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Withstanding Pressure to Procreate

April 27, 2012

It’s not easy when all your friends and co-workers are popping out babies left, right and center. Wherever you go–you, the woman without child, sees strollers and bumps and kids holding mama’s hands everywhere. We all have kid-pushers in our lives, couples who urge us to join their ranks of motherhood and fatherhood and come jump onto the baby train. Even, at times, it sounds tantalizing but you have that big feeling in the back of your mind that it isn’t what you want. Lots and lots of women give in to the pressure to procreate, but if you are stoutly sure you don’t want to have kids–how do you deal with insistence?

1. Stand firm on your decision. One half of my favourite gay couple would often bring up the topic of children and his desire to be a gay uncle to our hypothetical children. It brought a lot of guilt and would sometimes make me feel like back-pedaling on my decision. The last time he brought it up, during dinner, I told him very sternly, “We aren’t having kids. And that’ s that.” To date, I have never heard about it again. Sometimes, the best approach is to be blunt. If you don’t want to hear the spiel about having kids, you shouldn’t have to (especially over and over again!)

2. Focus on the things you love. If your friends and family don’t understand why you’re not having kids–show them. Enjoy your life the best way you know how, and be a living example of how life without kids is fulfilling. If you just got a new promotion, booked a last minute trip to Oahu and finally learned to make Quiche Florentine than your friends will have a hard time finding points to argue against your life. If you’re happy–it shows.

3.Say “no” to mass media influence.Mass media is very powerful and influences virtually every part of our lives. Whether you are watching your favourite show, flipping through commercials or coming across a giant billboard–the chances is you’ll see the Happy, Go-Lucky Family or the Radiant Mother there. Almost every show now is including babies and motherhood and pregnancy and if you’re not having it–turn it off. Go spend some time outside–go for a bike ride, go to the art gallery, spend time with friends going out for lunch or a coffee. But yes, still check in to childfree and lifestyle blogs! 😉

4. Connect to others like you. Which brings me to my next point: childfree blogs, websites and social media. Sometimes the only thing to keep you sane is knowing there are other people just like you who are sick and tired of leaning up against the wall so a double stroller can bolt by, or getting invitations to yet another baby shower. Not everybody is enthralled with children, and if you think everyone wants to have kids–you’d be surprised! (I was!!!!).

5. Go a little crazy. If all else fails, just think of creative ways to thwart the kid-pushers and to ignore ads that idealize motherhood. I draw little devil horns on the babies in the magazines I read while waiting at the doctor’s office. It’s silly, but it gives me a little smile. When someone asks, “When are you and your significant other going to have kids?” Just think of something crazy to say like “I have a lifetime supply of free condoms so I guess never!” or “My uterus is in permanent hibernation” or whatever you’d like. 🙂

  1. This was awesome! I especially agree with #4 – that has helped me so much over these past few months as most of my friends are now having babies. All the childfree blogs and websites have really made me realize that I am not some freak – when everyone around you thinks the opposite of you, it is hard not to ask yourself “Am I the one thats crazy?” But reading all the blogs out there (all of which are written by exceptionally witty and observant people) have made me realize I am just part of a very sane minority.
    I like your idea in #5 (drawing horns on children in the docs office) – I am going to do this next time – it always bugs me how its only crappy baby magazines in the waiting room!


  2. HighGoon permalink

    Never be apologetic or self-deprecating about your decision. It undermines your confidence, gives the baby pushers ammo, and makes all childfree people look bad.

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