No Longer Babying Him

| USA | Working | May 25, 2017

(In my previous job I was one of the only married people in the office. I worked there from ages 25-28. They had a tendency to hire a lot of fresh-out-of-college kids to save on costs. It was part of my job to train people on a certain program we used for client management. I’m training a new batch of employees, all recent college grads, and there’s one guy in particular who is a little doe-eyed about being out in the adult world. After work he will often ask me or the other few married people questions about our experiences with buying a house, getting married, etc. and I don’t mind talking with him because he seems genuinely interested. But sometimes he doesn’t think before asking certain questions.)

Coworker: *walking out of the office one day* “[My Name], how long have you been married again?”

Me: “Almost three years.”

Coworker: “So I guess kids are next, huh?”

(At first I didn’t reply, because even though we love kids my husband and I have decided not to have children of our own. I don’t mind telling people this, but it can be awkward sometimes.)

Coworker: *oblivious* “I mean, I’m not married yet, but I can’t wait to have kids!”

Me: “That’s nice.”

Coworker: “How many do you want to have?”

Me: *sigh* “None.”

Coworker: *actually stops walking and stares like I’ve just told him I secretly worship at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster* “What?! But… but all women want to have babies!”

Me: *thinking* “And you know this because you’re secretly a woman?” *saying* “No, actually, some women don’t. It doesn’t mean we don’t like children; we just don’t want any of our own. I’d like to change the subject now, [Coworker]. This is a pretty personal topic.”

Coworker: “Aw, come on! You don’t really mean that!”

Me: *getting annoyed* “Yes, I do. Look, I have to go…”

Coworker: “But WHY?”

Me: *whether he is being intentionally rude or not, I’ve had enough* “Because I don’t feel like growing another human being in my uterus!”

Coworker: *stunned, he walks away and doesn’t speak to me outside of work for over a week*

(In hindsight, I know I probably should have been more tactful since we were standing in the office parking lot, but after that he seemed to think a little more before asking personal questions. So, you know, win-win.)

1 Thumbs
  • Ebony

    Sadly that’s the breeder mindset, EVERY female should want kids*Gag*

    • Leiko Burningbear

      Not a “breeder” mindset. It’s a sexist mindset. I’ve met men who did not want kids, but who thought that every woman should want them. I’ve met people with children (“breeders” as you call them) who fully understood and respected that not all women want kids.

      • mashava

        I HIGHLY doubt Ebony was referring to every person with children as a breeder… -__-

        More likely? Uber fundamentalist (Duggar, Quiverfull) who think women are good for two things: babymaking and housemaking.

        • Leiko Burningbear

          I’ve encountered many rabidly child-free people who refer to those who have children as “breeders” in a derogatory tone. As such, I interpret “breeder” as used in reference to humans as an insult.

          (Note that I myself have zero desire for offspring. I kinda hate being anywhere near babies. But I don’t glare about people only because they chose to have children.)

          • mashava

            I’m well aware of the exact same thing. I’ve had that shithead Negative Nancy blocked for ages. But it’s a mistake to assume the worst of every person who use a word you don’t like.

          • Yohannes Setiadji

            Maybe Ebony is Negative Nancy under new name ?

          • Flami

            Maybe, but Negative Nancy is here under that name. I’ve blocked her, though.

          • Katy A

            Not nearly hostile enough to be NN.

      • Jami

        I’ve actually met more women who think that all women should want kids than I’ve met men who think that way.

        • Leiko Burningbear

          Women with that mindset have their own children. Thus they are not child-free. Men may or may not want offspring, but could still think all women (every last female with a functioning uterus) want nothing more than to pop out babies. A child-free man with this belief is a hypocrite. All people with this belief are sexist.

      • KashyaCharsi

        I saw even a middle-aged, happily childfree man attacked on a forum.

      • Rob Tonka

        Sexist? And you don’t think there are women who also have this mindset that all women should want to have baby after baby?

        • Illogically

          ‘Sexist’ doesn’t specifically mean men who think they’re superior to women, it means the generally held belief that one sex is superior to the other. It doesn’t specify that the sexist person has to belong to the sex that they think is superior.

          There are women who buy into male-superior sexist beliefs as well. And then there are just women (or men) who believe that everyone should want babies, regardless of whether they hold any sexist beliefs.

          • Rob Tonka

            Interesting take. I’ve never heard anyone consider a person’s opinion on their own gender to be sexist.

