• Mon, Mar 25 2013

STFU Parents: 4 Polite Ways To Get Your Friends Off Your Back About Having A Baby

I’m often asked, “How should I respond to my Facebook friends when they ask me when I plan to have a baby?” It’s both a simple and complicated question to answer, because technically the responses, “That’s not of your business,” and, “I don’t know,” work just fine no matter who you are.

Whether you plan to have kids or not (or aren’t sure, or are unable to, or happen to be allergic to children), it’s never polite to ask someone “when” she plans to have a baby. But that loaded question can actually be quite difficult to answer, especially depending on the circumstances and on who’s asking. If it’s an old family friend, or even a close friend who doesn’t mean to offend, it takes restraint not to reply with a GIF of a middle finger. And for those of us who have been asked that question more times than we can count, it begins to feel downright intrusive.

Last year I wrote a column about what not to say to your childfree friends on social media (or in general), and I think that subject should be discussed more in the blogosphere. There’s been so much talk in the past couple of years about women having it all, not having it all, being “too old” for kids or “too selfish” to want kids. It’s exhausting to keep up with the media tailspin, and women who opt out of having children are made to look like jerks or victims.

It’s an unfortunate aspect of our society that’s led to people popping the baby question like they’re asking what you’re having for lunch. After all, if the media has a right to talk about women’s uteruses, why shouldn’t your friend from junior high or your Great Aunt Sally, twice removed? They deserve to know!

Funnily enough, I started this column just before reading this post on the blog Young House Love over the weekend. It seems that “baby watch” has gone from running into acquaintances at the grocery store to Facebook comments and even to blog comments, with total strangers inquiring as to whether a blogger is pregnant.

I’ve had people ask me on my blog before, too, usually when I’ve shown some “sign” of “being pregnant,” like not posting for a week. One woman said, “Are you knocked up? I will laugh my ASS off when you realize that being a parent is actually hard. I hope you have triplets and we better not hear one word about your difficulties!” And others have asked me if I’m “on my period” if I appear to be in a bad mood. These are tried and true insults that men and women hurl when they’re trying to be “sassy,” and the comments can start to feel claustrophobic, not to mention depressing.

As a nation, we spent the better part of last year telling the government to stay out of our uteruses — but what about our friends and family, both on- and offline? If you’re me, you struggle not to use four-letter words in your replies, but in the spirit of being a Lady, I’ve compiled a few examples of people who politely told their friends and family that they’re not pregnant, not expecting a child, and/or not interested in having another child at the moment. May we all be so poised.

1. Way Too Many Punctuation Marks

STFU Parents

Megan is a saint. She swats away Jenny’s obnoxious comment with a smile, and hey, she can take herself out for a drink to celebrate, too, any old time she wants.

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  • CrazyFor Kate

    I can’t help but feel there are some things you don’t April Fool about, and being pregnant is one of them. It’s just way too stormy a topic. Pretend your roommate has turned into a vampire, start speaking in Muppet-Swedish, whatever, but some things can really be difficult to explain away.

    • whiteroses

      I like that idea— Muppet Swedish. I also agree with you, CrazyFor Kate. Pregnancy, cancer, or any form of assault are things you shouldn’t joke around about.

    • BeckyBoo

      I agree. Plus, the pregnant/April Fool’s joke is so played out. Everyone uses it.

    • http://sarahhollowell.com/ Sarah Hollowell

      I just find it annoying anymore. Every young married couple I know does it now. If someone posts that they’re pregnant on April 1st, I know it’s a stupid joke and I have zero patience for it.

    • AP

      I got married on March 31st, and we changed our Facebook statuses on April 1. The extended FB friends thought it was a joke! We had to be like, “No, really, we’re really married. There was a wedding and cake and everything. The pictures will be up soon!”

    • SusannahJoy

      I actually got married on April 1st, so yeah, we got a lot of comments about that! We thought it was kinda fun… And more to the point, with our schedules it was literally the only day we could do it, otherwise we would’ve had to be engaged for years, or engaged for like 2 minutes. I did sorta pretend to be pregnant once while we were still dating though. Not as an April Fools thing, just went to a family gathering and drank soda and juice for the first few hours instead of wine or beer. I wanted to see how long it would take people to start asking questions. Apparently- 15 mins. Yeah, when I walked through the door and didn’t immediately want booze everyone assumed i was pregnant.

    • Edify

      I had a kid on April 1st. People needed pictures to believe that one too.

