One of the hardest things to do is shut up someone who is well-meaning.
I have a lovely colleague who, almost every time I see him, asks if I have kids. He’s not malicious, just forgetful.
If I say “no”, I get “Well, plenty of time yet!” or “When you do…” or “Why not?” or any number of comments.
In the childfree community, we call these “bingos”. Because, after a while, you start to mentally stamp a card like this:
Other variants are available.
I am childfree by choice. Emphatically not childless.
Because some people don’t take “no” as a complete sentence, I’ve tried several different strategies for getting people to stop pressing the point.
- “I don’t want them.” Just leads you open to bingos.
- “None of your business.” Bit rude. It is, after all, a fairly normal question. Just annoying when you’ve answered it multiple times per day.
- “We can’t have kids.” A lie – and often leads to well-meaning advice about infertility.
- “I don’t like talking about my sex life at work.” High risk but usually causes an embarrassed silence in which to change the subject.
In the end, the only one which I’ve found works is “thankfully, no.” It lets them know that I am happy with my decision and doesn’t give them much room to argue.