Ask Agatha: “Why Doesn’t My Family Believe I Don’t Want Kids?” And The Best Way To Approach Women » VSB

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Ask Agatha: “Why Doesn’t My Family Believe I Don’t Want Kids?” And The Best Way To Approach Women

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Angelique from Atlanta, GA asks:

Why is it, family feel like they can say anything to you? Yes I’m 36. Yes I’m single. No I don’t want kids. But they don’t believe me. They just dismiss me. I mean I have a master’s degree, a great job, my own home and a healthy savings and yet my mother and my aunts still look at me with pity. And my “barrenness” somehow always becomes the topic of discussion. It’s infuriating. How do I make them stand down once and for all?

Get pregnant?

Listen how do you make any family member stand down on anything? Apparently, when I was a baby I was all hair and eyes and my then 10 year old, highly impressionable uncle who had just seen the Gremlins (it debuted in theaters that year) immediately nicknamed me after the main Gremlin, Mogwai.

That’s my name now.

And to my family that will always be my name.

So I answer to it because nothing I could’ve done over the years would’ve made a bit of difference.

And until you get pregnant, your barrenness will always be a topic of conversation.

So fall into it.

A fundamental fact of our biology is the propagation of the species, so why do you think Aunt Claudia is going to believe you when you tell her you don’t want kids?

Angela. You need more people because I’m at the kitchen table with your mama and ‘em talking shit about you too.

I mean maybe your only defense is to be honest with your family and yourself (but especially yourself). I mean, do you really not want kids—or have you just given up on the idea of kids because you feel like time has run out? Or do you say you don’t want kids because you don’t want to face the idea that it might not happen? So you feel like if you don’t say you want it, not getting it won’t break your heart?

Maybe because my own clocking is ticking so loudly do I find it hard to believe your clock has no batteries.

Honestly, the only time I believe another woman when she says she doesn’t want kids is when she’s very young and what she really means is “I don’t want kids now” or when she already has kids or when she has everything in place to make a home for a child and still doesn’t want one.

So Angela, are you really saying, if you had a significant other to complete the perfect picture of all the things you do have, a career, a house, a savings, that you still wouldn’t want kids? So if you met the right person, you wouldn’t want a child with them?

And don’t just answer “no” to prove your point. Really think about it. Because if the answer isn’t “no” then I’d stop telling your family that you don’t want kids and start telling them the truth. That you do.

And that’s the great thing about being a woman in this society. You get to be soft and pink. You get to be vulnerable and raw without censure. You get to ask for help in order to get the things you want and need. All this time you’re blocking your blessings because you’re too proud to tell the truth—that you want it all—and have you mama and those same aunts fan out to help you get it.  And maybe eventually have a baby.

Yuma from Baltimore, MD asks:

What do you think is the best television series of all time?

There’s no way to answer that and not look like an ass 10 years from now. So I’ll tell you what shows are definitely out of the running instead.

  1. Friends…with the new normal being more diverse casts, Friends is going to look painfully outdated 10 years from now.
  2. Breaking Bad, The Wire, The Sopranos, Lost, The West Wing, Oz, Dexter, House of Cards, Homeland or any other show that took itself too seriously and that required a lot of emotional investment because those series are all one-offs. You watch them once and never again and that doesn’t speak to a show’s longevity.
  3. Scandal, ER, Downton Abbey and any other show following a soap opera formula.
  4. The entire NBC line up past and present. So 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Will & Grace, Seinfeld, The Office, etc. Either because their jokes are too topical as opposed to timeless or their material has been or is riffed on so much that all humor is lost when it’s re-watched.
  5. Everything in black & white because I’m hard pressed now to even watch SD far less black & white. I might as well watch a silent film.

Neal from Philadelphia, PA asks:

What’s the best conversation opener when trying to pick up a girl?

Always go with shared real-time observations (even before you introduce yourself). But try to make it about something more than the weather and make it funny. So if you’re out at a lounge, feel free to make a snarky comment about someone in the vicinity who may be a little too turnt. Have a follow up comment ready because she might not do more than laugh at first. Basically, just speak to her like you’re old friends.

(And make sure you’re as attractive as you can be. So showered and shaved.)

(Bearing in mind that this might just be how to pick me up.)

Agatha Guilluame

Agatha is a figment of the collective VSB imagination.

  • ChiefbutnotA_Keef

    Super random, but there seem to be a lot of vsbers from Georgia. At least one email is ALWAYS from Atlanta. Now I’m starting to wonder how many people i know actually read this blog..

    • Erica Nicole Griffin

      Literally writing this reply from Bankhead!

    • Londa

      Reading this from Atlanta

      • Aly

        Me too!

        • Lea Thrace

          ATL! We in here!

          • C-Port goon!

            • Lea Thrace

              Got to claim the Nine One Duece also!

              • From the way WTOC and WSAV’s twitter feeds look one would think ISIS is operating in Savannah.

                • Lea Thrace

                  When I went home for the holidays I thought I would see Fallujah the way people were talking. Its the same ish that’s been going on for a minute. But it was election time. And the old mayor needed to be shown the door. So low country media played it up. And CPort denizens ate it up. Now they dont play up the gunplay quite as much. I guess they are giving the new guy time to develop so they can place the blame on him. Either way, the areas that had issues when I was a youngin down there still have issues today. I wish Savannah would stop trying to act brand new in this age of social media.

                  • I see more grimy things happening in Blufton now too.