          • Chakat Firepaw

            Yep, there are misogynist women, just as there are anti-Semitic Jews and homophobic gays.

            Self-hatred is a thing.

          • Illogically

            Or even just learned helplessness. I once met a woman who literally refused to learn how to do things like change a tire, because ‘you need a man to do that’.

          • Rob Tonka

            Is that sexist? Learned helplessness? Or just being raised in an environment that places heavy emphasis on and believes in traditional gender roles?

          • Illogically

            I suppose not necessarily, but in my experience they’re often tied together. The learned helplessness is most often because they’re told ‘a woman CAN’T do that’, not ‘a woman SHOULDN’T do that (because it’ll hurt her/because she should have someone do it for her/whatever)’.

            Whereas in a man’s case, traditional gender roles often say ‘a man SHOULDN’T do that unless there’s no woman around’, not ‘men CAN’T do that’. Sexist men often CAN clean and cook and whatnot for themselves, they just believe it’s a woman’s place and that they shouldn’t have to.

  • Catherine Stone

    Sometimes shock factor is the only thing that gets through. Hopefully he’ll hear the hints earlier next time.

    • Negative Nancy

      Hopefully he drops his disgusting mentality entirely…

  • Leiko Burningbear

    When someone can’t pick up on subtle hints and clues in a conversation, being blunt is often the only way to get through to them. State what you really mean without a lot of dancing around your words in an attempt to be polite. If someone keeps poking, you eventually have to smack ’em. (Figuratively speaking…although an actual smack upside the head is sometimes very appealing.)

    • Kathryn Baggs

      Speak softly, carry a a heavy 2×4.

  • Negative Nancy

    Coworker’s mentality needs to die in a fire.He’s lucky he wasn’t trying to argue with me on that… would have knocked his lights out… what a disgusting pig.

  • Kitty

    That’s a pretty legit explanation as to why one may not want to have kids. I mean, not that there is a ‘right’ reason, but if someone thinks they must know something like that about you, go ahead and give them that. Brutal words work.

    • Katrin Schirmer

      one of my favorite reasons is, ‘i like sleeping’ or ‘sleep deprivation is really bad for me’. both are true statements, i do like sleeping, and i have medical issues that can be aggravated by sleep deprivation.

      • Rose Gibson

        I understand that! If I get anything less than 10 hours each night, I super cranky (like really REALLY cranky).

        My son is six months old. I am so grateful for the fact that he started sleeping through the night around three months (I can’t remember exactly when he started doing that).

        Even when he didn’t sleep for very long, I didn’t mind. My husband and I alternated staying up. Since he goes to bed so much later than I do, he would take care of him while I caught up on sleep. Then I would take care of the little one while daddy slept. It worked out pretty well.

      • Shaina Clark

        Same here. I get really, really unwell if I regularly have poor sleep. One thing that starts happening is regular migraines. It’s one of the reasons I have no interest in having kids. I love them, but I have no desire to be sick for the next decade or so.

        • Katrin Schirmer

          i have epilepsy that is aggravated by stress. one night of no sleep could give me a really rough day if im unlucky. i have no desire to be relegated to my house again because i had a seizure and lost my license again despite having had everything under control for a few years with my meds at this point.

      • sakasiru

        Well, I need my sleep too, but it didn’t stop me from having kids (yeah, those first few years were hard). I think if you really want kids, you can deal with any problem. And if you don’t want kids, you shouldn’t need a reason beyond “I just don’t want any”. Why can’t people just accept that? Having kids is optional, you’re not a freak if you don’t take that road in life.

        • Lil Tiger

          I have narcolepsy. If I am sleep deprived, I can fall asleep standing up. I wouldn’t want to do that with a baby in my arms, standing or sitting.

    • Kathy Plester

      A friend of mine does not want babies because the idea of another life growing inside her is genuinely terrifying. It freaks her out and she is happy with her life. Lots of people tell her she is weird for this but really she’s not. If you don’t want kids, you don’t want them.

      • Kitty

        That’s fine. I wouldn’t call her weird and I would never expect someone to have to justify a personal standing like that. If someone tells me they don’t want kids, that’s fine by me – since it’s unlikely to affect me. If they do want kids, that’s cool. Like, I’m pretty chill with what you do in your life, as long as it isn’t shoved into my face.

