Children.

May. 9th, 2010 01:13 pm
kirideth: (Horrorshow)
[personal profile] kirideth
As the wedding date draws nearer (less than two months, yo), more and more people who don't know me (or George) exceptionally well feel that it's appropriate to comment and ask questions about our personal lives, goals, and decisions about our future. In particular, our (yes, OUR) decision not to have children.

I suppose to most people, the comments seem innocent enough. Statistically speaking, most married couples have children at some point. But it's never "are you going to have kids?" Or even "have you thought about having kids?" (the latter of which is actually marginally worse than the former, for reasons I'll get into later) No. It's at best "When are you going to have kids?" or, more commonly "Well, when you have kids..." and the first reaction I have to these sorts of statements is "I'm sorry... do you even KNOW me at ALL?" I mean. I have never made an effort to hide my intent to never have children. Hell, I even explicitly bring it up on a somewhat regular basis. Because having (or not having) children is a relevant topic in my general age group. Some of my friends are raising young children. Others are planning to do so in the near future. Others still are doing what they can to avoid it. It's relevant, and I care about it.

George and I happen to be in the "doing what we can to avoid it" group. And plan to stay there. I get questions along the lines of "Have you even ASKED him about it?" and "What are you going to do when he tells you he wants kids?" or, best-case "What does he think about you not wanting children?" Personally, I find the implication that he and I *haven't* discussed this to be offensive. We've been together going on six years; the assumption that it *hasn't* come up in all that time, particularly when the topic's so important to me, is ridiculous. And on top of that, we're planning on spending the rest of our lives together. And this is the sort of thing where if we end up in a conflict over it, it could be irreconcilable. It would be irresponsible to jump into marriage without at least knowing what we each think about it, even if we disagree (and this applies to other topics, too).

Luckily, though, we don't disagree. He doesn't want children, either. I'm not going to speak for him any more than that, though, because his reasons are his business. If he wants to tell people about it, that's his thing. Not mine.

Let's see. What else have people said to us about it? Oh, right. Another particularly infuriating one. "Why are you getting married if you don't want kids?" Really? I mean... REALLY!? Seriously. If you can't see any reason to want to commit to a partnership besides the desire to raise children, chances are I don't want to talk to you anyway because you're boring. I wouldn't even dignify that question with an answer. Thankfully, George is the only one who's been asked that one. Probably because men aren't supposed to want to get married, or some other such bullshit.

Now, accidents happen. It's part of life, you know? We can take as many precautions as we like, and shit'll still happen. And when it does? He and I intend to terminate any pregnancies. (Yes, we've talked about this, too. Shocking. I know.)

I've said it before. I don't have any desire to raise children. I also have an active desire to NOT BE PREGNANT. It's not my thing. Other women can go be pregnant all they like. That's great. I just won't be one of them. I suppose you could go into questioning why I don't ever want to be pregnant. But I don't think that's particularly important. It also tends to come across as trying to make me change my mind. As though the pure fact that I don't want to be pregnant isn't enough. That it has to be for reasons that whoever I'm talking to finds acceptable, and the fact that they're asking implies that they suspect that my reasons aren't acceptable. That sort of approach crosses clearly into the "not your business" territory. And this includes things like accusations that I hate kids or similar such things. Not relevant. At all. And I don't appreciate feeling forced to cling to some irrelevant "I don't hate kids, I just don't want any!" statement just to appease someone who tried to make my personal life their business. My decisions do not need qualifying statements to be valid. But at least that's infinitely better than the people who try to change my decision for me.

"Give it up for adoption!" I'm sorry. What part of "I don't want to ever be pregnant" didn't you understand? Besides. I really couldn't say that I'd have the strength to be able to give my child away should it get to that point (lots of emphasis on that condition there). That sounds like it'd be hard and traumatizing.

"Don't have sex, then." Fuck off. Fuck you. Fuck your idealism that you don't have to live up to yourself. Fuck your attempt to dictate our sex life. If you've made the decision for yourself to never have sex ever the rest of your life because you don't want children. Step back and think about it. Think about how hard that decision was. Think about how personal that decision was. Think about the impact that's had on your sexual relationship(s). Then tell me why you think it's appropriate to make that decision for me and my husband. If you *haven't* made that decision for yourself, for whatever reason (and no, saying "if I were in your position, I'd definitely do that" doesn't count because you're not actually committing to it), then you definitely have no business pushing it on me.

*sigh* I just wish more people would take the response "we're not planning on having any children" and let it be at that, rather than taking it as an invitation to ask more questions.