                    The Charleston area has the same problem. Yes, they have the tourism thing on lock but they need to admit to some crime problems moving forward.

    • Khai

      Alpharetta lol…we count too right?

      • Lea Thrace

        I’d bet not a one of us actually LIVES ITP. LOL

      • Londa

        Yep; that counts. The J-O-B is ATL. Home is Alpharetta.

    • Asiyah

      It could also be that people from Atlanta are more confident and less concerned with image therefore more likely to ask for advice since pride isn’t a factor? I don’t know I’m not from that area just speculating lol

      • ChiefbutnotA_Keef

        “People from Atlanta are… less concerned with image”

        Lmao nah, that DEFINITELY isn’t it…

    • Ari

      Moving to Alpharetta in a few months.

    • I’ve had similar concerns (though I’m not in GA). I’ve had a couple friends post link to VSB-something in the group chat over the past several months, and I’m like, Oh, s h i t. (Because I like to have my own space on the Internet sometimes.)

      • Pinks

        Somebody quoted one of my comments ON HERE on FB and I liked to die a slow death. Noooooooooooooooooo how did you find me? then again, with my face and nickname plastered I guess I’m not that invisible? Stupid Pinks lol

        • Right! Like, I’m sorta hiding in plain sight, but still. STOP SHARING THESE LINKS WITH ME!

        • -h.h.h.-

          when Belle quoted one of my quips on her facebook page…i almost smirked.

          then i realized i’m a man and i don’t let emotions rule me. so i drank a beer. at work.

          the disciplinary hearing went well tho, so i didn’t get into too much trouble.

          • Pinks

            You gotta get slicker with it, playa.

      • Siante

        I feel you, I just noticed somebody on here that I grew up with & I was like noooooooooo. VSB is mine *folds arms* lol

      • ChiefbutnotA_Keef

        EXACTLY! Idk why, but it’s like vsb is my little internet secret. I’m more open about frequenting Pronhub and Worldstar Hip Hop lol

    • Val

      <– Thinking about moving to Atlanta.

  • Erica Nicole Griffin

    Breaking Bad
    Frasier
    A Different World
    Honorable Mention: Golden Girls (really just because of the theme song and Rose)

    • Cleojonz

      That Golden Girls theme song is everything!

    • IsitFridayyet?

      Rose is my favorite as well.

      • Erica Nicole Griffin

        Yep. So innocent.

    • MsSula

      FRASIER!!!! That is my crack! For real. :)

    • Pinks

      My mom put me onto Frasier. slept on hardbody

      • Erica Nicole Griffin

        Mine, too. It was like National Geographic to me. Plus, Frasier was extra petty. Love it.

  • Aly

    Even if it’s true what you said about Angelique (and I do think you’re on to something), mom and auntie should leave her alone. She doesn’t want to talk about it.

    • Asiyah

      Exactly. People have their reasons. As long as you are honest with yourself as to why you do or do not want kids nobody else needs an explanation.

  • Asiyah

    Your family doesn’t believe that you don’t want kids because of their own personal wants/needs. Just look at what Agatha did here (which I think was her point). The sad reality is that, although you may not see it that way, single women and/or women without children in their 30s are invisible. No degrees, no real estate, no professional and/or personal accomplishments will turn us into people worthy of praise and admiration. Unless we have that offspring or that relationship, what we do means absolutely nothing. Harsh, but that truth is liberating. No need to continue wasting your time explaining why you do or do not want children. Just let your family talk about it and say their piece while you smile and nod. When YOU are satisfied with YOUR decisions, the talks (while they do get to you from time to time because duh it gets old) are just that: TALKS. Just conversation fillers to take the spotlight off of them and their issues. Knowing that is enough.

    • #facts So many women believe that husband and kids are the only things that make them worthwhile that they project that onto others. Not everyone has the same plan.

      • Asiyah

        Not just women; men share the same beliefs that women are only “worthy”, “happy”, or “fulfilled” if they are spouses or mothers.

        • True, but women tend to be way more vocal about it.

          • Asiyah

            Women are more vocal about it when they’re in their 20s, but by the time they’re in their 30s, men are just as vocal about it (if not more so). I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been in a bad mood for something work-related and a man replies, “no wonder you’re in a bad mood. You’re upset that you’re single.”

            • Mika

              man foh with that, people like that get on my last nerve.

            • Question

              Who are these men that you kick it with?

              Really, this has *actually* happened to you multiple times…?

              • Asiyah

                Yes :(

          • Question

            Women are more vocal about it because we do the choosing, but we don’t do the asking. A woman can’t become a wife or mother 100% of her own volition. And I think this is what Agatha was getting at – I believe 20% of women who say they don’t want kids, because 4 out of 5 times, they DO want kids and the family and the white picket fence, but are thinking it isn’t going to happen, so they come out the gate HARD to convince you that they are exactly where they want to be.

            You know how you know when someone is living the life the want to be living as they see it – is when other people’s thoughts, comments and opinions don’t matter. Its just like with relationships – it isn’t anger or frustration, its indifference.

            But if you’re asking the question to how you can get people to realize that you’re happy, maybe you should start with a more basic question – are you really happy or are you trying to convince other people that you’re happy when deep down, you’re wondering “is this what I want?”.

            • That first sentence is deep. I never thought of it like that. Generally speaking, by the time a relationship gets serious for a significant length of time, the woman is ready to step it up. It’s the man that ultimately pulls the forever-ever switch, no matter what the woman wants.

