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6 Weirdest Things People Say When You Tell Them You Don't Want Kids

I'm not a heartless, selfish, baby-hating bon vivant. But you'd think so based on the questions I get!
 
 
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This article originally appeared on xoJane.com.

I've decided that bringing a squalling, blood- and pus-covered infant into this world is not for me. I have no major issue with other people’s squalling, occasionally blood- and pus-covered offspring — in fact, I find some of them downright adorable.

Most of us of the childfree persuasion do not recoil in horror at the sight of a binkie, nor do we bathe in the blood of unbaptized babies. We just, you know, don’t want babies of our own. This doesn’t mean we hate your babies, or can’t remember what it was like being a kid, or have no real purpose in life.

But it does mean we occasionally get annoyed at all the strange things people say to us about our lifestyle choices. Thus, I give you a list of Six Strange Things People Say to Childfree-by-Choice People:

1.“I thought I didn’t want kids, too — but then I grew up.”

Other versions of this include, “You’ll change your mind when you get older” or “You’ll feel differently once you’ve matured.” Or even, “Oh you’re just going through a phase.”

This line of reasoning is scarily similar to things queer people often hear — it’s just a phase, you’ll get over it, you’re just trying to be edgy/trendy. 

But by declaring that your childfree friend will change his or her mind implies two things:

  • You know your friend’s mind, hopes, dreams and desires better than your friend ever could. Your friend is mistaken about his/her desire to live a childfree life, and, by proxy, maybe not so smart.
  • You think your friend’s very responsible, often quite difficult, decision has been made flippantly and without much consideration.

Of course, quite the opposite on both points is often true. Arriving at the decision to never have children — not just “maybe” not have children or “we’ll see” about children — is a tough one that typically involves quite a bit of soul-searching and introspection. Not least of which because those of us who make this choice know we are going to be spending the rest of our childbearing years defending our choice.

The conclusion: Self-awareness is a hallmark of maturity, and it takes a lot of self-awareness to choose to remain childfree with eyes wide open. So there.

2. “So you must really hate kids, then.”

No. No, a thousand times no. Anytime I ever express with even a whiff of certainty to someone that I don’t want children (nope, not even adopted ones! Just furry ones, OK?), the next time I speak to them I get gems like this one: “So, I know you hate kids, but I was wondering if you’d be OK if my niece hung out with us today?”

Just to clarify: I said I didn’t want to invite a tiny tyrant into my house to live, permanently, holding me hostage to "Blue’s Clues" and whatever else the kids are watching these days, every day, for the next 18 years. That is a far cry from kicking it with someone’s rad offspring every couple of weeks.

Just because I don’t want a pet lizard or a pair of sky-high Manolos doesn’t mean I hate either of those things. Lizards are super-cool! I like that they exist and I appreciate visiting them in the zoo or at friend’s houses, but I personally prefer a different sort of pet. Manolos are beautifully constructed shoes but alas, my feet just aren’t suited to that sort of life. Cest la vie — everyone’s different and differences are good!

 
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