        • Kathy Plester

          That’s pretty much what I told her – I was pregnant at the time and she said ‘Oh I’m never having kids’ then sped into why, probably because she had been met with people like the guy OP is dealing with and I just said ‘That’s fine, you don’t have to justify your choices to me.’ She seemed relieved.

          • Siren

            It sounds like she might have Tokophobia, or a mild version of, which is essentially the fear of pregnancy/childbirth. I have a friend who has it too.

          • Kathy Plester

            I didn’t know that was a thing. My friend says she’s been terrified of being pregnant since she was a child and she watched Alien (she was about 6). When she told me I knew I shouldn’t laugh, so I managed to hold it together but I thought it was amusing and honestly I don’t blame her.

          • Kittens McTavish

            Tokophobia! I’m going to memorize that word and use it the next time someone asks why I don’t want kids. Honestly, I AM terrified at the very idea of something growing inside me to an enormous size and then forcing its way out. (When I put it that way, it really does sound awful, doesn’t it? LOL)

          • Siren

            It really does. There’s a plethora of reasons as to why I don’t want to get pregnant, the swelling (of everything) is just one of those reasons lol

          • Kryss LaBryn

            Not gonna lie, having a kid does a heck of a number on one’s body. Having said that, the damage can be mitigated to an extent by staying in good shape before and throughout the pregnancy, and giving birth naturally rather than having a C-section (and I say that as someone who has done both). Having said *that*, though, “staying in shape” is not always possible (I had to reduce my activity level to avoid a second miscarriage), and neither are C-sections, which are sometimes required no matter one’s personal preferences (as one was with my second).

            Certainly the C-section is less painful for the actual birth (labour hurts a surprising amount); but the recovery from natural birth is unsurprisingly much faster and more complete than having one’s abdominal muscles hacked through.

  • SylviasDaddy

    People who deliberately refuse to have children will be disappointed by and by.

    • Matilda

      How in the world does one accidentally refuse something?

      • Siirenias

        I have a friend with pretty big fertility problems, so I imagine stuff like that counts.

        • Matilda

          But that’s not refusing. That’s not being able to weather you like to or not.

          • SylviasDaddy

            My statement was a statement of fact, not a jeer — nor was it a value judgment. It was on a par with a statement such as “An object dropped will accelerate until it either reaches terminal velocity, or strikes an unyielding surface.”

            Those who deliberately refuse to have children WILL be disappointed by and by.

          • Lorraine ER

            In that case, you’ve never learned the difference between “facts” and “opinions.”

          • Katrin Schirmer

            i think hes just spewing (perhaps his) religious doctrine at us.

          • Katrin Schirmer

            ah yes, stealing the words of religious leaders makes it a fact automatically, i forgot that. /sarcasm

            “Joseph F. Smith

            I regret, I think it is a crying evil, that there should exist a sentiment or a feeling among any members of the Church to curtail the birth of their children. I think that is a crime wherever it occurs, where husband and wife are in possession of health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity. I believe that where people undertake to curtail or prevent the birth of their children that they are going to reap disappointment by and by. I have no hesitancy in saying that I believe this is one of the greatest crimes of the world today, this evil practice. (Gospel Doctrine, pp. 278-79) “

          • Deplorableist

            Negative Nancy, is that you, you old biddy?

          • Misstell

            That is your OPINION. Those are different from facts. Plenty of people go through life without children and are perfectly happy with it.

          • Matilda

            As will people who decide to have kids. So your point is what?, people will sometimes be dissapointed?

          • Ian Rennie

            That’s an interesting point. Allow me to respond:

            Go fuck yourself.

          • Ellex

            While I could, to some small degree, agree with your grammatical pedantry regarding “who’s” vs. “whose” in your reply to TheSeventhBrat, you are here entirely incorrect regarding the difference between a statement of fact, a jeer, and a value judgment, your original statement being none of those. It was an opinion. Futhermore, speculation regarding circumstances in which any person may (or may not) feel disappointment is not comparable to the basic rules of physics, as it is measurable only by anecdotal evidence and therefore unprovable.

    • Jelaza

      Because you not only are able to know what they want better than they do, but you can also see the future?

    • Siirenias

      I agree. I’m disappointed when people ask me about a personal choice too.

    • Alexandra Weitershausen

      I’m already disappointed. Not in my choice not to have children, but in people like you who are convinced that I’ll regret my choice and never fail to take the opportunity to tell me so.

    • TheSeventhBrat

      Not disappointed at all.