              • Question

                I like to think of relationships like M&A. You can’t merge, joint venture or strategic partnership with just one company.

            • jess-s

              “i believe 20% of woman who says they don’t want kids, because 4 out of 5 times, they DO want kids and the family and the white picket fence, but are thinking it isn’t going to happen’

              this is a truth painful to hear women admit or hide.

              question is, if woman were more transparent would it change how they are being received after they admit their truth?

              • Question

                You ask a tough question. I think being honest with one’s self is always liberating…but that doesn’t require that this honest be shared with other people. In terms of admitting this to other people, I think its risky – other women will judge (even though they share the same truth) and men may take advantage.

                Sidebar but related – I watch Married At First Sight (on FYI) because its fascinating to me, and BlackLove because I’m curious. And Black Love is a perfect example to me – 2 of the chicks on their walk around with these super tough “I’m bout it” exteriors to mask their desperation and insecurity. I bring this up because I think *some* women date based on false pretenses – they date with this attitude of “I’m 100% ok with my life and you can either get in where you fit in or get lost” that is presented as armor, not an opportunity, and then want to label men “weak” or “scared” or “insecure” for not wanting to chip away at that armor.

                If you’re so okay with your life as it stands now, why do you want to bring someone else into it? If you do everything so perfectly and don’t trust other people to meet your exacting standards, why do you want someone else’s help?

                We can’t have it both ways.

                • jess-s

                  We cant have it both ways, you are right. Great response and I watched both shows and agree with the woman need to do.

                  My experience was that my dad told me to once to swallow my pride and it is ok to pray to for a husband and family if you really want one. There is no judgement for doing that. I got my confirmation from someone that mattered so now I could care less what other people think.

                  I wish more woman could just be free to admit that there are happy with what they have personally achieved, but still desire a family which they want with the help of a hubby/life partner.

                  The real strength in the strong black woman I see it not what they can do on their own, but the ones who are vulnerable and ask for their needs and express how they feel fearlessly.

                  • Question

                    The real strength in the strong black woman I see it not what they can
                    do on their own, but the ones who are vulnerable and ask for their needs
                    and express how they feel fearlessly.

                    This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about and what I hope for all black women. That we let go of this tough exterior that we masquerade as strength, and find true strength in being vulnerable, asking for help and trusting in our ability to pick people whom we can depend on (whether those people be male, female, in romantic relationships or otherwise).

                    The problem is that men, the other half of some of these equations, aren’t having these discussions. From a community perspective, we are only as strong as our ability to trust and depend on each other, and on a wide scale, that’s lacking, and that’s a BIG problem.

            • bug918

              just curious, are those numbers – 20% and 4 out of 5 – factual stats or just numbers you made up for the sake of the discussion?

            • occupiesthethrone

              But wanting it and never getting it is setting yourself up for failure, and I think that’s why a lot of us feel that way. I’ll be 30 soon and I just honestly don’t think I’m going to find “the one” and get married and have kids. Yeah, I want that, but I have to be okay with it not happening too. I think sitting around and pining for something that may never happen is even worse. So, if I have to force myself to find a way to be okay with it, then I’d rather do that than be mesriable at 40 because I’m still single and childless. Not everybody gets the happy ending with the nice man and the cute kids. People need to accept that. Maybe being in an abusive relationship made me really cynical about love, but some people end up alone. You need to find a way to be okay with it before it happens.

            • Wild Cougar

              How do YOU know a woman who says she doesn’t want kids is lying? You have some sort of crystal ball? You got stats? You have a wonder woman truth lasso?
              I think you should stop spouting bullsh it

              • SororSalsa

                For the same reason Agatha doesn’t believe it. A lot of people project their own feelings onto others, and if they can’t comprehend not wanting children, they don’t believe other women when they say it. I think in our society, people view women that don’t want children as somehow damaged or less than a real woman, because how could you not want children? I am in my 40’s and even though I’m in a relationship now, there will be no children and I’m fine with that. My feeling about it is that if I’m not sure, I shouldn’t have them because there’s no return policy.

                • Question

                  Nah, not at all. I can totally understand why a woman wouldn’t want children. The physical and emotional toll of creating and bearing a child. The emotional and financial commitment of raising and caring for a child. I think the women who fully believe they don’t want children have probably made a more calculated decision than a majority of the women who probably have children.

                  And that’s the thing – this conversation isn’t nearly as binary as you’re trying to make it seem.

                  Feminism taught/told/encouraged us to believe that women can make and should make decisions based on their needs and wants. Except that having children, particularly within the boundaries of a woman, are the ONLY decisions a woman can not make on her own.

                  Which leads to the honest question that if a woman, particularly over a certain age, is claiming that she doesn’t want children, does that decision include the variable of “likelihood to occur”? Because if it does, then is the decision really based on what children entail, or the likelihood of finding oneself in a position to even have the choice…? THAT is Agatha’s point – not some nonsense about projection.

                  • SororSalsa

                    Maybe because my own clocking is ticking so loudly do I find it hard to believe your clock has no batteries.

                    You don’t think there’s any projection involved with this statement? That’s pretty much all it is….this is how I feel, so I find it hard to believe you feel differently.

              • Question

                I guess you missed the part of the sentence that got all under your skin that started with “I believe…”.

                I don’t have a crystal ball or stats. I listen. And *my experience* (you see that, right?) has been that if a woman had faith that she could a) meet and marry the man that she wanted to be with, and b) he was open to the idea of starting a family, more often than not, the “I don’t want kids” mantra goes out the window.

