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10 ways to respond to rude questions about when you’re having kids

For all those well-meaning but nosy family members

by Dara Mathis
about 1 month ago

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the warm weather with family at weddings, cookouts, and other get-togethers. But family can also have a way of ignoring your boundaries under the guise of “catching up.” Sometimes that leaves you dodging nosy questions about having children.

Whether you want kids one day (but not today), you’re on the fence about parenthood, or you don’t ever want to have kids, that information is your business alone. You have the right to make your own decisions about parenthood and not discuss them with your relatives.

However, you can’t exactly flip your aunt the bird and still expect to be invited back to next year’s Labor Day barbecue.

So if you’re worried about keeping the peace while finding a way to keep everyone off your back about having kids, no sweat. We’ve got 10 responses, from straightforward to sassy, that will help you dodge or shut down intrusive questions, such as “So when are you going to have babies?”

Here are some straightforward answers that you can use when you hear this question:

  1. “I don’t want any kids.”
  2. “When I’m ready.”
  3. “I’m not sure I want to be a parent.”

    It could all be so simple, but someone in your family might make it hard to leave well enough alone. The people closest to you don’t always take the hint that you don’t actually want to talk about your reproductive choices over hot dogs and chips. So here are some sassy answers:

  4. “Nunya.”

  5. “On the 31st of Neveruary.”

  6. “When I can afford both kids and avocado toast.”

    Once you make it clear that you’re not interested in having babies, you’re probably going to get some pushback. It might start out as a compliment, like this one, “You’re so good with kids. Why don’t you want any?”

    If you still want to keep it cute and steer the conversation toward talking nerdy, try this answer:

  7. “I like kids the same way I like my library books: borrowed, enjoyed, and quickly returned to their rightful owner. See how responsible I am?”

    Although having children is an individual choice, family members may respond in anger to your decision to remain childless or postpone kids. For example, “It’s selfish of you not to have any children when you know I want grandbabies.” If your family considers your current childfree existence (#thxbirthcontrol!) selfish, this might help them see it another way:

  8. “It would be more selfish of me to have children I’m not ready to have or that I don’t want, just because someone else thinks I should have kids.”

    If they just won’t back off, try taking a long sip of your ice-cold lemonade, looking them straight in the eye, and telling them:

  9. “I don’t want to talk about why I’m not having kids (right now or ever) unless you really want to hear about how great my sex life on birth control is.”

    When their mouth drops to the floor, stuff a hamburger in it and make your escape to the dessert table.

    All jokes aside, this next option may be difficult to say, but it leaves very little room for a family member to continue without obviously crossing your boundaries:

  10. “I am not comfortable discussing this with you.”

Remember that you are allowed to set boundaries despite how your loved ones may make you feel when you are firm with them. No matter what you decide about having kids, feeling pressured to be a parent is never fun. And summer is too hot to be sweating for reasons that aren’t fun or sexy!

Dara Mathis is a freelance writer whose work focuses on pop culture, feminism, and motherhood. A Florida girl at heart, she lives in Maryland with her family, which includes a yappy mini-Schnauzer.

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