      I have nieces and nephews to dote on if I want and at the end of the day, they go home.

      My life is my own. I’m not racing kids around to dance or soccer or baseball and definitely don’t have to worry about paying for those activities.

      I don’t have to worry about getting my kids in to a good pre-school or braces or saving for college. My money is mine to spend however I wish. The only shoes I have to buy are for me.

      I can come and go as I please. Stay up as late as I want and sleep in as late as I want (on non-work days, anyway).

      Disappointed? Nope. I like my life the way it is.

      Children aren’t for everyone.

      And I kinda feel sorry for a kid who’s father uses the handle SylivasDaddy.

      • SylviasDaddy

        “And I kinda feel sorry for a kid who’s father uses the handle SylivasDaddy.”

        WHO’S (contraction): who is
        WHOSE (pronoun): belonging to whom

        Sylvia is a grown woman — and she was never a goat.

        … and you misspelled “SylviasDaddy.”

        • Megalodon

          Translation: “I have absolutely no rebuttal that’s worth what a pig could spit, and so I have resorted to picking apart your typos and being egregiously pedantic as though it makes me look at all superior. Is it working?”

          • Elle Wayne

            Ahahaha, that was amazing, Megalodon.

    • Kathryn Baggs

      Nope, no disappointment. I’m happy with my fur baby. Less to screw up with a kitty than a living breathing human being. I know I couldn’t handle having one so I’ll do any baby d’awwing over other peoples young ones.

      Of course I have just a bit of common sense.

      • Max

        I want kids! They’re so cute, what with the little horns and tiny cloven hooves and sweet screamy baas. Don’t really want children though.

        • Kathryn Baggs

          Okay, those kids are cute. I’d still never be able to have them (joys of living in a place that has snow in the forecast for tomorrow *shudder*). Or the space they would need.

          • Max

            Same, except for the snow. Well, I can dream.

        • Rob Tonka

          How old are you?
          At least as old as me, I imagine.
          When I was a child in school, we’d catch shit from teachers for using the word kid to describe a human child. “A kid is a baby goat!”

          Time has left that movement in the dust as the language has evolved. Merriam Webster’s #1 definition of “kid” is now “a young person”.

          Young goat is now #2 definition.

    • Blaine Wheeler

      Disappointed that’ll I’ll be cuddled up with my wife watching a movie on a Friday night instead of helping with homework? Disappointed that I’ll be traveling the world instead of driving to soccer practice? Disappointed that I’ll save hundreds of thousands of dollars NOT paying for hospital bills, school supplies or college tuition?…Yeah, about that…

      I don’t care if that makes me selfish, I just ain’t about that life.

      • Kelli Rose

        I hate that guilt trip of not having kids on purpose is selfish. It isn’t. Maybe it was when the world only had a few million people total & we had lower chances of long term survival. The world today is overpopulated, there’s no need for everyone to try to have as many kids as possible because only 1 out of 5 would live or any other reason like that.
        I think it’s far more selfish to tell strangers (or family members) their own decision to not have kids for any reason they have is wrong. I have kids cause I wanted them. My kids don’t want kids. Now, they’re teens and could certainly change their minds late in life, but at no point have I ever told them they’re wrong & they will change. How they feel is how they feel, period.
        It’s far more messed up that we try to force parenthood on people not wanting to be parents, or even the reaction of people who want to adopt instead of going through childbirth getting negative responses. It’s messed up all the way around.

        • Rob Tonka

          selfish: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself.

          Not having kids because you like your life the way it is and don’t want the changes that come with kids IS selfish. But that’s not a bad thing. People give that word a negative connotation. People are allowed to be selfish. And it swings the other way too. People who have kids are selfish. They have kids because THEY WANT KIDS.

      • Geekette

        Honestly, I think that asking someone to subject an innocent child to a lifetime of misery in a family that doesn’t want them just to satisfy their own sensibilities is the selfish thing.

        Recognizing that parenting isn’t for you before you become a parent is the responsible thing.

        • Kathryn Baggs

          OMG yes. Acknowledging your limitations is not a bad thing. I could never raise a kid. For the longest while I imagined I would have one just because I was supposed to. I’m so glad it was just me imagining. I’ll stick to the furry kind of dependants.

    • Scott Frank Clemons

      I heartily disagree.