Date: 2010-05-09 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] akaneko.livejournal.com
Man, people are rude. >_<;

Date: 2010-05-09 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aazzaadeh.livejournal.com
I can sympathize! Unfortunately, in my experience, it'll only get worse once you're married. I dread the conversations that start with "so, you and Brian have been married for how long again?..." because it almost always leads to "so when are you gonna start pushing out babies?". AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! *stompstompsmashssmashkill*

I don't even have your conviction that I don't want kids ever (but I definitely don't want kids now, or probably before I'm 30, unless I undergo some rather sudden extravagant personality changes soon).

Sorry, not to write a novel here or anything, but, like you, I feel pretty strongly about these things ^_^;;

Date: 2010-05-10 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crimson-musing.livejournal.com
Hey, stay strong. You know what you want, and what you don't want.
I'm here to back you up to, and I know it gets sickening to hear about pregnancy and stuff from me because I gush about it . . . But more important to me is that people make their own informed choices.

If it wasn't this, it would be some other damned thing that people would be saying to you, but the whole "why are you getting married if you're not gonna have kids" question is utter, disgusting bull shit. As if marriage has no purpose other than to facilitate baby-making. *eye roll*

Next time, just don't engage in that conversation. If anyone asks, you just say, "That's between George and myself. Thank you for asking."

Date: 2010-05-10 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joshwasta.livejournal.com
As a wedding present, one of my friends got a vasectomy for his bride-to-be. Now, when people are like "well, when you have kids..." he goes "not gonna happen - THANKS SCIENCE!" with a big thumbs up.

-Wasta

Date: 2010-05-10 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ablia.livejournal.com
More power to You! you both know what you want and I can't even imagine dealing with such BS comments.

and Wasta, I think your friend's present was full of awesome!

Date: 2010-05-10 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faerirose.livejournal.com
It does get worse after you get married. The one I get a lot is "you'll change your mind." Yup. I've managed to get to age 26 and not know my own mind. Granted, I am a woman and happen to be a bumbling retard ;)

I've also noticed how a lot of people think that significant others don't talk about important things before or after they get married. It was years ago that we decided kids were kind of lame and that I didn't want any inside me. And how to take care of it if it ever happened. Adoption is always a possibility since the more I work with kids the more I think they aren't a waste of my time. But I still don't want to be pregnant ever. Gah. Some people just don't get it. Though I haven't had the level of dumb thrown at me as has been directed toward you.

Date: 2010-05-10 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astridsdream.livejournal.com
I was actually just having a conversation with Kelly about bucking societal trends and all the questions and "are you sure?"s you have to put up with when you do. I find it interesting that ours was in relation to having kids (with things like home birth and extended breastfeeding and the like) while yours is the exact opposite. I wish you all the best of luck on your journey. You've clearly thought this out and you're making the decision that's best for you and power to you!

I'm in your camp, that's what I'm saying. :-)

Date: 2010-05-10 06:52 am (UTC)
luinied: "We have plans for tea and cookies, and I'm already in my pajamas!" (pained)
From: [personal profile] luinied
Ergh, I am sorry you have to put up with that and surprised that there's still anyone advocating the "just don't have sex" position. What the fuck, people?

Date: 2010-05-10 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bekochan.livejournal.com
Right on!
It's so weird how people think other people's sex-lives and personal choices have anything to do with them and why they find it necessary to push their beliefs on them. It makes me sick. I'm sorry you have to go through all this bull-shit but yay society. :( Our society is so weird, we don't talk about so much on tv or in "polite" company but as soon as you are getting married, or having a baby, or anything like that all boundaries go away. Like touching pregnant bellies without asking and such. Unfortunately the questions of kids will never go away. I hadn't talked to my Grandmother since 2000 and one of the first things out of her mouth was when I was going to have kids. I get it from my Mother-in-law all the time (which really pisses me off because she knows I want them but she still asks.)

THIS IS RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS

Date: 2010-10-06 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coffeerage.livejournal.com
"Don't have sex then" Ahahahaha oh wow. Yes let's say that to an adult. That's super classy.

SILLY WOMAN DON'T YOU KNOW YOU ARE A BABY MACHINE AND DEEP DOWN YOU HAVE A STRONG DESIRE TO BE A MOMMY?!!? You're not a real woman if you don't want kids!

I have nothing against people who want kids. I think maybe I'd like one or two someday. I just think it's silly that people assume that's what everyone wants and/or is supposed to want.

And why do people think it's any of their business to begin with? HAVE CHILDREN FOR MY PERSONAL PLEASURE! NOW!