why do people ask if your going to have kids?

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Posted 2/22/2013 by glitter rage in NSBR Board
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glitter rage
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:42:56 AM
Curious because I get asked a lot.

scrappower
Allons-y Alonso

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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:44:13 AM
Honestly? Because society expects anyone married to have kids. It is annoying to me. I don't want kids, am never going to have kids and guess what? That is okay. But some think that is the oddest thing ever and think I am some freak because of it.

I personally think it is an extremely personal and rude question to ask.



icedpea
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:44:33 AM
I never ask anyone that. I did not appreciate it when people started asking me that the moment I was married. I also don't touch pregnant women's bellies!!! That was another pet peeve of mine.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:44:39 AM
Because they always do.
First, it's "when are you getting married?" Then, once you are married, that is the next question.
As stupid as it is, that's the way it is.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:46:29 AM
Once you have the first, they think they're like potato chips and you can't just have one.

Either, they are making conversation, they care or they are nosy. Depends who is asking. Why do people ask anything?


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styxgirl
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:47:10 AM
People are nosy. My DH and I were together for 6 years before we got married. The question was "When are you going to get married?"

After we were married, we waited another 7 years to have kids and the question was "When are you going to have kids?"

When I was pregnant it was "Why aren't you finding out if it's a boy or girl?"

See a pattern? LOL!!!


Nicole

justalittletike
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:48:24 AM
I think general curiosity.

I think people just wonder the same way we wonder if you are going to buy a house or get married.


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PEArfect
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:49:45 AM
I do think it's just a natural assumption that if you are married having children is the next phase of your marriage. Personally I wouldn't ask. I wouldn't want to offend anyone.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:50:39 AM
Is it WHEN or ARE you that pisses you of? I was always asked WHEN and I hated it.

People who asked ARE were given the answer no.
The WHEN people, they got varied answers and none of them were too polite.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:51:46 AM
People are nosy.




busypea
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:54:10 AM
I never ask anyone that because it annoyed me so when we were asked it.

I don't know why people do it (beyond the couple's parents, who are often interested in becoming grandparents - but it's still annoying from them!). I mean, I know it's the societal expectation that couples will have kids, but you'd think people could restrain themselves from being so intrusive.

We were married for 9 years before we had DS. We got asked about kids ALL THE TIME. And then once we had DS, almost immediately the "When will you have another?" questions started. Ugh.

My pat answer was "when and if we decide we want to be parents."

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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:57:19 AM
And then once we had DS, almost immediately the "When will you have another?" questions started.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

After the third one they start asking when are you goin to stop....


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glitter rage
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:00:53 AM
I have had a bf for 15 years. We will marry someday. People ask if I am going to have kids, not when. I don't ask others because I feel it is too personal. Total strangers ask me! I get annoyed. The truth is I am undecided at the moment, I would like to have kids but there are a lot of good reasons not to. It is getting to be a touchy subject with me. I'm not sure how to respond.

ashazamm
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:03:00 AM
My DH's two nieces are older (one married and one in a serious relationship) and DH teases them all the time about when they are going to have kids. Even I get annoyed by the questions and ask him to lay off. It's their business. Both have expressed not wanting to have kids. I actually thinks that's great. I think an adult can have an awesome life without having kids. It's not ideal for everyone.

MerryMom937
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:06:16 AM
I always chalked it up to people making conversation.

busypea
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:07:14 AM

After the third one they start asking when are you goin to stop....

No kidding. My cousin and her DH have five kids (the youngest is adopted). The comments they got when they decided to adopt were unbelievable.

Apparently, in America if you have anything other than 2 kids (one boy and one girl, of course), there will be lots of people to question your reproductive choices.

nesser01
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:12:45 AM
People are just nosy. I only have one kid and at least once a day I get asked when I'm having another one. Never. I used to just smile and say eventually, even though we don't plan on having more mainly for. This one lady at worked seriously asked me 10 times a day and tried to make me feel guilty for not having another one. One day I told her if you're going to carry the baby, provide me with money to support the child, buy me a house large enough for the family you expect me to have, I would be happy to have another child. That shut her up and she doesn't ask me anymore. Maybe I was rude but oh well. Having kids or not having kids is a personal thing and quite frankly, whichever you chose, it's nobody's business.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:26:49 AM

I always chalked it up to people making conversation.

