What I really want to say when people ask me when I’m going to have kids
I got married last year. Which means my relatives could finally start changing their question from “When are you going to get married?” to “When are you going to have kids?”
I’ve tried laughing it off, changing the topic, being honest (i.e. “Probably never. Full stop.”), but jeez, people are persistent. I’ve heard it all.
The cautionary: You’re not getting any younger, you know? Er. Yes. I know.
The gush: But having kids is the best thing in the world! It’s the most wonderful experience. All the cliches about how having kids change your life — they’re all true! That’s great! I’m happy for you.
The curious?: But you and Dan will have the most beautiful Eurasian babies! I can’t wait to see them! Thanks *forces lips into a smile to be polite, because compliment… I think?*
The I-don’t-get-it: What do you mean, you don’t want kids? I mean I don’t want kids. Why not? I just don’t.
The need-to-have-a-tangible-reason: Are you worried about your figure? Huh?
And the kicker: There are women out there who can’t have kids, you know? If you can, you should. Whenever we reach this point, I always wish I could spontaneously combust.
What I want to say, if you’d really listen:
“Dear relatives, I know you are coming from a place of love (at least I hope so), but seriously — stop it.
I believe you, truly I do. I believe you really want me to have this life-changing experience because it’s for my own good, it’s that good, it’s magic.
But I really don’t want to. I have actually spent time thinking about this, because it’s such an unpopular stand. I have no wish to be disagreeable on this just to be stubborn — no way, because this stand is so damn tiresome. So this isn’t the childish ‘kids are eww’ reflex. I get that kids can be utterly adorable. Heart-melting, even.
I simply have no desire. Bouts of reflection have yielded a big black nothing. Kids being adorable and magical just doesn’t equate to me wanting my own.
Do you get it? You don’t, because you’re not wired this way. And it’s okay. I won’t push you to agree with me, or even to understand me. Similarly, please stop pushing me to.”
This is such a personal topic that ‘let’s agree to disagree’ is the best, if not only approach.
Why do others want me to change my mind, to agree with them, on something that’s so definitively a personal choice? Because this is personal. What does me having or not having kids have anything to do with anyone else? If the human species were on the brink of extinction, then ok, maybe that takes away the personal choice. Maybe. But until then, Stop.Pushing.Me.