    • pixie

      One of my friends birthdays is on April 1. I didn’t know until facebook told me yesterday and I was half afraid to wish him a happy birthday in case he was joking. O.o

    • CrazyFor Kate

      It was a popular joke among my middle school classmates. Because, you know, your twelve-year-old being like “I’m pregnant, just kidding!” is hilarious.

    • Basketcase

      We didn’t do April Fools, but for our first wedding anniversary, I posted that “Since its a year since we got married, figured it was time for more exciting news”. EVERYONE thought we meant we were pregnant. I meant we were off to Europe on holiday – something I had been talking about for 3 years. Whats with the assumption that the only exciting news a young married couple can have is having a baby? What about travel, and buying houses, and new jobs?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sara.abbott.37 Sara Abbott

      I asked the same question to a friend of mine after my husband announced he had exciting news (got a new job, a much better one) and every comment was a variation of, “Finally having a baby?!” All by people who know we are childfree.

      It truly saddens me that no one stops to think other exciting things can happen in a young couple’s life aside from babies.

    • zeisel

      That’s so true. We announced over dinner with family that we had very exciting news and we’ve been waiting for this for awhile. They all asked if we were having a baby, mind you, we just had a baby 9 months previous to this dinner. We said ahhh, nope; however definitely an addition to the family- a dishwasher.

    • pixie

      With my boyfriend’s family, his aunts and uncles are all betting on which of the children are going to get married first. There’s six of them within “marrying age” and four or five with partners. Luckily nobody (to my knowledge) bets when my boyfriend and I are going to get married, possibly because I’ve been around for such a long time they assume it’s going to happen anyways (nearly 7 years now). If anyone were to ask, I’d tell them the boyfriend and I are trying to finish our education first and don’t have the money. And they’ll find out when (and if) they get a wedding invite.

    • Daisy

      I have a couple friends who recently got married, and both their families are very religious, so they got married young and are under a lot of pressure to start popping out babies ASAP. When the wife posted on FB, “We have some exciting news!” everyone commented, “omgggg babby!” and she was like, “Um… no. We adopted a cat.” It was hilarious.

    • Leigha7

      I actually have almost exactly the same experience, except my friend got a puppy.

      But the way she worded the original post invited that response. I’m sort of relieved it ended up being about a puppy, given that she got married in December and was still posting wedding photos every couple weeks (minimum) through at least April.

    • Kat

      Had a friend try the “Exciting news!” bit. Everyone assumed pregnancy and her, “uh, no. I got a job. Thanks.” was fabulous. Especially as her youngest child was a junior in college. I think technically she still could have had another but I don’t think she would have termed the news “exciting” at that point.

    • BarlowGirl

      My aunt calls that a “change of life” baby XD

    • Cessily

      We posted we were pregnant on April 1st….because we were. We were just over 12 weeks and I figured people could figure it out themselves.

    • BarlowGirl

      THAT would be funny XD

  • Justme

    The first few are definitely annoying (and all handled so well!) but I can’t help but think the April Fool’s person kind of brought it upon herself. Not that we have to live our lives walking on eggshells to protect other people….but if I was struggling to conceive and somebody was making a joke out of being pregnant….that would be a hard thing to wrap my brain around.

  • Amanda

    Once I posted that I was tired from a long day & having trouble getting a paper done, and a friend commented, “If I got through school with a baby, you can get through it by yourself.” She had her child in HIGH SCHOOL. Um, I’m pretty sure 11th grade doesn’t compare to my Master’s program…

    • Carnation

      I’m also in a Master’s program and once posted about being tired and not getting breakfast before work (I work FT). One of my friends kindly reminded me that if she can get two kids their breakfasts and still have time for hers, too, I can.

      She doesn’t work.

    • Dani Douce

      I hope you pointed that out to her

    • Tinyfaeri

      Holy passive agressive, Batman!

    • Michelle

      I completed my master’s degree two years ago while working a demanding GA position and recently had my first child. Guess which one I still think was overall more difficult…yea completing a master’s degree is no joke, parenting is something I enjoy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/akihikio Kara Rhodes

      That’s really dismissive of her and it’s not very nice, but don’t dismiss her experience either.

    • Payroll

      Oh gth. Nobody is more dismissive of experience than parents.

    • Payroll

      And fuck you.

    • 1:38

      Let me guess, you’ve got a baby but no Master’s degree.

    • whiteroses

      Speaking as someone who has both a Master’s Degree and a baby- yeah, the Master’s was a lot harder.

