“10 Actual Things I’ve Heard Because I’m Almost 30 and Don’t Have Kids” by Elizabeth Xu originally appeared on Ravishly, a pop culture + feminist news website, and was reprinted with permission.
As my 30th birthday draws increasingly closer (so. close.), questions about babies are also increasing — from my mom, other family, friends, strangers … oh, and did I mention my mom’s curious, too?
While some couples choose not to have kids, my husband and I definitely plan to; that’s why we recently bought a house.
But the timeframe just isn’t set right now.
We’re going on four years of marriage, and it seems that once you’re married, people are surprised if you don’t pop out a baby nine months after the honeymoon.
Sure, other women did and that’s just fine. That’s just not my choice — mainly because my husband and I have lived in four states in four years, and I can’t imagine how difficult those moves would’ve been with a kid.
We all make our own choices, and we deserve to make them without judgment.
Nonetheless, I hear the following statements often, and I wish I didn’t.
1. “When I was your age, I already had 2/3/6 kids!”
I’ve been to Europe twice and traveled around the U.S.
I know lots of people travel with kids and I hope to one day as well, but I’m just guessing it’s a little easier without ‘em.
2. “You look like a natural holding that baby — maybe it’s time for one of your own!”
Yeah, I didn’t even drop it! Clearly I’m ready for parenthood now.
3. “Let me tell you this horrible story about when I had my baby …”
No, really, please.
As mentioned, I do want kids someday. Probably a little less now, thanks.
Let’s trade horror stories after, because right now the only thing I can add to the conversation is how once my dog scratched me and it kinda hurt.
4. “You’re not getting any younger.”
I mean, what can I say to that? It’s true.
But — you know what? Neither are you.
5. “Your kids will be so cute.”
If they’re not, can we send them back?
… oh, you’re just saying this because my kid will be half-Asian and half-white. Got it.
6. “Are you next?”
I don’t control the reproductive habits of everyone else, so I literally have no idea.
Why are you asking me this?
7. “Having a dog isn’t like having a child.”
Thank God. The dog can be left home alone for a few hours, but I think the authorities frown upon doing the same with kids.
Plus, he stopped waking up every few hours fairly soon after we adopted him. Sleep is good.
8. “You’ve already had a puppy — you can deal with a baby!”
Come on people, make up your minds!
You can’t have it both ways.
9. “Can’t you hear your biological clock ticking?”
Nope. But I listen to music a lot, so that probably helps.
Or maybe it’s just broken. Guess we’ll see!
10. “So … when are you going to have a baby?”
Not in the next nine months, that’s for sure.
But don’t worry, I guarantee you’ll know. I mean, you probably won’t be one of the first to know … but, like, you’ll meet the kid before they go off to college.
Seriously, stop saying these sorts of things to people who can get pregnant, even if you are one yourself.
It’s no one’s favorite topic of conversation, and it’s probably serving up some uncomfortable moments, whether you’re aware of them or not.
(Our mothers and parents are exempt, of course, because they’re probably going to ask whatever they want anyway. So let’s just say it’s OK. Hi, mom!)
More from Ravishly:
- Why I’m childfree — but not by choice
- 4 reasons to stop asking, “When are you going to have a baby?”
- I don’t even have kids. Why are people asking me for advice?
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