Author Topic: "No kids? Lucky you!"  (Read 6864 times)

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nuit93

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"No kids? Lucky you!"
« on: October 04, 2012, 10:22:40 PM »
One of my coworkers who is my age (31) asked me in conversation if I had kids.  I'm childfree (had a tubal at 25) but didn't mention that, so I just said "nope" because really, I figure the more neutral the response the less likely someone is to press on as to why.

She has three kids of her own, the oldest being in middle school.  Her response?  "Lucky you!". 

I was tempted to make a snarky reply along the lines of "yeah, well, I figured out a long time ago that they're preventable", but instead I just bean-dipped into a conversation about my cats.  It occurred to me later though: what if I'd been infertile or TTC and having difficulty?  Would there have been anything even remotely E-Hell appropriate to say in response?

Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 10:27:03 PM »
I might have said that I was OK with it but pointed out that not everybody answered that way by choice and that her wording could cause somebody a lot of pain.  (I'd also be tempted to point out that if she said it in front of her kids they'd probably find it pretty painful)

MNdragonlady

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 10:30:43 PM »
You could always look at her, blink once, then say "Wow" before moving on with the bean dip. I believe that's still polite, and gives her the chance to figure out on her own that she may have crossed a line.

Anything else I can come up sounds like "teaching her a lesson", and I know that's not really polite.

pickles50

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 10:55:11 PM »
I get this a lot...I choose not to have kids but its still pretty insensitive . So when people say this to me I can't help but smile or wink and say "I know".

Amara

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 10:56:03 PM »
I think whether or not you could say the following depends on your relationship with her.

I am child-free by choice, but I know others who would love to have children and cannot. I understand where you are coming from with your statement, but it might hurt others very much.

Luci

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 11:02:12 PM »
My heart breaks for her children. I can't imagine what it would be like to find out that my parents thought I was a burden or annoyance.

Yes, you are best not to engage, and I understand why you made your choices.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 11:24:38 PM »
I'm afraid that I'd probably blurt out "Really? You regret having kids?!"

I'm willing to bet she'd quickly backpedal, and assure you that no, that's not the case at all.

I think sometimes people say these things in a misguided attempt to make others feel better about their lives. It's like when married people tell their single friends "Gee, I wish I was single too." But they don't actually mean it.

Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2012, 11:25:16 PM »
My guess is that it is more about her thinking she is terribly funny then actually resenting her kids. At least, I hope so.

Pippen

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2012, 11:32:20 PM »
Loads of parents say that. It was wasn't directed at you but more as a sign of trying to establish some common ground. There are a huge number of people who, knowing what they know now would not choose to be a parent. They love their kids and couldn't imagine life without them and there is nothing wrong with expressing the desire to have chosen a different path. Everyone does it over all their life decisions. The big 'what if's" They didn't make a mistake, life just turned out a bit differently from how they envisioned it.


Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 11:39:49 PM »
I think that just means loads of people are thoughtless and unintentionally rude. Loads of people make etiquette offenses every day without realizing it.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 08:43:38 AM by Sharnita »

doodlemor

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2012, 11:45:21 PM »
I'm afraid that I'd probably blurt out "Really? You regret having kids?!"

I'm willing to bet she'd quickly backpedal, and assure you that no, that's not the case at all.

I think sometimes people say these things in a misguided attempt to make others feel better about their lives. It's like when married people tell their single friends "Gee, I wish I was single too." But they don't actually mean it.

I like this.  Gasp a bit when you say this.

People who say things like this should be called on it.  It may be misguided humor, but sooner or later the children will hear it and they will remember and be hurt.

CakeEater

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 11:56:50 PM »
I suspect she had a bad morning getting everyone ready and out of the house, and might still be a bit stressed. I don't think she's any kind of monster who hates her children.

When I'm dragging a screaming child out of a shopping centre, I'm pretty jealous of all the people who can shop in peace, although I wouldn't say so to any of them, and although I love my family more than anything.

Pippen

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2012, 12:05:43 AM »
I suspect she had a bad morning getting everyone ready and out of the house, and might still be a bit stressed. I don't think she's any kind of monster who hates her children.

When I'm dragging a screaming child out of a shopping centre, I'm pretty jealous of all the people who can shop in peace, although I wouldn't say so to any of them, and although I love my family more than anything.

Yup. My neighbour and I were having glass of wine yesterday and she was telling me how her son had his first Chernobyl Reactor 4 meltdown ever in a toy store. I thought it was hilarious and asked if she had thought of just giving him to a random stranger or denying all knowledge of him. Both had crossed her mind.

CakeEater

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2012, 12:22:01 AM »
I suspect she had a bad morning getting everyone ready and out of the house, and might still be a bit stressed. I don't think she's any kind of monster who hates her children.

When I'm dragging a screaming child out of a shopping centre, I'm pretty jealous of all the people who can shop in peace, although I wouldn't say so to any of them, and although I love my family more than anything.

Yup. My neighbour and I were having glass of wine yesterday and she was telling me how her son had his first Chernobyl Reactor 4 meltdown ever in a toy store. I thought it was hilarious and asked if she had thought of just giving him to a random stranger or denying all knowledge of him. Both had crossed her mind.

Yes, I'm not advocating saying what she said, but I don't think we need to get out the pitchforks.

AnnaJ

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2012, 01:00:11 AM »
I'm afraid that I'd probably blurt out "Really? You regret having kids?!"

I'm willing to bet she'd quickly backpedal, and assure you that no, that's not the case at all.

I think sometimes people say these things in a misguided attempt to make others feel better about their lives. It's like when married people tell their single friends "Gee, I wish I was single too." But they don't actually mean it.

I like this.  Gasp a bit when you say this.

People who say things like this should be called on it.  It may be misguided humor, but sooner or later the children will hear it and they will remember and be hurt.

Maybe its a generational thing but I really don't understand the shock - I've known many parents who say they love their children more than anything, but if they had it to do over again they wouldn't have children.  So honestly, I think acting shocked and gasping is a bit over the top.

I think it's valid to point out that a comment like that could be hurtful to someone who is not childfree by choice, but I don't think it's the place of a co-worker or casual friend to comment on the relationship between a parent and his/her children.