                • Wild Cougar

                  So how many women are you basing that off….in your experience? Because it seems like your “experience” tells you a women’s desire to have kids is dependant on whether she can get a man, not based on her independent feelings. My experience, being a woman, tells me you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

                  • Question

                    My experience, being a woman, tells me you don’t understand what the fuck I’m talking about because you’re all in your feelings. Now why is that…?

                    My point is that IF a woman’s decision not to have kids is based on whether she thinks she can find the right partner than its likely that she isn’t resolute in her desire not to have kids because her decision isn’t actually about what children entail.

                    But walking around with this armor of “I don’t want it” if in fact you do isn’t gonna work because it makes dating and actually sifting through men to find the right one more of a problem.

                    I fully respect any women who makes the calculated determination that bearing children isn’t something that she wants to do; in a lot of instances I think women who make this decision might have made a more informed decision that a lot of folks with children.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Typical male response to being proven wrong. Say she’s being emotional. Lmao. You’re contradicting yourself the further you go.. I’m done here.

                    • Question

                      I’m female. You are in your feelings. And I haven’t contradicted myself at all.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Lmao. I feel sorry for you then.

                    • Question

                      …yet here you are, still e-cussing at me…and proving my point.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      mmhm, ok. Project elsewhere

                    • Don’t worry. Another female gets what you have said. I was able to look at your words objectively and they make sense to me.

                      I love how you qualified your statements with “in my experience…”, but some still chose to go in on you as if you boasted that you were speaking the gospel.

        • Question

          The only men who I know that share this belief are religious or wack, and most of the time its because they’re wack. Most of the time, the wack dudes are under-cover wack. So on paper, they look good and for .0004 seconds you almost consider what they’re saying because they seem worth the time.

          But in due time, they’re wackness becomes apparent.

          It makes me think, can we get a post about the under-cover-aint-sh!t men?

          • Asiyah

            Then we’re living in an era full of men who are wack.

            • Question

              Or maybe folks are floating in circles where wack men congregate. Or maybe folks are attracting wack men. Or maybe folks are entertaining wack men for too long either not realizing that they’re wack, hoping that dude will grow out of the wackness, or hoping to by themselves time until they meet someone less wack.

              Wack men aren’t winning on their own.

              • Bre

                Yes & No….wack men are never afraid to shoot their shot lol

          • kid video

            Uncover ain’t ‘ish men post has been remixed a few times round here.

            What’s wrong with being wack? What’s your definition of wack?

            This is America…you got the right to be wack.

            • Question

              Nothing is wrong with being wack. The problem is when you present yourself as being above the wackness, knowing damn well you have wack tendencies. Its akin to being undercover hotep. Don’t knock the hoteps in public, while you lay up in the house with some sphinx print sheets telling kids they are descendants of Egyptian pharaohs.

          • Freebird

            Get one of these every week though.

            • Question

              That needs to change.

      • jess-s

        Not cool, unhappy parents projecting their unhappiness on children… Healthy?

        • Question

          But it happens. We’re human. We project. Because projection and deflection is a LOT easier and less risky than self reflection.

          • jess-s

            it is… id say its easier to not self reflect but rather more risky not to self reflect…

      • Pinks

        And by the same token, a lot of people act as if being a wife and mother as your primary duty is so outdated and a position to be pitied. There’s this stupid thing about the world that doesn’t allow women to experience and express duality. We can either be the Madonna or the Wh ore – not both. We can’t be career-driven and the best mothers, because one will inevitably suffer.

        In my case, having a career that is stellar on paper has gone to the wayside in favor of cooking at least three times a week, weekends at home, and a reduced wardrobe to pay for Catholic school tuition. Some of us want this life and some don’t.

        • BlueWave1

          I have major respect for this. Different people want different things. I too have noticed that women who do make this choice get outright ridiculed. I respect the career grind. But it ain’t everything. There is a reason why people often burnout on the career climb by age 40. Your perspective starts to change.

        • I think that this is based on this need for women to be pack animals and live up to the social ideals of whatever set they’re down with. Pleasing their clique morphs into The Right To Do ™. I’m realizing that my troubles getting friendly with various Mommy sets has a lot to do with that mindset, and how they can’t relate to a man who doesn’t fit what the men in their set do.

          But yes, women have a knack of flattening each other into stereotypes.

          • Vanity in Peril

            Protip, that’s urrybody.

        • Asiyah

          Excellent point. Was just thinking about that a little while ago. It seems that as women we can’t ever win. smh.

        • Jasmine

          My friend was telling me about how some people look down on her for choosing to be a Stay at Home mom and taking time off from Corporate America. I say more power to them bc Lord knows i couldn’t watch Frozen all damn day.

          • Pinks

            Both times I was on maternity leave, I was ready to pull my hair out by the second month. It gets very tiring taking care of home, family, bills, cleaning all day behind the kids. Some days I would’ve rather been in the office.

        • MacMama

          Thank you for this comment Pinks! It happens all of the time. For me it was especially frequent among black women friends. I chose to be a stay at home mom when my children were young, and lost all rights to express frustration or seek support about anything, because….”Girl, whatever, you don’t even work!”

          • Question

            I will admit, I was one of these women until I had a child. “Staying at home isn’t work”.

            Shame on me ‘Cuz the white men in ties at work have nothing on this little 8 month old being right here and its all because I care.

