‘To married women without kids yet: Your life, your choice’

Vidya Balan and her husband Siddharth Roy Kapur married in 2012. According to IANS, Balan has maintained that she does not need children of her own to feel complete. Picture: Facebook

Vidya Balan and her husband Siddharth Roy Kapur married in 2012. According to IANS, Balan has maintained that she does not need children of her own to feel complete. Picture: Facebook

Published Mar 30, 2024


We have reached a place in society at present where we can hold people accountable for their inexcusable behaviour or their impolite questions and interference in issues that are not their concern.

Previously, I think people got away with being inappropriate at times all in the name of “culture” and “family”.

The issue of child bearing for instance is a personal one and often times a sensitive topic for many but this doesn't stop people from imposing their views on whether a married couple should have children or not, and more so questioning why a woman hasn’t had children yet when she has been married for a while.

The decision to have children or the time frame when one wants to plan babies is a rather personal one, a decision to be taken between a couple. At times there are medical reasons preventing a woman from having kids or there's simply a private plan to enjoy married life and have kids later on or perhaps not at all.

Why this is anybody's business is beyond me. The intrusive questions that women face surrounding child bearing leaves me dumbfounded at the audacity to pry into one’s personal life.

Understandably for many, marriage is a precursor to childbearing, the cultural and religious notions that people get married with the intention of starting a family is fairly well known but perhaps not as widely applied today as it was years ago.

Today we find many couples who marry to form a union and go on to celebrate and enjoy their time as two without the intention or desire to have children yet. This might be frowned upon by those not of the same belief but this does not allow for a questioning of their choices or insinuations either.

The very question “why haven't you had children” directed to a married woman carries a tone of disapproval but what makes anyone think that they have the right to such private information?

Not only do we need to check ourselves if we think we deserve an answer to such a question but we need to be acutely aware of the absurdity of posing the question in the first place. Let's assume that a married woman and her partner have fertility challenges. Their delay in having children is a deeply sensitive topic which they might not want to discuss with those outside a small circle of trust, so placing them under a spotlight to satisfy your inquisitive mind is out of line in any instance.

I understand curiosity and wanting to know more about a married family member but boundaries are important and we all need to learn to be respectful of boundaries. This doesn't come easy for many people who are overly involved in the lives of others. In the name of family, many overstep their role.

Just because you are related it doesn't allow you an open door access to the private decisions of a married woman in your family. In fact you ought to be even more respectful and protective of your loved ones and their choices.

There is an unease when people don't follow a script that suits the societal and familial expectations, leading to improper questions and behaviour. Such is the case when questioning whether a married woman will have children or why she hasn't yet. If she wanted you to know she would tell you, if she has not volunteered this information to you it's because it's not your business.

Let’s respect the privacy of a married couple and their choice to have kids or not too whatever their reasoning might be. Putting a woman on the spot with questions only you seem to want answers too, highlights a part of her life which she might not want to share for any number of reasons.

Don't make her feel less than for not being a mother yet with your meddlesome questions.

To married women without kids yet: your life, your choice. Be happy always and start to create boundaries with anyone who is unduly curious about your personal life.

CJ Benjamin is a former national radio talk show host, who received numerous awards during her tenure in addition to being awarded for her public service. She continues to be passionate about youth and women empowerment, engaging with youth and women across Africa in public workshops focused on self- development and motivation. Benjamin has a growing social media presence and talks to thousands of people daily through her topical videos on relatable issues in society.

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