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Churumbela
11-01-2011, 08:57 PM
When I signed into my instant messaging service today, this was one of the "interest" articles that it showed, which I thought was kind of amazing!


My boyfriend and I don't know yet if we're going to have children -- but over the last few years, the majority of our friends have taken the plunge. During that time, I've learned a few things about how to keep friendships strong when you don't have parenthood in common. Here are 10 things not to say to your friends who don't have children.

1. "When will you finally have kids?"
Once you have offspring, you want your friends to share the experience. But please don't loudly ask this question across the table at Thanksgiving dinner or at a baby shower. Although many people are happy to be childfree or waiting, the situation may be more complicated. A friend could be facing infertility, in the agonizing position of having a spouse who doesn't want children, or otherwise in a complex struggle over the issue. Bring it up privately with close friends, or wait for them to share with you.

2. "We always wanted to have a family."
If you use the expression "have a family" to mean "have children," you inadvertently send a message that people without kids are... family-less. Family comes in many forms: significant others, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors -- happily, the list goes on!

3. "I only invited other parents."
Having children is the norm, and people who are childfree can sometimes feel isolated or excluded. So invite us to birthday parties! Sure, there are some people who just don't like kids and have no desire to spend an afternoon surrounded by them. They can decline the invitation, and the rest of us will cheer when the birthday boy takes his first bite of cupcake.

4. "Are you hung-over?"
If you had kids when you were on the younger side, you may have transitioned abruptly from staying out bar-hopping to night feedings and Yo Gabba Gabba -- and years later, you may assume that we're still acting like our crazy twentysomething selves. But just because we don't have kids doesn't mean we aren't growing up.

5. "You're so lucky you get to sleep in/shop/travel."
We understand that you give up a lot to be the amazing parent you are -- and we do appreciate our extra cash and free time, and god, yes, the sleep. But too many offhand comments like this make us feel like you assume the reason we don't have children is that we're lazy, selfish, or shallow. The decision is never that simple.

6. "This must be birth control for you."
Parents often make this joke when their kid is being loud or persistent, and we understand it's because you're worried the situation is bugging the hell out of everyone around you. Don't stress -- a good friend understands that your kid is going to have a meltdown once in a while. We can take it. And, of course, a crying toddler is not actually a tipping point in our decision to have kids. We're not that shortsighted.

7. "Your dog/cat/parakeet is your baby."
Pets are a huge part of many people's lives, whether or not those people have children. But it feels like a consolation prize when you put it like this. That said, ask about my cat; I'm happy to pull up my latest photo of her adorableness.

8. "I can't die; I'm a mom."
During a recent brief terrorism scare in New York City, a friend said to me, "I have to get out -- I can't die; I'm a mom." We know you have someone depending on you in an unprecedented way, but there are people who love and depend on us, too.

9. "I'm sorry it's taken forever for me to call/email/text you back."
Don't start every correspondence with an apology. Your life is insane and letting us know you want to make time for us is appreciated. But don't stress so much: My life is busy too, and more often than not, I didn't even notice a lag.

10. "You wouldn't understand."
We know there are many things about parenting you will turn to your mom friends to talk about. And, honestly, with anyone other than a close friend, that's probably best -- I lose interest fast when someone I don't know well talks too much about their kids. But when we're real friends, don't let our relationship fade because you're afraid of boring us with parenting stuff. Just like we used to listen to you talk about your ex, we want to hear about what's important in your life now. And we hope you'll do the same for us.

Sauce (http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/10-things-not-to-say-to-your-childfree-friends-2595394/)

I haven't read all of it, I was almost in shock that any news agency period would seem to have any consideration for the childfree population! Maybe this means we will finally be recognized as people making valid decisions for themselves.

Any you disagree with, any you think are better?

Shady Pines, Ma
11-02-2011, 03:23 AM
I'm 38, child-free by choice and have no regrets. "You are running out of time!!!"....yep, that's the idea!! :D

Blake
11-03-2011, 12:23 AM
^
This whole time I thought you were a gay male and you are a female?

*Sorry for derail*

Shady Pines, Ma
11-03-2011, 01:19 AM
^
This whole time I thought you were a gay male and you are a female?

*Sorry for derail*

LOL!!! You thought I was a gay male? I am a female. [sprout]

Waylon
11-03-2011, 01:24 AM
LOL!!! You thought I was a gay male? I am a female. [sprout]

Take it as a compliment, honey. ;)

Waylon
11-03-2011, 01:55 AM
^
This whole time I thought you were a gay male and you are a female?

