What Not To Say To a Woman Who Doesn’t Have Children

What Not To Say To a Woman Who Doesn’t Have Children

So I don’t have any kids.

We have been married for 3 years and are not ready.

But who knows?  Maybe we can’t have kids.  We don’t know.

Maybe we don’t want them.  You don’t know.

It seems as of late, EVERYONE is super concerned about my reproductive activity.  Nunya business.

Even if you are a friend, or an acquaintance, or a random person at church….here are some things that I find utterly annoying/hurtful/ridiculous that people have said to me.

It is ok to ask if I have kids.  When I say “No.”  Don’t respond with “Why not?”  It is NONE of your business.  Plus, you don’t want my 10 minute spiel about my career/my weight/my fear of childbirth.

Don’t say….

“Don’t you want kids?”  Again, that’s pretty personal.  And that question concerns me, my ovaries, and my husband.  What if I said, “Nope. I hate kids. Plus I’m pretty selfish and don’t want to spend my hard earned money on diapers.”  What would you say?

“When are you going to have kids?”  Oh I don’t know…how’s next Tuesday work for you?  I mean, come on people. When you get a baby shower announcement, you’ll know.

“Have you tried?”  Woah.  Hello personal information. (for the record, no we haven’t.)  But that can be a touchy subject.

“What are you waiting for?”  Again, that’s pretty complicated.  Saving money, a steady career for Tyler, reaching my goal weight, doing fun things we won’t have time for later….You don’t want to open that can of worms.

When I reach for your baby to hold, don’t ask me “Do you know what to do?”  Granted, I don’t have TONS of baby experience….but I wouldn’t be taking your babe from you if I was going to throw it into a fire.  Come on people.  I think I can hold a baby.

Now, I do like to talk about these things, but on my terms.  If we are talking, and the subject comes up, I will talk about it.  I will discuss the difficulties of having a baby with friends who have babies.  I might talk about what its like to be a working mom with coworkers.  I might discuss fears of childbirth with friends who are OB/GYN nurses.  But you, random person at church/the gym/work/the grocery store/wherever….it is NONE of your business why I don’t have kids, if I want kids, and when I plan on having them.

I hear a lot to “Never ask a woman if she is pregnant unless she is opening gifts at a baby shower.”  Well, never ask her why she isn’t pregnant either.

*end of rant*


  1. Amen! People can be pretty ridiculous about this topic, and I completely agree with you. Imagine if someone is having fertility issues and is being drilled about why they don’t have kids. Or someone who can’t have children and has become OK with the fact…only to be treated like they are a freak for “not wanting them.” Some people just don’t want kids, they like them…just don’t want some of their own. They aren’t freaks either! Love this post!

  2. Oh girl… I’m so with you. The funny thing is even after we had Hudson and a year or so passed it started again. When are you having another baby? Etc… Etc… For the record, I love being a mom, but I have times that I read posts of my friends without kids and am jealous of all the fun stuff they get to do and trips they get to do on with their husbands

  3. Amen! It gets old so so fast. I got to the point it was just easier for me to tell everyone we just didn’t want kids. I have cysts constantly and endometreosis and it’s easier to say you dont want them rather to face the reality that I might not be able to have them and shame on those people who make you feel like less of person for that. Okay i’m done with that little vent haha!

  4. You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I love this! I just got married (at the age of 36) and we had a VERY serious conversation about whether we wanted kids or not. He has 3 (two grown and one is eleven) and I have some health issues that, although I could get pregnant, it’s better that I don’t. I have ALWAYS wanted a baby, but I had to make the GROWN UP decision that it wouldn’t be the best for the baby or myself. So for people to just assume that because you are now married, that it is time to make babies, rubs me the wrong way.

  6. I got so sick of that question, too!!! I am so glad Jared and I had four years together before we had our first child. Those years were fun and we learned so much about ourselves and each other. The stress of being a newlywed was hard enough without the stress of being a parent, too.

