Author Topic: Actually... no kids for me.  (Read 4080 times)

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Girlie

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2013, 03:54:12 PM »
When birth control was difficult, unreliable and not so widely available, it was considered extremely rude to mention potential children to anybody who had been married a while and didn't have them.  The assumption was that everyone wanted children, so there was probably a medical reason if people didnt have them, so mentioning child free status would be painful, and therefore avoided.  I kind of wish that notion would come back.  I have mentioned before the "Interesting  Assumption" that children magically appear when planned and never appear when not.  I think it is still quite rude to make any assumptions about anybody's child or child free status, now or in the future.  I am a fan of "We'll see what Mother Nature has to say about that," if you need to say anything at all.  They don't need to know that you are helping her say a firm, "No, thanks."

Amen to that.

Wish someone would tell that to my boss, who told me not to long ago that when I got pregnant, I'd "get special treatment, too!" in reference to a co-worker who is pregnant and who, because of that status, gets to pitch fits (hormones!), and work wherever she wants (it's physically taxing for her to sit in THAT chair instead of THIS one!).

While my husband and I are undecided on whether or not we want children, they don't have any way of knowing that we have simply taken appropriate measures until we do make up our minds. All I could think of, "Yeah, and what if I CAN'T? What then?"

CLE_Girl

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2013, 04:16:49 PM »
Like PP, it would depend on who was making the comment, but in general I would just matter of factly comment and move on. 

For example:

Them: "Your house has 3 bedrooms. This room would be perfect for a baby's room."
You: "I guess you could but we're planning _______ for the room."

Them: "Oh you bought a large SUV. Well it will be nice because you can fit car seats back there easily."
You: "I hadn't though of that."  or "I didn't really notice, we wanted the the space for _____."

Them: "I love your new furniture. It's great you bought it now, so by the time you have kids it won't be new and you won't care about it as much."
You: "I suppose so, but I think it will age well."

Them: "I see you bought a house in Prettytown. They have a great school system when you end up needing it."
You: "That's good to know, will help our re-sale value."


TeamBhakta

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2013, 04:24:44 PM »
"Not really. We're using the spare room for growing fun substances. We heard there's a cheating scandal at Shady Elementary. You can't expect us to smuggle Canadians & high flow toilets over the border and still have room for car pool kids. The furniture isn't kid safe; did you ever watch the Naked Gun movies ?"  >:D

LadyL

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2013, 04:37:34 PM »
Evil LadyL has some suggestions!


"Your nephew is so funny. You must be so excited to have kids like him!"
*shocked look* Why?

"Your house has 3 bedrooms. This room would be perfect for a baby's room."
*shocked look* A BABY?!

"Oh you bought a large SUV. Well it will be nice because you can fit car seats back there easily."
*shocked look* Why would I put my dog/cat/hamster/invisible pet owl in a car seat?


Emmy

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2013, 09:50:49 PM »
People make all kinds of assumptions about reproduction.  I was asked by a few people if we wanted a honeymoon baby.  I told one person that I preferred to wait on children and he kept insisting that I could get pregnant on they honeymoon and that he was a honeymoon baby.  I wasn't going to discuss birth control with him so I bean dipped.

Some people also assume that once you have been married a certain amount of time or are a certain age, you either should have kids or you will never have kids.  When I was 32, I was getting a procedure done by the dentist and one of the assistants asked about my kids.  I told her I didn't have any yet and she said "oh, most people your age have kids".  When DH and I were meeting with an insurance agent, he asked about kids and then commented that if we didn't have them by now we probably wouldn't have them.  DH and I now have a DD and one on the way with no problems, but if we had been having fertility troubles, these comments from strangers would have been painful.

KenveeB

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2013, 10:09:13 PM »
Kids are very much a default idea for many people. I get this all the time because I'm a woman of child-bearing age. I don't have any desire to have kids -- for one, I'm not married, and it's just never something I've wanted -- but I don't feel like getting into it with people. So I just beandip, mostly as CLE_Girl recommended. I just correct their child-based assumption with what I'm actually planning in a very matter-of-fact way and without directly saying "No, I don't want kids." There's just no reason to get into my family-planning decisions.

bopper

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2013, 08:47:04 AM »

"Your nephew is so funny. You must be so excited to have kids like him!" "Yes, He is a joy to be around"

"Your house has 3 bedrooms. This room would be perfect for a baby's room."    Yes, it is nice to have enough room.

"Oh you bought a large SUV. Well it will be nice because you can fit car seats back there easily."  "Yes, It's great for our ski/golf/whatever equipment."

"I bet after seeing your niece throw that temper tantrum you are fine with waiting a little longer to have kids!" "Yes, but she can be a doll too."

"I love your new furniture. It's great you bought it now, so by the time you have kids it won't be new and you won't care about it as much.""Yes, we have been working on decorating for a while now.."

"I see you bought a house in Prettytown. They have a great school system when you end up needing it." "Yes, it is great to be in a town that values education."

