It's probably kindly meant. It's not the rudest question ever, nowhere near as bad as say, "are you pregnant?", but it does get a bit annoying to hear over and over. Also, you don't know when you ask that if they are already trying and having trouble conceiving, or if she has recently miscarried, so if you're just making conversation maybe talk about the weather or something instead.
People used to ask me that all the time after I had my first baby. I found it a bit awkward and just said I didn't know, which was true. Now I have two kids people say stuff like "you have one of each, you can stop now". Really? Thanks for giving me permission. :P
Asking a woman with children WHEN they are going to have more children is inappropriate, as it is a private and personal decision that they should not be privy to. It is like asking someone when they are going to have sex next. I have not been asked this before, as when I had my children, within a couple of months, I was always pregnant with the next one. When this routine stopped, it was fair to say that I wasn't having anymore children. I think a more appropriate way of asking this question would be to ask ' do you WANT any more children? ' not ' when are you going to have more children '. Some people may be happy with only one child and don't want anymore. If it ever happened to me I would have just laughed it off, as I think it is just small talk and not a serious question usually.
I find it a little distasteful. I was asked for sixteen (wearying) years before people finally gave up and realised that when I said ONE . . . I meant ONE. ("Oh, you'll change your mind. You'll want a boy. You'll want her to have a playmate" . . )
It certainly did, donjo. I (we) had many reasons for not wanting another and the joke was that I had my tubes tied when my daughter was five, so all the cajoling in the world was not going to make it happen. I had two lovely doctors who understood the situation perfectly, even though I was only 23 when I had it done. I did not act rashly and I have never regretted it. My daughter has always maintained that she never missed siblings and that you can't lament what you don't know. She's a wise little owl.
I detest this question - absolutely detest it. I understand that people who ask are not being malicious...at least you would hope not, but I just don't think it is anybody's business but the couple's in question. Or perhaps, it's inappropriate when asked by certain people.
Not at all.... although I noticed no-one asked me this question once I'd had my sixth child (probably to scared!!!).
I think a more dangerous question to ask a woman is "When is it due?" - my husband asked a woman this same question and you guessed it.....the only thing due was a diet !
I think it is an inappropriate question. The couple may only want one child if that's the number they already have.. Oops the first child may not have been planned, may have been from another relationship, who knows? The couple may be having problems conceiving for a second time and the question could be hurtful. There could be all sorts of challenges so just don't ask. I don't think it is anyone else's business so just don't ask.
Questions around this issue are so delicate. The worst thing I ever felt was the sorrow at causing pain to my daughter's teacher when I asked if she had given birth to a boy or a girl and she told me it was stillborn. I am tearing up now, over thirty five years later, thinking of that. We need to have great care, don't we, about the questions we ask?
One of the worst things that a man said to me when I was in my twenties ( am now 69 ) and have never forgotten " You are not a real woman until you have chldren" !!!! That wouldn't happen now and we would all biff him across the ears LOL. No children and couldn't have any. Nice question, do you want children. What ever makes you happy.
It's human nature to do so but best avoided. When you don't know that person's story your well-intentioned question could trigger distressing emotions for them. Perhaps a different way of asking would be "Do you see yourself having a big family?"