    • Victoria

      It’s not being dismissive of her experiences to be annoyed that she made that comparison. No one is claiming that it isn’t hard to be a mother in high school, but she did make it seem as if she had done what OP had done with a child. She had not, and therefore doesn’t know what it’s like to be working on an Master’s degree sans child, let alone with one.

    • Victoria

      I’m writing my MA thesis now, and if anyone made that comparison I would probably have to restrain myself from berating them to the point that the next time they think of mommyjacking something they’ll start twitching. Apparently, when she was “getting through school” with her baby, she missed the day where analogies were discussed, because she should know that the two aren’t even comparable.

    • Dani Douce

      You should have told her that. I bet that would have shut her up!

    • k

      my husband is writing his masters thesis and stays home with our kids, im not sure which he finds more difficult but i know he doesnt enjoy doing both at once. lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/pandora114 Monique Boulanger

    I’m tired…

    • Pinkmagnoliarose

      tired of being admired? Tired of life; uninspired?

    • Mafi

      Maybe you are pregnant? and if you are not, you should so you will understand what is really like to be tired ;)

    • Katia

      Lol nice

  • Eileen

    Giuliano is my favorite…because also, seriously, WTF, dude? He said it’s the coolest thing he’s ever seen, not the coolest thing he ever could possibly see.

    • Blueathena623

      Plus the fact that he’s 20. Come on now.

    • Elizamina

      That, and you know, childbirth didn’t really feel all that cool to me. I doubt it looked very cool either.

  • Lisa

    I’d just like to say that the “I’m pregnant! Oh ha ha jk” April Fool’s joke is really cruel to those of us who are unable to have children. Yes, I know, you shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells to protect others, but it is very hurtful.
    As for the rest – When people tell me I’m “lucky” that I don’t have kids because the time change bla bla blaaaaaaah, or when they ask me when my husband and I are going to procreate, ESPECIALLY when they do it on FB, I usually respond with a kind blocking. Or “I’ll send you a private message” and then I tell them that although we have been through numerous fertility treatments, surgeries, and medications, our doctors have determined that I will never have children, but thanks for asking!

    • http://sarahhollowell.com/ Sarah Hollowell

      I think it’s amazing that you’re able to be so patient with people about something that must be painful for you. I don’t know that I’d be able to the same. Basically: Go you. That takes strength.

    • whiteroses

      I agree. There’s also an aspect of “Well, I can do something you can’t do hahahahahaha” that goes on with that. At least, there was with my “friends”. Former friends, mind you.

    • Kaywinnet

      I’ve debated on pouring everything out just to make people realize what assholes they’re being. THEN the questions changed from “When are you procreating because you’re not doing so on my very specific schedule, DAMMIT” to “Are you sterile or something?! Have some damn babies already!”

    • Blueathena623

      Who the f down voted this comment?

  • SoozGO

    There are only two reasons someone doesn’t have a baby. They either don’t want one (sometimes just for now, sometimes never) or they can’t. Either way, it’s none of my business.

    • anon

      I agree with your overall message, but I think there’s a third reason why people might not have children. In my case, I do want children now (and as far as I know, I CAN have them), but I don’t have a partner, and my income is only moderate. As I’ve gotten older, it’s occurred to me that children might not be in my future — which breaks my heart. But I wouldn’t say that choosing not to have children because of my circumstances has anything to do with my desire or my ability to have children (which, again, doesn’t really change your point – but maybe offers a different perspective).

    • SoozGO

      I hear you. I just meant that a person can not want to have a child “now” but would like to have one in the future if the circumstances are right. What you said above just highlights that it’s complicated and that it’s none of my business. Plus, it can be very hurtful.

    • AP

      I agree, and I think people need to look at parenthood more pragmatically like this, too. Children are the only thing on the planet that you can say “But I WANT one,” and it’s considered a higher calling.

    • Blueathena623

      Wow, that’s really deep. Good point!

    • Dani Douce

      This is so heartbreaking! My aunt’s in the same situation, but unfortunately I think she’s too old to have any now. I’m worried for myself as well. I’m still fairly young and I don’t want a child now, but I’m worried I won’t be with anyone when I do want one as I’ve been single my entire adult life. Maybe you could consider adoption?

  • FruitTheCat

    I’m child-free, and do not ever want children. The truth is, most people with kids resent the shit out of me, think there’s something wrong with me/my lifestyle, and assume that I couldn’t possibly be as fulfilled as they are. Truthfully, I love spending weekends sleeping in, taking long interrupted bubble baths, staying up late, and doing whatever in the hell I please. Kids aren’t for everyone, and not everyone should be a parent. I have no problem flat-out being honest when nudged about the kid issue either.

