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It’s On The List

Jon leans over the bar and hands me my chai. “So, you plan on having any kids?”
There’s always going to be that person whose job is to pimp parenthood to people who don’t have kids (similar to the way some married folk push all singles to settle down and get married). A PP (Parenthood Pimp) will start a conversation right away by going on and on about how great their kid is: “My kid is the smartest, cutest, bestest, yadda yadda yadda.” You’ll soon find that PPs don’t talk about anything BUT their kids. In fact, they’re not remotely interested in what YOU might have to say, they just want you to listen and know their kid is freaking awesome.
Let’s be real here. No one is THAT interested in someone else’s kid unless it’s their own or if they are related to or friends with said kid’s parent. I used to be a daily reader of one website in particular that is famous and even in the urban dictionary (I think you know the one) but now I only check it once in a blue moon. Why? Because now she just goes on and on about her kid and it’s boring! I’m sure people who have kids think it’s great because they can relate. Nothing wrong with that. My beef with PPs is that it’s just impossible to have a conversation with one that is not centered around their kid. Whenever I’m trapped in a conversation with a PP after 15 minutes or so I glaze over and start visualizing myself sorting piles of laundry at home. And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is when you tell a PP you don’t have kids and they hit you with, “WHAT on EARTH are you WAITING for?” and then go in for the kill with, “You HAVE to do it. There is NO BETTER FEELING in the world.” (This was said to me recently, btw.)
If you are a PP, please just knock it off. I know you’re excited about being a mom or dad and I’m happy for you. But your behavior is not only annoying, it’s extremely insensitive. Suppose you were introduced to a woman and you two start talking. Naturally you ask her how many children she has and she says none. “Well what are you waiting for?” you ask her in utter disbelief. “Why, it’s the most amazing thing in the world!” Well how do you know that woman hasn’t been trying FOR YEARS to have a child without success? Your words could potentially be the most painful ones she’ll ever hear. And anyway, it’s none of your business so shut your yap!
Down with PPs.
So anyway, my friend Jon asks me if I plan on having any kids.
“It’s on the list,” I tell him.
He nods and kind of stares off into the distance. “It’s good to have kids. They can take care of you when you’re old.”
It was as if a light turned on inside my brain. Finally! A good solid reason to raise a child in this day and age. They can take care of you when you’re old.
I swear it was almost enough to make a girl quit Depo Provera cold turkey.

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22 Responses

  1. tricia says:

    I feel your pain. I’ve been married for a little more than a year and already there’s pressure for me to pop one out. Sometimes I just want to yell, “Leave my uterus alone!” Children are a wonderful gift, but they’re sure not returnable. Before bringing one more person in this very populated world, I want to make sure I’m as ready as can be, heart and home.

  2. Gerald says:

    A PP eh? I do remeber a certain dinner party at your house with just such a lady. If you remember, I jumped shipped and abadoned you and kimmie to that PP pirahna. Though it was amusing seeing you and kimmie try to no avail to steer the topic to something else. My favorite tactic when speaking with a PP is when they ask if you have kids to dawn a very solemn, sad face and say “i did. I can’t talk about it though”. Believe me, there will be no mention of children after that.

  3. cee says:

    the past few years i got the, “you guys aren’t married yet? what are you waiting for?!” i absolutely hate it when they follow it up with, “just tie the knot already.” sheesh.
    and yes the ever annoying, “no kids yet? WHAT on EARTH are you WAITING for?”
    a few times i’ve blurted out, “well, i want an established income, get married, and God willing have children. you know, the traditional way.” hah.

  4. Patti says:

    Good topic…strange thing is PPs don’t stop even AFTER you have a child. I have one child and I can’t tell you how many people look at me with pity (or is it secretly envy?) and say “When are you having more?”
    And sadly, a few years ago,I witnessed a PP attack a good friend of mine at a party and I knew my friend had been trying for years to have a baby, she had miscarriages and painful,expensive In-Vitro. She was too nice to say anything so I pulled this PP aside and said “Stop talking about children or you’re leaving the party.” I think she knew from the look in my eye not to push it.
    BTW-Thanks for the plug on your ‘Pay it Forward’ post.

  5. Cristina says:

    I go along with it and say that I have a son. Then when they ask for pictures I show them my dog. 😀

  6. Kate says:

    This is one of my favorite topics! After what I went through with my previous pregnancies, some people would literally lecture me about not having any kids. Either they didn’t know what happened to me & Roque or they were insensitive morons. I wanted to tell them that it’s not that I’m giving up hope, but gimme a break, I’ve been pregnant every year for the last 3 years!
    Now that I have one, it still doesn’t stop!! People want actually want to know when I’m having more…it’s ridiculous.

  7. Michelle says:

    “I swear it was almost enough to make a girl quit Depo Provera cold turkey.” — Josie
    I loved that line!
    Josie you do what you gotta do. I also get annoyed when people ask me if I have a boyfriend or if I’m married and “Why not?” when I say no.
    Singlehood can be a choice, not a circumstance! Byatch. :p

  8. Joie says:

    I agree. People continually ask when we’re having another one. They’ll tell us why we should have more and I sigh.
    My most recent response is hopefully next year. That seems to suffice. Now that I think about it, I don’t even owe them an explanation but always feel like I have to give a response.
    Sometimes I’ll share that we’ve waited so long because we’re afraid that I may get sick again with post partum cardiomyopathy, which leads into an even longer explanation.
    Even worse is when people ask when I’m due, it’s because I’m a little on the heavy side. I hope they feel worse after I tell them that I just have a big belly. BLAH! 😉

  9. Julie says:

    Josie- I read this and immediately thought, this girl must not have been used for child labor by her parents growing up. I dont mind PP’s at all(maybe cause Im not married/dating anyone) but I ve dreamt of having kids-not only to take care of me when im old (my parents remind me every time i talk to them how its my obligation) but also dreamed of what chores I would have my children do as I stood on a stool washing dishes or doing laundry. ah, the plans i have for my future children!

