Tuesday, January 15, 2013


So I was in the process of writing this involved and (I hoped) thoughtful post about adulthood and my relationship with it, when I realized there was no way in hell it would be done by tonight. So instead I will rant about people telling The Boy and I that he needs to get a baby in me right away.

I think our reaction can be summed up in the following picture.

Neither of us is particularly fond of children, we don't WANT kids. We've seen the life style, not our thing. I'm also fairly certain there is a federal ban on my uterus.

However for some reason when I tell people "I don't plan on having any" their response is a knowing smile and telling me just wait, I'll change my mind. It is an ongoing exercise in will power to not start screaming.

"BITCH DO YOU KNOW HOW CONDESCENDING YOU SOUND? I am a grown ass adult who is more than capable of making the decision of if I want to spend 9 months making a person now as I will be in 5 years! Plus, why do you want ME to make a child? Have you not realized I am a horrible, crass, mischievous creature who is likely to train their spawn for the sake of evil? Have you met my fiancee, the presumable Father of my imaginary spawn? He and I are bad people! The school system has done NOTHING to deserve our genetic contribution! It would be the physical embodiment of brat! Forget the school system, I don't deserve that!"

Instead I just grit my teeth, smile, and say "Probably not. The boy's head is MASSIVE" and take some solace in their awkward laughter.

So, in short, if you know someone who is saying "They don't want kids" the correct response is, "Oh, cool." if you MUST you can add on something to the effect of "to each their own" not "YOU'LL CHANGE YOUR MIND BECAUSE EVERYONE MUST MAKE A GENETIC CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD!" because there are enough people, we don't need to make more.

EDITED TO ADD: As was pointed out in the comments, there are also some people who would LOVE to have kids but for what ever reason can't, or have recently miscarried, or a million other things that could make this such a loaded question. One that would be diverted with "Nah, I don't think so." So, you know, to the person who's about to chime in and tell me it's an innocent, polite question, and maybe I shouldn't take it so seriously... maybe people should consider how personal that question is, and how cruel they can be by pushing the subject. 


  1. I am making (or will make if I have anything to say about it) a genetic contribution to the world! I signed up for the organ donor registry! What more do you want?

    (I'm still in the tsk-tsk-you-shouldn't-have-had-a-kid-yet age range rather than the tsk-tsk-you-should-be-having-kids range*, but I do occasionally get farther-in-the-future variants of such questions. I either sputter incoherent angry noises (and then feel bad that I couldn't come up with something more eloquent) or give an equally condescending remark about overpopulation (and then feel bad about sinking to their level).)

    *I expect I will spend much of my early-mid twenties occupying both categories simultaneously. It should be interesting to see how people react.

  2. FUCK. YES.

    Not every woman in the world omgwtfbbqNEEDS to have a child to be happy/fulfilled/whatever stupid shit they spout. *I* know what *I* want -- shocking, but true. I *DO NOT WANT* 9 months of crappy pregnancy, followed by 18 years of something that will occupy most of my time and resources. I am, bluntly, too selfish for that.

    Incidentally, the first guy I dated told me he'd "change my mind" about having kids... hmm... wonder why we broke up. *Facepalm.*

    ANYWAY. Just wanted to chime in here (I haven't ever posted before; I lurk about and read your 50 Shades stuff that I stumbled across over on STFU Parents, which I also lurk and rarely post on) because FUCK YES. Screw people telling women they should want kids. It's such a personal choice. Ugh.


    1. Welcome to the comment club! I always love hearing how people came across this blog, because more often than not I've no idea how I ended up linked in said place.

      I'm sort of in the same boat in the "Too selfish" for spawn. I barley have the patience to put up with my OWN crap half the time, how am I supposed to deal with a tiny person who is totally dependent on me? Parenthood sounds terrifying, not exciting to me.

  3. Agreed agreed agreed! I may have a child, but I completely understand your mindset. I get the same thing, despite having one child. I get the "so... when are you going to have another" or "are you going to have another baby?" etc. And when I look at them and say... "ummmmm no" they don't understand. Feel free to say something to them, though making them uncomfortable is also a great answer! Stay awesome!

  4. Though I am making a "genetic contribution to the world," :-) I seriously HATE this question. It's effed up on so many fronts. Not everyone wants to have kids. And not everyone who wants to have kids CAN have kids. Reproduction is private, FFS!

