Monday, June 27, 2011

Judgmental Breeders

Dear Snarky,

How do I kindly suggest to people that they mind their own business with regard to our plans for procreating? Do I dance around the issue or rudely put them in their place. The army is a small world but I'm tired of the questions.

Thank you,
Tired of Ridiculously Nosy People

Dear Tired,

Boy, do I feel your pain. Back in the day, I was childfree and frequently suffered rude comments and judgment from breeders. For some reason, milspouse convos led to these moments much more frequently than civilian convos. Three guesses on my theory about that....

My favorite response came from a friend in Bahrain, another childfree type who also braved the commentary from her mother. She decided the next time her family asked why she wasn't squeezing out the sprogs yet, she'd feign tears, wail about all the pressure she was getting from them when she couldn't get pregnant, etc. In other words, she'd make them feel very bad about butting in on something that isn't their business.

Great idea, but that's not so effective when you're at a function with folks who don't have a personal stake in your happiness and sanity. So a better option might be to make a pointed comment regarding the inappropriateness of their questions and suggestions. For example:

Breeder: Why don't you have kids yet?
Tired: Wow! That's kind of personal. Do you want the results of my last pap smear, too?

Breeder: Why did you get married if you don't want kids?
Tired: My husband is good for more than just depositing his sperm in my twat. We like to do crazy things together. You know, like having deep discussions and making fun of narrow-minded breeders.

Breeder: Don't you like kids?
Tired: If my progeny were to turn out like yours? Definitely not.

Breeder: Who's going to take care of you when you get old?
Tired: The nice folks in the amazing assisted living facility I'll be able to afford after not spending all my money on diapers and juvie fines.

Breeder: The Bible says it's your duty to fill your quiver.
Tired: Deuteronomy says disobedient kids need to be stoned by their community. So you just hold yours still for a sec, and I'll go grab some rocks.

Breeder: It's selfish not to want kids.
Tired: It's ignorant to assume everyone should have them.

I just don't know what I'd do with myself if I didn't have kids.
Tired: I'm sorry your life is so unfulfilling.

Yes, it's a small community, and word might get around that you're touchy about the sprog questions. But would that be a bad thing? At least you wouldn't need to worry about constant pestering at every new duty station.

If all else fails, you can burst into tears and run from the room the next time someone asks. That would shut them the fuck up, I bet.

Get Some B-12,

19 comments: said...

I looooooooove this!

MrsMcDancer said...

While I guess I fall under that category of "breeder" {and I totally hate that word, but only because I hate people assuming all I'm good for is shooting babies out my cooter} I do enjoy and agree with this post. As one who already has one, I am now subjected to the "When are you having more" It never ends. People feel the need to stick their noses in others business. It's human nature {and also why blogging has become so popular, we're nosy ;-) }

ALC said...

ditto to wifeofasailor, LOVE it!

Anchored Away said...

MrsMcDancer - I should clarify my definition of breeder, which differs from that of the childfree group. Breeder when I say it (as I have shot sprog from cookie) means those who believe every woman is duty-bound to procreate.

H.C. Bishop said...


Feminist Military Spouse said...

I love you Snarky! You made my day!

For the: "It's selfish not to want kids", I would reply: It's selfish to assume you have the right to dictate people overpopulate the planet, contribute to global climate change and deplete our natural resources at an alarming rate.

Amanda said...

I LOVE these responses. I'm going to steal a couple of these for the people who ask me why we don't try for a girl since we have 2 boys. Evidently having 2 autistic kids isn't enough work for me, I should try for a 3rd.

Courtney said...

Haha, I think I've said some of these to people.

My favorite is "There's only so much you can do" said with a slight grin and a little laugh. I especially love to use it with our families since no one wants to think about their children having sex. :) Of course, this only works for those people who actually want children in the future.

I also love "I'll give you grandchildren (nieces/nephews, your kid a playmate, etc.) when you pay for them."

Leiyaly said...

If someone makes sly innuendos about a "lack of intimacy" in the relationship (because you know, you totally can't have sex and not get preggers), does that mean I can allude to us being raving nymphomaniacs?

I generally don't like being rude to people, but I do like making people feel really awkward.

Cortney said...

L. O. V. to the freaking E. I wish I could hug you. And I am going to use these. Perhaps tattoo one on my forehead!!!

kimba said...

My response: "I think parenting should be left to people who would be good parents." Gives 'em something to think about, and invariably shuts them up, too. (To clarify, I think I'd be an ok parent, but boy is that not good enough, IMO.)

But honestly, the best response is to just get older. Now that I'm solidly in my 40s, people just don't ask anymore. Now it's mostly just the social shunning that results from not having school/soccer/playgroup in common.

ohsoang said...

Oh.. my... Just. Thank you. Thank you for existing! I'm just embarking on a relationship with a Navy man. Realizing this is a whole different world from what I know, I've been looking online for any Navy wife (nothing for girlfriends?) info and a sense of community. So much seems to be the uptight snooty sterile type of support for Navy wives (and more specifically for moms). Finally, a real woman who's with a man in the Navy! Thank you! For existing and making your life (at least somewhat) public for those of us who are new and need to know what it might REALLY be like. That's what I'm looking for: insight on what it may be like for someone like me to enter this completely different world.

liberal army wife said...

snicker, giggle. I used to get - so why aren't you having more kids??? jeez.

happyhomefront said...

Thank you so much. If I hear - aren't you going to try for the girl again.....grumble.

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Navy Wifey Peters said...

I'm currently 8 months pregnant with my first child, and I'm 28 years old and have been married for 6 years, so had to I put up with all the "When are you gonna have kids?" and other related questions for several years. I decided to wait to have kids for several reasons, and for a while I wasn't sure if I even wanted to have any, but my reasons were no one's business, and it's so rude that people feel they have the right to question the decisions you make with your life. ugh! I enjoyed the responses in this blog. I wish I had thought of those before I became a "breeder." lol

MrsMcDancer said...

Ah, I just saw your definition of a breeder. Good to know that just because my cooter has been mauled by a child doesn't mean I'm a breeder ;-) Love this post even more than I did the first time I read it!

Reccewife said...

If you don't really know the people asking, I suggest 'we have to wait for the final stages of the gender-reassignment surgery to be complete'. Be purposely ambiguous about WHO's surgery.

A Creed and A Psalm said...

This is hysterical. After a bad week, thanks for getting me to laugh so hard my husband ran in to frantically ask me what was wrong. I will be reading your blog every day now! Also, as a milwife who has been unsuccessful having kids, I would love it if people all around me (who are all pregnant) would stop asking me when I was going to have them (as if I had a choice in the matter of what my body decides to do with itself). LOVE the blog. Keep doing what you do!

Tiffany said...

Family: "Why haven't you started having kids?"
Me: "Because I like going on vacation to places that aren't Disney related and I like being able to have loud sex."

That shut my entire family up.