Author Topic: "No kids? Lucky you!"  (Read 6870 times)

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Raintree

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2012, 03:17:05 AM »
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"

I think if you said this just the right way (deadpan with just a hint of a facial expression to indicate it's actually meant as humour), it comes across as funny, not snarky, and the other person could reply with a jokey "Somehow I missed that lesson."

poundcake

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2012, 05:43:13 AM »
Quote
I'm afraid that I'd probably blurt out "Really? You regret having kids?!"

I don't say this, but I do think it! Of course, most people think that because we are childfree by choice, we spend all our time partying or sleeping in or taking exotic vacations. The Grass is Greener crowd doesn't realize that we work just as hard and are just as busy as they are. Not having kids doesn't automatically equal a life of leisure. (See also, "You obviously don't have kids.")

This seems to fall under "interesting assumption."

Piratelvr1121

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2012, 07:03:03 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.

Reminds me of the line of Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle when his son's been giving him a hard time about contacting Meg Ryan's character. He's out on a date with whatserface and says "Do you have kids? Do you want mine?" He loves his son dearly, we know, but was being funny cause the son was making him nutty that evening.

That said, her answer could be hurtful to someone who had wanted kids was unable, or just hadn't started trying for them yet.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Bethalize

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2012, 07:22:22 AM »
IME when people say that sort of thing they want you to say: "Oh, you say that but you wouldn't swap them for anything." They might protest once more but you've acknowledged their 'value' as well as them acknowledging what you have that is valuable.

AuntyEm

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2012, 07:31:54 AM »
I am childless and NOT by choice but I think this is reading way too much into the "Lucky you!" comment.  I would assume that the person was making a joke and just laugh.  Yes, those of us who wish they could have had kids might feel a bit of a zing at that comment but does everyone really need to be so careful about every little remark just in case someone might be sensitive to it?

My mother made snappy comments like that to be funny and we didn't care one bit--we knew she didn't really mean it.

Two Ravens

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2012, 07:35:17 AM »
As someone who has no children and is actively TTC (unsuccessfully for over a year), I can say this wouldn't bother me at all. People can love their children like crazy and still sometimes express a wistful envy at people who don't. It's just blather, not a serious conversation about their life's regrets.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 07:52:06 AM by Two Ravens »

JenJay

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2012, 07:45:14 AM »
When something like that happens to me I always hope they're joking and react as such. I'd probably give her a sympathetic smile and say "Rough morning?"

If it becomes apparent she wasn't joking... I just don't know.  :-\

WillyNilly

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2012, 08:17:15 AM »
Someone said that to me once, I simply replied "I don't think so."

I don't take the comment as anything about her and her kids - it wasn't a statement about her, it was a statement about me. If she wanted sympathy or cmiseration or something, she should have made a 'me' statement about herself, like "I envy women like you/without kids."  But she didn't. She commented on my life circumstances, of which she knew nothing. I did think it was a nasty thing to say to someone such as myself. She might not have known I would rather I had kids, but it wasn't her place to comment on it with a value judgement.

Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2012, 08:42:19 AM »
If they are not in the place to comment on the relationship between parent and child why on earth would the parent reveal their intimate feelings about such a matter?  I mean, if you are just getting to know this person well enough to be asking if they have kids then sharing whether you'd have kids if you had it to do all over again is way too intimate.

I am also thinking about the people who answer "No" because of a loss - either due to a miscarriage or a child dying after birth.  Imagine being told you were lucky. 


Jules1980

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2012, 08:43:17 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.

Exactly.  I'd take it the same way as someone complaining about their job (when it's one they like and not some of the soul suckers some of us have had).  They know they are lucky to have it, but after a bad day, they may envy those who are job free.  If was just a one off comment, I'd assume they'd had a rough morning, smile and let it go at that. 

BeagleMommy

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2012, 02:19:40 PM »
See, my first thought would have been "Uh-oh, someone had a rough morning".  I only have one and trying to get him and myself ready in the morning, when he was younger was nerve wracking.  I can't imagine trying to do it with three.  I think a lot of parents say stuff like this out of frustration.

If this had been said to me I think I would have responded with "Bad day?".

hobish

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2012, 03:07:43 PM »

I really cannot imagine getting het up at a coworker for saying something that might just maybe offend someone somewhere, but did not bother me at all.


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.

I like the way you put that.
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Captain Hastings

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2012, 03:40:34 PM »
I am childless and NOT by choice but I think this is reading way too much into the "Lucky you!" comment.  I would assume that the person was making a joke and just laugh.  Yes, those of us who wish they could have had kids might feel a bit of a zing at that comment but does everyone really need to be so careful about every little remark just in case someone might be sensitive to it?

Agreed, sounds like she was just making small talk.

If she'd said "Boy this weather really sucks" I don't think anyone would gasp and seriously reply, "How can you say that, we desperately needed this rain!"

Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2012, 03:41:35 PM »
I am childless and NOT by choice but I think this is reading way too much into the "Lucky you!" comment.  I would assume that the person was making a joke and just laugh.  Yes, those of us who wish they could have had kids might feel a bit of a zing at that comment but does everyone really need to be so careful about every little remark just in case someone might be sensitive to it?

Agreed, sounds like she was just making small talk.

If she'd said "Boy this weather really sucks" I don't think anyone would gasp and seriously reply, "How can you say that, we desperately needed this rain!"

Not really the same thing as make assumptions about somebody's reproduction and family

Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2012, 03:50:47 PM »
As I ponder it also strikes me as a bit rude because the question "Do you have kids?" seems like an indicator of interest in the other person but then the follow up seems to make it all about you and your issues/feelings.  It almost comes across like "I wasn't really asking to find out about you, I was setting up the opportunity to vent to you about me and my life".  Once again, it seems particularly off to do this with somebody you know so little that you are asking if they have kids in the first place.  That level of frustration should probably be saved for people who know you well, clergy, counselors, etc.