    • whiteroses

      Thank you for this. I love my eight month old son with all my heart- but it kills me when my childfree friends assume that now that I’m a “breeder” (um, thanks, not a cow) I’ll start hassling them about when they’ll have kids. Not everyone wants to or should be a parent, as you said.

    • BeckyBoo

      Same here. My husband and I love the idea of being able to take vacations whenever and wherever we want, spend our money on ourselves and live a happy, child-free life.

  • http://twitter.com/lismarmana Lisa

    The “you will never sleep again” thing is really starting to drive me crazy. Yes, babies have pretty inconvenient sleep schedules. But… uh… they do this thing we know as “becoming not babies.” After a couple years they are pretty much tiny, diurnal humans who sleep at night.

    • whiteroses

      My son started sleeping through the night at 2 weeks old. So it really depends on the baby. And people saying that ticks me off anyway, because it’s not like you can store sleep!

    • ali

      Everyone said that to me when I was pregnant. It was very annoying. I know most people that say that are just trying to think of something to say but it irritated me to no end. I have a stomach condition that tripled my heart burn level and I would sit up at night, unable to sleep and stare at my husband thinking how much I’d like to put a pillow over his peaceful deep sleeping face. Like you said, you can’t store sleep! Wouldn’t that be nice..

    • val97

      Yes, this! Believe it or not, babies grow up and turn into little humans that you can teach basic survival skills to, like how to pour milk into a cereal bowl and turn on the TV. I can also take long runs followed by long bubble baths. Kids do not take up every inch of your life even if it seems that way on social media.

  • whiteroses

    My response when people ask me if I’m going to have child number two is, “Oh, are you willing to support it? Because we’re not ready to at the moment.” Normally shuts them up pretty quick.

    • Pinkmagnoliarose

      We get that too. Our daughter is ten, and God willing…NO more are in the future. EVER. We often hear “oh, don’t you think she’d like to have a brother or sister?” I usually tell them…no, it’s never crossed her mind. She enjoys vacations, sports and tons of activities that we couldn’t afford if we had another kid. I’d rather have one kid..and show them everything I can possibly can..then to have multiple and never get to go anywhere or do anything because we can’t afford it. Plus, with only one..I don’t have to drive a minivan. Mwahahaha

    • ALE515

      I don’t have a kid, but I know I only want one. People flip out at me when they find that out! I just don’t get it. This statement is soooooo true!

    • whiteroses

      I was an only child. My husband is the oldest of four. We both decided when we got married that two is our absolute limit (unless we have twins). Family planning is such a personal thing- and as my husband puts it, “I’d rather not have more children than adults in the family.” So I totally get what you’re saying. My husband can’t picture only having one child, and I certainly can’t picture more than one. We figured two was a happy medium :)

    • Justme

      My husband and I are coaches and we like to play “man-to-man” defense with our child instead of switching to “zone” because we’re outnumbered.

    • zeisel

      Yeah, if you even mention that you want just one child for the obvious reasons… so many do not understand that and come back with the whole playmate thing. Drives me crazy… plus, they counter back with “what is your only child going to do when you guys are gone- they will have no family.” Well, actually they might have a spouse/partner and possibly a child of their own, when that time comes. Also, friends can sometimes be considered so close to you as to be considered family. I have a brother and we are not close, due to lifestyle choice, personality differences… doesn’t mean if you have a sibling- you’ll be set and good friends..

    • Dani Douce

      Don’t forget cousins!

    • happyonlychild

      I’m an only child. I never wanted a “playmate,” because I understood from an early age how worthless babies are at playing the sorts of games I enjoyed. I feel like I got the best of everything this way–since my cousins are close in age, I got all the benefits of having close family members without any of the sibling rivalry. And because there was just me, I was able to get through college and grad school without taking out loans, something that would likely not have been possible if I’d had a younger sibling in the picture. So smirk away at the assholes nagging you about having another. Your kid will almost certainly thank you for not doing so!

