(Closed) Parents' expectations

posted 4 years ago in No Kids
Post # 2
Member
9192 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

as you deal with your parents, your Darling Husband should deal with his.  if you made the choice together to be childfree, they can show the disappointment (because they might be and you have to respect their feelings too) but as long as you and your Darling Husband are in agreement, nobody else’s opinion should influence your choice.

 

Post # 3
Member
4238 posts
Honey bee

weasel:  

In the beginning, Darling Husband dealt with his “side” of family and me with mine. Now, we rarely need to divvy up discussion rights. Sure, our families would’ve loved having more little loved ones to love on. Any despondent gaze from them (at our empty cradle) has been met with a blank stare or a knowing nod, as seems appropriate at the time (and there haven’t been many over the years).

 

Post # 4
Member
5161 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

weasel:  Honestly, it has not really been an issue for us. I have never been pressured by my own side to have kids (mother, stepfather). In my case, while I have never told my mother I am CF officially, she sort of figured out kids were not in my plans on her own. She had me young and while she wanted to be a mother has always been very honest it was much harder than anticipated and always enouraged me to pursue my education and career, and whatever I wanted, and it was more than okay to do my own thing. I know she would *like* grandkids, but has rather accepted she probably won’t ever meet them and will make do with grandpuppies and grandcats (none of my siblings have kids at this point, and she is terminally ill). My brother tells me she does joke with him about giving her grandkids sometimes, which we all find hilarious as though he wants kids, he and his husband have a lot more steps to go through to have kids via adoption or surrogacy than her three straight children do who she does not seem to bother at all about having kids (including me and my sister who is a bit of a fencesitter leaning CF, she would rather have many dogs but I fear she may have kids as her partner really wants them). I am not very close to my dad but my half sister had her first kid this past year and he is a happy and excited grandparent – but he never said one thing to me about having kids. I think he kind of gets it though as he probably would have opted out of kids if he had known it WAS an option way back when he was 21.

With my in-laws, my Father-In-Law does not seem to care at all. The most my Mother-In-Law ever said was, after my first nephew was born, was that I could change his diaper for “practice” and I laughed and said that was not necessary. She also got a bit frustrated with my husband as he “seemed disinterested in the baby (our nephew)” to which he said he was, as babies don’t do anything until they are older and he might be more interested when he could walk and talk. My husband is actually great with babies and kids (has a weird baby whisperer thing going on) but still sees infants/newborns as exciting as a sack of potatoes. She has two grandkids now and I think the shine wore off and she has her fill.

I recognize I am pretty fortunate to not get this pressure, I have met many who do. For those who do, I think it is important to be a united front. You can deal with your parente, and he or she theirs, but things should still be framed as “we decided together not to have children”. 

Post # 5
Member
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

weasel: My parents don’t expect things from me like that.. They expect me to support myself,  have a good head on my shoulders, and lead a happy and fulfilling life.. Whatever that means to me.

Now, my ILs.. That’s my husbands territory. We’re on the same page and have told them we won’t be having children, any follow up questions and comments on the subject are dealt with by him (or ignored).

Post # 6
Member
334 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

My parents used to expect my mind to change, and that they’d get their wish of having a grandchild. I always insisted that Id stay pretty consistent. Since meeting a man who felt the same way, my family has completely stopped their whole “you’re going to change your mind” shpeel. I guess because both people in the relationship are adamant that a baby will not be in our future they finally get it. My parents have even gone as far as to say they are glad we aren’t having children because of the state of the world – they think babies and future generations aren’t suited for the dangers of life these days, which I think is some crap but if it makes them Feel better about not being grandparents… *shrug*

the in laws have 5 grandchildren already and the parents only have custody of the most recent baby, so they kind of joke that the one son who should have children doesn’t want any and that its kind of a shame but they’re also up to their ears in grabd babies so if we don’t want any, they aren’t going to push it onto us. 

Post # 7
Member
3425 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I would expect your husband to discuss that. In fact, not even wait for it to come up, but just tell them. That way you don’t end up in that difficult situation, and the ILs aren’t waiting around for you to announce a pregnancy (just since having kids is sort of the default). 

Personally, I maybe want one kid, probably 10 years from now. Maybe. I’m an only child, Fiance has 2 half siblings but he’s his dad’s only, and their only one together. So for 3/4 grandparents, I’m their only chance at a grandkid. My parents know how I feel and would be freaked if I got pregnant any time soon (I’m 22, Fiance 25). Now the Future In-Laws… I won’t be the one to tell them I only want one if at all, and that it’s not coming any time soon. That is for Fiance, who would be very happy not having kids, to explain. But I know as soon as we get married the questions will come. Ugh. I plan on joking, “My uterus and I have an agreement that there are no babies until I at least have a Master’s degree.” I think that will at least hold off questions until after I have another degree lol.

Post # 8
Member
484 posts
Helper bee

I believe that my reproductive organs are me and my husband’s business and no one else’s. I am surprised how many people on this board feel the need to discuss being CFBC with others outside of their marriage. If anyone asks me when/if I am going to have children, I’ll come up with something random and nondescript, e.g. “Oh not right now haha” and then regardless of whatever they say next whether it’s “Oh, okay” or “Well you better get started! You know if you don’t….” etc. I always reply with, “Yep.” 

Seriously, it’s no one’s business. They’ll eventually realize you won’t be reproducing on their own without you needing to state your decision to them.