            At work, if I don’t feel like it, I will do it later, or find an analyst to do it, or go in and use some MBA-speak to explain why it doesn’t need to be done, or do it from home.

            At home, “gimme a second” or “I’ll do it tonight” doesn’t work with my 8 month old. She understands two things – love and breastmilk. Everything else is ancillary.

            Shame on me.

            • Royale W. Cheese

              I feel blessed that even without kids I can definitely see the real work in keeping house. It is full time, mentally challenging work.

          • Pinks

            Luckily, my friends were very supportive of me when I stayed at home and they do a good job now of not pushing their accomplishments in my face. In my circle we have an RN, a nurse practitioner, a Ph.D. candidate, a lawyer, another in nursing school who’s also a mom, and then there’s me. I tend to think of myself as the loser sometimes, but that’s my own insecurities that are usually fleeting anyway because at the very least I’m a great mother and that counts for something.

            SAHM get a very bad rap because domestic duties aren’t seen as “real work,” but anyone who’s ever done it can tell you it’s one of the hardest jobs ever.

            • Royale W. Cheese

              Ironically, dismissing home-keeping as “not real work” is at the root of chauvinism. It is sad that women are dissing house keeping…they are effectively acting like male chauvinists. The spirit of women’s rights is to open up opportunities to choose, not to shun choices.

      • Ehh, there’s another side to this that doesn’t get addressed often enough though. It’s not absolute but it is worth considering:

        Not really the women part, but the whole point about having or not having kids in general.

        When a nation increasingly has people living longer, less children and reliance on programs for taking care of the elderly past retirement, a paradox comes about, which is what is going on in Europe right now: immigration becomes a necessity. The immigrants have to make up for the inability of the labor force to raise enough wealth to take care of the elderly.

        The immigrants also tend to work for less, and also have bigger families, which thus puts a greater stress on the limited number of native children to generate wealth to make up for those who are either too young or too old to work. The children also tend to have less siblings (= more likely to be spoiled) and thus don’t take the whole thing very well.

        The desire to have kids when widespread, forces people to think “generationally”, the politics is usually a reflection of that. The desire not to have kids, when wide spread, is to think more in terms of one person’s lifetime. The politics that comes about, is also a reflection of that.

        Not saying that people should have or not have kids, but should understand that either choice leads to different kinds of futures, that have to be planned for accordingly.

      • fxd8424

        Part of that is due to the way women are conditioned by society to want marriage and babies. The feeling is okay, you got a degree or two, but where is your husband. It’s why a lot of women dread holidays with the family. They know these questions will come up. The other part is what I call the Disney effect. A bride is likely the closest a woman will get to being a “princess.” Disney sells getting swept off your feet by a handsome prince, riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after. I hear grown women talking about how they’re weddings were just like “fairytales”. I hear it often in the media also. Thumb through any Jet magazine (if you still have any) and you’ll find 3 out of 4 brides wear “tiaras” as a headpiece. A “princess” needs a crown after all.

    • Lea Thrace

      Asiyah is out here giving to em straight no chaser. And I am here for it.

      • Asiyah

        LOL thank you. This is something I’m grappling with currently.

    • Madame Zenobia

      This right here ———-> “Your family doesn’t believe that you don’t want kids because of their own personal wants/needs.”

      I’m engaged and have already said I don’t “want” kids. If we have them we have them, but it’s not going to be some grand pursuit of hormones, tests, effing on schedule and whatnot. Childbearing is not the end all be all of our marriage.

      What I’ve learned is that people are trying to find a way to relate to you. In high school people can ask where you want to go/what you want to be. In college people can ask your major/what you intend to do with your degree. In your late 20s people ask about grad school and dating. In your 30s it’s marriage and kids. In your 40s it’s careers and what’s going on with kids. Eventually you’ll get to retirement and grandkids.

      Think about it. When we were in high school, we all said “When I’m grown, I’m never going to ask kids where they’re going to college. I hate getting that question.” Yet, we do it because it’s the easiest way to relate to someone that age. That’s all the aunts/moms, etc. are doing. They want a way to relate to you. For women who grew up in a time where motherhood was inevitable the idea that it’s not on your radar is unfathomable. That doesn’t stop it from being your reality. If you don’t want kids, you don’t want them. They can have their pity looks, questions and issues. You can have your peace of mind, keep your money in your bank account and not spend it on day care, jerseys and the like, and travel at the last minute to your heart’s content.

      • Cleojonz

        “When we were in high school, we all said “When I’m grown, I’m never
        going to ask kids where they’re going to college. I hate getting that
        question.”

        My younger brother told me years ago that he knew I was getting old because I started asking my nieces and nephews (from our older brother) how school was. LOL.

      • Asiyah

        It’s funny that you stress finding a way to relate because one of the epiphanies I had about myself was that part of me wanted to marry so that I can relate to other people. I found that I lost a few friends here and there or we never got too close when I was younger because they had relationships and I didn’t (wasn’t even s*xually active) and didn’t want to feel left out as an adult.

    • KNeale

      I have a friend who is married with kids and did both those things fairly young and constantly talks to me (and some of her other people) like we are so immature and so behind. I know she does it to compensate for what she lost by starting so young but it doesn’t get less aggravating because of that fact. I have a lot of experiences that she has never had and haven’t had the support of family and partners like she has had regarding certain things (I’m not in anyway saying she’s had it easy or that being a mother is no big deal.) but to her it doesn’t matter. In her mind she is the mature adult who knows everything and I’m that young naive girl who hasn’t experienced life yet because I’m not married with kids. And she isn’t the only one who talks to me that way either.