    • pixie

      I’m an only child too, but I didn’t even have cousins close to my own age (growing up I had one cousin, eight years older than me, who lived two hours away. I now have a cousin 17 years younger than me who lives closer, but being in university and the huge age gap is a bit of a problem). While I had friends in school, my parents kept me super busy with martial arts and swimming and whatnot after school and on weekends so I didn’t spend much time with my school friends outside of school, but I was a pretty independent kid and it didn’t bother me. Both my parents worked, my mom travelled a lot for work, and my dad worked midnights when I was in grade 1 until about grade 5, so when my mom was out of the country I spent a lot of time with my grandmother at nights while my dad was at work. I was never lonely. I learned how to converse with adults from a fairly young age. I learned to become pretty self-sufficient and independent from a young age.
      I also got the benefit of being able to travel to a few places I wouldn’t have if I had siblings. My parents weren’t rich when I was growing up (when I was born they had pretty well nothing), but they made sure I was well taken care of and managed their finances well enough to get me involved in activities. And same with you, happyonlychild, I wouldn’t have gotten through the past 4 years of my undergrad without loans if I had siblings.
      If someone wants one child, I think that’s awesome. If someone wants multiple, that’s cool too. And if someone wants to stay child free, hey, that’s great. It’s their own personal choice.

    • Kat

      I was 7 when my brother was born and EVERY adult seemed required to say something akin to, “aren’t you glad you have a little sibling?” Even at seven I thought they were idiots. No, I didn’t want a baby in the house. No, I didn’t particularly want to share my parents. No, I didn’t see him as a playmate – we were seven years apart in age. Kinda made playing together difficult. I’m still unsure what upsides to the arrangement 7yo me was supposed to see.

    • Leigha7

      Speaking as an only child…having another kid for their benefit might be a good thing (I mean, as long as you actually WANT another kid, obviously) up to a certain age, but at some point it would be such a huge change to their lifestyle that it could be really difficult for them. I desperately wanted a sibling until somewhere around age 10-12, when I realized getting one would actually kind of suck, and then I was glad it was just me.

  • Kelly

    I thought it was bad when people asked about babies before I had my son. Now, it’s worse. I had my son in 2011, and as we were trying for #2, I suffered a miscarriage. Now when people ask “when are you giving him a sibling?” they are damn lucky they don’t get a slap to the face. I hated that question before we had kids, but it nearly brings me to tears now. People need to think before they open their big mouths.

    • Teal

      I’m sorry for your loss. Being asked when you are having another baby must be so hard. People can be so insensitive, sometimes without even realizing it.

    • KatieMB

      *hugs*

  • BeckyBoo

    I’m in a similar situation. My husband and I got married only 6 months ago, and our friends and family will not stop bugging us about having children. We have both made the conscious decision NOT to have them, but people won’t take the hit. Especially my mom. It’s so annoying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.knewyawkcity Ron KnewyawkCity

    Hahaha I cannot people say this shit. I guess I have friends that know better.

  • Teal

    I’ve been married for a year and a half, and shockingly, I don’t get asked the baby question all that often. When people do ask, I usually tell them, “Well, my mom didn’t start having kids until she was 30.” (Which is true.) And she had me at 36. So I usually tell people that we’ve got time.

  • Judy

    I’m 32, been married for almost 4 years, and get this question a lot. We want children, just not right now. I usually respond with “we’ll have a kid if you pay for the day care.” It usually shuts up people.

    • AP

      I tell nosy people that the baby would have to pop out with its own salary to pay for the daycare.

  • mup01

    I got married a few months ago. An acquaintance (wife of one of my husband’s friends) turned to me at dinner and, out of the blue, asked – “so are you guys trying yet?” I responded – “are you asking me if I’m having unprotected sex with my husband?” That did the trick. Kudos to the women who can keep it together to respond politely…

    • RCIAG

      I had people asking me about future babies at my reception. I don’t even remember the response I gave but I recall being asked more than once.

    • Victoria

      Gorgeous!

  • http://www.facebook.com/akihikio Kara Rhodes

    I personally think that there a few very good answers for this:
    1) We don’t want kids, so I will not be having any. Plus, it’s none of your fucking business. (If applicable.)
    2) I don’t know, and it’s none of your fucking business.
    3) It’s none of your fucking business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PatriciaShaw08 Tricia Shaw

    I’m sorry, but all questions about procreation are just rude, and sometimes downright cruel. You don’t know what’s going on in that woman’s life. Maybe she’s trying to have a baby, and she can’t. Maybe she’s recently miscarried. Maybe she’s decided she doesn’t want kids, and her husband does (or vice versa) and the last thing she needs is to discuss this with YOU. If someone wants you to know they’re reproductive plans, they’ll tell you. Otherwise, STFU and back off.

    • windyhillgal

      You are absolutely correct. When I got married (at 28), I wanted to have a baby but my husband wasn’t ready. (He already had a son from a previous marriage that he was raising.) Five years later, he decided he would NEVER be ready to have any more kids. I was heartbroken, and to be honest, we came very close to ending our marriage over that issue.

