General Question

chelle21689's avatar

How do you respond to those who ask if you want kids?

Asked by chelle21689 (7769points) 2 months ago
31 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

I am sick and tired of people constantly asking me when I am going to have a baby or if I am actively trying. I think it is extremely personal and I feel pressured. Yesterday, I swear I was asked six times by different people. When I am at any social function the question always comes up and I don’t think it’s any of their business so I just say “I don’t know” and they go “You don’t want kids?”

I never been the type to yearn for kids or have it a life goal to become a mom. To be honest, yes we want to try for a baby soon but for whatever reason I don’t want people to know about it but people continue to pry.

Then they seem like it’s rude when I give a vague answer or like I don’t want to talk about it. I tried opening up about how it feels like pressure when asked and they’re like, “we aren’t pressuring you!” But it sure feels like it.

Observing members: 0
Composing members: 0


seawulf575's avatar

Next time someone asks, break down into tears and mention you think you just had a miscarriage. That will stop them from ever asking again.

janbb's avatar

“I’m sorry but it’s not really any of your business. I consider that a personal decision.”

canidmajor's avatar

I have found that a good response to any personal questions that you don’t want to answer is: “Aw, now that would be telling!” with a wink and a quick change of subject. If they don’t give up, say that the subject is not open for discussion, if they STILL don’t give up, walk away. I know it’s not easy, but it gets easier the more you do it.
Don’t explain or justify your decisions unless you want to. You don’t owe anyone that.

I became a single mother via anonymous sperm donation in the 80s so I can guarantee I got at least as much grief about my choices as you are getting about yours. Unless you are close to someone and really want to share, just don’t. You are not being rude, they are.

Any decision you make about family planning will be a target for busybodies.

@seawulf575 A response like that will only escalate the topic, it tends to result in a flood of advice, sympathy and blame comments.

chyna's avatar

Yeah I got that a lot when I got married. I just said “we aren’t having kids.” I don’t think anyone pursued the question after my answer.

ragingloli's avatar

I respond with a reference to my affinity for child cannibalism.
They have the best meat.

Brian1946's avatar

When I interact with a young woman, the last thing I’m interested in is whether she wants children. I’m more interested in things that specifically apply to her as an individual, not as a means of reproduction.

For example, when I met Mila Kunis in 2014, I asked her if she thought she would be doing a movie with her husband. When she replied, “No, he’s going to be working with his father.”, I wondered if that meant he was going to take a complete hiatus from thespian endeavors.

You’re not being at all rude by not wanting to discuss it them. They’re being rude by verbally invading your privacy.

Brian1946's avatar

Should be, ”...discuss it with them.”

You should hire SQUEEKY & Kritiper as your family-planning media agents. ;-)

cookieman's avatar

I agree that that is so rude.

My wife and I chose not to get pregnant and were married with no kids for seven years. We were asked regularly if we were going to have kids.

Later, we decided to adopt. Then the questions changed to why wouldn’t we at least try to get pregnant first.

In the first case, we said (similar to @chyna), “We have no interest in having kids.”

Later, I would say, “Ya know, we’ve never looked in the mirror and thought ‘we need more of that’.”

In both cases, if someone pushed the subject (and plenty did), we’d say something like, “Listen, it’s really none of your concern, now is it?”

Certainly pissed off a few people, but fuck ‘em. It’s your life.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That was a question you could get away with in the 50s & 60s. It was one of those acceptable conversation starters like “how about this weather?” Out here that sort of question at a social gathering marks the questioner as an oafish bumpkin— perhaps some poor displaced refugee from the bible belt.

kritiper's avatar

I’d say, “There are too many people in the world now. Why would I want to add more?”

Brian1946's avatar

To integrate the views of @cookieman & @kritiper, I’d say it’s better to depopulate an orphanage than to overpopulate the world.

cookieman's avatar

@Brian1946: Nicely phrased.

Inspired_2write's avatar

When it happens it will.
By the way after having two girls the next question asked by my in laws were ” When will you have a boy?
As if “I” had a choice in it?
I suppose my in laws having only one child ( male) to carry on the surname they wanted another in the form of a Grandchild. Perhaps they couldn’t count on the only son or were disappointed in him?

Dutchess_III's avatar

They don’t want it to happen at all @Inspired.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s degrading in the implication that “now that you’ve got him trapped when are you gonna churn out the kids?” Or “why else would you get married?” This in a country where the brutal expense of rearing a kid today means you would probably be better off with a heroin habit.

kneesox's avatar

I think Dear Abby would suggest: “Why do you want to know?”