    • Melissa Burris

      We NEED people who don’t want children. This planet is already overpopulated with humans and there’s too many who are growing up without families.
      I have a child, but thank goodness there are some who don’t!

    • Deplorableist

      Nope. I am pretty okay with my choice. Hubby is 21 years older than me and has three kids, so there is no rush or hassle to pop out a heathen.

    • Ian Rennie

      counterpoint: go fuck yourself.

    • Cally

      You know what I like?
      I like the new ignore function it’s easy to use.
      I’ll try not to drop to your level with a further insult. on this occasion.

  • Souless night

    B-but women are made to bear babies! Why else would they have the womb?! (Sarcasm before people bitch at me

    • Siirenias

      Women are sometimes made of bear babies as well. Never drop your guard.

      • Leiko Burningbear

        Bear babies are bestest babies. *gryn*

        • helen-louise

          Right? If I could have cubs rather than crappy human babies, I’d have six!

      • Souless night

        And sometimes bear babies are made of women

  • Art Metz

    > I probably should have been more tactful

    I really don’t see why. Co-worker should have taken a hint and dropped the subject.

  • Leah

    Honestly I would have gone with what you were thinking (“And you know this because you’re secretly a woman?”) rather than what you actually said. Instead of justifying yourself, which you do not have to do in that situation, it puts the onus back on him to justify his sexist attitude.

  • Pogla

    As a Pastor of the CFSM we encourage our members not to worship in secret. We welcome all faiths. Try our religion for two weeks and if you’re unsatisfied we’re sure your old religion will have you back. Or not… I’m a Pastor, not a cop

  • Linda Spitsyna

    Never knew that parking lots require being tactful.
    Also, that is exactly why I do not answer any personal questions no matter how innocent and/or polite they are.

    • Cafeeine

      I think that parking lot means “company grounds” here, and therefore requiring a professional demeanor by the OP.

  • Nope, poster shouldn’t have been more tactful at all. Quite the contrary, that kind of assumption and attitude associated with it deserves worse.

  • Abigail Hermione Irwin

    I’m not sure that you should’ve been more tactful. That was a highly personal and totally inappropriate question that should never have been asked to begin with … suppose he asked that of somebody who desperately wants children but can’t have them?

  • Dice the Gregsmith

    the worst of this I’ve run into was when I commented that I didn’t want kids an obnoxious coworker kept saying “yet” with a stupid grin on his face. ugh. no I don’t want kids at all period ever.

    • Megalodon

      Oof, that’s gotta be a rotten one to dodge. Not much you can say when the other person is obnoxiously convinced that you’ll change your mind. For that matter, I wonder why so many of those assholes become doctors…

    • Shaina Clark

      I hate when people do that. For me it’s always old ladies. I tell them I have no interest in having kids, and they smile condescendingly and tell me I’ll definitely change my mind when I start getting older. Doesn’t matter how much I assert that I do NOT want them. Like excuse me, I think I know my own mind and my reasons for not wanting to do something much better than anyone else.

      • Kryss LaBryn

        The bizarre part is that these people who are all “Oh you will want kids eventually; you should just have them anyways regardless of your feelings on the matter now,” are probably the exact same people who are both against abortion, and who also complain about terrible parents who aren’t interested in nor looking after their kids, saying things like, “Good lord, why did they have kids in the first place?!” and “This is why parents should be licensed!”

        If you don’t want ’em don’t have ’em. No justification needed.

        • Cafeeine

          As a 40 something that has maintained many of the beliefs I was told I would “grow out of” I very much sympathise.
          On the other hand, part of the phenomenon is due to experience. Everyone remembers things they were iron-clad certain would never change, but did. It doesn’t excuse the smug attitude though, as another part of the phenomenon, particularly with parenting, is overselling the benefits of it , so they won’t realize they wasted 20 years of their life raising a lazy ingrate pothead.

        • Max

          I have met so many people who’s parents had them because they might “change their mind” and “it’ll be too late”, or the other fun reason of “everyone else is doing it”, and my goodness did it lead to some messed-up adults.

          I mean, if you don’t have kids, then change your mind when you’re like, fifty, that sucks. But the other way around leads to neglect and child abuse.

          • Sandy Pham

            I’m not 50 but I don’t think people would actually change their mind. The couple in this story might, because it’s what they decided, not really what they wanted. They actually loved children. The one who simply don’t love children at all, might learn to tolerate them, but wouldn’t grow to love them. Kinda like asking a gay guy to turn straight or vice versa.