*Sorry for derail*

That rhymed!! :-D

toriMODE
11-03-2011, 04:10 PM
^
This whole time I thought you were a gay male and you are a female?

*Sorry for derail*

That's okay. I thought Rabih, back when he went as "Smegma", was a female for a long ass time.

Waylon
11-03-2011, 04:12 PM
In my mind, everyone on unf is just a bunch of weird, androgynous space aliens.

SparkleMotion
11-03-2011, 07:53 PM
In unf, we are all our avatars.

Churumbela
11-03-2011, 11:45 PM
No, I mean, really, it's true. I am more or less Dorothy Zbornak, except younger.

Nancy
11-04-2011, 01:24 PM
I thought you were male too, Shady.

On topic, I have no problems with parents who say, "Your cat is your baby." Otherwise, a good list.

SMMY
11-04-2011, 01:42 PM
oops!

Churumbela
11-04-2011, 03:31 PM
I agree, Nancy. I think I'd be okay with someone telling me that my cat is my baby, because it's pretty much true. I do, however, draw the line at "fur baby." God there is just something about that phrase that gives me the woo-boo jeebies.

stillorbiting
11-05-2011, 01:42 AM
What gets me about the "your pet = your baby" thing is that there's still this underlying idea that a person has to have a baby in some form or another. A lot of the time it seems to come off as, "Well, yes, you don't want children and I gueeeeess I can understand that, but look! See? You're still being nurturing! So it's okay!"

fullofwish
11-05-2011, 07:45 AM
I get that impression when I am around my friend's kids as well. I actually quite enjoy interacting with kids, and there are some (notably my ex's nieces) who I came to love dearly, and I spent a great deal of time 'nurturing' them.

And sometimes I feel like my friends are thinking 'see? She does like kids! She just doesn't know it! One day she'll realise how much she wants to be a mum!' Or they will say outright, oh, you're so good with kids, you'll be a great mum. And I always roll my eyes and say liking kids is for a few hours is not the same as dealing with them 24/7 for the rest of your life. The appeal to me is that once they get tired and cranky, you get to deal with their shit. Also, being nurturing and caring is not an exclusively maternal quality. We ALL love and nurture a variety of people (or animals) in our lives, I don't need to have a child to claim that quality within myself.

Lathan
11-05-2011, 01:57 PM
Liking kids is for a few hours is not the same as dealing with them 24/7 for the rest of your life.

Liking kids is for a few hours is not the same as dealing with them 24/7 for the rest of your life.

Liking kids is for a few hours is not the same as dealing with them 24/7 for the rest of your life.
We should make a t-shirt.

I'm in the fun for a few hours camp. I enjoy babysitting my best friend's kids, but I'm so glad my boyfriend and I can't accidentally make babies.

Churumbela
11-05-2011, 05:13 PM
And sometimes I feel like my friends are thinking 'see? She does like kids! She just doesn't know it! One day she'll realise how much she wants to be a mum!' Or they will say outright, oh, you're so good with kids, you'll be a great mum. And I always roll my eyes and say liking kids is for a few hours is not the same as dealing with them 24/7 for the rest of your life.

Yes, absolutely. People tell me that, "I thought you liked kids, don't you want some?" Yes, I actually love kids. I was a teacher, for Chrissake. I also like dogs, doesn't mean I want one. Other people's kids are awesome, because I have little to no overall responsibility to them. Yes, I'll make sure they're safe and well taken care of while with me, but at the end of the day, I still am responsible for only myself, and that's how I like it. My mum says I have a "healthy understanding of my own selfishness" or something like that. She means it in a nice way, I think.

Girl Friday
11-10-2011, 12:40 AM
The one I hate is "There are methods, IVF, and besides, miracles happen every day!" No. I am making a choice (partially influenced by medical issues). Get it through your head. Please.

jeth
11-11-2011, 05:35 PM
Yeah, and I know a couple whose parents financed the only round of IVF they could afford - she immediately miscarried, and now they are struggling because they can't afford another round, but they also cannot afford to adopt. I'm going to withhold my opinion on what they should have done with that money because ultimately it was their choice. I will, however, agree with the ridiculous assertion that just because medically you cannot have children, that you should explore other scientific methods for bringing them about. When I told someone that pregnancy is medically contraindicated for me, I was told that I could always get a surrogate. What's with this endless push to get around nature? What if I'm genuinely okay with my situation? Nobody thinks about that.

(That said, I did go through a period a few months ago where I decided that maybe I wanted kids after all. If that ever becomes a serious consideration, I would adopt first, though to be honest that kind of feeling has passed already)

Kala
11-11-2011, 06:12 PM
What's with this endless push to get around nature?

