Just Wait Until You Have Kids

Why is it that I keep getting bingoed through my boyfriend? Well, he was the one getting bingoed, really. The bingo for me was only implied. My BF related this story to me, involving a telephone conversation between him and a relative. As I wasn’t there for the conversation and this is all second-hand, I hope I’m getting all the details right.

I’m saying “relative,” because I think this person is a good guy, and I don’t want to make it seem as though I’m picking on him, so I’m being intentionally non-specific. I’m not writing this post to complain about him, personally, but about the more common attitudes exemplified in the conversation. Here, I can express my thoughts on these attitudes (which I encounter ALL THE TIME in a number of ways) as a childfree person. Maybe I can even use this to explain to non-CF people why it’s not OK to say these kinds of things and why it’s found intrusive and demeaning.

Our beloved dog Molly had some health issues when we first got her, which required a bit of veterinary care and some medicine. Additionally, one day she ate all of her medicine when no one was looking and had to be rushed to the emergency vet. My BF was saying to his relative just how expensive our dog is, to which the relative replied, “Just wait until you have kids.”

Just wait until you have kids.” That quote just floors me! For one thing, my BF and I are both childfree, and have been since before we ever met each-other. My BF has been telling his family for years that he never wants kids, only to be ignored. Ok, people, seriously. If we say we don’t want kids, support that decision. It’s a valid choice. Assume we mean it.

I’ll assume that the relative has either forgotten or disbelieves that BF doesn’t want kids, otherwise this would seem like a particularly mean-spirited thing to say. Like saying, “just wait until you get fat,” to someone who takes care of their health. It does sound a bit like a threat, doesn’t it?

But childfreedom aside, this is still a nonsensical thing to say. Yes, kids are more expensive than dogs. I wasn’t aware it was a competition. I’m sure a zoo is more expensive than either. Never-mind that though. Why would he think that, as unhappy as BF was about how expensive vet bills are, that he’d want kids on the basis that they’re even more expensive? Oh, kids are extremely costly, you say? Well, in that case, sign me up! This person must be a horrible salesman.

After being reminded by my BF that neither one of us wants kids, the relative replied something to the effect of, “You say that, but sometimes kids just happen.” Where have I heard something like that before?

I absolutely detest this attitude. Unless they were dropped off on your stoup by a stork, no, kids do not just happen. Children exist as a direct result of the actions of their parents and can be avoided in a number of ways. Avoiding sex. Using contraception. Having an abortion. Getting sterilized as I have been! No. Kids not not “just happen.”

I think it takes a very irresponsible not take control of or responsibility for the direction one’s life takes by having the attitude that kids “just happen.” Having kids is a choice, and one (most) people have control over. Take ownership of your choices, and their outcomes.

Tactfully, my dear BF reminded his relative that I’m sterile (sure, BF could leave me, if he wanted, but…,) which was an action my BF fully supported (not that I wouldn’t have gotten myself fixed anyway if he didn’t.) I thought that this relative was already aware of this fact, but apparently not.

Ok, so we’re both stubbornly childfree, my BF has been telling these relative for years that he never wants kids, and one of us is sterile. Surely, we must be serious about never wanting kids, right? The relative then went on to mumble about adoption.

Really? Really?! What part of no kids is so hard to understand? How much clearer does someone need to be?

Dear world, not everyone has kids. That’s OK. Accept it. We’ll all be much happier. Thank you.

Posted on 2011/11/28, in childfree, Diary, Humor, People, Prochoice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. “Ok, so we’re both stubbornly childfree, my BF has been telling these relative for years that he never wants kids, and one of us is sterile. Surely, we must be serious about never wanting kids, right? The relative then went on to mumble about adoption.”

    Oh, the Mister got that one too. His newly-sprogged relatives were telling him “You’re next!” and “Well, sometimes it just HAPPENS!”, and he reminded them we were childfree and that I was sterlized. Right after that, one relative paused, mouth agape, before saying, “Well, I guess you could always *adopt*…” Some people truly cannot wrap their minds around the idea that we just don’t want kids EVER.

    • Julie Was Here

      Why the hell do those people think that we get ourselves sterilized in the first place?

  2. This relative sounds like quite a lot of work! Family functions can bring out the worst and best in people, and these types of comments are too often more common than not. It’s uncomfortable, insensitive, and generally none of their business whether or not you and your boyfriend have kids.

    I really liked your comment about zoos being more expensive than kids and pets. Thanks for a laugh! :)

    • Julie Was Here

      This relative went on to visit us a while later, and thankfully did not bring the matter up. However, another relative of the BF was visiting at the time and asked me while I was cooking why I don’t want kids. I told her that I thought that was the wrong question to ask, because I should have a good reason to have kids, not to not have them.

      But it was still a pleasant visit.

  1. Pingback: My Childfree Rules Re-Write: About Being Childfree « Golden Coat Hanger

  2. Pingback: My Childfree Rules Re-Write: About Being Childfree « The Hiking Humanist

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