OECD data suggest a significant gap between desired fertility rates and the total fertility rate achieved in developed industrial nations. In a qualitative study conducted in Australia in 2002 and 2003, people were asked how family policies influenced their decisions to have children. Participants did not clearly associate their fertility choices and prevailing policy settings. But their decision-making was grounded in commonplace accounts of incompatibility in balancing work and family. This article considers how individual choices may be shaped by such social and policy discourses and what implications this has for our understanding of the relationship between fertility choices and policy settings.