1. Jamie J

    I am a 32 year old business student leading an extremely busy and fulfilling life. I have good friends, a great boyfriend of nearly three years, a supportive family and a ton of things that keep me on my toes. My issue is this: One of my obligations is volunteering at the local senior citizens center where one of the employees is a new grandmother who is constantly bringing her granddaughter around to show everyone. While I am fine with seeing the infant, I am not at all “baby crazy”. I am not at all comfortable holding infants or even being around them. I made the decision in my teens that I did not want children and my attitude towards this matter has not changed. If anything, it has gotten stronger. Everyone in my life is 100% on board with my decision not to have children and my boyfriend and I are completely on the same page with this because he has three children from a previous relationship. I am sick and tired of everyone at the center shoving the baby in my face, bugging me to hold her, and asking if seeing her “makes me want a baby”. I have been extremely polite in saying that I have my two “furry babies” (my cats) at home and that I am not the mothering type. How can I put all of these questions about my baby wanting to rest once and for all?

    • Oh Jamie, it’s like you and I are the same person. I too do not want children ever (I’m 30). Fortunately for me, most people leave me alone. You, on the other hand, have to gently fend off these unwanted baby advances from people you don’t want to offend. There’s always fibbing to get out of holding the baby (“I’m just getting over a cold and wouldn’t want Junior to get what I’ve got”). There’s always the evasive strategy (quietly excuse yourself when the baby arrives).

      Here is my own personal strategy: “I really value alone time, travel, and my sports car. I realize that having a baby is a huge, costly and life-changing commitment. They aren’t just cute little accessories. I would have to sacrifice what I value, and I’m not prepared to do that.” So far, my friends/coworkers have all accepted my explanation.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      I’m in a similar situation. Sometimes I defer questions like that with a joke (that isn’t really a joke) by saying “I have enough trouble taking care of myself” with a smile. Usually they laugh a little and then move on. Since it sounds like the same people are asking you repeatedly, you may want to instead you my other response, which is “I prefer not to discuss my reproductive intentions.” Although this comment will likely embarrass the questioner, that might be a good thing in your case because it will hopefully stop them from asking ever again.

    • Alicia

      Well some people do not get hints. But what I say is ” Oh yes she is so cute. So how are you doing tell me about YOU!” If pushed say something nice about the kid again and deflect again. Basically the one nice thing then topic change is my go to method. ie
      Doesn;t she make you want kids? No, She is a darn cute kid but better as your granddaughter, so have you been watching downtown abbey?
      Isn’t she the sweetest girl ever? Yes she is very sweet ,so what are your Easter plans?
      Don’t you want kids? No I think it is great for other people but not for me, I’m debating between serving glazed carrots or procuitto wrapped asparagus at easter dinner which do you think people will like better?
      When will you have kids? That is not for me but great for others. I’m thinking of trying to train my dog to catch a frisbee but it is not working very well.

      Ie keep changing topic it will work eventually without being mean or rude.

  2. Lilli

    I have a related question on the other side of the coin. I DO want children. Lots of them. Now. My significant other however doesn’t feel ready yet and I totally respect his feelings (he wants to wait another few years and I’m young enough that waiting isn’t a huge deal…yet). How do I respond to people who ask what we’re waiting for without throwing my beloved under the bus? I don’t want to appear impatient and have them start pestering him, but at the same time saying “we” aren’t ready isn’t exactly truthful…

    • One of my girlfriends deflects this question by saying, “Children are definitely the plan, but we’re waiting until we get to a more stable place so we can provide the best home possible.” That “place” may be emotional, financial, etc. – doesn’t matter, it’s your business.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      I think Just Laura’s answer is a good one if it someone you are close with. (By the way “we” is truthful because your being ready depends on your sgnificant other being ready.) However if it isn’t someone you’re close with, I think you should consider using the same answer I gave Jamie “I prefer not to discuss my reproductive intentions” or something similar. Telling people you want to have children, but not right now encourages them to ask again later on. By that point you may have started trying for kids and discovered some fertility issue, making it a painful question to answer.

      When you think about this possibility, you realize asking about someone plans for children is a very personal question (really only slighly less personal than asking about someone’s bowel movements if you think about it) even though many people act like it’s everybody’s business. For this reason, I would try to permanently discourage questions on the subject if I were you.

    • Alicia

      A friend of minehas to hilarious results started answering that specific question in a shocked overly dramatic voice. “Well we are not trying at this moment- Wouldn’t that be awfully PDA of us to be having sex while I am here talking to you” When the person then replies back something like ” I meant in the general timeline” She replies back ” Well I promise I’ll let you know before a kid is born but really the conception part in terms of when, if, how, and timeline is something I really refuse to discuss.”
      She then throws a smile and laugh and changes the topic. It has gotten people to realize what a shockingly personal thing it is to ask.

      • Lilli

        All great suggestions! I think Alicia’s is more my speed – I tend to diffuse awkward situations with humor so I’ll definitely be trying this one :)

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