Please stop asking when we'll procreate, dammit!

Just so you know, the response to “You’re not getting any younger” is “And you’re not getting any more tactful”. Of course, there’s an optional “Bitch” on the end of that also.

If you aren’t comfortable with that, try the cover-all, “Back off” and leave it at that.

The one thing I have learned is that those who think when you are having kids is any of their business also end up feeling like how you raise them is their business too.

Nip it in the bud NOW. Trust me on this.

We had known fertility issues before we got married too. I tried to be as honest as I could with my inlaws about the odds of them getting grandchildren. We discussed adoption at length but did not have the money for it.

I hate when people insert themselves into someone’s reproductive system. I would always ask people if they planned on raising the baby for me after it was born. Babies are adorable but pregnancy is no cakewalk and the lifetime of raising them is not for the squeamish. Depending on how cranky I was that day was how in depth my story got. People wanted to know when I was going to have a baby? They got more info than they wanted. Shuts people up quick when you describe nasty medical procedures at length!

Our daughter was a surprise and a miracle. We were thrilled beyond thrilled. I remember the mixed feelings of joy and horrendous guilt when I told my friend I was pregnant. She and I had been going through fertility things together. She too had an early miscarriage. She had the tube clearing surgery. I had hormone therapy. She still has no babies and I have two. Why did I deserve them and not her? Is it really just biological roulette?

When I got pregnant with my son people wanted to know why I was having them so close! First I didn’t have one soon enough and now I have too many too soon. You can’t win. Don’t let them get to you.

Moms. You can’t listen to 'em without going crazy, and you can’t tell 'em to shut the hell up without feeling guilty. I feel for you Ava, I really do. I’ve been there and done that too many times to count on various subjects. First it was how I wasn’t getting married fast enough to suit her, then it was how I wasn’t running my wedding to suit her, now it’s how I’m not giving her grandbabies alternating with how I really ought to try again to go to vet school.

My sil’s pregnant, and I was hoping that would keep her off my back for a year or so, but no such luck. Just the other night she was talking about my grandparents and how if nobody else gets busy this could be their only great-grandchild. Words cannot express how horribly tempted I was to say, “Well, actually, we were getting busy right before you called. That’s why it took us so long to get to the phone. You wouldn’t believe how flexible that man is…”

And Lily is right, it never fucking stops. I spent 6 of the 7 years we were together before getting engaged fielding questions from all and sundry about when we were getting married. (Actually, it was just the three years or so, because after that I started telling people that we’d set a date for the Saturday after Hell froze over, and they really ought to try to come. People quit badgering me after that.) Then, as soon as we were engaged, I started hearing shit from all quarters about when we were going to have a baby. (They’ve got two more years before I start telling them we’ll have a kid when Dr.J can squeeze one out of his ass.) My friends that have kids have been asked about Deduction #2 as early as two weeks after giving birth. I guess maybe it slows down a bit after kid #2.

And yes, an instant’s thought ought to tell people that this stuff is none of their business. That same instant’s thought ought to tell people that a woman who’s got endometriosis and such is likely to have problems with the whole pregnancy thing, and that suspected infertility is often painful to the infertile couple. Sadly, though, people often don’t think. People who would never deliberately hurt or upset you for anything in the world can say the most heartbreaking things out of pure thoughtlessness. Telling them how painful the subject is for you probably won’t stop the cavalcade of commentary entirely, but it would probably at least slow it down.

seething I… haaaaaaaate the Knowing Look.

I have never wanted children. Never. Never, ever, EVER.

I was in a mall (had to see my cousin at work), we were chit-chatting about a mutual friend who was overwhelmed by her child-rearing responsibilities, and I mentioned being glad I’m never having kids, and some woman who overheard me burst into laughter, then gave me the Knowing Look.

The Knowing Look. Sometimes the Knowing Look is followed by “Oh… wink you say that now…”

I hate the Knowing Look.

And that this complete stranger, who knows nothing about me, my lifestyle, or my suitability to parenthood would laugh at me… :mad: :mad: :mad:

Avabeth - You’re totally right – parenthood is an awesome responsibility and you are making choices that are based on what’s right for you and your spouse-to-be. It’s no one else’s business. Congrats on the up-and-coming nuptials!

In Annie’s Mailbox today (one of the successors to Ann Landers, sorry, no link ) they published a bunch of hilarious smart ass responses to this obnoxious question. Sounds like it is time for you to have a fit.

