My husband and I have been married for 3 1/2 years, and pretty much the night of our wedding people started asking “When are y’all going to have a baby?”. Our answer is simply that we aren’t! And, that is OK. He has never wanted kids, I have never wanted kids, and honestly the only time I EVER think about it is when being asked by others!
Our truth is that we just aren’t interested in raising children in an overpopulated, overly hateful world and we are perfectly content living our lives together kid free and spending all that diaper and college money on fabulous vacations! However, I’ve had friends who hate being asked about having kids for other, more heart-breaking reasons. I also have friends with kids who still want you to stop asking them about having more. Don’t project your beliefs onto other women’s uteri (just learned the plural form of uterus!!) people!
So, for this week’s “Real Talk” I’m discussing things we should stop saying to other women regarding their decision to have kids.
- “You and your husband have been together a while, when are you starting a family?” Honestly, I get this question all the time and I got it right when we got married. I get this from friends, family, coworkers, Publix cashiers, strangers who notice my ring. Pretty much EVERYONE! It’s annoying y’all. I don’t want to defend my decision to not have kids all the time, and it always turns into defense because most people don’t accept “we aren’t” as an answer. Also, we don’t know peoples’ situations. Asking this question to someone who has been trying to get pregnant for years can literally ruin their day. To you it may seem like a simple question, but if you are asking someone who has suffered miscarriages or struggled with fertility it can be so hurtful. So here’s an idea, let people open up to you about their desire to procreate if they want too.
- “You just don’t know you want kids.” or “You’ll change your mind.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this… I’ve honestly been okay with not having kids since about middle school. I’ve never pictured myself growing up and having babies or craved being a mom, yet people always tell me I’ll change my mind. I’m not. I’m not going to just wake up one day and magically feel maternal, so stop trying to tell me I will. Also, I’ve been around kids my whole life and I’m around them now, and I solidly know I don’t want to be responsible for raising one. I feel like in these instances people want to project their need for inclusion in mommy-hood onto me, and I’m not interested. If you want kids, great! If you love being a mom, great! I’m so happy for you. This still doesn’t mean EVERYONE wants the same thing. I would never tell you “you’ll change your mind about wanting your kid in a few years” so stop telling me the reverse!
- “You’re robbing society of the brilliant kids you’d create.” My husband and I have heard this one quite a few times. My husband is a very bright man, and I’m not too dense, so people who are pro us having kids love to play this card. It’s not a great argument though. Just because we’ve done relatively well doesn’t mean our child would do well. They could literally eat dirt and think 2+2=7, so just give this one up. My kid could be a menace to society. We’re not God, we don’t get to choose. So if you’re trying to convince someone to have babies, just drop this argument entirely.
- “Who will take care of you when you’re older?” Another argument I can’t stand. Just because you have a child doesn’t mean they will love you unconditionally forever. Chances are you will have ups and downs, and hopefully you do develop strong relationships with your kids and they do love you forever, but it is definitely not guaranteed! Also, I don’t like the idea of having a kid just so they are forced to take care of me when I’m old. That is not a burden I’d like to gift. If I’m lucky, my no-kid self will live in a really fun retirement community and the other old bitties who chose not to have children can keep me company 😉
- “But you’d be such a good mom…” I’m not even going to pretend to understand the sheer about of selflessness it takes to be a mom. The willingness to give up your own body and sanity for eighteen plus years is some pretty superhuman stuff. But don’t use the “good mom” card in the have a baby argument. The reality is you don’t know if I’d be a good mom. I’m an anxiety ridden, crazy pants who told my orchid the other morning that his dad doesn’t love him because my husband wouldn’t let me leave the blinds open. Maybe I should sit this one out…
- “Are you having another baby? You don’t want an only child.” This one goes out to all of my girls who already have babies! Y’all let these women recover from giving birth before you start asking them about their next baby! Maybe they are one and done, maybe they will have more, but dang don’t pressure them the minute they get one out of the oven. We don’t know what someone is going through after birth, what toll it took on their body, what toll it took on them mentally, so let’s not pressure mommas about having another baby. There are plenty of only children out there that turned out just fine. Just let it be.
All of this is just to say we have enough going on without having to constantly answer questions about our family’s choices. Want to have a million babies? Cool. Want to have zero babies? Cool. Struggling to decide? Cool. JUST DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU & YOUR FAMILY!