Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

A Senior Moment and the End of “How Come You Guys Don’t Have Kids?” June 21, 2012

Mr. Fab called me earlier this week, mortified (and secretly pleased) that he’d just received his first ever senior discount at the ripe old age of 56.

I tried to suppress my laughter, but he was on to me. Luckily, he was a good sport about the whole thing and we immediately headed online to see where else we could take advantage of his, ahem, maturity.

Then it dawned on me. He’d given me the perfect “helpful” conversation ender.

“Do you have kids?”

“No. It didn’t work out for us.”

“Oh, you’re young. There’s still time.”

“Actually, my husband gets a senior discount.”

At which point, I’ll walk away and let them figure it out for themselves.

All joking aside, I know these conversations are never this easy and I don’t mean to be flippant, but imagine if you could come back with a snappy reply to those “helpful” suggestions. What would you say?


18 Responses to “A Senior Moment and the End of “How Come You Guys Don’t Have Kids?””

  1. Lane Says:

    When people say I’m still young yet, or there’s still time, I’m now old enough to take it as a compliment and say bless you but no, I’m not!!

  2. My favorite — though I’ve yet to screw up the courage to actually say it: “We’ve evolved to perfection — clearly your DNA has more work to do …”

    • Amel Says:

      Ah, Pamela, this is a BRILLIANT response. I really want to know if this kind of response is used in real life, what kind of reaction would the other person show? *chuckle*

    • Mali Says:

      I love that. Now, if only I can find just the right opportunity to use it. (Pamela, I’ve got lots of comebacks I’d love to use but cowardice gets in the way. Or perhaps I can blame my reticence on good manners.)

  3. CiCi Says:

    And this is precisely one of the biggest reasons I’m looking forward to aging. Actually, as I just typed that, I finally realize why I’ve been so excited to see a few grey hairs spout up…woohoooooooooooooo
    I’m demented, I know!

  4. Marcie Says:

    I like the response in the original post. I’ve tried several responses. My fav reply to “You’re still young” or “You still have time” is to just say “unfortunately my ovaries disagree.”

    I read this on FB “God gives the toughest challenges to His strongest soldiers.” It was meant as a comment on motherhood. However, I see it as a excellent response to dealing with infertility. In my opinion, the only thing that could be more challenging than being a parent is desperately wanting to be a parent and not being able to.

    • Marcie, I’ve used your “disagreeing ovaries” response and it usually works. However, your quote from FB struck a chord. I usually balk at the “God only gives people what they can handle” point-of-view, but your opinion is in fact dead on.

  5. IrisD Says:

    My hubby is 57… It was kind of shocking to start seeing the AARP magazine arrive in the mail… As for grey hairs… had them since I was in my early 20s… sigh…

  6. Mali Says:

    Well, I don’t get the “you’re still young” anymore. Sigh. In fact, I never really did! Like Iris, I started getting grey hair in my 20s (a helpful – read annoying – colleague commented on finding a grey hair when I was about 26) , though I hid it well, until recent years when I have been known to have grey roots show through.

  7. Quasi-Momma Says:

    Given that a great deal of these people have been mislead into believing that late in life babies are possible ( thank you media), the understanding of the odds is skewed. So I will be taking to telling folks that “there’s still time” is actually an urban legend.

  8. Maria Says:

    The last time someone told me I was still young, he was my friend’s father, widowed and in his late 80s. It was the first time it didn’t hurt because he looked so old and frail that I figured he thought anyone young enough to be mobile probably looked young enough for the task. So I gave him pass. For everyone else, I have started saying, “I’m much older than I look. I used to get insulted but that comment but now I realize people are saying it because I look fabulous for my age.” It usually is followed by stunned silence, and a few laughs.

  9. Sarah Says:

    I look like I’m in my late 20’s, even though I’m in my late 30’s. When people ask if we have kids, or why we don’t have kids, lately I’ve been saying: “Ya know, we’ve been married 15 years and and we really enjoy traveling and spoiling our nephews. (And then I switch the subject quickly and say) “What’s new with YOU?” Works like a CHARM.

    This could easily be tweaked to work for anyone else in any other life situation. Like … “We’ve been married for x amount of years and we really enjoy spoiling our dogs and our best friends’ children”.

    If you say it with a lot of confidence and in an upbeat tone, people will generally respond with “Oh, that’s so cool. I would love to travel,” or “Oh, that’s so cool. What kind of dogs do you have?”

    People are just asking because they want to know you better. So, mention something else in your life (a hobby or interest or someone else’s kid) so that they can ask you about THAT. Otherwise, they are left feeling awkward that they asked you about something so painful, OR if they are clue-less they will continue to give you every reason in the book to have a child. At some point in your life. In any way shape or form.

  10. hmelissar Says:

    Lisa, I can relate. I am 41 and my husband is 54. Recently he accidentally got a senior discount at Wendy’s. He thought it was funny/great. I thought it was depressing. When people ask me if I have kids, and when I say no, they sometimes joke, “since you’re a nanny, I guess you deal with them enough,” it’s just kind of awkward. One of the moms I work for asked me outright about it recently, and I told her the truth. It turned out that she had fertility issues too. Although I felt bad for her, it seemed like she understood. 🙂 Next time someone asks why we don’t have kids I’ll just say it’s because I married an old man! ha ha

    • Lois Says:

      Hey I like that last one too! ha ha. my husband is 11 years older than me and looks even older than he is. Maybe I could say that and get away with it. 🙂

  11. cgoslin Says:

    I typically opt for “I hate children.” x]

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