I’m about to turn 32. My husband and I are in the “trying stage” of having a baby. The following things I’m about to reveal have all actually been said to my face.
Usually goes like this –
Person: Great to meet you! Is this your husband?
Me: Yes, it is.
Person: So do you guys have any kids?
Me: No, not yet.
Person: OFFENSE GIVEN.
Me. OFFENSE TAKEN.
Whether it is insensitive, thoughtless or truly offensive, here are 5 things you should never say to people without kids.
1. Wow, you don’t have much time left.
Yes, I am aware that I’m getting older. I do not need to be reminded of my dwindling, shrinking egg count or how many limited years of health I have remaining. I actually had a friend (who was in her 20’s at the time) who promptly lectured me as soon as I turned 30 about the increased risks women and their babies face when pregnancy occurs in the late thirties.
Slow your roll.
I’m not even mid-thirties yet. I just got here. Also, I can find just as much opposing data, research and science about how women are having children later in life at an increased rate that show that both baby and mom are totally healthy and whole. Quit it on the scare tactics.
2. You’re really missing out on the whole purpose of life.
Thanks for implying my life is purposeless.
Beyond that, I’m particularly sensitive about this one after knowing many women who have struggled with infertility issues, myself included. Sometimes, it’s not that someone doesn’t want to experience the joys of creating life. It’s that they physically cannot.
My advice would be to keep your mouth shut unless you’ve been privileged enough to get the lowdown on their past medical history. You never know someone else’s story. This could be a painful trigger for someone.
3. It must be nice to be so selfish.
Ditto to a lot of my comments made in number two.
In addition to that, this is an extreme example and an exception to the rule, but I know of someone who never had children because they felt a calling to go into service of others and become a caretaker. It was a full time, lifetime commitment. It’s not all that different than other religious commitments made by priests or nuns.
Some of the most giving, gracious people I know do not have children. I would never consider them selfish – it’s simply a choice they have made about the path of their life. They have that right to make that choice without judgement or condemnation.
4. Probably a good idea, the world is such a horrible place to bring a child into right now.
People have been saying that for decades, probably centuries. I don’t have proof of the latter, but my grandparents would be proof of the prior. And yet, the world keeps on evolving and kids keep on popping out. The reason I don’t like this one is because it makes me feel sort of guilty for now wanting to have a kid.
Am I making a mistake wanting to have a kid in a time of so many mass shootings? Nobody knows what’s going to happen with the environment or social security – is it unfair of me to throw them into that hot mess of circumstances. Like seriously, should I just not have a kid? Wait for conditions to improve?
Why would you say that? You’ll make a person’s head explode that way.
5. Kids are expensive. Go travel and take nice vacations instead.
Really? Instead? Sorry if I look like I just crawled out from under the bridge where my trash can residence resides. Are you suggesting I’m too poor to afford taking care of a child? Or do you really dislike your own offspring that much that you’d rather trade them in for a Princess cruise?
And why couldn’t I do both? Some of my favorite travel blogs are of parents who take their kids along for amazing experiences. I don’t see having a kid as a massive detour of the life I want to live, but more as adding a ‘plus one’ to it.