I’ll bet the answer is “Just curious,” and then I would probably answer something like my personal business is not for their entertainment.

I’m also thinking “I have all the kids I want, thank you.”

canidmajor's avatar

@Dutchess_III read the second paragraph of the details.

JLeslie's avatar

My answer was sometimes the truth, “I always wanted kids, but I had fertility trouble and it never happened for us.” That’s not your case though.

I think you can tell people, “we aren’t trying yet.” Or, you can say, “no kids yet,” and then change the subject. If they ask when you plan to try, you can just say you’re not sure.

If it’s family you can point blank tell them you aren’t ready and the questions are upsetting to you and stressing you out.

Do you believe they aren’t trying to pressure you when people say it? I would urge you to believe them, feel better about your decision, and feel secure that it is a decision for you and your husband and no one else.

Most people who ask are just making conversation or possibly worried you might wait to long and then have problems getting pregnant.

People should not ask the question.

Brian1946's avatar

Another question I always ask a young a woman is, have you ever dunked? ;-o

JLoon's avatar

I appreciate hearing this question after they ask if I want to have sex.

I just think it’s more logical. And they’re usually less disappointed when I say yes first.

But besides that I just feel like I’m not ready yet. And actually most of the guys I’m with aren’t ready either, because they’re not multi millionaires.

And that’s important because I plan to do a lot more shopping after I start making babies. I have to make up for my lack of parenting skills somehow.

JLoon's avatar

@Brian1946 – Everybody wants gifted children ;p

Yeahright's avatar

I am trying hard to understand how you feel pressured just by someone asking a simple question that requires a simple answer. Just answer and move on.

I think you are projecting your own feelings unto other people and reading stuff in their question that is not there.

I do not know who would say “we aren’t pressuring you!” but, I agree with them, a question is just part of a conversation and not intended to put any pressure on you. How would they benefit with you having children or not? Why would they want to put pressure on you? What’s their gain?

jca2's avatar

I was in a long term relationship before I met my daughter’s father and I was never once asked this question. I think if someone asked me, a good response would have been, “I have no clue.” Then a direct stare at them might shut them down.

Yeahright's avatar

As usual, there must be something I am not seeing in the question. Reading between the lines is not my strong suit because I don’t like to assume stuff that is not there.

What is supposed to be the underlying idea when people ask that question?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Yeahright….kid shaming.

cookieman's avatar

@Yeahright: It is not about the occasional, off handed question. It is about repeated, probing questions by (likely) well-meaning but (more-likely) nosey friends/relatives who don’t know how to mind their own business.

My wife’s aunt, for example, asked us about having children every single time we saw her, even though we gave her the same answer every time. To which, she would then respond, ” Ehh, you know…God wants you to have babies for the family. It is your duty now that you are married.” Every-single-time.

When we decided to adopt, a coworker (who I barely ever talked to) came up to me and said:

Him: “Heard you were adopting from China.”
Me: “Yeah. We’re very excited.”
Him” “Hmm. Wouldn’t she be better off with her own people?”

Whether people mean well or not, this is nosey, busy-body behavior which is generally not welcome.

I would never even dream of asking someone those questions.

To quote the indomitable Stephanie Tanner, “How rude!”

Yeahright's avatar

@cookieman Great examples…I understand better now. I have a terrible time reading between the lines. I can’t read minds and I never want to assume anything really. I don’t like it when people assume an intention from my part that is not there so I always give people the benefit of the doubt and answer any question that comes my way without questioning their motives. But, I understand what you mean when people are doing the same over and over.

In the case of your wife’s aunt, I have come to terms with the fact that older people really care about the lives of younger relatives. I think it has to do with their lives not being so busy anymore. I am 60 and have no children, my husband died recently and not much is happenign in my life so I find I am now more interested in my nephews and nices’ lives.

raum's avatar

Jump onto the nearest piece of furniture that can safely bear your weight and loudly declare:

“By my own immutable volition, no small humans shall spring from these loins!”

Extra points for dramatic gesticulating.

lenacooper's avatar

I honestly tell them that I do not want children. Unfortunately, there are still some people starting to give unpleasant lectures, but for me the main thing is that I understand for myself that this is not their business

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think I would go to great lengths to avoid offending people who are rude and insensitive enough to ask.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

Answer this question




to answer.

Mobile | Desktop

Send Feedback