TFW family gets nosy about kids.
We’re coming up on wedding season! Happy for sure, but for those who are unmarried, or don’t yet have kids a big family gathering can be a minefield of intrusive questions. Here are some ways to navigate through tough moments for folks anticipating a barrage of prying questions about your life choices.
1. Know people mean you no harm. The phrase “innocent question” really ought to be “innocent questioner.” Almost everyone asking about kids is simply trying to make conversation. It’s a default, like in our mid twenties when we all asked each other where we went to college. Being combative/defensive is one way conversations can evolve into intrusive family questions about being childfree.
2. You are not a mind reader. Don’t misinterpret the awkward pause in conversation after you say you’re childfree as judgment. In fact it’s fear of being judged. Parents count on being able to talk to other parents about their kids. When that topic is suddenly off the table, they sometimes freeze up realizing they have no idea how to have a normal conversation. Be kind.
3. Stick to your guns, and exit conversations as necessary. Great Aunt Kate might go full speed ahead on a guilt trip about great grand nephews. You don’t have to stay for her full performance. End the conversation politely and move away. “I understand you’re disappointed. I’m going to make decisions that not everyone’s going to like, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the family. I’ll see you a little later.”
4. Preempt family questions about being childfree. Stop the grilling before it starts! Tell a few key relatives how happy you are, and ask them to pass it around, including the fact that you don’t want to discuss your family plans. Hopefully by the time the event rolls around, everyone will have gotten the memo.
Hopefully these tips will make family events as a childfree individual or couple a little easier. Remember, you can only be responsible for yourself, not for anyone else’s ill-mannered behavior. You’re an adult, and you’re entitled to your own life choices. So chin up, and enjoy the event!