    I got pregnant fairly soon after getting married, and then pretty quickly miscarried. It SUCKED. But then, of course, since I was a newlywed everyone felt the need to ask the "when are you having kids" question. So many times I wanted to pissily reply "Well I was going to, but then I miscarried, thankyouverymuch. Want to twist the knife a little more?"

    So yeah, my philosophy is just to STFU with those types of questions because you never know what someone is dealing with and it just is NOT your business.

    1. You know, I had been so much in the rant from my own very limited view point I hadn't even considered getting into all of that as I wrote this post. Just tacked on a small edit to point that out. Also I'm sorry about the whole miscarriage thing, but I'm hoping the current (?) genetic contribution goes well.

    2. I didn't mean to threadjack, because I agree with you on your original point alone. I get frustrated with the "when are you going to..." personal-life-related questions in general. Like I said somewhere on STFU Couples, not everyone works on the same timeframe and there is no set timeframe for love/cohabitating/engagement/marriage/kids/etc. Why do so many people feel the need to dictate those things?

      And thanks! I'm into the third trimester, and so far so good. :-)

    3. Not a threadjack at all! It's something that I wish I had thought of when I first drafted this post. I also was really frustrated when people get badgering me to move in with dudes. I was one of those girls who was all "NO I WON'T LIVE WITH HIM UNLESS WE'RE ENGAGED" and apparently that made me strange? I keep finding myself having to loudly say in groups shit like "Yes because we're all legion and move at the same pace when it comes to children/marriage/cohabiting/etc". I hear learning to shut up is a good skill, but not one I ever mastered.

    4. Preach it, mo.

      I had to tell someone who was being really frakking nosy that if I get pregnant it could potentially kill me and her response was "That's awfully selfish, don't you think?"

      So I have to say, I am totally on board with your reply--which is HONEST and people who get that answer thrown at them will hopefully think twice next time they have the opportunity to ask that question of anyone. We need to stand up for ourselves more.

      Sending good wishes to you and babymo!

    5. @Fahnette: WHAAAA?! Forgive if I misread that last part of your second paragraph. It sounded like the lady who was talking to you was telling you that YOU were selfish to not want kids because you were likely to be killed by it. So the idea is to get pregnant and risk the high probability that the kid would grow up without his/her mother? And the possible feelings of guilt and emotional damage the child could suffer from knowing it was their coming into the world that took their mother out of it? Or losing both your life and the child's and doubling the grief for your spouse/S.O. and other loved ones? I just can't. If I'm understanding correctly, she can sit on it and rotate. That's like calling someone selfish for not looking both ways before crossing a street.

      Had to rant there. I'm sorry if I completely misread your meaning.

    6. *Calling someone selfish FOR LOOKING both ways. Why I accidentally put a "not" in there and undermined my whole meaning, I do not know. I fail.

    7. Got it right in one. I'm in the high-risk category because of my age, add in MAJOR pulmonary embolism and blood clots in 2010 and yeah. Not safe. I never wanted children to begin with and you would think that a legitimate medical reason would be taken more seriously by nosy-parkers than "I just don't want kids" (also legitimate) but there we are.

  5. I think the question should be "Why ARE you having kids?"

    It seems to me that one should very carefully consider why they want to bring more human lives into the world. I've always thought you should need a reason to HAVE kids, not a reason NOT to.

  6. I tell people “this is for recreational purposes only“ and motion to my ladyparts.

    I'm still looking for an equally off putting answer to “when are you going to get married?” Preferably one that doesn't get me uninvited to my friends' weddings.

  7. AMEN!

    I have one kid and have since had people tell me that OF COURSE I will want to have another. When I respond with a "thank you but no" they look at me like I am nuts. If I am feeling especially defensive I will list various reasons (ie my body barely handled the first, we are happy with the size of our family, etc) it amazes me the insensitive and frustrating responses I receive.

    1) Who are you to judge what is best for me or my family?
    2) I have been a mom for 2 years, a wife for 7 years, and an adult for many years now...pretty sure I am capable of knowing myself & deciding these things for myself.
    3) Why the hell do people think that someone's sex life is their business??

    On multiple occasions these questions have come from family members...making it all the more awkward. "Why yes mother-in-law, I AM having regular sex with your son" like...wtf?

