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Thread: How do you deal with this question?

  1. #1

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    Post How do you deal with this question?

    I've just started in a new position at work and now have a new group of people to work with and get to know. I've been dreading that question 'Do you have any children'?

    I feel rude just saying 'No' but I also don't want to give any more of a response as I don't want to have to go down the 'we're trying', 'we're thinking about it' etc conversation.

    I understand this can be a common question when you are getting to know people, especially in a female dominated work area where there are women with young ones. Knowing how I feel to be asked this I make it a rule 'not to impose' unless they begin talking about their children.



    How do others cope with this? Should I just say 'no' and move on? I just don't want to discourage people getting to know me but at the same time don't want to go down this very personal path with people I hardly know iykwim. I was just madly hoping today when there were people in the office talking about children they would not ask this question of me.

  2. #2

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    How about a friendly "not yet", and then changing the topic?

    I know how you feel. Before I was pregnant with DD it was always a sore point for me whenever people asked this question. I used to get really defensive.

  3. #3

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    I always used not yet!

  4. #4

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    I'm probably worrying too much .... I'm just afraid that if I say "not yet" the person may expect more, or see that as an opening to ask more questions ?? Or perhaps I'm underestimating people and they would be happy with that response.

  5. #5

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    I'd just go with a polite "no, not yet" and then change the subject. I usually find that asking someone else about their children will usually divert them from wanting to question you about your intentions to start a family. Until you get to know people, it's usually easier to give the impression that you're not ready for children yet (or your DH isn't)... it's only when I know people better that I let them know the truth about our infertility and assisted conception.

    BW

  6. #6

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    i'm pretty much the same as others - "no, not yet" - and move to another topic! i don't broach the kid questions, but if they do, i'm happy to turn it back and let them talk about their own children - works ok for me most of the time.

  7. #7

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    Yep I just use the Not Yet but last weekend at hubbys xmas party a mate of his kept saying when are you guys having kids he was so drunk and woulkdnt shut up about it so I got fed up and said DONT GO THERE OK in my school teachers voice . he quickly shut his mouth......

  8. #8
    slyder Guest

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    "Na, not yet" in a flippant, couldn't care less, fashion is my usual response. At DW's work there are a couple of so-and-so's who just cannot shut up about whether DW is pregnant or not. They know nothing of our situation but seem to have this obsession with our personal life. It's so annoying I could smack them.

  9. #9

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    Thank you all for your replies. I'll give the 'no,not yet' a go and see how that goes down. I just dread that type of questioning, but as you say Slyder, they do not know my situation but I hope they have enough courtesy to not further question my response.

  10. #10

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    I say not yet.... but we're hoping to. Most people don't ask anything further. I find if you say no you are more likely to be questioned why you don't want them.

  11. #11

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    You don't need to tell anyone what you are doing or that you are trying.

    I simply say - "not at the moment" and then if they ask when I say "Who knows what the future will bring."
    Generally it makes people realise that it is a line of questioning that you do not wish to continue.

  12. #12

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    Someone once said that people love to talk about themselves...and I've found that to be very true So my standard reply is along the lines of 'not yet', 'too busy with the mortage' etc etc, and then ask them a question about their life/kids/work etc...and in no time they have forgotten about you and are engrossed in their own story
    Good luck

  13. #13

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    no not yet.......... people dont usually push it further. good luck in your new job!

  14. #14

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    So true farmgirl. Yep, people love to talk about themselves... just ask about their lives. Sometimes I yearn for the "old days" when these types of questions wouldn't have been asked as it was seen to be impolite. Asking if you have children would have been fine... but persuing the issue if the answer was in the negative would have been avoided.

  15. #15

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    Yeah, I have found some people to be downright rude when they follow up the "no, not yet" with a question like "Oh, youre having too much fun making money still?" or some other rubbish. My exboss asked me I dont know how many times "so when do you think you will be ready to have kids?" and our neighbour even said "how old is she?" to DH followed by "well you better not leave it too much longer then". I couldnt believe it when he told me, I just wanted to go next door and punch her!
    I agree with Bath that people do ask things now that they would never have dared to ask a generation or 2 ago.
    Generally people understand when you give them a short, polite answer but some people who ask more bold questions might need a bit of a bolder answer. I got caught in a trap one day by someone I dont know very well who asked all kind of questions and I felt myself answering them and inside I was like "what the hell am I telling her this stuff for?". I really wish I had said that it was just something that I didnt want to discuss and leave it at that.

  16. #16

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    I think (just my theory) that these days people are so used to being voyers. Think of Big Brother and all those intrusive reality shows Gives people the impression that they have a right to this knowledge about others....those shows are having effects on our socialising without us realising. Also i think people are losing the ability to tune into people's body language. It could be because of technology... so much communication that doesn't involve unspoken messages like body language. It really annoys me... not alot we can do...although i find that mixing with older people who still have these social skills often helps... not always though.

  17. #17

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    I agree Bath. I have often said that the coming generation are going to communicate in a completely different way to those older. For a start there is the whole abbreviated chat stuff with people using one or two letters instead of a whole word so no wonder they can't spell at all. There is no punctuation in there either. Also the chatting via email, blogs, BB !!!! and mobiles eliminates the tone in someones voice which you can tell so much by. It is much harder to feel if someone is being genuine if you can't hear the sarcasm in their voice! And then there is the body language too. I forget how much of the message you get just from the voice tone and body language but I know it is a lot!

  18. #18

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    I think that what you actually say accounts for about 10% of the true meaning of a conversation... body language, tone of voice and other non verbal factors make up the rest.

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