      • Christina Phillips

        Granted, some people DO suddenly want kids really badly when they get older, even if by that point, it’s biologically a bad idea.

        I mean, I’m young, and I used to not want kids at all, but now part of me does want one. I don’t really want one due to genetic reasons and my questionable ability to parent, but part of me wishes that I could without damaging the poor kid…

    • Megan

      “When are you having another kid?”
      “Your kid needs a sibling to play with!”
      “They’re 18 months, is the baby fever kicking in yet?”
      “Why don’t you want another baby? Don’t you want to have more than one?”

      Daily. For reals. From complete strangers. And I was even getting questioned about when I’d have my first kid – before my husband and I were even married!

      WTF makes people think my uterus is an appropriate subject for discussion?!

      • Random

        My mom’s theory was always “I had one, I did my duty to the human race, I procreated. I’m good.”

      • zizania

        I used to refer to my only-child son as the “National Birth Control Poster Boy” when people asked why I never had another. Now that he’s in his thirties, he’s a delight.

        • Cally

          I have always said that if my youngest son had been the first born he’d be an only child. For an exhausting and very real reason.

          • Kelly H

            Mum has said that about one of my little sisters, but she was referring to the labour.

      • Chakat Firepaw

        Don’t you know? A woman’s uterus is community property.

    • CommanderCorianderSalamander

      My favorite is when people get all reassuring. “Don’t worry, you’ll want kids eventually!” Um, I wasn’t actually worried because not wanting kids isn’t some personal defect that must be corrected, Janice.

    • Sandy Pham

      An old co worker of mine was in a complicated relationship, which I don’t really understand because I didn’t ask, just gathering things up from what she shared. She is either living together with a guy without marriage (kind of taboo in my country) or the guy has a history of cheating on her…anyways he’s now in another country and she’s worried that she’ll loose him. She calls herself single mom all the time, and always complaint about how hard it is to be a single mom.

      And when I told her I want nothing to do with marriage and children, she thought I was crazy and there was something wrong with my femininity….

    • ArchStanton75

      It makes about as much sense as telling a gay person, “You’ll change your mind when you meet the right [member of the opposite sex].”

    • Kathryn Baggs

      When anyone asks me about kids I say no kids, just furry kitty who is spoiled rotten. Then pull out my phone and start showing pictures. Nag me about kids and you have to put up with hearing about my fur baby. (No baby for me, have enough wherewithall to realize me and a baby would be a disaster).

  • Doc

    There but for the grace of god…I’m incredibly socially awkward (a step up from anxious, still), and have a lot of difficulties reading people and knowing what’s appropriate. It got me into some uncomfortable spots when I was younger; thankfully I’ve learned a good bit in my adult life and don’t fall into this trap much anymore. Speaking from that experience, sometimes a good blunt remark is what you need to crack a thick skull.

  • Naurel

    i always find a good shock works. i look them in the eye and deadpan, “Well since having a baby would kill me and i’m not suicidal, i’m not having kids”

    • Christine Wood

      My mother and both her sisters had miscarriages their first time. I’m pretty sure I’d not emotionally stable enough to handle that kind of thing. Also babies scream at a pitch that shatters glass and they can’t be reasoned with till, theoretically, full maturity.

  • Bevin Boelter

    “Because I don’t feel like growing another human being in my uterus!”
    I am so stealing that!

  • Erica Cox

    Making fun of someone elses religion isnt cool. Shame on you op.

    • Medusa Jordan

      Where do they make fun of his religion?

  • Lorraine ER

    Haha. “Well when you put it THAT way…”

  • Michael David

    Why do people think it’s ok to push like that?

    • AsaeAmpan

      Because they were never taught when it’s time to shut up.

      • Nastrandir

        My limit on questions about having kids is basically this: I’m fine with being asked – especially if I’ve just met someone/am in a social situation – “Oh, you’re married? Do you have children?” “No.” “Do you hope to have any/want any?” “No, we don’t.”

        Then that’s it. Anything else gets crisp, uninterested answers from me.

    • Kitty

      Because they think they have an inherent right to know personal details about a stranger.

  • Cepheron Kalle

    I hate that kind of thing! “You’ll come around!”
    Nope. Nuh Uh. I’m anti-children to the core, they make me wanna vomit XD

  • Yohannes Setiadji

    Finally, a story that might earn some praises by Negative Nancy.
    Is she here ? Maybe under new name ?

