What NOT to Say to a Childfree Woman? Anything Obnoxious

There’s no good reason for Mom v. NotMom angst, but comments based on assumption and unearned superiority may be hurtful to any woman without kids, whether she's childfree by choice or by chance.

Bouncing across the web, I've found several re-postings of Jillian Mackenzie's list of "10 Things Not to Say to Your Childfree Friends." It is definitely worth a read.

As a conversation starter between Moms and NotMoms, this article should spark honest sharing.  In some cases, that may mean using it to set boundaries with relatives...including one's own mother. Yeah, well. So be it.

No. 1 on the list is an easy choice: When will you finally have kids?  Probing and rude beyond belief.  The inclusion of "finally" feels as though by reproductive cycle is interfering with your schedule somehow.

And No. 5 feels very familiar, too. (You're so lucky you get to sleep in/shop/travel.) Seriously? 'No kids' means I'm a couch potato or independently wealthy? Not so much.

I won't repeat all 10 "things not to say" here, but let's just note that they each display a different level of obnoxiousness.  (And yes, over the years I've been personally told each and every one.)

I've ranted about Parents Only separatism before, and this list is another reason why.  The narrowness of mind that believes A Parent's World Is The Only World That Matters always presents itself in thoughtless, hurtful language aimed at the childfree.

For example, I can't die. I'm a Mom. (No. 8), implies what, exactly? That a NotMom's life is disposable and would be barely missed?  Hmmm.  How might that statement be improved to be even a tad less self-serving?  Here's a version that can be used by anyone: "I can't die. What will happen to my kids/husband/mother/etc?"

Perhaps much of the world's rudeness can be minimized by taking an extra minute for empathy and an extra hour to actually talk to the other person and share preferences and realities.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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