27 Savage Ways To Respond To People Pressuring You To Have Kids

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Because some people can't take "child-free" as an answer.

If there’s one thing that any child-free person can tell you, it’s that being pressured to have kids, or “reconsider” having kids, is insane. Despite ample evidence that not all people are meant to be parents, there are a lot of people who just can’t be happy leaving others to live the way they want to live.

I get it: not wanting kids is weird. It’s something that most people look forward to their entire lives, but the fact is that not everyone wants that. And if someone doesn’t want to have a kid, the absolute worst thing you can do is try to convince them to have a kid. That’s how broken families, child abuse, and years of resentment and trauma start.

Sadly, when you’re going against the grain of what society tells you to do, you often have to have replies ready for them.

Most of the time, I’m an advocate of cutting contact with people who are pushy. I’m also into using the Two Strike rule. (Warn them twice to stop talking about it. Third strike, you leave and tell them that they have crossed your personal conversation boundaries one too many times.)

That being said, these ways to shut down people pressuring you to have kids will be sure to let them know to stop asking. To further help the child-free out, I categorized them by the remarks they work best for.

General Remarks and All-Purpose Questions

1. “I’d really rather not talk about it. It’s a private matter.”

Generally speaking, people will stop asking if you shut it down politely and firmly. This is the best way to deal with intrusive remarks in the workplace, or with people who you otherwise can’t fully cut out.


RELATED: 4 Reasons I Have ZERO Interest In Ever Having Kids


2. “I’m sorry that you have such a bad life that you feel the need to tell others how to live theirs.”

Saying this, or any variation of this, will usually have people stop talking immediately. The only problem with this? Well, they may never talk to you again.

3. “Is there any particular reason the contents of my uterus/testicles are such a hot-button topic for you?”

Once again, instant shut down.

4. “Oh, when was the last time you barebacked your partner? Wait, why are you uncomfortable with this? You were just asking me about my sex life, right?”

This is a good one if you feel like you need to put them on the spotlight, are okay with burning bridges, and are in an aggressive mood.

5. “Why is it that I have to give any other reason why I don’t kids aside from not wanting them?”

Usually, that makes them drop the question.

6. “I’m sorry, this is making uncomfortable and a bit offended. I don’t like to have to justify my personal choices in this area of life.”

Once again, polite and to the point.

7. “Why have kids when I can have cats?”

Or whatever pet you choose. Then, just say that your pets don’t like kids. Most people will get the point and move on.

8. “Why do you need to know? I’m sorry that was such a personal question...”

This is a passive-aggressive way to tip people off that they crossed a line.

The “You’ll Change Your Mind” Routine

9. “I can’t help but think that, if I were pregnant and keeping it right now, you wouldn’t be telling me I’d change my mind. That’s very patronizing and rude of you.”

It’s very assertive, calls them out on their double standards, and possibly will make them think twice.

10. “I’d rather regret not having kids than regret having them. Now, can we please move on to another topic of conversation?”

This is a more polite way of telling them to shut up, I think.

11. “Funny thing about kids, you can’t change your mind about having them once you do. Rather not take that risk.”

Aggressive? Yes, but it gets the point across.

The “But What If You Meet The Right Person?” Routine

12. “If they were right for me, they wouldn’t want kids either.”

A simple and true comeback for when you're pressured to have kids, especially by people you might not know.

13. “I’m sorry you don’t see my own personal life choices as valid enough that you’d have to hear someone sign off on a choice dealing with my body.”

This is a polite way of calling them out on what this excuse is: removing your body autonomy and invalidating your life choices. After this, it’s often a good time to signal it’s time to take your leave, since you’ve made it clear you feel disrespected.


RELATED: 29 Reasons I Envy People Who Decided Not To Have Kids


The “You’re Selfish” Routine

14. “So, I’m selfish for a non-existant, potential being not being made? Right. Well, I’m glad you’re so rational. This discussion is over.”

Calling someone selfish is not acceptable in polite society, and there’s no reason to continue talking to someone who tells you that over something like a personal choice.

15. “When did it become my responsibility to become a breeder?”

Expect to have people taken aback by this response. They won’t have a reply back.

16. “And you’re an ass. Bye.”

If you want to be a bit more blunt about it, I condone this message.

17. “Your inconvenience is not my emergency.”

Just because they had kids doesn’t mean you have to. And just because they want you to have kids doesn’t mean you need to.

The “Accidents Happen” Routine

18. “Excuse me? Did you just insinuate that I should have a child against my own will? Do you understand that’s reproductive coercion you want to happen to me? That’s like saying that you want me to be raped. What the f*ck is wrong with you?”

Because that’s literally what “accidents happens” means, if we’re gonna be honest. They’re saying that they hope something you don’t want to have happen on a sexual level happens to you — something you do not consent to have happen. Yeah, they need to be called out on that.

19. “So do abortions and safe haven laws. What’s your point?”

Considering that they’re basically saying that they’re hoping you become a victim of reproductive coercion, there’s no point in trying to be nice about it. This is also a point where you need to end the conversation.

20. “Absolutely, take a look at yourself.”

This is savage, yes, but the truth hurts.

The “You Don’t Know How Great It Is” Routine

21. “Yeah, but no.”

Because it’s not really up for discussion.

22. “Devoting all my time and energy into something I don’t want doesn’t sound great to me.”

Usually, they will drop it once they hear that.

23. “I don’t know what a shark bite feels like either, but I know I don’t want that.”

It’s true, though.

24. “Sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself that. I’m sorry that you hate being a parent.”

And this will usually shut them up.

The “You’ll Never Know True Love Like Parenthood” Routine

25. “Oh my god... I’m so sorry you don’t love your spouse!”

Annnnnnd that’s how the conversation dies.

26. “I guess my parents never loved me, then.”

They will not be able to recover from this.

27. "Sorry that happened for you." 

Then give them a pitying look. It'll make them realize how stupid they sound. 


RELATED: I Chose To Be Single And Childless Forever — And I Don't Regret It


Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. When she's not writing, she's drinking red wine and chilling with some cool cats. You can follow her @bluntandwitty on Twitter.

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