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As any young couple out there in a long-time serious relationship knows, the pressure to reproduce is all around us. You reach a point around 26 or 27 years of age or six months after you exchange vows – whichever comes first – where society decides it is no longer acceptable to be DINKs (Dual Income No Kids.) Overnight, it seems like everyone you run into is asking the same damn question – “Sooooo when are you having kids?”
With going on four years of experience in dodging, dipping, ducking, and diving this question from people at weddings, baby showers, holidays, and company parties, I consider myself an expert in the area. Today, I’d like to impart some knowledge on the people with this response guide to that nagging question.
Interrogator – Someone who knows your financial standings. Your boss, financial advisor, etc.
Answer: “When our student loans are paid off.”
You’ll see with most of these responses that I rarely give an exact timeline in my response because these people don’t deserve a straight answer to such a prodding question. This response is a smart and sneaky way of letting those who have an influence on your income and financial standing know you are being a responsible adult. You’re letting them know that it would be just too much to take on the burden of supporting another human life when you are still shelling out hundreds every month for your 4-year degree you hardly use. Who knows, maybe your boss will remember that at your performance review and advocate for a larger than normal “cost of living” raise.
Interrogator – Coworkers.
Answer: “I’m too focused on my career right now to worry about that.”
This is a power move. Right out of the gate you take control of the situation and the ball is in your court. I’m sorry that you threw your life away at 22, Bob, only to miss out on your 20s. Not everyone thinks like that anymore. The Mrs. and I are out here working on our careers, climbing the ladder. Don’t be surprised if I’m the one calling the shots around here before you finally decide to retire. Boom. Roasted.
Interrogator – Extended family, acquaintances, or someone you just met.
Answer: “Oh, in a few years, I’m sure. Our pets are enough right now.”
The pet fall back is a go-to and my wife’s personal favorite. Generally, the people asking this question aren’t meaning to be inappropriate and intrusive, so you don’t want to be too sarcastic in your response. Just give them a little something to let them know you still have trouble cleaning the litter box every day so there is no way in hell you could manage to change a diaper six times a day.
Interrogator – Any young couple of similar age to you.
Answer: “Not for a while, we like our freedom.”
Out of all the assholes asking me this question, it is these people that grind my gears the most. You know they are completely miserable 90% of the time when they aren’t posting pictures of their offspring on Facebook. Tom and Tammy just want to know when you will be taking the plunge so they can finally have another young couple join them in hell. Misery loves company.
They will tell you that parenthood is amazing and that having a kid is not that bad. But whenever you ask them out for drinks or to a local show, it takes an act of God for them to find a babysitter and make it fit with their “schedule.” Like, just tell us that your kid consumes every waking hour of the day. I understand. Just don’t pretend like you don’t miss getting ham-dangled on cheap drafts every Saturday night and having the freedom to wake up later than 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday. Letting them know you still have freedom will resonate in a painful but effective way with them.
Interrogator – Close family or friends.
Answer: “As soon as you’re willing to babysit 24/7.”
We don’t get the question from our family and friends so much anymore because they finally started to realize we don’t plan on being parents in our 20s. You just have to let the fam know that they will be called on more than they would like when a kid is finally in the picture and they should be prepared for it. “It takes a village” and all the jazz. Your inner circle better be willing to babysit last minute for our child in the event Tom and Tammy want to meet up for a few bottles of wine and Italian food so we can bitch about having small children.
Interrogator – Anyone you don’t want to have this conversation with.
Answer: “9 months from tonight,” or alternatively, “We are just practicing right now.”
My personal favorite response choices. It’s bound to get a few laughs at a party or completely horrify the unexpecting. It’s a bold response to a bold question. Use with caution. .