Post # 1
Everyone has something that gets them going, right? Recent comments directed at me personally and indirectly about me have really touched a nerve, and I guess I could use a little advice from some reasonable bees.
Example: my Mother-In-Law is obsessed with grandchildren. No, she doesn’t have any, and she won’t have them any time soon. My Darling Husband and I aren’t interested in children at all, especially now or soon, but she flatly refuses to drop the subject. It’s not just that she swears she will “move into a house nearby” and “babysit all the time” it’s her assumption that for us it’s a matter of “when” not “if.” Well, it’s very much a matter of IF, and that’s for personal, financial, and even health reasons.
But it isn’t just her. We experience questions and commentary on children on a regular basis now that we’re married, and I’m running out of the patience to respond politely. While I’m aware that lots of newlyweds receive this kind of attention, I have never and will never consider it an acceptable topic of conversation, regardless of who it’s coming from. It’s not out of modesty — lord knows I’m a Cosmo girl all the way — but what right does anyone have to ask about MY sex life, MY reproductive or BC life, MY finances, MY health status, MY husband’s virility or potency, or anything relating to the very private and often sensitive matter of having children?!
Sigh. Sorry, I needed to vent. Does anyone have any advice to offer on (a) how to continue to respond politely and NOT fly into a rage, or (b) stop the questions entirely?
Post # 3
I think my parents have finally gotten comfortable with the idea that I may never have kids. I might one day, but I have at least convinced them that if I don’t, it is our choice and we are ok with it. FI’s mom wants grandkids, but even she seems to be respectful of the fact that it is not something we have decided to do, and may not decide to do at all.
Now, it has take several years (even before I met FI) my parents and grandparents had their fair share of opinions on my reproduction (or lack thereof). My grandma said at Thanksgiving one year that she’d really like to be around to see my have kids, and at the rate I am going she’ll be dead!
Stand your ground & make the decision that is best for you. Hopefully people will respect that whatever it is.
Post # 4
I would directly ask her to stop. I would say something along the lines of “I know that you are excited to be a grandma someday, but MR and I aren’t sure we ever want to have kids. When we do come to a decision it will be a private one made between the two of us. Will you please stop bringing it up? “
I think a lot of people just do it out of small talk.I don’t think they really care or want to know details (this is excluding Grandparents to be).
Post # 5
Just the other day I was saying to my Future Father-In-Law “if we have kids” then he cut me off and said “you will have kids” I have told him before I’m not that interested in having children. So annoying!
Post # 6
It hasn’t yet becomes extremely annoying.
I hear about it, but not in a pressurized way. Most people have been very respectful about it.
Post # 7
There was a family newsletter that went out with my Future In-Laws at Christmas and there was a line about me and my academic accomplishments and then the emphasis was on, “We hope she will have beautiful redheaded babies!” I think it wasn’t meant that way, I just found it really funny, it was a really complimentary thing about me but I just thought it was hilarious that it was like, “Yeah yeah, bachelor’s degree, internship, but let’s talk about babies!”
Maybe your Darling Husband could talk to your Mother-In-Law directly? You could set a goal first with people who will never understand not having kids. “Oh we’re not even thinking about that until we take our Hawaii vacation, there wont’ be time for that if we ever have kids! Oh we’re not even going to try until after I’ve got my promotion at work, we’d like to make sure that if we have kids we can provide a college fund!” etc. Then you buy a few years each time you say it because they know you haven’t reached that goal yet. Sometimes the easiest way to not have to defend your choices is to not let people know your choices.
I normally am all for defending whatever choice I make, but sometimes I do not have the emotional energy to explain to an older family member why I’m making the choices I am. I just don’t want to argue. If I don’t see them that often, it’s easier to just make an excuse.
Post # 8
My mom has skipped the wedding and now only talks about babies. Whenever we go to the store she shows me all the baby stuff and is like “I wish I had someone to buy this for” and she said she has a lot of my books and stuff from when I was a kid saved. I made the mistake of telling her that I told my fiance that I wanted a kid by 30 and now all I hear is “Im giving you 3 years to have a baby!”. It doesnt really bother me though. At least I know she’s willing to shell out some money to help me get the baby stuff!
Post # 9
His parents have six grandchildren and two on the way, but they still are excited and sometimes mention how exciting it will be when we have kids (a long way off). But it isn’t too common. It may happen more after we get married.
I’m the oldest in my family and my parents aren’t ready to be grandparents yet. They actually comment that they are totally a-ok with us waiting a while.
So I haven’t had any issues yet, and am really thankful. I’m sure it would get annoying really fast.
Post # 10
My parents and my Mother-In-Law are pretty good about not bringing it up. Although, Mother-In-Law told me once or twice that she had already started buying childrens books for her future grandkids years ago.
It’s everybody else who is sticking their noses into my uterus (figuratively speaking). After the 1,000th “So when are you guys having kids?!?”, I started responding with “When people stop asking us about it, so probably not for a while.” I haven’t heard much since.
Post # 11
I’m with you. It hasn’t gotten to a boiling point for me yet, but I could see it happening. I can’t believe some people think this is appropriate. It’s one of the most personal and emotional decisions you can make – and for some people, it ISN’T a simple “decision.” The last thing on earth I’d want to do is have to tell my Mother-In-Law – or worse, some nosey parker at work – that we’re experiencing fertility problems, or something like that. (To be clear, we haven’t TTC’d yet, but I could see that happening; she’s got grandkid fever bad and we’re her only hope.) And we haven’t TTC’d yet for very personal reasons having to do with where we want to be financially, professionally, etc.
Post # 12
@AprilJo2011: Ha! I love this response!!
Post # 13
My Mom used to throw in small delicate hints about it and now she just bluntly yells “You better get pregnant soon!” whenever she talks to me 🙂
Post # 14
His parents have lots of grandchildren already so luckily his mom has not brought it up yet, but I can’t wait to see if that changes after the wedding.
My mom on the other hand has baby fever. I had to tell her to cool it a few weeks ago because I was going crazy, every time there was anything remotely to do with babies she would make some sort of a comment. It was practically every day because all of her friends are becoming grandmothers now. The worst part is that this has been going on since Fiance and I started dating 4 years ago.
The best way for me to deal with it is just to tell them to stop, that it’s none of their business. I don’t do this with strangers (like her friends who ask all the time!) but just her and I will have no issue telling Future Mother-In-Law the same.
Post # 15
@AprilJo2011: Love this response, especially since it’ll have the ring of truth to it!
I appreciate the solidarity ladies, clearly we’re surrounded by people who think our wombs (empty or otherwise) make for good small talk.
I just saw another example on good old Stalkerbook: my Mother-In-Law posted a nice, harmless status that congratulated us on our 1-month anniversary. Aww. And then I read the comments. A woman I don’t know (and have never heard of) said, “Congrats to you and the family! Wishing you all lots of blessings, health, happiness, and of course MANY GRANDBABIES!! xoxo” (emphasis hers not mine).
It’s taking every ounce of willpower I posess not to comment with something very, very snarky. Overreacting? Probably. Still frustrating? Very.
Post # 16
At my bridal shower my mom gave us the not so subtle gift of a gift certificate for Babies R’ Us. I don’t let it bother me too much. And when people become annoying by asking repeatedly I tell them we’re practicing by trying to keep the dog alive first.