You might change your mind and other things you should NOT say to a woman who has told you she doesn’t want children. I have such an amazing circle of close friends who are all intelligent, beautiful, educated, funny and mostly in relationships. Most of these women do not want children all for a varied amount of reasons, the one thing they all have in common is the weight of other peoples judgments on the tiny matter of children.
They all know the look at the childless women over the age of 30 get and I imagine they have received it on more than one occasion, a look that at 34 I get on a nearly weekly basis, its a cross between having smelt rotten fish (twisted nose and pout) and you tell them you would sacrifice their first moon under the next full moon (eyes popping, head slightly back). Once they have gained control back over their senses, this can take up to 2 minutes. After all their minds have just been totally blown, all of a sudden they are standing in front of a freak of nature.
During that 2 minutes, their brains have formed a series of quick-fire questions to aim at you as if you are now the emery threating the entire human race. The most miss guided point of this is the fact they think they will actually change your mind with their questions/statements on one of the most important decisions of your life. Because hey it’s not like you have actually put time and thought into this choice.
When it comes to having children there seems to be no middle ground, the subject is divided into two camps with strong opinions. People who have decided not to have children have an unbreakable bond with each other and then there are the pro-children warriors with their missile precision questions. And I swear if one more person tells me it “not too let, Janet Jackson had a baby in her 50’s” I will remove my ovaries with my bare hands in front of them!!
So I thought I would write a list of things/terms that are NOT acceptable to say to a person who has expressed that they don’t want kids (usually other people bring it up because people who have made this choice don’t usually feel the need to bring it up.) Mainly because it is completely necessary and wildly inappropriate to ask someone their childbearing status and if they have told you, what they have said should be respected. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of women who can’t carry a child, that is recovering from a miscarriage, stillbirth or the couples who have lost a child. But to save heartache, embarrassment, privacy and even your feelings just say they don’t want kids.
Just an insight from 2017 in the UK alone.
- 2,069 babies were born each day in 2017.
- An estimated 650 babies were miscarried each day in 2017.
- An estimated 145 babies were born preterm each day in 2017.
- There were 3,200 stillbirths in 2017.
- There were 2,131 neonatal deaths.
If you knew someone has had a pregnancy loss would you still ask them “why they don’t have kids”?
The most common responses I receive after being asked if I want kids and me replying no!
- “There is still time, you might change your mind”
- “Women are having children later and later”
- “My sister/friend/colleague/post woman didn’t have her first child until she was in her forties”.
- “You just need to meet the right man”
- “you don’t even need a man anymore to be a mum”
- “Is your career really more important than having a family”
- “Who will look after you when you are old?”
- “you will regret it when you are older”
- “You can adopt”
- “You can get a puppy”
- “Isn’t that a bit selfish”
- “What if you meet someone who wants kids?”
Also as a side note if someone has told you that they don’t want kids then goes on to have children that does not give you the right to say “I told you so”
If a conversation does happen to happen then the appropriate response to having someone tell you they don’t want kids is “I fully respect your decision” .