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I don’t want to have children.

My husband and I are childless by choice and he has had a vasectomy to ensure this.

In a polite society, this is where the conversation with strangers or casual acquaintances should end, or veer into a bona fide area of small talk, such as what fall TV show you can’t wait for the season premier of. (For the record, I have never casually brought the vasectomy up in conversation and have only shared that information with a handful of people.) But alas in today’s culture where everyone can, and often does, share their opinions with the world via social media – and privacy is a quaint throwback to the good old days – these strangers or acquaintances think I am lacking their opinion and advice on a matter that only concerns my husband and me.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

These people’s dismay at our not having children and their vociferous arguments for breeding will not change our minds. We are grown ass adults, we did not make this decision lightly, and we know ourselves better than them.

More often than not the answer to the simple question of, “Do you have kids?” brings a most private matter to the forefront and puts us on the defensive regarding our life choice. Our reasons for being childfree are vast and varied, but that is not really the point. Let’s reverse roles for a minute and I will be the one with the asinine and condescending remarks to the trying-to-be or soon-to-be parent.

“I think having children is something you will regret.”
“You’ll change your mind.”
“I think you will be a terrible parent.”

In what world would any of these comments be okay? For some reason, it doesn’t occur to people that the comments made in my situation are just as offensive and I have to hold my tongue rather than go toe to toe with a stranger in a contest of who can be ruder.

I guess like Will McAvoy from The Newsroom this confession is my ‘mission to civilize’. In a world where the Golden Rule seems to have been forgotten and no area of conversation is off limits, my hope is that if you are one of these people that are offended by my childfree choice, in future encounters you may think twice and keep your judgments to yourself. Just like you should keep your thoughts to yourself about someone’s weight gain, or acne outbreak, or terrible haircut.

I don't want to have children and it affects your life in no way.

Trust me - the world will be just fine without our progeny, cancer will probably be cured without my having offspring, and I have already felt what true love is without having to create a miniature version of my spouse and me.

When you encounter a childless woman or man, instead of pursuing a topic of conversation that could be painful, perhaps ask if they’ve read any good books lately or whether they think the Seahawks might go all the way this year, or any myriad of topics that will be more interesting and congenial for everyone involved.

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