I don’t have personal experience with this problem, since both my mother and my mother-in-law took a long time to have first children, and so suffered through this crap also (which was no better 50 years ago.) we never, ever got bugged by either of them.

Buuuuut…doesn’t EVERYBODY want babies? I mean, really, isn’t that what you get married FOR? :rolleyes: What I really hated about the Knowing Look is that they were thinking about MY SEX LIFE which is none of their damned business. I mean, were they wishing that we’d have a birth control failure and feel compelled to keep the baby or something? I don’t think so. I hate to sound cold, but if my health is at stake, I’ll get an abortion. I’d hate to do it, but I will. The people who gave me the Look would be absolutely horrified at the thought, naturally.

I’d rather start with an older kid anyway. Other people’s babies are fabulous, and my sincerest congratulations to any and all Dopers who are having them. Me, I’d tear my hair out if I had to deal with a baby constantly. At least you can communicate with a five-year-old.

I’m so glad, for so many reasons, that my sister in law is pregnant.

First and foremost, they want kids, lots of kids, biological and adpoted. Good for them. I think they’ll be good parents. They were in the beginning stages of adopting a little girl from Brazil when she found she was

Second, I don’t want kids. Ardred doesn’t want kids. Ever. This works out well for us. :slight_smile:

The adoption was kind of calming my mom down, though she balked at the idea of a kid of a different ethnic background than our own, she soon realized that was stupid, and was ready to embrace the kid with open arms. Luckily, she’s self-aware enough (and had a harping evil mother) to know that nagging me about kids wasn’t going to help her get any, anytime soon.

Good luck, avabeth, and congrats on the upcoming wedding.

Actually, I was very close to screaming “If you don’t shut the fuck up about grandchildren, you won’t get any! And I’ll tell Adam not to have any either! He’ll do it just so you shut the fuck up!” at my mom yesterday. And Adam’s my brother - his wife has been on the verge of screaming the same thing at my mother several times, too.

Dangerosa, that’s what sort of perplexes me most - my mother and my family are AWARE of my condition, they know the hell my cousin went through, and you’d think they’d be a bit more thoughtful regarding this. But no, I just get badgered and pushed constantly. My mom’s already aware of the adoption angle - I’ve mentioned it to her before. And I do think I’m lucky in that my family will love an adopted grandchild/niece/nephew/cousin as much as a biological family member. But we’d like to do it on our terms, not because everyone else is ready.

And from everyone’s stories, it just seems like no one is EVER happy. People will probably shit a brick when they find out we’re strongly only thinking about one child. Once the ‘when will you have a baby???’ stops, we’ll get ‘when are you going to give him/her a little brother or sister???’.

I figure my answer to that will be “When humans can give birth to cats.” because we’d be perfectly happy with one child and four cats (hypothetically, obviously…we may decide we want two kids at some point).

Perhaps I should send my mother and my cousin to this thread so that they can see NORMAL people don’t badger their family members into having children for whom they aren’t ready?


Some useless anectdotal advice… We couldn’t have kids so we took our nurturing tendancies and filled our homes with critters. We adopted a dog and 4 cats and did a lot of kitten/puppy fostering…

We now have 2 kids, one dog and 4 cats. While I love them all - I could do with one or two less living things to consider… if at all possible - have the kids and then decide how many cats :slight_smile:

Well, we have two which mr. avabeth is perfectly content with - I love my two kitties, but I’m always hoping to adopt more. There’s been an adorable little orange guy named Billy the Kid at the local no-kill shelter, but so far, it’s been a no-go. So when we buy a house, my goal is to adopt a couple of rats. mr. avabeth is resigning himself to the fact that we will be living in a zoo when we buy a house:). Neither of us wants a dog because we’re just not dog people, but if I could have four cats, a few rats, a snake, a turtle, and a tank of fish, I’d be in heaven.

Let’s just hope our kid(s) like animals.


Sounds wonderful!

My mother in law used to nag about us having kids a bit, but I think she may, er, have inadvertantly got the message when she said there was an onus on me to have kids since my husband is an only child/grandchild and I think I may, er, have reacted physically to the word onus. Because the next time she brought it up was to say there was no hurry. We haven’t actually out and told them that we don’t want kids, I figured it’s not really anyone’s business but ours. I suppose if she asks again at Christmas I might make it clear that we’re not moving in that direction.

