Childfree “bingoes.” They range from mildly irritating to downright insulting. We aim to avoid them but it’s almost impossible. They seem to come at us when we are unprepared – so no short sweet answers are at the ready. Until afterwards when it is too late and you are thinking “Grrr I wish I had said that!”
Or it means always being on the alert for bingoes. Which is no fun at all and very exhausting.
Who launches bingoes? Almost exclusively parents or parents to be.
I personally never and would never ask a person the kinds of questions the childfree regularly get from childed people. And I don’t ask people why they had kids… Even though there are many reasons not to have them.
Some popular childfree bingoes are:
“When are you going to have kids?”
“Who will look after you when you’re old?”
You’re not really a woman til you’ve given birth.”
“It’s different when they’re yours…”
“Why don’t you have kids?”
“You”ll grow up once you have a child” (for the guys)
“You’ll settle down once you have kids” (Another for the guys).
“Why bother getting married if you’re not going to have children?”
“Isn’t that a bit selfish?” (Many variations of this one).
“But what will you do with your days/life/time/ if you don’t have kids?”
There are many more bingoes and I am sure you can list them. As I get older I find I get fewer childfree bingoes. Or perhaps I am simply better at deflecting them, changing the subject, or coming up with a let’s-stop-this-conversation-right-now response. It also has to do with my friends – if they have kids they know not to start with the questions – or their kids are older. Above all I have found it is important not to become defensive…even though this is easier said than done.
But what about you? Share the most annoying bingoes you’ve had – and to help other childfree men and women looking for ways to respond to these annoying intrusions – please share ideas for responding to, or dealing with the bingo.
Over to you.