Young women everywhere can attest to the statement that they are constantly being asked when they're going to have children. Once out of college, in a serious relationship, engaged, or already married, it's just expected they are planning on having kids with her spouse. This is an archaic assumption and should be reconsidered, specifically for this generation.
According to the New York Times, Americans are having fewer babies, i.e. the millennial generation, for a number of reasons. Child care is too expensive, they do not have a partner yet, struggling with work-life balance, and among many others.
Compared to previous centuries, when the only things a woman was expected to do were have babies and take care of the household, women are freer to do what they want with their lives in the 21st century. Times have changed; women are hardly restricted to the home anymore. Many women are career oriented and are doing great things for the world and themselves. They should not be pressured to have children on top of being focused on their own lives.
Children become the center of a person's life, which can be a beautiful thing, but society must start accepting the fact that having your life taken over and dictated by a baby just isn't for everyone. More and more people desire freedom to do as they please for more of their lives, which is totally okay! Whether it be waiting until later to have children or not having children at all, they are free to do as they please.
With the widespread feminist culture that has surged across the world in the last century, gender equality is something that is now fought for in a variety of countries. We cannot be a gender-equal society and still be expecting all women to have children. As Philip Cohen states for the New York Times, "There is no getting around the fact that the relationship between gender equality and fertility is very strong: There are no high-fertility countries that are gender equal."
Expecting all women to reproduce only keeps us down. It is one of the gender stereotypes that has stuck around as long as humankind has existed. You would not be inclined to ask a man when he is planning on having kids, would you? No, because men are expected to work and build a career. If men and women are to be equal, this question needs to die, just like the expectation for a woman to marry and keep the home for her husband.
Next time you see a newlywed woman, do not ask her when she is having children. Try asking her about her career or what she has been doing in her free time. We all know she would love that discussion more than the assumption that she must have kids.