  8. I love this post! My husband and I got married pretty young- right after college graduation... And never considered much about having kids.. Around year 4 or 5 of marriage, we sort of toyed with the idea of becoming parents. We were back and forth for a while, whether we wanted to take that leap or not. After much discussion, we thought we would give it a try.. Go off birth control, see what happens - not be disappointed if it didn't... Yes, I ended up pregnant immediately.
    We have a wonderful 5 year old, who we love dearly, but it is a struggle. We both work full time. I personally get a lot of fulfillment from my job and wouldn't dream of giving it up. We get the sibling question/ guilt constantly. It is awful. We are treated like we are terrible parents for not giving our only child, who wants for nothing a baby brother or sister. Hey! I had a sibling and our relationship is rough putting it mildly.
    The subsequent child question is probably about as annoying!

  9. You, know I am familiar with that 'shaming' or 'nagging' because my mom and her SO get this constantly, both for a kid and for not being married.
    The thing is they have had previous, failed (obviously) marriages and they are fine just living together. Also, they both have kids from their first marriage, but people are always like: Oh, you should have a baby while you are still young, look how good N. (my mom's SO) is with babies, Thea (me) is leaving for university in UK (that's the age people in my country go to uni) etc. and while that is true, they just don't want a child. And even if they did - they can't take care of on, physically and financially. They both work constantly.
    The whole thing is so ridiculous and whenever people do that (even just family) I am always this close to telling them 'Shut up already, if they don't wanna, they don't wanna and it's none of your damn business' maybe not with those exact words, though).
    I also get this whenever I tell people that no matter what, I don't want to have kids before I am 30 AT LEAST. It's always the 'that's too old' etc. crap but the worst is from my grandparents 'WE will be too old then'. Sorry, what?! Are you going to be the ones taking care of the baby, feeding it, changing it and forming it into a person on daily basis or me? I would at least like to have had a secure income, emotionally stability and sense of being ready and last, but not least - the right romantic partner. I am sorry, that you may not live or be able to enjoy your (future, imaginary) great-grandchildren, but that's my (and my future SO/children) life we are talking about, not yours.

    To you, however, I'd like to say (and I sincerely hope I am not contradicting myself here): I've heard it's different when they are yours. I have no fucking idea what that means, but I am just saying that you should also probably be open to the possibility that you (and the Boy) might change your mind one day. I am not saying that you WILL, or that you should, I am just saying YOU MIGHT. My believe is never to be too sure of anything in life. Everything changes and a lot could happen in 5 (or more years).
    My uncle didn't have children, until he was into his mid 40s. Now, I don't know if he ever actively fought against it, or just never planned to have any, but he didn't for a long time, even though he was previously into at least at least at least two stable long-term relationships.

  10. Oh, but also: those people who tell you that you SHOULD have children and WILL change your mind - they suck. ;x (ok, maybe they don't suck, but saying those things sucks.)

  11. Here's one of the various things wrong with "But you might change your mind!" -- you know which people don't hear that? The people who have decided to have kids. "But you might..." is still a downplayed version of the same basic sentiment, which boils down to refusing to let people make up their own minds about their own lives when they don't fit the favoured life script.

    If people are going to change their mind, they'll handle it themselves. They don't need to be reminded that it can happen.

  12. Yeah, I guess you are right. I wasn't sure if I should write/say it, but I just did it for the discussion, but you are right, it's still the same thing, so I'm 'na shut up now. :D And more power to you, Erika for figuring it out, other than falling into this wrong toxic stereotype of what happy life should be. =)

  13. FFS, why people don't leave the other person's uterus ALONE????

    I have a son, he's 4 years old. I never wanted to have a second child. I'm pretty happy with my little guy, and he keeps me pretty busy (and so fucking tired =.=') all the time, in such a way that I can't think of having to divide my attention between two little ones. Besides, I had pre-eclampsia in my pregnancy, and my doctor said that I shouldn't risk another one, even if I wanted.

    I'm recently divorced, and people come to me to ask when will I get married again and make a little sibling to my son! PEOPLE HAVE NO BOUNDARIES!!!!

  14. Oh my God, yes, thank you for posting this. I have varied family members constantly asking me when myself and my old man are going to get married and have a child, normally my response is that my feminism will not allow me to make such mistakes. It took me and the old man a while to accustom ourselves to the idea of being strictly a twosome, but now that we have accepted it, it's been very liberating. I've finally begun to tell people that it's going to be almost impossible for me to have kids because of my fertility issues. Initially I thought I would be embarrassed about telling people of my issues, but it surprisingly makes me feel better when I see them shift uncomfortably and awkwardly change the subject because they don't know what to say. I take comfort in knowing that it will probably make them think twice before they pester people about such things again.