  10. Donovan says:

    “It’s good to have kids. They can take care of you when you’re old.”
    I swear this is why my mom had me.

    While I don’t get the “So, you plan on having any kids?” question YET (which I’m sure I’ll get very soon), I do get the (almost?) equally annoying “So when is the wedding?” question.
    I usually try not to hide the fact that whoever has asked the question has just annoyed me to no end, and respond in a pretty harsh tone “SOMETIME AFTER I PROPOSE!!” or “Don’t ask.”

  11. les says:

    oh my goodness.. got me laughing so hard at work… no one ever believed me when i said i have children already… hmm PP’s… i stay away from them.. i kindly but bluntly say.. that’s good for you but not for me…
    I have two lovely babies.. i don’t really want anymore… what’s really nerve racking is when you go to your family gatherings.. there is always that one person there who has tons of kids… and you know they can barely control them.. yet they ask you.. don’t you just want all of them.. i laugh.. walk away.. and say hell Nah…

  12. donna says:

    Hmmm…I agree with you on PP’s.
    Not only are kids great for taking care of you when you’re old, but also for taking out the trash, cleaning the bathroom (which I hate and I am going to pass the chore onto my child), babysitting, cleaning the car, etc. Need I say more? : )

  13. brent says:

    clearly my girls rock! so when the pp’s see kai, they always push for another. i just laugh and tell them no. i tell them i got two great girls, i don’t want to push my luck.

  14. Patrick says:

    I am truly blessed by my children. My youngest Belle is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She’s the reason I grew up.
    Imagine a long empty hallway… Standing there as a little somebody comes running at you from the other end, screaming at the top of thier lungs, “DAAAADDDDYYYYY!!!!”
    There is no greater feeling in the world, Love unconditional and sincere.
    Funny how people put children “on my list”… They are #1 on mine.
    Maybe someday you’ll see what I mean.

  15. Nadia says:

    Good for you Patrick, but having babies isn’t for everyone and there is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting children… Having children isn’t even “on my list” and I get unconditional and sincere love from my dog, Motley. I’m with you Josie, PPs mind your own business!

  16. rhia says:

    where i work most of the women there are married with kids, or single parents, so they skip the “are you married” or “do you have kids” questions, and jump right into “so how many kids do you have?” after i tell them “no kids, i need the husband first” it then starts a barrage of questions all around that topic of having a family. “do you have a boyfriend?” “will you be marrying him?” “when?” it’s crazy.

  17. fabmimi says:

    well after 8 years… “when is the wedding” is not so uncalled for. *ahem donovan* just as long as its not me doing the pestering. *heheh
    getting married or establishing a relationship is the foundation for kids so i have no problem with married couples taking their time before parenting. i do have a problem with the meddlers in general that make “suggestions”. it doesn’t even have to be about kids. its the very idea of implying that one’s lifestyle choice is far superior simply because they differ.

  18. Josie says:

    So, Donovan, *ahem* when’s the wedding?

  19. Donovan says:

    argh.. twist the knife… the pain…

  20. Beth says:

    Excellent post. I did want to make a bit of a disclaimer though. I’ve asked people if they have kids, not to push people into having them, but simply as one of those questions people ask to find common ground. Hope that makes sense. I don’t follow it up with “Oh you really should have kids” or any of the other PP statements, but I know some people who are so sensitive to the baby issue, they feel as if asking if they have kids is the same thing as telling them they should have kids, so I wanted to speak up on this.
    Also, if you do have a baby, it doesn’t stop the PPs at all. I didn’t have a baby until I was 37, so I’ve been on both sides of the equation and I think I get bothered more now than I did when I was childless because everyone thinks my son needs a brother or sister in spite of my age (40) or my health problems.

  21. joleen says:

    i know where you’re coming from. i have so many friends who have vented because of ignorance like this. but as a mother, i get a lot of crap too. like…”wow you have so many kids, omg are you married?!” and THAT is what pisses me off. you obviously don’t HAVE to BE married to conceive, and i just hate that people automatically think i have a ‘husband’ because of my large family.
    no i am not married. maybe i’m not catholic (i really am) and maybe marriage isn’t for me. so sue me. like those trying to conceive, how do these people know i haven’t been WANTING to get married.
    i’m with you here josie. it’s all just ignorance.

  22. My name is Janice Still and i would like to show you my personal experience with Depo-Provera.
    I am 24 years old. I have been on Depo for 9 years and did not realize that the symptoms I experienced might be related to the shot. I am now facing thousands of dollars in dental work due to bone density loss, and will probably end up with osteoporosis. I am getting off Depo and will never touch it again!
    I have experienced some of these side effects-
    Low libido, joint pain, bone density loss, dental problems, headaches, fatigue, out of control eating, gained 40 lbs., depression
    I hope this information will be useful to others,
    Janice Still

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