Me too. I guess nobody ever asked me because I used to tell people that one of many reasons DH and I were compatible is because neither of us wanted any more kids. So, no reason to ask. LOL If someone didn't know and asked if we were planning to have kids, I just said no or He!! No. LOL I never really thought much about the question because it never went any further than that.





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kellybelly77
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:39:40 AM
I think people want to make conversation but don't know what to say. And then some people are just plain nosy!


Kelly

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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:43:49 AM

I always chalked it up to people making conversation.


There are a million different things to make conversation about that are less likely to be emotional minefields.

Maybe they just don't feel ready for kids or just plain don't want to have them. But maybe they have been trying for years and just can't get pregnant. Or maybe they have had multiple miscarriages. Or maybe one partner desperately wants kids and the other refuses. Or or or... any other of a number of things that really aren't fodder for casual chitchat and are potentially painful for the person being asked.

IMO, it's an even more personal question than asking someone their salary and we all know that's not an acceptable topic for conversation.

gar
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:45:44 AM
Because the majority of married folk do have kids.



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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:54:20 AM
Get used to it. People always ask. People are nosey and like someone said, are usually just making conversation. It doesn't end either. When you DO have a kid...they want to know when/if you are having another.

If they are indeed being rude, nosey or condescending, say "why would I want to ruin my life like that?"



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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:59:42 AM

After the third one they start asking when are you goin to stop....
Yes! My personal favorite is, "You know what causes that, right?" Um, no - how about you tell me.



elphalba
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Posted: 2/22/2013 12:01:00 PM
Curiosity I suppose.

First it's, are you dating anyone?

Then, when are you going to get married?

...Have a baby?
....Have another baby?
...are you going to be done?


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Posted: 2/22/2013 12:01:29 PM
Because they are nosy asshole busybodies who can't come up with more interesting topics of conversation.

Having children is not the be all and end all, but a lot of people don't get that. Same with getting married and "settling down".

It's annoying as hell.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 12:15:50 PM
And then when you do have them, everyone seems to think it's fair to ask you if you are going to have any more!






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Posted: 2/22/2013 12:18:33 PM
I always chalked it up to people making conversation.
---------------------------------------------------

There are a million different things to make conversation about that are less likely to be emotional minefields.



^^^^^^ this, exactly! the weather, the latest book you read, a movie that just came out, someone's hobbies or interests... I could sooo easily think of a hundred different things I could ask instead of nosy questions about someone's marital status or childbearing abilities / desires.

I think it IS partly due to 'laziness' in conversation, as someone else already said. But is is a rude, too-personal question to ask, in my opinion.






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Posted: 2/22/2013 12:26:35 PM
i used to get asked alot when i was in my 20's and 30's. mostly the mother and grandmother-types would ask me. i would have to go through the whole schpeel about not wanting kids, blah blah blah.

now that i'm in my 40's, some ask why i didn't have kids...who will take care of me when i get old, blah blah blah. but most of the time now, most comment that i should be glad i didn't have kids. now i can just enjoy life, travel, blah blah blah. it makes me laugh.




Creativegirl
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Posted: 2/22/2013 12:32:58 PM
I agree with all BusyPea said.

We have been married 8 years- I was 20 years old when we got married and we never planned to have children right away, or even soon. We knew it would be at least 5 years and probably more but no matter how many times we said that, people kept asking over and over and over.

I'm a pretty private person sometimes and it bothered me a lot the first 5 years or so we were married. I was not very confident with my own choices yet and it felt like criticism- like we were doing something wrong or letting people down by not having children. With age comes the wisdom to realize that THEY aren't the ones carrying, paying for, and raising the child so it's none of their business. It doesn't bother me anymore, but as it turns out it's been long enough that most people are FINALLY tired of asking anyway!

I think it is at best an ignorant question and at worst thoughtless and hurtful. People need to realize that it's a loaded question for a lot of couples and can bring up feelings of doubt, sadness, disappointment, frustration, etc. Why would you take the chance of making someone feel that way just so you can have your selfish curiosity fulfilled?


