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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LottaFire
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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:13:57 PM
Wow. Touchy question to ask & I'd be scared of inadvertently hurting someone's feelings.
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BrinaG
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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:30:42 PM
I dealt with infertility - went through treatments and also adoption. I understand the question can be painful.

However, I think most people are just making conversation. People ask about the next phase all the time. High school students get asked what colleges they are applying to and where they most want to go. College students get asked about majors, graduate schools, future job prospects and where they plan to live after graduation. When you are dating they ask about marriage and once married they ask about kids. I assume in a 'few' years people will start asking about our retirement.

SuPeaNatural
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:30:18 PM
We visited my XH's grandmother a few months before we got married and she asked us then. I (politely) told her that I'd never been a kid person and wasn't having any - the worst news for a country lady who had about 6 or 7 of her own and expected a tribe of grandkids asap.

Needless to say, she never asked again, and neither did any of his other rels. I'm sure that news spread like wildfire amoung the whole family.

Not only did this unknown girl from the big city come along and 'steal' her grandson away from his family (they all lived in a small country town and assumed we'd live there too), but she wasn't even going to give him any kids!! Shock Horror. I was never quite forgiven for that comment, even though we ended up having 4 kids.

My cousin was hounded by her own mother for years after her marriage. Cousin was the only daughter and even though Aunty had grandkids from her sons, she desperately wanted her daughter to have some.

Finally, after about 10 years, Cous finally told Aunty that she had a medical problem and wasn't able to have children. Not true as she is childless by choice, but it was the only way to stop the constant bombardment. And I do mean constant - like every single time they visited. Aunty is like a dog with a bone over most things.



kaylin
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:34:11 PM
The correct word is you're not your.
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Artbabe
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:43:30 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.


I have to agree with the others that this kind of statement is exactly why the question can be so hurtful.

People ask me why I don't have kids.
I didn't find a husband in time. My biological clock ran out.

Sorry I didn't get to have an "amazing" and "most rewarding" life. Sorry my life isn't "infused with meaning."

I know you didn't mean it that way, but those kind of comments sting. I'm okay with my life the way it is but that question when I'm not expecting it can bring tears to my eyes.

And this is just my story. There are just so many ways that the question "are you going to have kids?" can go wrong that it is probably best avoided unless you are talking to your closest friend.


Tracy

I put my heart and soul into my work, & have lost my mind in the process. Vincent van Gogh

Jumpea Bumples
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:27:19 PM
dh and I dated for 2 yrs...everyone kept asking "when are you going to get married?" we knew we would but not when..so i started telling everyone that asked "when everyone quits asking" ...lol well that worked....4 days after we got married, dh's sil had her 1st baby..then the "when are you going to have a baby" questions started...argh...so right off the bat, " when everyone quits asking" lol..it was still 6 yrs before we had ds

now, my son got married last may, another young couple in our church got married last february and just found out they are expecting...yep you guessed it they are already asking ds and ddil when are they having one or "your'e next!" aggravating, cause her mom and I both told them they need to wait, so they can learn to live together first...

gar
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Posted: 2/23/2013 3:09:58 AM

I have no idea! I don't know why people care if others have kids


They generally only care in the same way as people 'care' when they ask where you're going on vacation/what colour you're going to paint the kitchen/which new car are you buying.



Today, I will be colouring outside the lines.


CrankyPea
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Posted: 2/23/2013 5:35:50 AM

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.


I appreciate and congratulate you for these feelings. But surely you can also see that for those of us who have never had the desire for children, or who could not have them, this kind of statement can come off as smug and/or condescending. In a roomful of other mothers, it's one thing. I'm just saying, consider your audience.


Angie

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I don't care." Dave Barry

WinoGirl
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Posted: 2/23/2013 10:08:00 AM

I appreciate and congratulate you for these feelings. But surely you can also see that for those of us who have never had the desire for children, or who could not have them, this kind of statement can come off as smug and/or condescending. In a roomful of other mothers, it's one thing. I'm just saying, consider your audience.


I agree with this. What's rewarding for some people is not for others. My mom bugged me for years, even offering monetary compensation

Dh and I just had zero desire to have children.
We like to travel and I like to do what I want, when I want. And I don't care if dh wants to play video games for three hours.
Children would have been a huge burden on our lifestyle.

junniper
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Posted: 2/23/2013 11:40:50 AM
I think it can be a very touchy question. I don't ask it even if I am curious because I would rather wonder than put someone on the spot or hurt their feelings. There are so many other things to talk about, why risk it?