    • SwiftyJoe TheOneAndOnly

      i’m weirdly putting my bets on sylviasdaddy but i may be wrong

    • Megalodon

      Caught a comment that was definitely her a little while ago and blocked her SO fast. Couldn’t tell you what the name was.

    • Kathryn Baggs

      She posted under her usual name/ID. Then I blocked her.IT was glorious.

  • Vira Vandom


    I want to slap your coworker in the face. Preferably with a frozen leg of lamb.

  • Trillium

    Well, he’s correct because that its instinctive to want to reproduce.Obviously conscious choice takes precedence and suppresses those instincts, there’s nothing wrong with that, but he still is somewhat correct, technically.

    (note the use of correct instead of right)

  • Kira

    What? Women are not just one giant hive-mind that is set to have kids at a certain age? They are actual beings with different wants and desires for their lives? And some of them don´t want to have any children and some do? And some want to get married and some don´t? And some just don´t give a fuck about a stranger´s opinion about what to do with their uterus? SHOCKING!

    The fact that this is in fact shocking to people is actually shocking.

  • Ian Rennie

    Can’t stand people who don’t know when to stop with the personal questions. My wife and I most likely won’t be having children for a number of reasons (some of them out of our control). Every now and then people get pushy about discussing kids and it’s tough to know how to shut the conversation down without airing more of my personal life than I really want to or being openly rude. Oddly one of the times I’ve been able to handle it successfully was when I just broadly smiled and said “let’s change the subject.”

    • Siren

      Sometimes that’s the best way to handle it. A big overly pleasant smile and “let’s change the subject”, to me, says “How about go fuck yourself? I’m uncomfortable.” and people who can pick up on that usually back away, or, change the subject 😀

  • Xebi

    YOU should have been more tactful? That’s very charitable of you. He was the one being rude and intrusive, even if unintentionally.

    Don’t go around making assumptions about people’s reproductive plans. For all you know they might have just found out they can’t have children and are heartbroken. Or they are completely sick of people trying to push them into having children when they clearly don’t want to.

  • Kathy Plester

    This whole ‘all women just want babies’ is as bad as ‘All men want is sex’. It may surprise many to find that some women don’t want babies, or want to rush into having babies and that many men are indeed seeking meaningful and long term relationships. It shouldn’t really surprise anyone but there we go.

    I did want kids but was not in any rush. I also wasn’t in a huge rush to get married. I wanted to at some point but I wasn’t rushing around like ‘I must find my future husband and have lots of babies!’ Lots of people (even other women) were really surprised by this, as if I was the weird one, but it’s really not uncommon.

  • KashyaCharsi

    A woman once got enough of this and told her coworkers she was sterile. They felt so sorry for her they stopped bringing it up.

  • Kittens McTavish

    I was once called “selfish” because I said I didn’t want children. It shocked me so much I was literally speechless. I don’t understand the reasoning there. Was I born owing the world a child? Am I depriving somebody of something by not having one? Is it selfish to NOT want something? Why isn’t it selfish to have a child if you want one? Makes just as much sense.

    • KashyaCharsi

      Ruining another human for life with an unloving family just to fit in with judgemental strangers is the selfish thing to do.

    • chibi

      it’s generally MORE selfish to have kid. it’s not possible for it to be selfish to NOT want kids. people are so illogical.

    • xarophti

      It’s the whole idea of it being “selfish” to live your own life & not give your body & soul to a child. “Because having a child is the most selfless thing you can do.” Dreck. A lot of people have kids for very selfish reasons – carry on the family name, someone to take care of them when they’re old, Grandma wants that grandchild, etc. Welcome to the life of the childfree-by-choice. I’m in my 50’s now, and they do eventually shut up when they realize you mean it. Stay strong, sisters.

  • Illogically

    Ughhh yes. I decided long ago that I never want children, even before I figured out that I’m ace. Now, any time the topic comes up, I get comments like “You know there’s artificial insemination! You don’t need to have sex to have kids!” …yes, thanks, I’m aware. I still don’t want kids, and it has nothing to do with being ace.

    Then when I say I generally don’t like babies, there’s invariably at least one person who says “Oh, but it’s different when it’s your own! You’ll love your own babies!”
    I’m sure you think so, but A: No, and B: What if I don’t? Then I have a baby I don’t want, medical bills I don’t want, and the fun of getting judged for putting them up for adoption.

