Why is that as soon as you get married or settle down with someone, people start asking you about having children? They will see the two of you together and automatically assume that you are planning to fill your home with the pitter-patter of little feet. These same people will poke and prod into your personal life, suddenly asking you about your sex life just to see if little ones will be on the way soon. Talk about pressure (not to mention embarrassment)! Then, when you do decide it’s time, these same nosey Nellie’s will pat your belly every time they see you with that inquisitive look on their faces that makes you want to slap them. ‘so, dear are you pregnant yet?’ Frustrating. The pressure of getting pregnant for many women is absolutely real. Why would others that love you want to make it worse?
You would think that today’s couple would not be pressured into having children. If they wanted to wait a decade before jumping aboard the baby making wagon, then so be it. However, even if they don’t admit it there is outside pressure to have a family. Even today, there are many people from all generations that just cannot understand that some people may not want to be parents, right away or at all. It is often mothers and fathers that unwittingly put pressure on their kids to ‘have me some grandchildren while I’m young enough to enjoy them.’
All of this pressure can lead to other pressures as well. What if things don’t go exactly as planned? What if you don’t get pregnant right away, or even at all? What if you need to seek some sort of fertility help? Should you be forced to share all of this very personal and emotional information with everyone you meet? Absolutely not. Furthermore, the pressure and stress about whether and when to have children can actually place so much stress on a couple that conception can be hindered due to anxiety. It is proven medical knowledge that excess stress can trigger hormonal responses that make conception difficult. There are also plenty of women who tried for years to conceive, through hardships and turmoil only to give up and then’ find themselves pregnant.
As a woman, the pressure is often worse. You can’t go to lunch with your sister in law and her herd of children without hearing the inevitable questions about when you will choose motherhood. Your neighbors and co-workers, all with children, will both curse and bless you for your non-child status. So many assume that the desire to have children is born in every woman, and that just because you are reaching a ‘certain age’ or have been married for 5 years, the urge should be hitting you as well. They forget that you may want to have children and your spouse is the one holding things up. They also may not realize that the dream of having children is something you have been working on, unsuccessfully for some time now. It can also be difficult to explain to others, while being believed that you just aren’t ready for children. And your own mom definitely doesn’t want to hear that.
Still, you have to wonder how many people have children, just because they feel the pressure to get pregnant. It is as if getting pregnant automatically earns you a membership in some restrictive club. No matter what you have accomplished, others cannot seem to see you as successful until the little pink line appears. This societal pressure is inherent, passed on from generations and very difficult to ignore. The truth is however, that it shouldn’t force you into pregnancy and childbirth.
The worst thing is when you do decide the time is right, that everyone feels entitled to knowing everything about you. Many women bring this on themselves, posting on Facebook when they ovulate with cute little wink, winks afterwards. Others however are just bombarded by people invading their space. Suddenly, the pressure of getting pregnant becomes common knowledge and every one (including you) is counting the days or months that go by without success. Suddenly, you feel like a failure and want even more desperately to conceive, feeling pressured by the world closing in around you. Pregnancy, getting pregnant and your feelings about having children (or not) are personal. You are entitled to keep them that way.
One of the best pieces of advice you can adhere to when it comes to the pressures of getting pregnant is keep the information on a need to know only basis. This way, people won’t constantly be talking to you about it, asking you prying questions and putting heavy pressure on you. Sure, they don’t mean it. Yet when it’s time to get pregnant in your life, you need to feel as relaxed as possible and free of outside pressures and expectations. Whether things go as perfectly planned or not; your decision not to tell the world your business is a good one. There is even an old wives tale that forbids telling people you are pregnant until you reach the second trimester. Perhaps it is for good reason.
There is plenty of pressure to get pregnant. It comes from all around you, and sometimes even from within. What many people forget is that there is no magical formula for deciding when the time is right or not. Plenty of people try to take things into their own hands only to find a different plan exists for them. When it comes to getting pregnant, you should learn to let go, have faith, and keep your eyes open for all the signs that the time is right for you. The best response to those pressuring you is probably no response! Smile coyly, wink, and keep believing that when the time for you to become a mother is right, you will know! And it won’t be because people are pressuring you to do so.