I thought I'd grown out of the "have a kid!" comments

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2001
I thought I'd grown out of the "have a kid!" comments
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 11:45am

I stopped being personally offended probably a decade ago. Since then, when people suggest or imply I should procreate, my mind immediately goes to the people I've met in the past 10 years who have struggled and are in so very much pain because they CAN'T have children.

So, it's happened twice this week on social media. In two very different instances from two very different people. Both are people I treasure dearly, and I know they mean their comments as compliments -- that they think I'd be a great parent.

1. I posted a photo of my cat with a story about her. A friend commented, "Have a child!" I just burst into hysterical laughter. How on earth does she know I'm not trying to! I've never talked ot this person about being CFBC. In her defense, she's currently pregnant (not her first) and has several stepchildren as well. So she's got hormones coursing through her fingertips and babies on the brain. But really? My husband noticed the comment on the photo a few days later. He was outraged. "WHO IS THIS PERSON? WHAT KIND OF COMMENT IS THAT?" I explained that I couldn't believe it either but that I wasn't taking it personally. Again, my mind now goes to the poor soul who is on the receiving end of such a comment later. I don't mind hearing it, but what if my lack of human children weren't by choice?

2. Last week was the anniversary of my meeting my husband. I posted an anecdote about this, and dozens of people gave it a thumbs up or posted comments such as "How sweet!" or "You belong together!" This morning, an elementary teacher of mine commented, "What a great story to tell your children." Sigh. Really? REALLY? She knows how old I am. It wouldn't be unheard of for me to have a child at this point, but the liklihood that I'd have trouble conceiving at this age is pretty high. So why would she say that? I'm sure she also means well, and as a parent of three and a grandmother of many, she doesn't think about other family choices.

Sigh. I just hope these same people don't make similar comments to women who are struggling ...

Child-Free By Choice message board on iVillage

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003

I haven't run into too much social media "backlash" but I found this relevant this morning:

I went through the drive through at the pharmacy. The woman at the window scanned my rewards card and commented "You can sign your family up for our rewards program as well".

Errrhhh...............I look around inside my empty mini-SUV. What invisible family is she speaking of? "It is just me" I reply.

Driving away, I had to laugh. I would have preferred to retort: "It is just me. I have a serious BF and we are talking marriage, but no kids. Either way, I don't think he has earned the 'reward card status' quite yet, do you? I have the bigger car because he is in a band and we cart the drums easily in here. Plus I have a shopping addiction and the extra space is nice for those weaker moments. I'm guessing my mother called to complain once again about no grandkids and that is why you are asking"?

Now, I would never say that to a complete stranger but think it would be funny. The assumptions used to make me angry and now I just laugh at them.