You dread family gatherings or get-togethers with friends because you know the question is coming: "What is taking you so long to have a baby?"

It didn't bother you the first few times; but after a while, the question becomes overbearing.

Personally, the question upsets me. The topic becomes uncomfortable when people say how much my husband and I are missing out on by not being parents. They say I'm selfish, and insist on pursuing the conversation.

Having children is a personal decision. Here are a few things to keep in mind when the topic arises:

Some women can't have children

Often, insisting on a private matter only hurts the woman who desperately wants to bring a blessing into this world, but for one reason or another cannot. The constant questioning, pushy attitude and frowning down at a woman for not having a child is disrespectful.

Some women are simply not ready

For some, not having children has nothing to do with losing their figure or a lack of funds. Some women are simply not emotionally or mentally prepared. Having a child solely because of others' pressure to do so would be irresponsible.

Here are two ways to handle the inevitable question when faced with it:

Be honest

If you choose to answer, politely tell them the truth. Speak from the heart, and explain that the decision is a personal choice. Next time they might think twice before inquiring.

Kindly refuse

You have every right to decline discussing the topic, and respectfully walk away or change the conversation. Others will understand they are overstepping their boundaries.

Many family members and friends don't mean to be rude asking the question. But don't allow pressure to make this important decision for you. You will know when it's the right time.

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