Pressure To Have Children

SCENARIO

You and your partner have decided not have children; you’re happy with your life as it is. However Mom, Aunt Sally and your best friend just aren’t listening and are pressuring you to start that family. How do you tell them to mind their own business without hurting their feelings?

CONSIDER THIS

JILL:
Life decisions such as not to have children come from a deep and private place. I want to emphasize ‘private’. You have to make a decision that is right for you and your partner and at the end of the day that is all that matters.

One of the quickest ways to bring this to an end would be to have the family together for dinner. You need to tell them ‘we know that you love us and want the best for us but we have made a decision to not have children. We are asking you to respect this by not pressuring us anymore. Now we want to get on with our lives.” The words will come to you.
While it feels a little overwhelming to do this en masse, having to deal with each person one on one is difficult and besides you want to get on with your lives. For those that didn’t come to the dinner the words that you used there will work with them. Confront these people together where possible, it will help.
For the really persistent use the ultimate words ‘this is really none of your business.” If certain people still don’t get it and respect your choice then they are a negative voice and you have to decide if you really want them in your lives as you move forward.

VICKI:
Believe it or not most people don’t realize that their probing is either uncomfortable or hurtful. It really isn’t their intention to be that way, they may actually believe that they’re helping because if you listen to them they believe you’ll be happier. It can be a big case of misguided love.

Respond by letting them know how their comments honestly make you feel. An example would be: “My husband and I have decided not to have children, please don’t ask me again as it makes feel very uncomfortable and judged.” When they understand they are upsetting you they will be more apt to stop.