Where I get the nagging from is work, oddly enough. We’ve had a baby-boom at work this year and sundry women have said: “So when is it your turn?” and then given me the “you’ll change your mind” line. Look, I have known since I was 16 or 17 that I was not interested in having kids, I may indeed change my mind, but frankly the odds of that are slim at this point, and commentary from people who aren’t even related to me isn’t going to change that! (I got the “you’ll change your mind” line when I was 17 and people asked… when I was single, i.e. not even dating… and at the time I was a lot more diplomatic about the possibility that I’d change my mind, but it’s been ten years and the window for optimum fertility and child-birth will eventually narrow, so it becomes less and less likely I’ll change my mind.)

But… once you have your own…


Another victim here. After lots of poking by doctors they couldn’t find what’s wrong with us and just chalked it out to bad luck and ‘come back in 12 months if nothing happens’. We want a baby. We want a baby badly. My husband who is 34 is always reminding me that ‘he’s not getting any yournger’, meaning **I ** (33 yo) am not getting any younger. But he’s not the problem (he is joking about it), my family is the problem. If I tell somebody we have problems conceiving they will go to great lenghts to suggest doctors, methods, wacky treatments, sexual positions, etc. If I don’t tell them we have problems conceiving is the ‘but why don’t you have kids?’, ‘when are you going to have kids?’.

I. Just. Can’t. Take. It. Anymore.

I have taken to stitcking my fingers in my ears and shouting “LA LA LA LA LA LA…I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!” when it comes up now. I"m 33 with no children (and will not be having any children) and I’m so goddamned sick of it I could scream. So I do!

Try it- it’s wonderful fun and much less frustrating then fighting them.

Bah! Just tell them “I was born without a uterus, but I have two bladders. Wanna see how much I can pee?”

Or “I sold my ovaries to pay for college.” That should work too.

Heh - those are great. Can I borrow them?

Mighty_Girl, I’m sorry you’re going through that. It amazes me how thoughless people can be.

Good news is I talked to Mom last night and not one baby-guilt comment. We’ll see how tonight goes.


The “Knowing Look” - in defense of people who throw it, back in high school and college I was the person folks thought was LEAST likely to settle down at all…much less actually have a KID! Now here I am 14 years later with three kids, four stepkids, and three grandkids (step-grandkids, but whatever).

I’m not saying the Knowing Look people are right by any stretch of the imagination, nor am I trying to imply that childless people are going to suddenly want kids (if you don’t want kids, good for you for not having them! I envy you your quiet weekend mornings. :)). I’m just saying that the people who throw it aren’t maliciously needling you, and it’s probably unconscious. You just never know, you know?

When I told my dad I was pregnant his reaction was “…oh no…” and my mom’s was “Oh honey, is that a good idea?” And this was when I had already been married for two years and was well past the age of majority. So…people who get knocked up don’t always have screamingly supportive families either.

I think the people who have given the basic advice “Tell them, calmly and politely, to fuck right off and mind their own gonads” are right on the money. Those kinds of questions - particularly from people who have asked them before and already know the answers - are rude beyond belief. Like asking a widow at her husband’s gravesite, “So, you doing anything Friday night?”

The fact that some people change their minds and no one knows for certain what the future holds does NOT excuse the Knowing Look, Hama. Some people want kids and change their minds (sometimes after the child is already here, sadly), but I don’t get to go around smirking at people who are planning to have children. A whole lot of people think they want to go into medical fields but change their minds once they get a taste of it, but I have yet to see or hear of anyone announcing they want to go to medical school and get the Knowing Look. Why? Well, because it’s hideously rude to imply that you know more about what someone wants out of his life than he does. It’s just that people either forget that fact, or don’t give a fuck, when it comes to people’s decision to delay or forgo reproduction.

I am amazed people actually ask that. I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that. When ever anyone asks me if I have kids, I tell them that both my sisters do, and my husband already has a few so I’m off the hook.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised if people have asked me ‘when’ I’m going to have kids, and I’ve given them the same response.

A while back, my dad asked my younger sister when he was going to get to hear the pitter patter of little feet. She told him to go buy a hamster.

What gets me about these people is that I do in fact like kids. I want to teach elementary school age kids. They’re fun. I figure I can get my kid fix, if I need one, that way.

And what the heck is wrong with the idea of finishing school and then having kids, anyway?