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Posted: 2/22/2013 12:56:14 PM
Because they're curious. Or just making conversation.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 1:35:43 PM
The answers on this thread-- wow. Nosy? Rude?

Really? I guess it's all in the manner in which the question is asked.

I have asked people before if they WANT to have children. And it is just a question. Asked out of curiosity and asked in a friendly manner, because children, whether you have them or not, want them or not, are part of society, just like books, or music, or movies, etc. We are humans. We have relationships. Sometimes we have kids. Sometimes we don't.

Holy hell. I only had one child. I was asked for years if I was having another. I didn't get offended about those questions. I didn't think they were rude. I was only annoyed or offended if someone responded to my no answer in a negative manner or badgered me about it after they knew the answer was no.

I was not offended because it is a question born of curiosity. I was confident in myself and in my decision and in my answer, so there was no reason to be offended.

Good Lord, they weren't asking if I was planning on going to Weight Watchers or if I was going to have a wart removed or if I was planning on giving my loud Hawaiian shirt to the Salvation Army, lol. Those would be rude questions, because they imply I am fat or ugly or have bad fashion taste. Asking if someone would like to have children or more children seems to me to be a reasonable, friendly question-- not an attack.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 1:37:10 PM
I'm not married and I get it all the time.

The worst thing is when you get asked when you are due... and you are not pregnant. Ack!



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Posted: 2/22/2013 1:43:47 PM
I guess it's all in the manner in which the question is asked.



I think so too, and it all depends on WHO is asking the question. Not to say that I haven't felt the same way believe me I have.


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mtomseth
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Posted: 2/22/2013 1:51:17 PM
I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt when they ask me questions and assume they care about me and my plans for the future. Though it would probably be helpful if they reframed their questions, from "when are you going to ...blank...? To, "do you have plans to ...blank...?

Do you have plans to attend college?
Do you have plans to retire?
Do you have plans to get married?

so on and so forth....

ETA: LOL! I was giving 'general' examples of how people might ask personal questions. I've already done 2 out of the 3 in my example questions.


BudgetMama
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Posted: 2/22/2013 1:57:17 PM
I will ask the "are you" question not to be overly nosey - I mean, I don't ask a complete stranger - but because I wouldn't want to say "when you have kids this and such" to someone who isn't going to have kids. I wouldn't want to make a pregnancy comment to someone who maybe dealing with infertility. If I know you're trying to get pregnant, I might ask you if you want my 3 year olds changing table / crib/ and other hand me downs before I give them to charity.

It's not to be rude. Whatever your decision is, is fine with me. I just ask so I can behave accordingly.

isabel_r
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Posted: 2/22/2013 2:07:35 PM

The worst thing is when you get asked when you are due... and you are not pregnant. Ack!


I carry my weight around my mid section so I've had people make the assumption that I'm pregnant before. Quite rude!

I don't really mind people asking me if I want or when I'll have kids. I just figure people are curious and that's fine. I'm comfortable with my decision not to have kids which might be why I don't find the questions offensive myself. I don't ever ask it of other people though because you never know the reasons why someone might not have kids.

What does upset me is the follow up questions and/or comments such as, "why in the world not?", "don't you like kids?", "isn't that a bit selfish of you?"...etc. I had an instance of an acquaintance of mine announcing to a group that I didn't like kids simply because I'd previously answered her question of whether I was planning of having them.

Not wanting kids does not automatically equal not liking or hating kids!

scrappower
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Posted: 2/22/2013 3:06:24 PM


Good Lord, they weren't asking if I was planning on going to Weight Watchers or if I was going to have a wart removed or if I was planning on giving my loud Hawaiian shirt to the Salvation Army, lol. Those would be rude questions, because they imply I am fat or ugly or have bad fashion taste. Asking if someone would like to have children or more children seems to me to be a reasonable, friendly question-- not an attack.


The reason why I have an issue with it is that most people get extremely brazen after I say never and go on and on insisting they need to know why. And me saying because we don't want them isn't good enough. It is no one's business to be honest. I find it a personal question. I have been told that I am selfish for not giving my parent's grandchildren and that there must be something "wrong" with me for not wanting them. So my dislike of the question is not unfounded.



isabel_r
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Posted: 2/22/2013 3:16:38 PM

See, here's the difference between you (and Mom2Katie, who also mentioned being "comfortable" with her decision on kids). ...