So you agree with them, but then say something non-kid oriented about the statement.




gen xer

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2013, 09:56:13 AM »
 It may not be necessary to engage in rebuttals or awkward conversation - if it is a question that you don't want to answer ( because we all know how these types of things can open the conversation to places you don't want to go ) then a brief smile and no reply can work wonders to stop people in their tracks.

I know it doesn't stop everyone and the people that plow on regardless may need a firmer hand....but that would be my first tactic to stop the intrusive, suggestive comments.  It's easy to get our hackles up about this kind of stuff and I understand why but getting  defensive can backfire and fire up the conversation even more.

Quick smile, don't engage it and let them stew a little in their own awkwardness.  If you don't engage it should make it pretty clear you don't wish to discuss it to most people except the really obtuse ones.  They are a different kettle of fish altogether.

Calistoga

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2013, 10:28:59 AM »
People make assumptions all the time. These ones aren't particularly offensive, and they aren't actively pressuring you to make babies. So for now, I wouldn't bother correcting them. If people get pushy later on you can set them straight. For now correcting them will probably just make things more annoying

"Oh this room would be great for a baby!"
"We're actually not going to have children"
"BUT THINK OF THE CHILDREN!"

daen

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2013, 10:40:01 AM »
I got married late-ish (37), and I got a few "you'll want to get your family started soon" comments from relatives. I bean-dipped for a while, but when it didn't work with the persistent ones, I said "Early menopause. Not happening." Blissful silence after that.

The menopause diagnosis turned out to be incorrect, but I saw no need to update the pushy - or pretty much anyone, for that matter - on my reproductive status, especially since the no-kids decision hasn't changed.

Cz. Burrito

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2013, 11:07:19 AM »
I wouldn't want to open myself up to other people thinking that my decision to not have children is any of their business, so I'd probably play daft.  I say, better they assume you want kids than mount an effort to Change Your Mind.

"That bedroom would be great for a baby!"
"Oh, I hadn't thought about that."

"The schools will be great when you have kids!"
"Oh, I hadn't thought about that."

DavidH

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2013, 11:32:35 AM »
I can understand why people assume that a new couple with have children, since at least where I live it does seem to be very common.  I also understand why this is not always correct. 

For comments meant to be nice, I would try to take them in the context they were meant.  So an acquaintance saying something like, "that room would be great for a nursery" I'd respond, "so the Realtor mentioned", or "yes, it does have great light so I'm using it for an office now". 

I don't think the person making the comment is trying to be rude or invasive, just making polite conversation. 

On the other hand, if someone asks when am i going to have children, I think there are a few possible answers, but answering "when the time is right" kind of closes the conversation without saying whether or not you will have any.

GSNW

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2013, 11:51:02 AM »
What bothers me about this is that people, naturally wanting to "avoid the discussion" about a decision to not have kids, are talking creative ways to beandip around the actuality of the situation.  I get it, because it can be awkward, but I think what really needs to be addressed is the assumption people make that they are in any way entitled to question that decision.  It's OKAY to say you don't want kids.  It's not okay for people to act as if that's some awful/unheard-of idea.

"Oh, no kids, c'mon, you'll change your mind..."
"It's not actually up for debate."

PastryGoddess

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2013, 12:15:23 PM »
It is okay to say you don't want kids, but it opens you (general) up to comment on that decision.  The point is that is is NOT up for discussion and so rather than open a conversational door only to slam it in someone's face; it's better to simply keep that door shut and redirect the conversation.

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Lynn2000

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Re: Actually... no kids for me.
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2013, 12:18:51 PM »
What bothers me about this is that people, naturally wanting to "avoid the discussion" about a decision to not have kids, are talking creative ways to beandip around the actuality of the situation.  I get it, because it can be awkward, but I think what really needs to be addressed is the assumption people make that they are in any way entitled to question that decision.  It's OKAY to say you don't want kids.  It's not okay for people to act as if that's some awful/unheard-of idea.

"Oh, no kids, c'mon, you'll change your mind..."
"It's not actually up for debate."

I can see both sides. That is, I can see why an individual might not want to get into a discussion about not having kids; and I can also see how another individual, with the same proclivities, might want to take a stand that bean dip is not necessary and people's assumptions should be shot down. I think either approach is valid if done politely.

Instead of "kids" I started substituting "dogs" into the comments. Like, "Your new house has such a huge backyard! That'll be great for the dogs to run around in." I would immediately be like, "Dogs? What dogs? We don't have dogs." If they said, "Oh, well, surely you'll be getting some soon..." that would really become absurd and I would have no problem saying, "Uh, no, we're not really into dogs, actually." While making a mental note to interrogate my SO--"You haven't been telling people we're getting a dog, have you?!"

Also I see a difference between a pleasant, assuming comment and anything that reeks of persuasion or argument. "Oh, that house is in a great school district, that's wonderful for your future kids," is, to me, easier just to deflect. But something like, "When are you having kids? Time's running out, you know! Don't you want to give your parents grandchildren?" to me at least is worthy of being shut down a bit more abruptly. "That's not really something I discuss with people" perhaps.

And what PastryGoddess said.
~Lynn2000