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To think it is not anyone elses business when we decide to have children!

(24 Posts)
cookiemonster100 Sun 09-Aug-09 19:11:31

So i am at a family wedding with DH when we keep getting asked when will we have children. I am expecting this as this is not the first time!

So this stupid cow who is 6 months pg tells me not to leave it too long as we don't want to be old parents and the longer we leave it the harder it will be. Who is she to tell me when we should have children!!

I have a health issue which is currently being dealt with and it is still to be confirmed if it will affect fertility. No one knows this apart from my DH. So yes I am extra sensitive at the moment and everyone at its dog is pg at the moment!

Anyone else had this problem and what has your response been? I need some quick one liners to shut these busy bodies up!

TrillianAstra Sun 09-Aug-09 19:20:12

The pregnant one is a cow. The others are probably (rather ineptly) trying to make conversation.

But if you want to shut them up.

'Never'.

'Well, we were trying but now we've seen yours we might re-think'

'In 7 months actually' <swigs large glass of wine>

onepieceoflollipop Sun 09-Aug-09 19:23:18

The pg one sounds very smug.

I think as Trillian says the others are just trying to be friendly/make conversation.

I would tend to just respond vaguely, along the lines of "oh yes, hopefully soon" or "yes, I expect you are right"

Just smile sweetly, enjoy a bit of a drink and come back here and get it off your chest later.

nickytwotimes Sun 09-Aug-09 19:23:36

YAnbu at all. Bloody rude pg lady!

Love Trillian's suggestions.

beanieb Sun 09-Aug-09 19:23:53

It's what people ask isn't it, specially at weddings and the like.

I think the pregnant lady was very rude though. It's beyond rude to start lecturing other people about how and when to have children. If it were me I think I would have just started ranting about the health issues and made it really clear to her that she had crossed the line!

onepieceoflollipop Sun 09-Aug-09 19:28:33

If someone was being particularly rude I might be tempted to pull a very say face and say (fairly vaguely) that you would love to have children but sadly for some people it's not always an option. Don't tell her anything you don't want to, but hint very heavily that she is being rude and making assumptions about you.

onepieceoflollipop Sun 09-Aug-09 19:28:52

sad face I meant not say face

frimblypoo Sun 09-Aug-09 19:32:32

I used to get this a lot. After three years of trying I got to the point where I used to say honestly 'we'd like to but we can't'. That put them in their place. No one ever wanted to discuss it further.
Happily DS1 arrived just when we had resigned ourselves to a lifetime of cruises.

skidoodle Sun 09-Aug-09 19:41:55

Really people have no sense. It is so rude and unfair to ask this question.

The happiest possible answer is that they don't have children yet because they don't want to. All the other possible reasons involve poking your nose into very personal and potentially devastating issues that are none if your damn business. If this is something you are close enough to know, you'll already know.

You might as well ask a casual acquaintance when they plan to start having sex without contraception. If you ever find yourself evev thinking of asking this question button it and work (hard) on your small talk.

OP I think the best way to respond is to say something like "if we've any happy news to impart, I'm sure you'll hear about it" as icily as posdible. Refuse to be drawn further and answer anything paricularly intrusive with "I'm afraid that's personal".

How awful of them

GentlyDoesIt Sun 09-Aug-09 19:44:29

If I sense someone is interfering (as opposed to just crap at conversation!) I always reply with some variation of: "When do YOU think we should?" and then let them talk, and talk, and talk.

Often they forget about whether or not you've actually answered. When they do wind down you can say something like "Thank you for the tip, that's interesting." and then change the subject (you've usually had time to think of something else by then).

This works for all sorts of questions that you don't want to answer:

"How many children are you going to have?" - "How many do YOU think we should have?"

"When are you going to start a family/have another child?" - "When do YOU recommend we should?"

"Are you hoping for a boy/girl next time?" - What do YOU think would be best?"

"Are you planning to lose weight at some point?" - "When do YOU think I should lose weight?!"

You don't have to be sarcastic with it - it's just a way to allow them to talk about something they're interested in, when you'd rather not. It's also quite a subtle way to save THEIR embarrassment when they've accidentally touched on a really painful subject.

Finally, it helps to flush out the really determined nosey parkers, because they will keep batting the question back at you or even point out that you're being evasive - then you can be more direct if you wish, safe in the knowledge that you are dealing with a beaky sod, rather than a foot-in-mouth person.

qwertpoiuy Sun 09-Aug-09 19:57:06

Very good retorts, GentlyDoesIt!

We were married 5 years before we decided to have children, and we got so much of that beforehand.
I would tell them I didn't want any, and that would lead to lots of interrogation - it was none of their business!

