You should never feel bad about your decision whether or not to grow your family. Kids aren’t
for everyone. Not wanting a house full of rugrats doesn’t make you a bad person or less of a woman (or a man) -- or anything else you’ve been told or are afraid people will think.
Still, finding the right way to spill the “I don’t want kids -- ever” beans can be awkward and tricky, especially if your audience includes a baby-crazy partner, grandkid-hungry parents, or friends or relatives with kids of their own (or plans to start a family). Unfortunately, most people still assume that once you’re nesting, babies are next. So if you haven’t gotten them already, the “When are you going to start trying?” will likely be thrown your way soon. But don’t be caught unprepared. Read on for advice on breaking the no-baby-for-me news to your partner and your friends and family.How to tell your partner (if you haven’t already)
If you’re dead-set on remaining kid-free and don’t foresee yourself changing your mind after marriage, you need to be up front with any potential long-term partners -- as soon as things start to get serious. Sure, bringing up babies a few months into a relationship is a recipe for disaster. But it’s probably best to fess up before you agree to move in together or put in a few years. Sure, it’s awkward and it could be a deal breaker, but it’s only fair to you and your partner. Do you really want to build a future together with someone who will be miserable without children while you know you’ll be miserable with them? But if this is a recent change of heart or you just haven’t found a way to say it yet, it’s time to come clean. Luckily, the idea of kids usually comes up naturally as your relationship progresses, but you can also use a convo about someone else’s kids as a nice segue into your own stance. If you’re not yet sure how your partner will react, don’t start off with absolutes. Instead, try something like this: “It’s always been hard for me to imagine myself with kids. What about you?” Feel him out and see what he has to say, but be clear about how you really feel. If you are 100 percent convinced (or pretty close to it) that you never want children, your partner deserves to know. This may have been something he’s already sensed about you and he’s on the same page. If not, you’ll have to consider whether you’d be willing to change your mind in the future, but if not, make sure that’s clear too. Be honest, but brace yourself for what could happen if your mate doesn’t feel the same way.How to tell friends and fam
If your friends and family members know you well enough, they’ve probably heard something along these lines from you before -- or better yet, sensed it themselves. But if Aunt Sally or his work friends don’t already know how you feel, just wait. If you and your partner are starting to get serious, it’s only a matter of time until you start getting the “When are you two planning on having kids?” questions. A brief but polite response should do the trick for most of the busy bees: “We definitely both love kids, but we’re not planning on having any ourselves.” For anyone with babies on the brain or who’s convinced we’re put on this planet to procreate, chances are the bomb you just dropped might leave a little tension hanging in the room, so a light joke can lighten the mood. But if this is the first time you’re telling his mom her dreams of becoming a granny are dead, prepare for the waterworks and even potential pleading. And you may want to save the news for a private conversation rather than in the middle of Christmas dinner. Whatever you do, don’t apologize for your choice to exclude kids from your life plan. It’s your life, right? Don’t lose sight of that just because someone else thinks kids are the end all and be all.
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