Post # 9
Member
32 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m very open about the fact I won’t be having kids. Our in laws want grandkids, but I’m not going to lead them on or give hope where there shouldn’t be any. They are aware of my standing on the issue, and while my Mother-In-Law seems to be getting it, my Father-In-Law refers to me as the mother of his future grandchildren as often as he can. It pisses me off and makes me feel like he has no respect for the choice we’ve made. 

Post # 10
Member
448 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

FI’s dad has told us numerous times that we have two years from when we get married to have kids. We want them eventually, but not within two years of getting married. I think it’s incredibly rude to set timelines for people. We want to travel and enjoy our marriage before adding kids to the mix.

Post # 11
Member
5161 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

FutureMrsHoneybee:  Except if I said something like “oh not right now” then that leaves it open that it is happening (maybe) one day. It’s not, so why would I leave it open? I’d rather be honest and say “no, we are not having children ever” or “we are childfree” then leave it open like that. I agree my reproductive organs are my own business, but in that case I’d rather respond then with “it is none of your business” over “oh not right now” because the latter, rather than taking your reproductive choices off the table of topics of conversation, is giving them permission to keep it there.

I don’t actively go around volunteering that I am childfree where the situation does not warrant it (like honestly, I have never told my mother I am CFBC because she has never actually asked me if I am having children or not…if she asked I would tell her) but if someone asks when or if I am having children, I guess I don’t understand why I would not be honest about it either. It’s not something I feel I need to hide or be dishonest or ashamed about.

I don’t “feel a need” to go around talking about it either with others outside my marriage in real life but I DO feel open to discussing being CFBC when people who are genuinely interested ask further questions. For example, my SIL who is a parent asked if we were having kids. When we said no, she said “good for you!” and then asked us, in an very open and accepting manner, why we came to that decision. She also talked about how she was somewhat envious of our childfree life and shared why. I don’t see any harm in having conversations about it when people are open and accepting, and genuinely curious. I have also had other people sitting on the fence ask me about my reasons, as they are trying to decide what is right for them, and I consider talking about it “valuable” in that I also was appreciative of those who talked to me when *I* was trying to decide what I wanted.

 

Post # 12
Member
484 posts
Helper bee

RayKay:  Yes but stating, “We are never going to have children,” opens up for a discussion about it that I’m not interested in having. What is wrong with anyone who is not you and your Darling Husband thinking you may reproduce one day? It’s the most private thing I could possibly imagine and I don’t think “it’ll hurt the (potential) grandparents’ feelings” is reason enough to discuss it with them if you don’t want to. I hate that there’s an expectation TO tell them. Just like you don’t feel the need to hide your position as CFBC, I don’t feel the need to discuss mine. “None of your business” is definitely the most appropriate response but I know most bees don’t feel comfortable saying that so that’s why I suggested a non-detailed response meant to brush off the subject. I think that there’s an expectation around here that once you become CFBC you need to announce it in some way but there is another option. If you like to discuss and debate it with people who are accepting then that’s great. I just don’t feel the need or want to either way.

Post # 13
Member
1688 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

This is a huge issue for us. My dad gets so pouty when it comes up. I wish there was another word for it, but he seriously pouts. He says he wants grandkids and when I say that’s not a good enough reason for me to have children, he argues that yes, it’s an excellent reason. My mother is understanding, as are my in-laws. I’ve decided to just keep a lid on it when my dad’s around. It isn’t worth the argument. I’m hoping it just goes away. I have to admit that in my crazier moments, I’ve considered faking infertility as a way out of this one!

Post # 14
Member
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Interesting perspectives from people, in terms of telling others vs. not about being CFBC. I am open about it, mostly because I get annoyed when people just assume that I’m going to have kids, but I agree that you don’t owe anyone any details or explanation. 

My mom played the whole “I feel sad for you” when I told her I wasn’t going to have kids at first, but she’s come around to accepting it. My ILs think we will have them one day, even though we have said multiple times that we will not. They are in denial, but that’s their problem, not ours. 🙂

Post # 15
Member
5161 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

FutureMrsHoneybee:  Eh, I guess I would rather have people ask me why I am not having them (which is not that common an occurrence, it often just leads to a comment like “that is a reasonable choice” or a switch to another topic entirely) then to keep assuming I am going to have them or have them say things like “you better get started!”.  I’d rather the conversation go to why I don’t want them, then to all the reasons I should not put it off any longer, or have them asking me again in a year or two if “not yet” has become “soon“. As to why I don’t want people assuming I am going to have them…because at least in my life there are consequences to those assumptions – I would not want them to assume I plan to take leave from work to have babies so can’t take promotions or higher workloads, make repeated jokes about how things will change in our marriage “when we have kids” (which I have heard), affected whether I could get a new disability insurance plan (“do you plan to have children in the next ___ years“) and so on.

I am more bothered by people assuming I am having kids, seeing me as “pre-pregnant”, and making comments related to that, then I am about talking honestly about why I don’t want kids, however they feel about those reasons. I am not responsible for their feelings about me not wanting kids (or my reasons why). Everyone is different though of course. I am someone who has always been bothered by people making assumptions about me based on my gender or marital status though (assuming I would get married, assuming I was baby crazy, or marriage obsessed, and so on).

I don’t care how others handle it, but you expressed surprise at how many people did tell others in their lives why they were CFBC, and I shared my reasons why I am honest about being CFBC with others when the topic comes up.

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