    I’ve seen people asked that question and their responses have been that they’ve miscarried or had a child who died. It is NEVER ok to ask. NEVER.

    I think the worst people are the older people at our church and moms who can’t see anything outside of their own little bubble. Even after I had Audrey and Felicity, people have asked me if I am pregnant again or when I will get pregnant again. The only person who knows the answers to those questions is God.

    • 4 years…you must be CRAZY for waiting that long. 😉 We just had our third anniversary, and heaven help us…we may hit 5 before having kids! ha!

      I can’t believe this doesn’t stop AFTER kids. I guess people think that it is public business!

      I love your last line: The only person who knows the answers to those questions is God.

      Amen, and amen!

  7. OH HONEY!!! Honey, honey, HONEY!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this post!!! I feel like we live the same life when it comes to this specific topic! But, just magnify it by the fact that we’ve been married for OVER 20 YEARS and do not have children. (GASP)

    The worst is when people ask me, “Oh, you don’t like kids?” Uh, hello? I have been everything from a worker in a baby nursery (as a PAYING profession, a Sunday school teacher and a preschool teacher. I’ve been paid to wipe hiney’s, teach little ones how to tie their shoes & write, and been their Mama/Daddy when they got dropped off with me all day. I’ve also been vomited/pooped on more than I’d like to remember. I LOVE kids, I’m great with kids… and I know how to hold, change, feed, burp a baby like it’s nobody’s business. Ha! Everyone just needs to chill out and remember their place!! The assumptions of the ignorant can be hurtful and quite rude.

    Besides, you and I love having DogMama conversations too much to mess that up right now! *wink*

    By the way, yesterday as I was getting my annual well woman exam/birthday suit check… my Doctor randomly says to me (while he’s in the middle of my exam *down south*… “Well as far as childbirth goes… I recall that your baby has four furry legs.”

    I ALMOST DIED RIGHT THERE IN THE STIRRUPS, girl!!! Wahahahahhaha!!!!!

    Thanks for this awesome post!!!

    (And if for any reason I’ve ever hurt your feelings on this matter by asking a dumb, too personal question, I am truly sorry! I hope I haven’t… I’m fairly sensitive when it comes to this topic, but I can be dumb and insensitive sometimes, too. #truth)

    Love you girlfran!!!

    • THANK YOU!

      “The assumptions of the ignorant can be hurtful and quite rude.” <—- this!

      I LOVE what your lady doctor said! haha!

      And I LOVE being doggy mamas with you! (and for the record, you have not been insensitive in the least.)

      Love YOU!

  8. Anytime, ANYONE, asks you a question that “over-steps”, simply respond, “Why do you want to know?”. It’s not mean. It’s not nasty. It’s legit. They better have an outstanding answer to your question before receiving an answer to theirs. In most instances people will stutter, fumbled their words, and finally say, “Just being nosy I guess.” That pretty much ends the discussion. Just smile and walk away. This is some of the best advice I have ever been given. It works!! People are unbelievable!!!

  9. Oh my gosh I totally understand how you feel. My Husband and I have only been married for a little over a year and we have been getting pestered with questions left and right about when we are going to have kids and why we haven’t started trying already. Ugh! When we are ready we will. I could not agree more with you on this post!

  10. Oh, Brit! You and I are so in the same position- getting married in March 2010 and seems like the only ones from that board who do not have kids/are pregnant!

    I wish I could stand on the top of the world and scream how much I love this post! I’ve had so many people wonder why we haven’t started to try to have kids. Much like the reasons you have above, we know having children is a life altering decision and we’re just not ready for that yet. We’re much happier being doggie parents right now!

    Please know you’re not alone and I’m always available to vent too!

    Melissa (misa125)

  11. Thanks so much for this post! It is always great to know that someone else feels the same way and shares the same experiences.

  12. One thing I have to point out is.. if you ask if I don’t like kids, and I say no, then what? I mean… then it’s all judge-me-ville. I hate these questions. I can’t even tell you how much I hate them.

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