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Old 07-20-2019, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

Iím hoping people may be able to help me with how I should respond to the subject of having children now that my reasons for not having them have changed.
Iíve never wanted children of my own, I made the decision as a child that IF I ever had children, I would adopt. I remember having a conversation about it when I was 5 or 6 years old. I have never questioned that decision since. But almost every time the conversation of whether or not I have children comes and if I want them comes up, I have to deal with the whole ĎI didnít want kids and now I have 3í, Ďyou could change your mind, never say neverí, Ďwell Iíll see you in 5 years and youíll have kidsí. This has always frustrated me as I feel like people often think that because Iím a female itís my goal in life to have kids and that women want them. Iím not going to lie and say I love kids, Iím not a very broody person and Iím not good at communicating with them. Iím kind of like Ďdo I pat it?í, Ďhow many times a day do I need to take it for walk?í whenever I am in a situation where I need to interact with a child. So itís safe to say Iíll probably never be a mother. But Iíve always been set that if I did, I would adopt. And Iíve never understood why that is constantly debated when I bring it up.

But now my situation has changed, and itís no longer a case of ĎI donít want children of my owní but ĎI canít have children of my owní (shout out to cancer for making that happen). Despite my stance on having kids, it was still a very traumatic decision to make. The power of it being a choice was taken from me, and though I was never going to use it a part of me was taken away. And because of this, Iíve found Iíve been fretting a bit about that conversation coming up in the future and how to respond now. I know this conversation will come up again, and I donít know what to say. I could keep saying what I always have said, but when people pull the Ďyouíll probably change your mindí line on me, thatís really going to hit a nerve. I could be honest say itís not a possibility, but that may open up a whole new conversation I may not be in the mood for (anyone whoís had cancer knows just what those conversations can be like).

Is there anyone who may have been through a similar experience (whether or not you wanted children doesnít matter) or any advice someone can give on how to respond to this subject, so I am more prepared for when it happens?
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

I lack the emotional capacity to raise a child, and my dad really wants a grandbaby, so I get this a lot. I've found that the best way is to make it uncomfortable for them to ask me these questions, such as by making an off-color baby cannibalism joke or asking them an awkward and invasive question about their sex life and why it lacks BDSM. "When are you two going to finally try pegging? I never though I would get a strap-on, but now I have three. Never say never." Of course, this method will make you sound like a sarcastic asshole, so I normally reserve it for when people really won't leave me alone.

Sadly, it doesn't ever stop completely. Despite being a huge and very personal decision, people have decided, for whatever stupid reason, that it's a socially acceptable topic that can be negotiated by casual acquaintances and distant relatives who've had too much wine.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

Quote:
Originally Posted by theoretical View Post
I lack the emotional capacity to raise a child, and my dad really wants a grandbaby, so I get this a lot. I've found that the best way is to make it uncomfortable for them to ask me these questions, such as by making an off-color baby cannibalism joke or asking them an awkward and invasive question about their sex life and why it lacks BDSM. "When are you two going to finally try pegging? I never though I would get a strap-on, but now I have three. Never say never." Of course, this method will make you sound like a sarcastic asshole, so I normally reserve it for when people really won't leave me alone.

Actually Iím known for having a bit of a blunt deadpan humour and sarcasm that people think Iím being serious about. I could try something like ĎI just need to wait for my uterus to grow backí.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

I would say "it's my choice. Why do you ask?"

