Everyone is asking you when you’re going to have a family, and it’s starting to get a little annoying. When it’s family members asking you this question, it’s a little tougher since you may feel like you owe them a response. However, it’s up to you and your partner to decide when you want to discuss your family plans. If you’re not ready, try deflecting the question or giving an indirect response. In the end, you could also just tell the truth, which will likely put an end to the questions.
EditDeflecting the Question
- Change the subject when someone brings the topic of you having babies up. Head off the question early on by moving on to a different subject. It may seem abrupt, but if you do it enough times, your family will get the idea that you don’t want to talk about having babies.
- For instance, if someone hints about you having a family, you could say, “Did you hear that Aunt Rachel has a new grandchild? She is so adorable!”
- Alternatively, launch into a discussion about celebrity baby bumps. Ask your Aunt Jenny if she really thinks that Jennifer Aniston is pregnant or just gaining weight. Turn the tables with something funny and light to take the focus off of you.
- Move away from the conversation when babies come up. Before your family gets a chance to ask the question, make an excuse to get up and do something else. Take this step as soon as the topic of babies comes up, so you can avoid being asked about the prospect of having a family.
- For instance, you could say, “Excuse me, I need to step outside for a moment.”
- Say you’d rather not respond to that question. Sometimes, you need to set kind but gentle boundaries with your family members. Let them know that you would rather not answer that question, and then move on with the conversation.
- You could say, “Thank you for asking, but I’d rather not talk about that right now.”
- Alternatively, try, “I know you’re just interested in my family, but my partner and I have decided not to talk about that until we make a firm decision about when we’re ready to have a family.”
- Present a united front with your partner. Plan out ahead of time with your partner what you will say. That way, you won’t end up with family members who feel slighted because you told them you wouldn’t discuss the situation, while your partner is giving out details to other family members.
- Generally, it’s best to err on the side of privacy. That is, maybe one of you wants to discuss your family planning openly with family members outside your relationship, while the other one wants to keep quiet. In that case, it’s probably best to yield to the person who wants more privacy.
EditGiving Indirect Answers
- Tell the person the question makes you feel uncomfortable. This method helps you get your feelings across, which makes it easier for the other person to understand. By saying the question makes you uncomfortable, you close the door on similar conversations in the future.
- For example, you might say, “I appreciate that you want to know when we’ll have new babies in the family. However, that’s a personal matter between me and my partner, and frankly, the question makes me a little uncomfortable.”
- Pick a vague but socially acceptable answer to give to family members. You don’t have to be committal when someone asks you this question. Choose a vague response that you can give each time someone asks so you don’t have to think about what to say. Give it enough times, and your family members will back off.
- You might say, “Oh, we’ll start a family when we’re ready.”
- Alternatively, try, “That’s a few years down the road for us.”
- Answer the question by noting that you already are a family. This method works well if you aren’t sure you’re going to have kids. It lets the family member know that you see yourself as complete already, and that they should stop asking questions about when you’re going to start a family.
- For instance, you can say, “We already see ourselves as a family. We have our jobs and our cats, and we love helping out with our nieces and nephews!”
- Tell your family members that you will let them know when you’re ready. Your family members just want to feel included, and most of them just want to see a new baby in the family. By telling them you’ll let them know, you’re saying you want to include them, but you’re just not ready yet.
- For example, you might say, “I know you’re excited about having babies in the family. However, we’re not quite ready yet. When we decide we’re ready to have a family, you’ll be the first to know.”
EditTelling the Truth
- Announce your intentions to your family before gatherings. If you’re worried about being cornered at a family event, talk to family members individually beforehand. Explain to them your situation regarding children. Answer any specific questions they may have before you meet up with the whole family.
- Say you’re having fertility problems. Sometimes, a direct approach is the best way to get people to stop asking questions. Of course, you should only give this answer if you actually are having fertility problems and you feel comfortable saying that. Often, family members will back off once you establish that you’re having trouble.
- For instance, you could say, “Well, actually, we’re trying to have a family now, but biological children may not be in our cards. In a year or 2, we may decide to adopt.”
- Let the person know circumstances aren’t right yet. Whether you don’t have room for a family or you don’t have the money to have a baby right now, tell your family about the situation in a polite way. That lets them know you will be ready someday, but you’re not going to have a baby anytime soon.
- For example, you could say, “I know you’re ready for babies in the family, but truthfully, we aren’t ready financially to have a child. We don’t want to have a child until we can fully support them.”
- Let them know you’re working on your relationship first. Many couples want to make sure they’ve created a steady relationship before having kids. You can say that to a family member to let them know it could be a few years.
- For instance, you might say, “You know, we’re going to wait a few years before we have kids. We want to make sure our relationship is rock solid before we bring kids into it.”
- Be upfront about not having kids. If you plan to never have kids, it’s best to upfront about that. It may be a disappointment, but your family will have more time to get over it if you tell them now.
- For example, you could say, “Well, the truth is, we love our family as it is. We don’t think we need kids to complete it, so we’ve decided we aren’t having kids.”
- Leave the room and regain your composure if the badgering is getting to you.
- Be patient. Mostly, your family members just want to know when they’ll get to spoil a cute baby.
- When they ask, a simple way to dodge nosiness is to respond “Soon enough.”
- Talk to Your Spouse About Having Children
- Defend Your Choice to Be Childless
- Deal With Questions About When You’re Getting Married
- Announce Your Pregnancy
EditSources and Citations
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