      So, you can imagine how it felt to be ambushed with questions about why we hadn’t given his son a little brother or sister yet. I went home in tears more nights than I can count. It was brutal.

      BTW – I’m now 52, and still married, and still heartbroken. My choice, I guess.

  • ALE515

    I’m a size 6, have been my whole adult life. I’ve been married for a year and a half. I don’t get the “When will you have a baby?” question I get the full blown, “Are you pregnant? You’re looking wider/bigger.” Um…. Thanks? I’ve been the same size forever, why are people seeing me as huge?

    • jessica

      Yeah… thats not a nice way for someone to bring that topic up at all. Goodness.

  • Kasey

    My husband and I have no plans for children. One night, at a Christmas, another spouse asked me when we planned to have kids. When I replied we didn’t want any, she looked at my husband and said “I’m sorry, I hope she gives you a baby one day.” and he replied “I hope not, I’ve heard the return policies on those are awful.”

    • Kasey

      a Christmas party.. oops!

    • Jessie

      I think I love your husband, that has to be the most epic response to such a presumptuous and rude comment that I have ever heard! Haha!

    • zeisel

      What a great response, especially since she looked at your husband and stated that remark. Complete tactlessness on her part- ugh, I hope you’re not related to that person and have to deal with that type of personality at every Christmas and/or holiday.

    • Kat

      “… gives you a baby,” ugh! Kill me. Of course, inviting your husband to patronize you is what you deserve, you insubordinate, poor excuse for a wife! Seriously? What year is this?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Yanno, some things are just personal, and shouldn’t be asked about publicly (or at all). Seriously.

  • http://twitter.com/DecaturFlora Flora

    HA! Lisa’s response is my go-to, or similar enough. “You know, I can’t keep myself straight most days, and nobody wants to see me with pregnancy brain!”

  • Tea

    ” As soon as my husband or I grows a uterus.” Is usually my response.

    Adoption is obscenely expensive (And difficult, since I’m disabled and we’re same sex), and so is surrogacy and egg donation, especially with us still going paycheck to paycheck and sometimes hitting food banks. Now is not the time for babies, and there may never be a time for babies. My mother-in-law has the grandkid bug.

  • Litterboxjen

    I have one kid, and even before she hit a year, I started getting asked when the next one was coming. I tell people we’ll have another when we get our asking price for the current one on eBay. They laugh and usually stop asking.

    Depending on the person, I will answer more honestly.

  • http://twitter.com/Utinam Penelope Dickenson

    Heard a mother yelling after her kid a couple weeks ago, “Teveah!” Really? Heavet isn’t even a word backwards. Still not as bad as the brother-sister duo of “Tyreah” and “Tyrese”

  • Gadgets

    Mommyish is the biggest bunch of drivel I’ve ever encountered. STFU, Parents is the finest thing the Internet has to offer and the only redeeming quality Mommyish has to over.

  • Elizamina

    I HATE the “you will never sleep again!” bullshit. My kid is 10 months old. She’s been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks old. I realize not everyone gets as lucky, but most babies do eventually sleep through the night. If your kid is well past baby stage (and doesn’t have some sort of medical/other problem that makes sleeping difficult) and you’re still not sleeping through the night, then you’re doing something wrong.

    Also, I hate that people act like it’s something to brag about. “I get by on 4 hours of sleep a day!” “Oh yeah? Well, I haven’t slept an hour in three years!” There’s no prize for being the biggest martyr.

    • K.

      Totally agree! Frankly, I’ve started to perfect my French-parenting-sneer and head-cock whenever I hear some mombie talking about her child’s terrible sleep patterns like it’s some badge of honor: “Really? That’s very strange. You should get him/her checked out.”

      I mean, I AM a parent. I get it–some nights are rough–hell, some weeks are rough when they’re little, but there’s a difference between the occasional commiseration and the suffering Olympics. For God’s sake–why is a child not sleeping well some sort of point of pride? It’s not good for the parent OR the child!

