Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And now by popular demand....

Thanks for all the great comments about my writing block. I think the most popular choice was #5, what to say to those pesky people who ask you WHEN you are going to have kids.

So, first a little background. I come from a huge extended family. And the majority of them got married young and had babies. But, because my parents got college educations and wanted me and my sister and brother to be successful and go places, I did not follow this path. I went to college and then grad school and took my time finding Mr. Right. I also got a great career along the way and became quite successful at what I do. So, I found myself at the age of 31 ready to have kids, while my enormous clan of cousins was working on their 3rd and 4th and then some. So, long story short, I have successfully evaded the "when are you having kids" question for quite sometime. However, as soon as I got married (10 years after everyone else was married) the questions came fast and furious.

As luck would have it, I don't see my extended family much anymore, so I have not had to face the dreaded question from them since we started trying. But just a few weeks ago, we had to attend my grandmother's 90th birthday in my hometown and I knew that I would be dodging around the kid issue. So, my husband and I tried to come up with some smart answers to come back with when my relatives took it upon themselves to stick their noses into our personal business. Here are a few we came up with (keep in mind, these are so totally not serious):

1. No, we don't want kids, they won't let them into our favorite bar.
2. We would love kids, but the restraining order has to be lifted first.
3. No, we're not going to have any kids, they're too sticky.
4. We forgot to give the stork our address.

I think our favorite was the sticky one.

Anyway, I was all prepared. I had my defenses up. I imagined I would be brutally honest and throw our difficulties in everyone's faces and make them feel bad or I would defend my worthiness as an independent, happy, educated, successful career woman who didn't need children to define myself, but I folded. I got exactly 5 kid questions. They were all innocent and well meaning (which made me feel even worse about it for some reason). I hemmed and hawwed around the question: "oh, no, not yet" "maybe someday" "well, you, know it doesn't always work for everyone" etc. etc. Until one of my cousins asked me and I said "no, I think we are just going to get a dog."

What are your favorite answers to the "kid" question?


andnotbysight said...

I love the "sticky" answer! I usually just say "not yet," but I've got to work on some better responses.

Cassandra said...

Returning your comment for ICLW (thanks for reading and for commenting)...

I also have several cousins who got "knocked up" (or knocked up someone else) in their late teens or early 20's, but all of the cousins who got educations and have real careers are currently child-free. They are all younger than I am, but several of them just got divorced so that buys me some time. ;)

On DH's side, no one else is ready for child-bearing yet, but one sister just got engaged. I get a pit in my stomach every time I think about going to the engagement party in a few weeks, worrying that we'll get questions. DH's standard answer is, "Maybe never" to try to shut people down quickly. I say things like, "Someday," or "Who knows." In my mind I think horrible, cruel, petty things, like, "I'm busy with a career that's actually important, not like what you do," or, "If the relationship you have with your kids is any indication of parenthood, I would never have them." It makes me feel a lot better to be so awful in my mind. I never say them, so I'm not a completely despicable person. But if you ever read in the news that a woman went to jail for punching a nosey relative in the face at an engagement party, it might be me.

By the way, I like the name of this blog and I like the other one even more. You and I think alike when it comes to blog-naming, apparently.

And I really love the onesies in your Etsy shop!! As soon as I have need for one, sign me up!

MamaSoon said...

I am one of those really brutally honest people. I always say, "We are trying but just isn't coming as easily as planned. But we are doing everything in our power. You'll know when it works."

people are well-meaning but silly. it is one thing to ask a newly wed ONCE in the first two months. And another to ask later. Why can't they just ask what plans we have down the pike in the next five years. that is so much more innocent.

you could always follow up with. "
so tubal ligation or vasectomy?"

Kymberli said...

I have a lot of snarky comments for a lot of difficult questions, but that is one question I never found a good answer to. "Whenever it happens" and a shrug of my shoulders was the only res[pmse I could ever muster.

Deborah said...

I've always wanted to reply by a condition of my parole, I am not allowed to have children. Thought that might scare a few people off. Haven't had the nerve to use it yet, but I am thinking that an upcoming country club event might be a fun place to try it out. LOL

Tash said...

I like the sticky question!! You could always try something like "oooh, we couldn't possibly have kids, we can't decide between the two names that we have ready"

Which actually reminds me - there is some poor kid in New Zealand who has gone to court to change her name from Talula does the Hula from Hawaii - some parents really should not be naming children!

Sorry - went off on a tangent there - says this visitor from ICLW!

Just Me. said...

Oh, I yo-yo my answers. Sometimes I go, I HATE KIDS, DON'T WANT ANY. or I DON'T KNOW. TOO CAUGHT UP IN OUR CAREERS and then i excuse myself and walk away.

But such questions just annoy the shit out of me!

Here from ICLW.

Amy said...

Sometimes I just say, "Hopefully soon," but if I'm feeling more bold I tell them we've been trying for a while. If I'm feeling especially spiteful, I tell them I want kids "Yesterday. And we got pregnant but lost the baby." That generally shuts them up. I've only used that last one once, but I think it every time.

I love the sticky reason. I might have to find a reason to use that. (ICLW)

momofonefornow said...

Hi from ICLW,

I love the sticky answer. I was that IFer that is always blunt. I would tell people that my ovaries didn't work and we undergoing internal u/s's to try and get a baby. It was cruel because, of course, no one knows how to respond to that.

Sassy said...

I say, "It's not that easy for us". It gets the point across and if it doesn't scare them off I might give some more info.

I rarely get asked now though which is almost worse to be honest. After 3 years there's no one who doesn't know.

Martha said...

My favorite is to answer with a question, "Why do you want to know?" and if they persist, "Did you plan on watching the procedure?" Best wishes, thanks for sharing. ILCW

Tee said...

How about "what makes you think we aren't trying" and stare pointedly at em right in the eye. Otherwise "don't you think that's a little personal?". It wasn't until I started trying to get pregnant that I realised what a personal question that was and I didn't have any IF issues!
Tee (ICLW)

Amy said...

I would have to say I love the "sticky" answer as well.


~Jess said...

i like the sticky answer.

I know our responses lack, I always want to be snarky, but end up being nice.


VA Blondie said...

My personal fave is the bar answer.

I usually change the topic by distracting them with my dogs. I usually say something like, "our Danes are our babies right now." People are fascinated with the fact we have Danes, and it changes the subject quite nicely.

Sue said...

Visiting from ICLW...

I always used to say, "we're getting closer"--which in my language meant, we're trying, but we have issues you probably haven't even thought about.

I also like, "We'll let you know when do." [know, that is]

nh said...

After 6 years of trying my answer tends to be honest - 'we can't have children'. It tends to stop all other questions - apart from the really nosy ones who need more details. Alternatively when the kids at school ask I say 'I know what babies turn into... you'


kirke said...

My favorite is the sticky answer.

I'm going to have to steal it :)

Here from ICLW