I can totally understand other people's uneasiness with the question and I was not trying to minimize their feelings by expressing my own attitude regarding being asked the same question. That is why I said that the reason I don't get offended is because of being comfortable with my decision not to have them and I went on to say that I would never ask anyone those questions because I don't know what their own circumstances are.

My lack of outrage over the question does not mean I don't understand why others would be.

mightyme
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Posted: 2/22/2013 3:30:56 PM
Asking is better than assuming. IMO


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Maryland
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Posted: 2/22/2013 3:52:01 PM
I have no idea! I don't know why people care if others have kids. I would think they would prefer their friends not to have kids, because kids keep you busy. I have three kids, but no one ever asked me that question. I am a SAHM and stopped telling people I have a law degree because they can't imagine why someone with a law degree would want to be a SAHM.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 3:52:30 PM
My first marriage (7 years) was childless and I can't recall ever being asked if/when we were having children. I now have one child (who is almost 11) in my second marriage and I don't think I have ever been asked if/when I was having another. I must not attract nosy or curious people.


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matleavepea
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Posted: 2/22/2013 5:26:56 PM
i was also asked, when pregnant with #3, "why are you having another baby? you already have a boy and a girl". ummm, they aren't trading cards or beanie babies that i collect, this is our family!?!

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Posted: 2/22/2013 6:26:14 PM
I get asked that question weekly. DH and I have fertility issues, so it's like a knife in the heart every time. I've wanted to be a Mom for a long time, and it just hasn't happened.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 6:40:56 PM

Once you have the first, they think they're like potato chips and you can't just have one.


Yeah, that too. We have just one and really only planned on one. After a couple of years we were certain one was just fine for us. But it took several years more for people to not ask me all the time when we were having another. Dd will be thirteen in April and I still get asked every once in a while. And oh the comments about not being a real mom or having it easy with just one are so freaking annoying.

Basically people are nosey and like to give their two cents.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:39:09 PM
I get asked a lot too. I go for the shock factor and tell people I don't like kids so we aren't having any. Then I pause, and laugh. They laugh too and we move on. It is for sure annoying!





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klwells
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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:43:17 PM
That said, I think the reason many do it is because children are a joy. It is an amazing thing to find the right person to live your life with and then to raise a child with that person. It is the hardest thing you'll ever do, and the most rewarding. My children are my heart and they have infused my life with meaning that I never imagined.

The above is why I find the question so annoying. When you say no inevitably you get some version of the above. I don't find children a joy. I have no desire to have them and never have. I've found my person to spend my life with and luckily for me he shares my reproductive views.


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alittleintrepid
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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:53:00 PM
I think people tend to ask because they are making conversation or because they genuinely would like to welcome a baby into their midst. Who doesn't love a baby! (Especially the kind that make someone else's nights sleepless!) I've never known anyone to not welcome an adopted child in the same way (athough hear that it happens) but recognize how thoughtless this conversation could be if you were trying to conceive.

Gia LuPeaA
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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:58:39 PM

Basically people are nosey and like to give their two cents.
Yep. That's why we all come to NSBR!


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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:09:27 PM

I never ask because you never know who is struggling to get pregnant and questions like that can really tear through a person like a knife.


So true. Or in my case my guys were stillborn and even after thirteen years it can still bring me to tears if I'm not expecting the question.


scrappower
Allons-y Alonso

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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:54:35 PM

That said, I think the reason many do it is because children are a joy. It is an amazing thing to find the right person to live your life with and then to raise a child with that person. It is the hardest thing you'll ever do, and the most rewarding. My children are my heart and they have infused my life with meaning that I never imagined.

The above is why I find the question so annoying. When you say no inevitably you get some version of the above. I don't find children a joy. I have no desire to have them and never have. I've found my person to spend my life with and luckily for me he shares my reproductive views.



Same here. My life is full of meaning & joy and I don't need kids added to it to change that. If that is your thing, great.....but I don't feel that way at all.


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