    • Raven

      Agreed! My daughter is 3 1/2 months and has recently started sleeping an average of 7-9 hours a night (fingers crossed it continues!) If I would go to bed at the same time as her, I would get the same amount of sleep, but usually I’m just not quite ready to hit the sack at the same time she is, so I don’t. But it’s a conscious decision I’m making at the end of the day when I look at the clock and decide that I’m not ready to go to sleep yet so I’m going to stay up and read or watch a show I’ve recorded. If I don’t get enough sleep it’s my own fault. It’s not like when we first brought her home and she would only sleep for 2-3 hours at a time and there was nothing we could do to change it except just ride it out and remind ourselves that it’s just a phase. Yeah the first couple of months were very hard and we were very sleep deprived but that stage doesn’t last forever! Eventually she won’t be getting as hungry as often as she does now and we’ll be able to get her to sleep a little longer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004037735765 Mccart Brenda

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  • anon87

    My best friend literally said to me one time “You guys should have a baby soon or you’ll be so old it will have Down Syndrome”. I’m 25, we want to buy a house first, and I’d actually like to adopt a child. I couldn’t believe she said that, I was shocked. I would never say anything like that to a person OR ask when they are having children, it’s just rude.

    • AP

      Statistically, most Down Syndrome babies are born to women in their 20s, because of barriers to genetic testing.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Incorrect, but thanks for playing!

    • AP

      I literally just read this this week! It was in an article about the ethics of genetic testing and engineering “superbabies.” 90% of Downs pregnancies are terminated, but since most women in their 20s don’t get the prenatal genetic screening, they don’t get the choice of terminating. So most Downs babies who are carried to term and born are delivered to mothers under the age of 30.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Except that it’s established fact that women over 40 are more likely to produce a DS baby due to deterioration of eggs.

    • lea

      I think the difference in the stats has to do with whether or not the child is carried to term.

      So you are both right.

      A woman over 40 has a far greater chance of conceiving a DS baby. However, because she is also pretty much guaranteed to be offered testing and over 90% of couples who test +ve chose to abort, all of those babies won’t be born.

      Conversely, the risk of conceiving a DS baby is lower in your 20s, however the number of women getting tested is also lower. So more babies with DS go undetected, hence not terminated, hence are born.

      (stats vary by country too, depending on the availability and participation in prenatal testing)

    • lea

      Also, there are more women in their 20s having babies then there are in their 40s- so while the % of DS babies born to mothers in their 20s may still be less, the absolute number of DS babies born to mothers in that age group would be higher.

      (I’ll stop now…)

    • Laura

      If that’s your best friend, I’d hate to meet your worst.

  • Jen79

    I have two kids and a Master’s degree. And parenting, while amazing, is much more difficult than earning my Master’s was. I agree that it is rude to ask someone when they plan to procreate, and I typically don’t ask. However I also feel that it’s rude for people to continually challenge why anyone would EVER want kids. My husband and I have been subjected to several aggressive conversations where we’ve been challenged “tell me why I should have kids?! Why is it so great????” Look, my choices arn’t yours and yours arn’t mine. If you need me to tell why being a parent is awesome than you probably shouldn’t have any yourself.

    • happyonlychild

      Not that I’m necessarily defending those aggressors, but the idea that everyone, especially women, in our society wants children, even if it’s a deeply buried desire, is so prevalent that it’s hard not to get a little defensive when you’re childfree and are pressured to explain your reproductive choices. I’ve often found that the only way to deal with people who harass me about my non-desire for children is to turn it on its head: “Well, why do YOU think having children is the be-all and end-all? And please explain it in a way that someone as emotionally limited and therefore totally unfazed by a baby’s smile or a first word as I am could try to understand.” I’m surprised you’ve gotten that question completely unprovoked. Otherwise, I totally agree with you. I will never be able to personally comprehend why being a parent is awesome, and it’s nobody’s business to know when I’m (never) procreating.

  • Cassi

    My husband and I got married 9 months ago, and we have had multiple people ask us if I am pregnant, and the majority of them are family members. I have over 20 cousins, and all except for one of my older cousins had children before getting married, so first they assumed we were getting married because I was pregnant, and then they thought we’d have one right away. I once had an old coworker ask me on facebook when I was having a baby, since “all young newlywed couples have kids quickly.” It’s so frustrating! No babies for awhile, thankyouverymuch!

  • Victoria

    I don’t want children and every so often, I’m forced to reveal that fact (it’s just easier to avoid it). Usually, it’s because people ask my career plans, and when I say that I’m getting a PhD and then working toward becoming a full professor, which means I will be in my mid-forties before I finally make it all the way. People either respond with a sense of urgency, thank heavens they realized I would work through my reproductive years, because I could hit menopause without realizing that I didn’t have time to have a baby (if you somehow miss that, don’t you think you aren’t missing worse), or they act like this is a huge offense, how dare I choose a career that conflicts with my prime baby making years. Either way, the response to “I don’t want children,” is never pleasant.