      • The funny thing is that I’ve met a lot of women like your friend in my journeys through the dark side. They wake up one day on the wrong side of 40,think about what they missed out on, and get hit by the Oh Sh*t effect.

      • Asiyah

        I hate those types of people! I understand why they think marriage and kids = maturity, but be realistic: how many child brides are there in this world? how many children are parents of other children? You mean to tell me that these people are more mature than me because of THAT? NO. If they are more mature than me it’s because of their life experiences and not because of a title. Maturity is not about relationship status. It’s an amalgamation of all of your life experiences.

      • jess-s

        I have the same “friend”
        as long as you know she does it to compensate for what she has lost, then you have the last laugh. because women give so much as a wife and a mother, it is tough to find yourself and put everyone first at the same time. but women find themselves many ways….

        • *does old Black woman prayer hum*

          • jess-s

            yes…. we need room for woman who chose to be mothers, wives, baby motha’s, jump offs, educated, Bowsses, etc…. everywoman finds themselves differently… is She talk down to you, SHE AINT HAPPY

            • I agree with that. I’m just thinking about how that belief effects my own situation. Carry on.

      • Mika

        LOL I have those people I know too. Like you don’t know responsibility because you don’t have kids. Right, I guess I don’t. *books trip*.

        • Kat

          Where we going?…lol

        • SororSalsa

          Or my favorite: my friend with kids think I’ve somehow tapped into the Federal Reserve and have endless amounts of money because I’m single and childless. I WISH I had the money they think I have. I’m not saying kids aren’t expensive, but you don’t get a SINK check if you don’t pop out a few.

      • fxd8424

        Some of these “friends” are jealous, especially if they married young.

    • Question

      I dunno. If homegirl-asking-the-question was really all that ok with where she’s at, would she be writing to someone else asking her how to convince her family that she’s ok with where she’s at?

      I believe the women who say they are happy being single, or don’t want children, when its said as a matter of fact, not in response to something else. And I *never* believe any woman who follows that statement with some negative about relationships, because it immediately becomes evident that the not wanting kids is in response to relationship-baggage, not kids-related baggage.

      Basically, It is what it is…unless its not. And in a LOT of cases, it isn’t that simple, but we want it to be because we don’ want to get into why its complicated in the first place.

      • Asiyah

        I would agree with your first paragraph if it weren’t for the amount of times she’s probably heard how her decision is basically a bad one. No matter how much you don’t care what others think and no matter how great you feel about your current place in life, if you constantly have to hear comments from the peanut gallery judging your decisions it will bother you. The opinions themselves won’t but the disrespect will.

        • Question

          This is where you and I disagree – other people’s opinions of my decisions for decisions I’m truly at peace with, don’t bother me. Period. I don’t need to explain because I know why I made the decision for me and why it is the best decision for me.

          Water off a duck’s back.

          But if their comments hurt or sting, or if its a conversation that I’m engaging in against my will and choice, then there is something else there.

          • Asiyah

            Like I said, the opinions don’t bother; it’s the need to constantly express them, question you, judge you, etc. The frequency more than anything else is what gets to me, at least.

            • Question

              But why? If you’re cool with what you’re doing, why would someone else’s questions bother you. You know why you’ve made the choices you’ve made…

              • Me

                Meh, I deal with this phenomenon every time I visit my mother though, regarding my hair. She has been trying to “convince” (read: shame and berate) me to get a perm since 2004, and all the eye rolls, walking out the rooms, and damned near disrespectful comebacks in the world ain’t slowed her tongue yet… 11.5 years later. That #shitgetstiring. If she was just a friend I’d cut ties over it, but I can’t realistically cut my mom completely out. If there was a guaranteed shutdown move that could be suggested I’d be all ears. For now I just stick with trying to keep her mad enough at me to make our limited contact “her idea”.

                • Question

                  The guaranteed shutdown move is not to respond. Or to get a perm.

                  • Me

                    Not responding doesn’t work and getting a perm is not an option. It’s that very dynamism that’s driving the e-mail topic. Granted I’ve moved past the stage of asking for help because I realize that no one has an answer that would work, but the writer’s concern is still valid regardless. Just because she’s still hoping an answer exists doesn’t mean she’s lying (to Agatha or herself) about what she wants. It takes a lot of energy to constantly dodge unsolicited ignorant comments even if that person’s opinion means squat.

                    • Question

                      You’re absolutely right – it takes a lot of energy to dodge unsolicited ignorant comments. It takes zero energy to ignore them. None whatsoever.

                    • Me

                      That’s VERY untrue. Ignoring someone, especially when it’s someone you care about and see regularly, takes tons of energy. If it didn’t, the writer wouldn’t have the question she has.

                    • Question

                      I disagree but maybe it comes to family dynamics. I don’t mean ignoring a person entirely – I just mean ignoring their questions on a particular subject matter. But I also didn’t make a habit of making my love life a topic of conversation – that was the OP’s first mistake. We aren’t going to be up in the kitchen snapping string beans on Thanksgiving talking about who I am (or am not) dating and why that is. I stopped that train a LONG time ago.