    It’s like in their mind, there’s no possible opinion that can exist other than ‘babies are wonderful everyone should have at least one’.

    • Sandy Pham

      Sometime I do wonder why I’m awed by almost all animal and literally melted by babies/little animals, just the sight of a baby human make me want to scream “Put That Thing Back Where It Came From or So Help Me”.

      Actually babies are somewhat fine to me because usually they stay still, unless their moms decide I should hold them. Toddlers and up are not okay since they can actually move toward me.

      • katherinemch

        You remind me of myself.
        I famously once gasped “Please! Don’t let it touch me!!!” when a coworker’s 2-year-old wandered near me. I guess it was a bit of a faux pas. The words just slipped out in my moment of horror. 😛

        They all seem to have clammy, grabby hands and faces dripping saliva & snot. I’d rather get road rash or hammer my thumb, than have a toddler touch me.

        And that’s just the grabbing.
        There’s also the yelling, which strains my nerves in its own way.

    • Medusa Jordan

      Being in a same sex relationship REALLY shuts down this question!

  • Darth Pseudonym

    There is just something about pregnancy that suddenly makes people lose any respect for autonomy, like babies and your thoughts on the subject are automatically public property. People come up and touch a woman’s belly without asking, ask for their due date, and want to have deep discussions about why you have certain desires as regards your future family.

    It’s none of your business!

    • Megan

      I’ve been asked by complete strangers if I planned to breastfeed. Seriously?! Luckily only friends touched my belly (and they asked first, mostly). But random people will come up and touch my daughter and I’m wondering what makes it acceptable to touch someone else’s kid!? Then I get the “When are you having another?” question, with vehement argument when I say that I’m not. How does it affect your life whether I have more than one kid?

  • chibi

    Dude, that WAS tactful. ;p

  • Liz Cember

    More like he should have been more tactful.

  • Emma

    I absolutely adore children and can’t wait to have a whole bunch of ’em myself. But because I love them so much, I respect people who say they don’t want them. Raising kids is A LOT of work and if anyone is less than 100% sure they want kids they shouldn’t have kids. Honestly, I have a lot of respect for people who are solid in making that decision because there are so many who are uncertain and have kids anyway and then their kid ends up all kinds of messed up.

  • Mori-Girl

    I like older children (4+), but I can’t stand being around babies. I usually try to leave the room (unless I’m temporarily responsible for them). They also all look the same to me.

  • Nic

    Nah, you shouldn’t have been more tactful in hindsight. You already tried that multiple times and it didn’t work; that leaves blunt and direct as the only option.

  • ArchStanton75

    My wife and I can go out for the evening or leave town for the weekend on a whim thanks to a simpler budget and no babysitting concerns. We can be pleasantly alone together for an entire day doing our own thing in peaceful silence. Whenever someone with kids is smug that my wife and I will surely want kids some day, I always figure they are just jealous of those of us who choose not to have kids. Like my wife and I are getting away with something. Then I start to pity them–perhaps they never realized that *not* having kids really was is option.

  • Veronica Niechajczyk

    IDK, I thought it was a pretty astute reasoning.

  • It is unbelievable that in plain XXI century people still freak out when someone, specially when is a woman who says it, that they don’t want to have children…

  • Stephanie McConnell

    Beyond being a stupid thing to say and all, I still find this offensive to say all women want babies. Some are baby crazy, sure. But IMO, making that assumption that all women want babies isn’t far from saying that women are required to have babies, or that women are only good for having babies – and that’s not even going into what’s implied about you and your worth as a woman if you don’t. Besides, where do people get the idea that they can ask about the reproductive plans of complete strangers or casual acquaintances? How about you ask about my bathroom habits next, while you’re asking me personal questions about my body that are none of your business?

    /endrant. Sorry, this topic gets to me.

    PS No, no more tact was required. Especially in the parking lot, outside the office.

  • Medusa Jordan

    No,you shouldn’t have been more tactful. I think you were far too polite.

  • allahboleh

    I mean, he’s not wrong. Societal pressures concocted by feminists will only go so far. Almost all women (probably 2% or less don’t actually want children) will want children so his assumptions follow the balance of probability. My guess is by your mid-30s you’ll have changed your mind. Or you’re one of the very few. Stop making people feel bad for making the most likely assumption.

    • Luke Green

      Yeah, mate, don’t you see? You’re part of the problem.