The norm in our society seems to still be for women to conceive, bear, and raise children. After reading threads here in CF, apparently relatives, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and even virtual strangers find it acceptable to say things like: "you have time", "you'll change your mind", "you'll feel differently when you have kids of your own", "have you considered IVF?", "you can always adopt", etc. But when's the last time you heard a childfree person say to a woman upon announcing her pregnancy "yeah, but have you considered abortion?" We don't because that would be considered outrageously rude and presumptuous, not to mention, it's none of our business. When someone tells me they're expecting, I usually respond with "congratulations" - seems the polite thing to say you know. So why aren't the CF afforded the same respect, courtesy, and right to privacy?

Girl Friday
11-13-2011, 06:20 AM
Kala you are my hero.

Medusa
11-14-2011, 02:16 AM
I usually respond with "congratulations" - seems the polite thing to say you know. So why aren't the CF afforded the same respect, courtesy, and right to privacy?
Because the entire reason we're on this planet is to procreate. Everything else that we do with our lives is just filler between/during/after babytime.

It's so strange to me that I hear lots of moms and dads (rightfully) say that they want to carve out a life for themselves that isn't just 100% about their kids, but what's implied when someone bingos you about not having a kid is "there's nothing else to do in life but procreate."

fox in socks
11-19-2011, 07:24 PM
im generally more happy for the person that they are pregnant or adopting or whatever joy, but when they bring in their newbs, im not going to fawn as i really dont care. i dont know this poopy drooly sticky thing and i dont instantly squee at their cuteness. i do know that if i comment on anything like "cute hat" or summat there is usually some comment "dont you WANT ONE?!?!" fucking hell. the thought never occurred to me, thanks. anyway, i dont know why id covet a kid even if it were cute. i mean, theyre not shoes!

i guess a lot of people just drink the kool-aid and say theres nothing else to do but procreate, but thats a fragile argument. i mean, why not just top yourself after youve given birth or whatever? or top yourself if you're sterile or......i think people say that shit because its in the lifescript and its too much work to step aside from the norm. perhaps thats why they are so defensive and threatened when people choose NOT to have kids?

stillorbiting
11-19-2011, 10:23 PM
i do know that if i comment on anything like "cute hat" or summat there is usually some comment "dont you WANT ONE?!?!"

This is one of the worst things to me. I totally understand that they're happy about their new kid, even if I can't personally relate. I get it, I really do. But the "Don't you want one?" shit is such a blatant "Look at my awesome life! PLEASE BE JEALOUS OF ME! It will make me feel great!" thing. I'm sure it's not conscious, but it's still obnoxious as fuck.

Elly
11-21-2011, 01:09 PM
i do know that if i comment on anything like "cute hat" or summat there is usually some comment "dont you WANT ONE?!?!"I would be quite tempted to say, "No. It would be much too small for my head." Ba dum bum. :)

Girl Friday
11-23-2011, 05:04 AM
i do know that if i comment on anything like "cute hat" or summat there is usually some comment "dont you WANT ONE?!?!"

Makes it sound like you can just go down to the baby dealership and pick one up. Get bored of the poo and upgrade to a new model...

Andrea
04-22-2013, 07:36 PM
I didn't want to start a thread, and this was the thread with the title that seemed closest to where this question might be appropriate. I need some feedback from those of you who are child-free. How would you react to a sibling asking you about being a guardian for their children in the event of their death? My sister is child free. We haven't talked in depth about it, but I know it's a choice that's not likely to change. I'm working on making out a living will, and my husband and I have been discussing guardians for the kids in case both of us are gone. Would it be too uncomfortable to ask my child-free sister? Am I just putting her in an awkward position where she either has to agree to do something that she doesn't want to or fear to sound as if she's saying she doesn't care about her nieces?

SweetPea
04-22-2013, 07:48 PM
I wouldn't be bothered if my brother and/or sister-in-law asked me to be a potential guarding of my nieces. I can't speak for all child-free folks, but despite my choice to not have kids of my own I adore my nieces (and nephews on my husband's side) and I would probably seriously consider the proposition. It's a HUGE thing to ask and be ready for "no". BUT you may be surprised. I would do anything for my nieces. Those girls have a huge chunk of my heart in their little hands and I would move heaven and earth to keep them happy and safe.

You sister might feel the same <3 I say it can't hurt to ask.

lioness
04-23-2013, 03:34 AM
I agree with SweetPea. I would probably start the conversation by acknowledging that your sister is child free and saying that you don't want to put her in an awkward situation, but that you did want to ask her feelings about being a guardian should the need arise.