Or counter with "have you had a bowel movement today?" Lol
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

@therorectical has a good and funny suggestion. I tend to go for sarcasm and dead pan humor many times too. All that aside I think its incredible rude and insensitive to say these things to people without kids. I have three and always knew I wanted kids but I would never say to a woman "You might change your mind" or "never say never". Nobody knows the inside story for why someone does not have kids. Before I even got to the part about your cancer I was reminded of an article I read about why its rude to imply that a woman should have kids, assume she does have kids, or that there is something wrong if she doesnt. I admire people who do not want kids being so assured about it. If you do not feel like you would like kids or that you relate to them why should you have them? Women and men can have fulfilling lives without kids, and to imply otherwise is just...rude. Not to mention that you do not know if someone has a physical ailment that would prevent them from having kids. My daughter who is 15 dates a boy who survived non-hodgkins lymphoma and he usually makes dead pan jokes. He calls it the "cancer" card. Good for him for having the strength and humor to deflect. I am sorry if anyone has made you feel bad for not having kids.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

I think being honest is also a good approach. Whichever reason you mention, simply saying you'd rather not discuss it anymore would probably have most people not delve into it any longer. Though if I were to choose, it would be the cancer, just because it seems like that would be the more sensitive reason that people are more likely to not pry any further about.
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

I have a coworker who doesnít want kids and neither does his wife. We had people rudely asking him ďwhyĒ. Really?

Iíll tell you that people ask dumb somewhat offensive questions and make dumb assumptions regardless if you have kids or not. Over the years I was asked many times why I only have one child. Rude. Just rude.

I was asked why I am not a grandmother yet too. That warrants an explanation that my daughter is a widow and her husband died before they were ready to have kids. And who knows if she can even have kids since she has POS.

Recently my best friend (who hasnít been married and has no kids) were at a party and she was loudly asked by this person who doesnít even know her ďisnít she feeling lonely and isnít her life empty and why doesnít she have kidsĒ. I answered for my friend that there is more to life than having kids and I feel bad for people who donít have anything else in life besides having kids. I felt offended on
behalf of my friend. Comn people.

I have to have some ďsmart pantsĒ type of answer.

Last edited by divine1966; 07-22-2019 at 05:39 PM..
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

I don't have children and don't want them. Neither does my husband. I generally say, I never wanted them and try to change the subject.



Once a co-worker asked if I had kids. For some reason I blurted out "God no!" like it would be the worst thing ever. He laughed and said it was actually refreshing. He said he knows some other people that don't want kids and they often feel like they need to justify their reasons, or go on about how they like children but don't want any of their own.


I guess in your case, saying I can't and I'd prefer not to discuss the reasons could work too.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

Thanks everybody for their advice, youíve all given me good ideas to think of a way to approach this conversation rhe next time it happens.
However my situation has just changed again, and I just found out I wasnít completely informed of my situation, and I just found out that I still have cancer and they donít know if they can remove it, and they donít think Iíll survive. Iíve been told there is a CHANCE I could, but itís pretty grim. So I may not live long enough to even worry about this conversation too much, and my reasons for not having kids has now changed yet again. I guess I could just tell people I probably wonít live long enough to even consider adopting.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Need advice for how to respond to the subject of not having children

here in America we usually do not get asked whether or not we want children unless its in the frame of mind where two in a relationship are discussing it in the privacy of their own homes. being a lesbian I always knew I would not have children unless I chose to adopt. and in my life the question never came up, not among those around me nor in school or in college. everyone here in America knows having children is usually a personal choice, and everyone always knows that some have them, some don't, some are thinking about it. its not usually a question asked unless someone is in a firm relationship for quite some time. then people bring up so do you think you will ever get married maybe settle down and have a family.


my wife and I were together for about 5 years when marriage and the hope that someday same sex marriage would allow us to get married happened. we were married about 6 months when discussions of children started among my wife and I, what and how we wanted to accomplish this. family and friends just assumed we would have children one way or another because they already knew both my wife and I love our nieces and nephews and enjoy spending time with them. my point is they didn't ask, they understood that was between my wife and I and if we wanted to share that with them we would. my co workers did ask from time to time. I answered honestly that yes children were a consideration and they would be the first to know when my wife and I got pregnant or adopted. they would joke and say yea right you will be the first to know not I lol my point is children are a personal choice and what to say about it is also a personal choice, just answer in what ever ways is most comfortable for you.
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