                      And again, I interpreted the driver behind the writer’s question differently – I don’t think she’s “ok” with it, which is why she still continues to engage in the conversation with her family folks. Because when you’re truly “ok” with a decision you’ve made for yourself, what other people think, say and how they react to it won’t matter.

                    • Me

                      Maybe the people in your life are just more respectful of your wishes. I never bring up my love life but I know no matter what I say or do, if I’m in my SIL’s presence for more than 5 minutes, she’s gonna say “so when are you gonna bring me some nerdy nieces and nephews? You found yourself a little nerd husband yet?” Never mind the fact that I tell her often that I’m trying to avoid making her mistake by letting a f-boy like my brother shackle me in. I don’t discuss hair with anyone, but if I ever have to get in a car with my mother, she’ll stare real hard at my head and ask me why I refuse to fix my hair so I can finally be pretty. And when I go too long without answering she’ll turn her nose up and offer to pay for my perm. This is coming from a woman living on social security and part of MY paycheck. Folks like to read into someone’s defensiveness as justification for why they keep getting harassed but often times it’s just that the harassment is relentless. Being ok with your decisions don’t make these comments less hurtful. If someone tells you they’re ok, that should be enough for folks to back off not double down, but people like to act like they know better than others about what they want. And that’s the crux of the issue. Whether the writer truly is ok with her choice is immaterial to the fact that what she’s asking for is for folks to back all the way off until further notice because the truth is regardless of her choice, what they’re doing is hurting her feelings and that should matter to the people who care about her.

              • Asiyah

                Not the questions; the frequency with which they are asked. I’m pretty confident about a certain decision I made but whenever I get the same people making the same comment about it I get annoyed. Don’t you get bored asking the same sh*t? Get a new topic of conversation.

                • Question

                  Water off a duck.

    • Furious Styles

      “… the talks (while they do get to you from time to time because duh it gets old) are just that: TALKS. Just conversation fillers to take the spotlight off of them and their issues. Knowing that is enough.”
      I don’t get those questions as much as a man, but please tell my wife that.

    • JewelEyed

      I agree with everything but the smiling and nodding. I give side eye and refuse to respond until someone talks about something else. Seems to work well.

    • KL Moore

      I finally just started lying…seriously, I have never wanted kids. NEVER. I coo at babies and have god children and am an Aunt. But never have I desired one of my own. I got the same treatment from family and strangers (!). That I would change my mind when the right man came along. Saying my truth, “I love children, but having one is not a strong desire for me and who wants an indifferent mother?” Is never good enough. I’m not sure why. So I cultivated a lie and started saying meaningless platitudes like, “I guess it wasn’t meant to be *add fake sigh for emphasis *”. Or mumble some BS about “the universe’s plan”. Meanwhile, I was taking birthcontrol pills/nova rings/depo and using condoms. Every single time! I lost potential boyfriends because I was honest about the “no kids” thing. Note, I got married in my late 30s and while my husband “probably would have had a kid if things had gone differently in past relationships” (his words). Having a loving supportive partner was more important, so he married me for me and not my ability/desire to have kids. And now I’m damn near 50 and people STILL ask us if we are gonna adopt or try drugs to have a kid!!!!!

  • mr. steal your costco samples

    If you watching The Wire (or Deadwood, or Sopranos) once and never again, you doing it way wrong. They are way better 2nd time around.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Angelique should tell ’em if she wanted a child, she would adopt, drop the mike, and walk away.

  • DebKII

    Guys, there REALLY are women out here that dont want kids! I have an older cousin, really my mommas first cousin. He’s perfect: married 20 years, owns a beautiful house, great job, super giving, super fun, adores/spoils his nieces and nephews. Every time he’s been asked why he has no kids: “She (his wife) doesn’t want any”

    You can have everything and STILL not want kids. Lord I hate when ppl pester people cuz they don’t want little pesters running around.

  • Damon Young

    “best show of all-time” list begins and ends with the wire and the sopranos. not just because of the quality of the shows themselves, but because those two series — more than any other — ushered in this current golden age of TV by expanding our ideas/visions/expectations of what a TV series could be. without the cultural/critical acclaim/impact of those two shows, we don’t get shows like breaking bad, the walking dead, game of thrones, house of cards, mad men, etc.

    • Why does everybody dismiss OZ? That show was great.

      • Tina

        I’ve been watching this over the last week nonstop. It’s not in my top five, but definitely a great show.

      • Have you rewatched the last 2 or 3 seasons of Oz? It’s overlong and pretty dreadful.

        • That was when HBO was still experimenting with how far they could go. I think OZ was when they just were figuring out that they could get away with anything.

      • Damon Young

        it was an interesting show. but although murders and sh*t do happen in prison, I can’t imagine a real life prison — especially an experimental one like OZ — would stay open very long if people were getting killed almost every day.

        Here’s a breakdown of all the different ways people were killed in that series. You had more murders than actual episodes.

        http://oztv.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_deaths_in_Oz

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      Mad Men is the child of The Sopranos and brought high quality TV to basic cable.

      And gotta pour out some libations for the HBO/Showtime series that were bad or didn’t find an audience. Deadwood comes to mind

  • Erica Nicole Griffin

    I dunno. I am “Team: No Meaness” so if the snark is crosses over to bullying I might be wary. I was always a sucker for a compliment and a laugh.

    • Tina

      Same here. I would think he was petty. Make me laugh.