    • happyonlychild

      Right on about the response to “I don’t want children.” I either get a pitying look or a dismissive, “Oh, you’ll change your mind someday.” Yeah. Hasn’t changed in the past twenty years since I was old enough to truly conceive what my future would be like, so I doubt it’s going to change in the next fifteen or so that I’ll still be fertile.

    • LawGeekNYC

      You’re giving birth to a dissertation. That’s pain enough for one lifetime.

    • Victoria

      Exactly! And that takes at least two years to “gestate”!

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      At least you can gestate your dissertation in a box…

  • Kat

    A good friend has 3 stair-step kids and has had strangers ask her variations on whether they’re all hers, commenting on the size of her family, and if she knows what causes them. Seriously? Can. Not. Win.

    Unless you’re directly paying for the child and involved in it’s conception, there’s no way the number, lack thereof, or future additions are your business.

  • EcnoTheNeato

    My sister has been married for 2 1/2 years, and no one in our family bugs her or my brother-in-law about kids. In fact, I get asked more about her having kids (from her/my friends or very extended family) than my family asks them about it. Go figure o_O

    I figure, if they are “trying” (which is just an awful way of putting things, really), they’ll tell us if they want. If they are planning on having one, same deal.

    Hell, for all I know, they could have been planning on having a kid for the past year and have come up with nothing but fertility problems and miscarriages. So no point in bringing it up.

  • BarlowGirl

    I have a friend with two little boys and a friend with two little girls. The first first’s kids are almost 3 and not even 1 yet. The others are 5 and 3. Both of them have posted about feeling sick (like the flu, etc.) lately on facebook. Both have been asked if they were pregnant. How freaking rude is that???

    Actually, I had this happen to me by sorta accident, but I don’t tend to remember it much because it was so random. You know those things you put in water and they grow? Like fish or hearts or whatever? I had a skeleton one of those and popped it into some water to grow it one day. On that day, I happened to also read one of those random internet factoids about how many red blood cells your body makes in a day.

    I tweeted about what I’d done that day, saying something random, “grew a skeleton”, and produced however many blood cells it is. Somebody tweets back saying, “Congratulations!” And then I had a short conversation with them thinking they were congratulating me on the skeleton thing because… I’m easily amused… and they were all, “Wait, you’re not pregnant?”

    I think I was like 17 then. So.

  • Anne

    My son has 3 Brayden’s in his grade!

    • pixie

      To me, the name Brayden screams teenage mom to me. Maybe I’m biased because I know an 18 year old who just had a son and named him Brayden, but….

  • PickAName

    Not only do I believe my reproductive plans are no one’s business except mine and my partner’s, but I also don’t give a damn about other people’s reproductive plans. I’ll congratulate you if you’re pregnant but before that, I don’t want to know. Actually, I don’t even think I want to know until the baby’s born…

  • http://www.hillarydepiano.com Hillary

    I totally also wrote a blog post about this at the end of last year :-) http://thewhineseller.com/2012/12/babies-people-mind-business-social-media/

    My beef was that people weren’t just nagging me about kids, they had me on constant “bump watch” (but, like, on Facebook) and took everything I posted, no matter how unrelated, as a sign that I was pregnant.

    I don’t want to repeat myself from the blog post but I do want to tell you this: This nagging doesn’t change once you actually have kids. My daughter was literally days old and people were already asking when we were having another one. Yeeesh.

    • GLAAD = NAMBLA

      Blair won’t read your link. If you aren’t worshiping her then you are spreading negativity………

    • http://www.hillarydepiano.com Hillary

      Actually Blair did read my link and commented on it back when I first wrote it. I was just reposting it here since it was relevant to the column. :-)

    • GLAAD = NAMBLA

      It is surprising that she did. She comes off as extremely self centered. Not because she doesn’t have kids, but just because all of her posts regarding herself are very “ME ME ME!!!!!!!!”

    • Leigha7

      “all of her posts regarding herself are very ‘ME ME ME!!!!!!!!’”

      Um…duh? I’m pretty sure that all of ANYONE’S posts about themselves are pretty self-centered…on account of how they are LITERALLY centered around themselves… I cannot comprehend this complaint.

  • Miranda

    I’m kind of on the opposite side of this, actually. I’m pregnant with my third (my husband’s second), and when people ask me if this is the last baby, it annoys me more than anything – especially when my husband or I responds with “we aren’t sure,” and people act like we’re crazy for considering another possible child in the future, or that it’s the strangest thing ever that we really, truly don’t know if we’ll have another one a few years down the road. Why the hell is it anyone’s business but ours?

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