work cycles went haywire & so did everything else including my mind. I couldn’t tolerate the hot flashes, flat affect or the not sleeping more than 1 hour @ a time. Crazy energy but I felt like a zombie. I told the Doc I just couldn’t tolerate it any longer. I also couldn’t take being a L&D Nursery any longer. I was becoming more depressed & angry. Still the menopause symptoms continued the next 5 years but @least my cycles were back to normal . My Dr. Finally talked me into shots even though I had told her I metabolize shots faster then pills. 1 shot was 10 x worse than the pills had been & everything amplified. I cried the entire month I turned 40. Feeling devastated that I was never going to experience any of the joys of pregnancy. It was difficult everytime friends, family, & now niece’s were expecting, had kids or made complaints about wishing they didn’t. I wanted to be happy for them. Finally I told God “If you aren’t going to let me experience pregnancy….take away my period!” Less than a year & he did! I should have asked him to take away the menopause symptoms too!

    I still get teary when people ask…” How many..or do you have kids?” Next I’ll be hearing….”How many grandkids do you have.”

    I know there’s always adoption….. still that isn’t without issues either! The certainties remain! It’s tough all the way around & still without answers!

  3. JMC

    Amen! And for all the pregnant friends conplaining about the hormones, stretch marks, parenting classes, the labor and sleepless nights – there are some of us praying for them.

  4. Cheryl

    Thank you for sharing! I am glad to know we are not the only ones feeling this way… Unfortunately we have dealt with infertility for over 10 years and continue to be asked about having our own biological children. We adopted and would never change that. No need for us to have more… We have 2 and we are blessed! I did not carry them and they did not come from us and that is very sad and heart breaking at times…. (they say they wish they came from my belly and not somebody else’s) but we needed them as much as they needed us. People who ask these questions don’t understand what they are asking. It is sad. It is overwhelming.

  5. ZIP

    The questions range from “How many kids do you have” or “Do you guys have kids” (0 living, 1 child died at 3.5 yrs old, and 1 miscarriage) to “When are you two going to have a baby?” Like our reproduction is their business? I have been quite rude in my answers in an attempt to defend against the blow to my heart in the past. Now my answers are simply “No kids” and “No plans” it’s generally the end of the discussion. With him at 41 and me at 34 the questioning has pretty much tapered off, family no longer asks, friends know not to ask, and strangers don’t matter. We love our life and although we would have loved to have shared it with our child, we do enjoy positively impacting the lives of children in our community through outreach programs, clubs, and college scholarships.

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