  • Ari

    It doesn’t stop when you have a child. Because then they will ask you when you are having your next one. And after that the next one. Then the question will be when you are going to stop having kids. Womb policing/monitoring never has anything to do with what you think or choose to do and everything to do with the questioner. There’s no use in trying to prove anything to family members, friends, complete and total strangers, etc. Just keep living your life and carry on.

    • Asiyah

      “Womb policing/monitoring never has anything to do with what you think or choose to do and everything to do with the questioner.”

      YES!

    • Cleojonz

      This is so true! People keep asking me if I want more. I have a grown son, an 8 and a 10 year old. WHY would I want more?

      • Ari

        I have a ten-year-old. The shop is closed. I’ve been pretty successful at making sure it stays closed. That will never stop relatives from asking. I just simply answer with a fast and firm “No.” If they persist with more questions then I follow up with “that is none of your business” and change the subject or leave the room. I am 34 years old now – I figure that I have a few more years before they decide I’m past my child-bearing ages and stop asking.

        • Cleojonz

          Please, I’m 43 you have a LONG way to go before they stop asking.

          • Ari

            Well there goes hope.

    • BlueWave1

      You forgot one. When you do have kids the same family members will be telling you how to raise those kids. You will get told everything you are doing wrong. I’ve been told I’m both too easy and too hard on my kids. You just have chalk it up and keep it pushing. My kids are 7 and 8 and I still get terrible unsolicited advice. I just take it in stride.

      • Ari

        The best unsolicited advice comes from the siblings who have no children. You’ve gotta love that.

        • Question

          Or the aunties whose kids are all flucked up.

          My auntie with an obese 8 year old with Coke-bottle glasses who only forms full sentences in response to video games had the nerve to question me about why I didnt want to put a tv in my 8 month old daughter’s bedroom.

          • Ari

            I forgot all about aunties with mangled offspring. But a TV in your infant’s bedroom? Now see…

    • jess-s

      you speak the truth so well!

      • Ari

        Thank you I’m only speaking from my personal experiences.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      “Because then they will ask you when you are having your next one. And after that the next one”

      Truth. Have a boy they ask when are you trying for a girl. Have a girl, they ask when are you trying for a boy. These same folk that are asking don’t have to feed, clothe, nurture, or finance college costs.

      • Ari

        My parents have been trying to get a girl out of me for over a decade now – as if I can just press a button and POOF – out pops a healthy baby girl. I’m so glad my brother had a baby girl so they could (temporarily) back off of me for a while.

    • Pinks

      OR if you only have one gender/s e x , they’re asking when you’re going to “try” to get the other one. When you gestate, nurse and claim full fiscal responsibility for them, that’s when!

      • Ari

        “Gestate” almost made me spit out my lunch. I’ll have to remember that one.

        • Pinks

          My mom gets so annoyed every time I use that word with her lol

      • Tina

        My daughter was barely 8 months when I started getting questions about the next one. Like can uterus rest first?! D*mn!

        • Pinks

          I’m soooooo sick of people like “so when are y’all going for the girl?” As if my boys aren’t enough. I’d love to have a little girl, but our finances and circumstances in life right now don’t allow for another kid. I said I didn’t want any after 30, but if our cheddar is better by then, I’d give it another shot. You have to be realistic. It’s not like trying on a pair of shoes and then returning them if they don’t fit. You can’t give these little crumbsnatchers back lol

          • Tina

            Exactly! Folks don’t think about the other considerations. An average daycare in DC runs about $1500/mo. Nope.

            • Ari

              Daycare has actually been my biggest child-bearing deterrent.

              • Pinks

                as it should be. Family members have been so clutch for us,

            • $1,500? Holy batman!

              • Tina

                Girl, I can’t tell you how happy I was when my daughter got into a great public school (via the lottery). It was like paying college tuition, now we just have to pay for before/after care.

          • Question

            Chica who runs my mommy and me says take it as a compliment that you’re such a fantastic parent that you are the exact type of person who should be having as many as you can afford.

            ‘cuz trust, people aren’t walking around saying “when are you having your next one?” or “are ya’ll gonna try for that girl” to e’rybody. Kiki and RayRay have not been asked when they gonna try for that girl…

            • Pinks

              You know, I never even looked at it like that before. Folks have joked before and asked us to raise their children, but I didn’t see that as a compliment to our parenting.

              I do know someone who was recently pregnant and the question was “So when are you going to tie your tubes?”. Yikes.

              • Question

                See. Folks are low-key telling you they want you to bring more lives into the world. Probably have them wishing they had ya’ll for parents.

            • Me

              Lies. Kiki and RayRay been getting the “y’all would make cute babies” since high school and that’s what boosted their feeble minded heads up to their current predicament. They’re the ones taking folks up on their offer to pop a few more out.

          • mr. steal your costco samples

            this is correct. ours is dope BUT like the next kid might be on some We Need To Talk About Kevin stuff

        • Question

          My Father was sitting with me in the delivery room 6 hours after the birth of my daughter, his first grand, and holding her and said “does she make you want to have another one?”.

          6 hours.

          6. HOURS.

          Bless his heart, he realized what he asked me before I could respond and laughed at himself.

          But 6 hours.

          SMH.

          • Tina

            LMAO!!!

      • Furious Styles

        *drops $20 and a chicken bone in collection plate* + amen.

      • fxd8424

        I have a daughter. Some random guy asked me almost incredulous, “What, no sons?” Nope. Then he says, “Maybe the Lord will bless you.” I told him I hope not cause it would be a shame.” So he knew what that meant. LOL.

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