I’ve been married for close to four years and am in my mid to late 30s (is nearly 37 considered ‘late’? Don’t answer that).
So, you can imagine the one question I get asked fairly frequently.
“When are you going to have a baby?”
The truth is my husband and I have been trying to have a baby for years now. But before I met him I didn’t feel the desire to have children and still, in previous relationships, people had no qualms with openly inquiring as to the state of any impending parenthood.
Many people are well meaning. Others are totally obtuse or downright rude. And so, depending on who they are and how they go about it, I’ve developed a few go-to replies to answer The Baby Question.
To those who ask with no tact, or who I hardly know who have no place in my business, I put the uncomfortableness back on them. I simply say two words – “I’m barren” – followed by complete silence on my part, and let them fill the awkward space they’ve created.
I once had a flight attendant tell me that I was pretty but that my husband would stray if I didn’t give him children soon. These two words shut her down faster than a speeding ticket. She wheeled her trolley away at lighting speed and avoided me the rest of the (long international) flight.
“I hate children”
I use this one on the condescending mothers who revel in using pity disguised as concern. You know the ones, the women who make you feel as small as a grain of rice because you’re not yet a mother and you can’t possibly know what love or life is about yet.
When they ask in that tone I simply tell them I hate children. I say I think they are dirty and noisy, and wouldn’t possibly consider ruining my life with a snotty little rugrat. Usually their own offspring are running amok around us at that exact time – case in point.
“I have pets”
All my fellow fur parents will feel me – our pets are our babies!
Honestly though, I use this light-hearted response usually when someone means well – it most often happens in group situations when strangers have been talking about their children and want to make me feel included.
When they ask “do you have kids?” I say “sure do, they have long hair, clean themselves and came toilet trained”. It usually gets a few laughs.
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