I have been asked so many times if we want children and when I respond with a simple "yes" the questions that follow are unbelievable: "How long have you been married?" " How old are you?" " How long are you going to wait?"....it is like they are trying to figure me out or get the dirt on our situation.






Princess Pea
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Posted: 2/23/2013 1:14:42 PM
You know, honestly I think most people are just making conversation. I don't think they are as overanalytical as people on this board. I think they are just looking for something to say.

I remember when DD was a newborn, people kept asking me if I was planning to stay home with her. I wasn't, and I took all of their questions to mean that they were judgemental of my abilities as a mother. It was an emotionally charged subject for me, but looking back, I know that the sweet white-haired old ladies were not trying to offend me. They just wanted to start a conversation.

Most people are not out to get you, even though they can be annoying.


Melissa

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Sharna_G
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Posted: 2/23/2013 1:28:51 PM

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.


Au contraire! I have the so-called Rich Man's family, and people always say "So, I guess you guys are done now, huh?". Well, I guess I am now. Thanks for letting me know.


~~Sharna
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Darkchami
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Posted: 2/23/2013 1:43:47 PM
I too dread that question. My husband and I are unable to have children. Adoption also isn't in the cards for us. So we remain childless, despite our desire to have children.

The worst was going to a family get together and having people ask when we were going to have kids. We had been trying for a couple of years. My mom knew this and still responded that we had better hurry up. She wanted more grandchildren. Talk about sticking the knife in and twisting.

He**inWA
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Posted: 2/23/2013 2:18:19 PM
In my family, I tired of explaining my choice, so at times I evaded the question.
Then it turned into "why can't you have children?".
No one believed the true answers to either question.


He**inWA



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melanell
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Posted: 2/23/2013 2:23:12 PM
I really don't know. I can't recall ever asking anyone that, myself.

I'm sorry if you're being pestered by people.


I had a kid, and all I heard was "Are you going to have another?". They're never happy! First you need to find someone, then you have to marry them, then you need a litter.



BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 2/23/2013 2:52:05 PM
That was a running joke in our family. People would ask, "When are you getting married?" Then when you got married, they'd ask, "When are you having a baby?" Then after you had a baby, they'd ask, "When are you having another baby?" Then it became, "ARE you going to have another baby? Aren't 2 enough??" It never ends. People are just nosy!









Onceandagain
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Posted: 2/23/2013 3:02:17 PM
When they turn 15, it's all about; "When are they getting their learners permit. Age 16, "where did they apply to universities?"
Age 20, "When do they graduate?"
and on and on to the part where you start getting asked about when you are going to have grandkids.

lesserknownpea
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Posted: 2/23/2013 8:04:14 PM
I would never ask someone that question.

As previously pointed out:

They may be experiencing the pain of infertility.

They may have had miscarriage(s).

They may have been accused of being selfish for choosing to be childless.

They may be indecisive about this incredibly personal and important decision, and have no answer that works in casual conversation.

They probably do not want to hear the Hallmark Lecture about how fulfilling children are.

They may not be able to afford it.

It might be risking her health to have one.

There are so many possible reasons this question is not appropriate for casual conversation.

It goes the other way, too. I had 4 kids in 5 years. I got questions and comments that were invasive and insensitive.

Personally, I really respect people who choose to be childless. I think it takes guts to stick to this decision in the face of family and societal pressure.

NLGuy
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Posted: 2/23/2013 8:24:47 PM
I have one child. When he was little, I used to get "When are you having another?" or "You're not a REAL mom until you have at least two!" (my response: Oh yeah? Want to take mine for an afternoon so you can see firsthand how "not a real mom" I am?). Now that he's almost 10 I don't get that as often.

Another personal "favorite" is: "I can't believe you went back to work. Kids need their mom!" (my response: What about their dad?)

Finally, when husband and I were first married, he actually taught at my old high school for a while. We went to my former geometry teacher's house for a party and he asked what I'd been up to since graduation. I told him what I did for a living and without missing a beat, he said "You should be a stay-at-home mom!" At that point, we hadn't even decided whether we were going to have kids at all, much less our work situation. That just struck me as exceedingly weird.

NLGuy
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Posted: 2/23/2013 8:31:17 PM
I also would never think to ask someone such a personal question, for the myriad reasons listed above. Unfortunately, it seems that part of being an adult is having to put up with nosy questions and assumptions on the part of others projecting their personal desires (and insecurities) on you.

Sorry for those who've been hurt by such questions.
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