Ask any couple and most of them would agree that the question “When are you having kids?” is surely awkward. People might ask out of concern, unaware of what the other person is going through. For Australian mom and blogger Adele Barbaro, who was struggling to conceive, hearing such invasive questions was simply hurtful.
In October 2017, Adele Barbaro, now a mom of two, took a selfie of herself holding a sign that read, “Stop asking couples when they are having kids,” and posted it on Facebook.
-we are just enjoying being newly married-we have some travelling we want to do first-I'm just focusing on my career…
Wanting to discourage others from posing such a personal question to couples, she penned down a heartfelt post while reflecting on her own journey of fertility.
Barbaro recalled how she came up with various excuses whenever she was being asked “When are you having kids?” To hide what was really going on, she would say, with a forced smile, “We are just enjoying being newly married,” “We have some traveling we want to do first,” or “I’m just focusing on my career right now.”
I had a bit of a low day the other day. We were so busy. I barely spoke to Paul, we couldn’t get each other on the phone…
They would tell me that I’m not going to be young forever or that my maternal clock was ticking. And believe me, I knew it. I just didn’t need to hear it from everyone else,” Barbaro, who blogs at The Real Mumma, wrote.
Little did these concerned strangers, friends, or family members know that the seemingly innocent question to Barbaro hurt most, as she was struggling with infertility.
Do you remember when you first met your partner and it was that gooey, lovey-dovey time where you were just smitten with…
“As a young women [sic] I had endometriosis and multiple surgeries and I wasn’t aware of the significant damage it had left in my womb. The scar tissue was not a suitable environment for an egg to take,” Barbaro revealed in an interview with 9Honey.
“The thing is, trying for a child when you are experiencing infertility is a rollercoaster, a long one and it [sic] full of intense emotions. The anticipation, the anxiety around timing it right, the waiting game, then the result. It’s a very long month.”
I got off work tonight and drove to pick up the kids from daycare. Stupid drivers everywhere held me up. I thought about…
Barbaro had discussed adoption with her husband, Paul, but eventually, “after a year of trying, another operation and many many medications,” she opted for IVF to get pregnant.
She described her experience with IVF as a “time consuming, invasive, expensive and emotionally painful roller coaster I have been on.”
“When you are having difficulty conceiving, it seems everyone around you is falling pregnant,” she continued.
The tedious journey to have a baby left Barbaro “breaking as a person.” She became depressed, desperate, and bitter. Not able to conceive, she began to decline attending babies’ birthdays and certain get-togethers to avoid being around happy new moms.
Where are you!? Hi everyone! Recently, I have had a few more people join this journey with me so I thought I would do a…
Luckily, after enduring her first IVF cycle, Barbaro got pregnant!
“We were one of the lucky ones,” she wrote. “But many couples will be trying for years. And some may never succeed and my heart goes out to them.”
3 years ago and still as cheeky as ever. This is Harvey!! How good are Facebook memories!?
However, following the birth of their first child, Harvey, Barbaro and her husband were still bombarded with questions like “So when are you having number two?”
“And now that I have two wonderful children and I feel our family is pretty complete, the question still comes…,” she wrote.
THE TRANSITION FROM ONE BABY TO TWOThere is nothing like the love you will feel for your first baby. A love that you…
Being asked the question “When are you having kids?” is upsetting for couples who are not able to conceive or those who simply don’t want to have kids. It’s also hurtful to those who can’t afford to have another child, or who have lost their baby.
Hence, Barbaro took it to advise people to “throw away” such a comment, and be sensitive the next time they run into a newlywed or a couple who has been married for a while.
Today is my first offical day as a stay at home Mumma.
Speaking to 9Honey, she explained, “For the couple experiencing infertility, it can be hurtful. The couple that doesn’t want kids has to find an answer. The newly-married couple may not have even discussed it! Or the mother who had a less than positive labor experience may not have emotionally healed.”
“Don’t ask them when they are having kids. You never know what’s going on,” she wrote.
One will never know the emotional distress it causes the couple as they attempt to answer this sensitive question, so it’s best to avoid asking.