I have 3 now and I love them to bits. I was 30 when I had my first - it was a perfect age for me.

littleducks Sun 09-Aug-09 19:59:36

If they start lecturing say you thinks its irresponsible in a swine flu epidemic wink

MIAonline Sun 09-Aug-09 20:24:02

Get used to it, IME before you get married people ask when you are getting married, before DC1 they ask when you are having a baby, once you have then had a baby they then ask you when you are having DC2 as you can't possibly just have one. grin

BTW, YANBU and it can be a PITA, but for most it is just a way of starting a conversation. You do get the odd smug opinionated person who just won't let it drop and you have been given some good advice about how to handle them.

It must be really hurtful, especially if you are not sure if your fertility has been affected.

pjmama Sun 09-Aug-09 20:44:47

Its a bloody insensitive question. I had fertility problems and used to get asked it all the time and its really upsetting. I always wanted to reply "actually I can't have children" and watch their faces drop when they realise just how far they've put their foot in it. Of course I was never brave enough and used to just smile and change the subject!

blithedance Sun 09-Aug-09 20:59:04

I just tended to be very vague and say, "oh, you know, we'll see what happens next few years maybe". If they were really persistent I would point out we had a medical problem and really didn't like to discuss it as it's rather private matter (to avoid interrogation about IVF etc).

Now we have adopted I have to be similarly vague when new acquaintances ask about my pregnancy and childbirth experience grin.

Try to become an expert subject changer rather than a put downer is my advice. Really it is just small talk.

I was reading in some womens magazine about the falling fertility thing, and someone who'd had a very hard time said she had been completely ignorant of what it meant to leave it to 35 to have a baby until it was too late and she would put all her friends in the picture if she got the chance.

Has someone suggested "What makes you say that?" btw.

bethdivine Sun 09-Aug-09 21:04:28

Ahh, yes, I remember this one well. We were at a friend's 40th a few days before our wedding, one of their friends asked how old I was then said I'd better hurry up trying to conceive as she didn't know what our area's policy was on IVF!!! - then we hadn't even been married an hour and people started asking us when we were going to start TTC.

I tended to say to people sorry, I don't feel I know you well enough to discuss my sex life with you.

Liskey Sun 09-Aug-09 21:13:58

YANBU - We got asked this question at our wedding 5 years ago by DH grandparents. Its just plain rude and insensitive.

We've just got back from a visit to the grandparents to show the scan photos - as I am pregnant (first one as well). His Grandfather then says "Oh we don't want to put any pressure on you but we really want a boy to carry on the family name". I'm now hoping for a girl....... These questions don't get any better.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 09-Aug-09 21:14:34

People really are idiots sometimes.

Even my lovely Mum can make me cringe, as she has a tendancy to think that just because she wears her heart on her sleeve that everyone else must do too. So if she hasn't heard that a couple are having problems, then they must be fertile. hmm Despite the fact that we hid our infertility from everyone for ages, and even now have only told a select few. hmmhmm

I think that sometimes people are just nosey parkers and sense that there is some kind of story there and can't bear the fact that they aren't in on it. I hope that everything works out for you.

oneopinionatedmother Sun 09-Aug-09 21:19:33

hum YANBU though i find i know so many of my olders sisters friends (30-40 yo women) going through infertility issues where age is a factor that I find it hard not to advise all my mates to go out and get pg whilst they still can!

Spottyotter Sun 09-Aug-09 22:17:37

It never ceases to amaze me how rude people can be. I would NEVER dream of asking anyone such personal questions. On the very same day I came home from hospital with ds, I must have had 5 people ask me if we were planning to have any more. How rude.

cookiemonster100 Sun 09-Aug-09 22:22:45

Thanks for the responses - some of those one liners are brilliant esp love

'Well, we were trying but now we've seen yours we might re-think' - Thanks Trillianstra!

I am prepared with everyone asking as people do but it was just the way she said it. AND she is not normally like that hmm

Glad to see I am not the only one with nosey parkers around!

Aerie Sun 09-Aug-09 22:43:48

aaargh, this is a real bugbear of mine as it really isn't anyone else's business!!!

I was at a dinner party at my boss's house once with some work colleagues and their spouses. The DH of one of my colleagues who I'd never met before asked my DH and I across the dinner table "when were we planning to start a family". I was shock shock shock at their impertinence. I tried to joke it off my saying 'ooooo, you sound like my Mum' but instead of getting the message, he got the hump and responded by saying in an arsey tone "well, it's was an obvious thing to ask a couple who've been married for a while". I was mega pissed off by now and everyone around the table looked blush including his wife, so I replied "only if you have no manners" and changed the subject. The cheek!

On another occasion, my MIL kept going on and on about when were we going to have children. I calmly told her "when we find the right hole" gringringrin

But then I have the hide of a rhino and think that if you persist in asking such a rude question, then you deserve the reply you get.

wilkos Sun 09-Aug-09 22:56:46

how about replying with a big grin "well when we do you'll be the first to know!"

as i found it was generally only random acquaintances who would ask this went down a treat and made them feel rather foolish - the right element of sarcasm dressed up as a massive compliment!

oneopinionatedmother Sun 09-Aug-09 23:50:36

@Aerie LOL!

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