JayPeaches
04-23-2013, 04:17 AM
T and I are listed as guardians for his brother's kids (all three of them!). Even though I did not want kids at the time, I felt honored to be asked and we took the request very seriously. We talked it over for several days and decided to do it, even though we don't have kids of our own.

Kala
03-20-2014, 09:17 PM
9 Things Never to Say to a Woman Who Doesn't Want Kids (http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/parenting-tips/woman-who-doesnt-want-kids?link=woman-who-doesnt-want-kids&dom=yah_life&src=syn&con=blog_gh&mag=ghk)

Preach it lady!


1. "That’s so sad!"
The end of Where the Red Fern Grows — now THAT’S sad. My happiness with my life just as it is, on the other hand, is pretty great; no violins needed, thanks!

2. "How does your husband feel about that?"
Oh, dear. I knew there was someone I'd forgotten to tell.

3. "Don’t you like kids?"
Very much, actually; I was a camp counselor for years, and I’m stockpiling storybooks for the kids my sisters plan to have. The fact that I’m not interested in having my own son or daughter means I can lavish my time, resources, and valuable life lessons on my friends’ and family’s offspring. That’s quite it-takes-a-village and pro-kid, really.

4. "But you’d be such a good mom!"
I also could have been a good doctor, maybe, and I’d definitely be a good doorstop, but neither of those are things I want to be; aptitude isn’t the same thing as inclination.

5. "You’ll change your mind."
That's what I said to a friend who told me he didn't want a dog. It's amazing how little some people know about themselves.

6. "How selfish."
While it's true that my husband and I love our matching designer track suits and the creepy candlelight dinners we conduct in utter silence each night more than we could ever love another person, that's a pretty intense thing to say about us, don't you think?

7. "My life would just feel meaningless without my kids."
One of the loveliest things about modern civilization is that women can respect and support each other’s progress along wildly differing life paths. We don’t even have to compare ourselves to each other if we don’t feel like it!

8. "That’s just unnatural."
So are wearing clothing, getting vaccinated, shaving one’s legs, being vegetarian, and almost everything about David Bowie, and I’m a huge fan of all of those things. There are more than 7.1 billion people on the planet right now — according to the Census Bureau, a baby is born in America every 8 seconds — and I am perfectly comfortable with ignoring my body’s default settings and not making more. I think humankind will be OK.

9. "Who will take care of you when you’re old?"
My friends and I are going to spend our golden years in a rambling mansion shooting the breeze over complicated old-timey cocktails; we childless DINK (Double Income, No Kids) types who didn’t have to foot the bill for college educations or weddings will take care of the mortgage, and those of us who do have kids and grandkids will encourage them to stop by every once and a while to make sure we’re all still alive. You’re more than welcome to pull up a chair.

SweetPea
03-20-2014, 09:27 PM
That is beautiful.

And shared on my facebook... I hope some people will take a hint. O_o

inexcelsis17
12-05-2014, 10:30 AM
I think this article (written by a mother) would be at home in this thread: Let's Stop Giving Shit To Women Who Don't Want Kids (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-mangiacotti/women-without-kids-pressure-childfree_b_6121432.html)

2. Overpopulation

Seriously folks, before you start laying into people about how "they must experience children, for they are God's gift" -- try remembering that God has been a little too generous with the gifts when we consider what the planet can sustain. God is like the uncle who brings us a puppy and a drum set. They seem like a good idea, but we have no place to put the drum set and now we have to feed and care for the puppy. We need fewer gifts please, God.

Lágnætti
12-05-2014, 05:15 PM
Re: that article - why is it that people who write these things spend so much time desperately assuring everyone that they JUST LOVE babies and children? Scared that someone will label you a kiddie-hater? Grow a pair woman, jesus effiing christ. The approval-craving is cowardly and obnoxious.

I personally can't stand babies and funnily enough, I've never been sent to jail for saying so - they're desperately boring, incontinent, deeply uncute 98% of the time and have no conversation. Older kids, it really depends on if they're brought up to be civilized individuals or not - if they are, I may well greatly enjoy their company as individuals, if not, I'm not afraid to state I absolutely bloody loathe them. There is little more offputting and unpleasant than a horribly-behaved, vile, stupid, bad-mannered child and there are plenty of examples of those about due to the sorry state of parenting out there.

soignee
06-08-2017, 09:08 AM
Dear Mother,

I'm 34 years old. Been with the same dude for seven years now. If IF we're going to have kids, you'll be the first to know, I promise.

Please stop asking. You got grandkids from not one, but two children already! Holy shit.

Love Soignee
xx

PS: You mention this again in the two weeks you're staying here, there will be Words.