“You are so lucky you don’t have kids”

Oh I have been itching to blog about this for a few days, but we have been out road tripping on a short break to Savannah, Georgia.  We drove just over 1000 miles round trip and saw some wonderful things.  But I will tell you a short story that really got my goat.

Our first night in Charleston, South Carolina we found ourselves a small smokehouse joint for dinner.  We managed to find a relaxed type bar that had a short menu of BBQ meat, meat, oh and more meat.  We ordered loaded duck fat fries and a typical Southern BBQ platter, and we were not disappointed.  We were just about to roll ourselves out of the bar, when Chris bumped into another Brit, a man in his 50s.  Oh not just any Brit, but a Brit who also lives where we live – 400 miles away!  What were the chances of that?  After the Brit introduced himself, we quickly noticed how drunk he was.  He asked us many questions – where we were from, what we were doing, what did we do for a living, where we were from (wait – we already answered this one – but he was drunk so ….).  He looked us over and asked if we had children.  No, we both politely replied.  “Oh you are lucky” he winked at us.  Not cool.  He then wanted us to meet his wife.  So we went through the Spanish inquisition again…I was beginning to get a little annoyed at this stage.  It’s nice to talk with other Brits about living in the US, but clearly it is not nice to talk to a drunk Brit, it can get a bit embarrassing when they shout across the bar all the annoying things about living in America.  The Brit asked us once again if we had children, because he obviously had forgotten how ‘lucky’ we are.  So once again we said we did not have children, and once again he proceeded to tell us that we were lucky.  At least he was consistent in his ideas about having children.  After another 5 minutes of this we attempted to make our escape….but they wanted to have dinner with us!  Oh no.  Just as we made our excuses, he started talking about how lucky we were to not have children again, and if he were us, we should not have them.  So it was definitely time to leave.

As we left we both commented on how rude it was to say such a thing: ‘You are so lucky you don’t have kids’, especially to us, going through what we are going through right now.  Even if we were not going through this, in my opinion it would still be a rude thing to say.  Of course everyone is entitled to a different opinion.  But the manner in which the opinion was conveyed was just plain rude.

Little did he know that later that evening I would be crying as my period started once again (unexpectedly – a very short 23 day cycle) and so no, I didn’t feel lucky in any shape or form and just felt like crap.

Reflecting upon this situation, looking past my anger at the rudeness of the Brit’s statement “You are so lucky you don’t have kids”, I just felt sad.  Sad that this man would say such a thing to strangers not once, but three times, unprompted.  Parenting is not easy, but I hope whatever issues he has had with his children in the past he can remember the good things about being a parent, the reward, the challenge, the sacrifice, the love and I hope the future holds something a little more positive for him.

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12 thoughts on ““You are so lucky you don’t have kids”

  1. My Perfect Breakdown says:

    The comments people make never seize to amaze me! Honestly, who says your lucky to someone who doesn’t have kids? I wish we could say something back that’s honest and not socially awkward that makes us look like the bad one. I’m sorry you had to deal with that on what sounds like an otherwise nice evening!

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    • thegreatpuddingclubhunt says:

      If we were playing “things never to say to someone with infertility” Bingo…I reckon I’m not far off a full house!
      Hmmm yes I wonder if there is an appropriate response for this…. How about “Thanks for the tip, I better go quickly cancel that XX thousands of dollars cheque I just wrote out for our IVF/Adoption/Gestational Carrier/Surrogate/Surgery”
      Hmmm probably not 🙂

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  2. workingwomensivf says:

    I get this nearly every day at work, if only people knew what we are going through perhaps we would think more carefully. I have also been working with my middle level managers (all of whom have kids) on discrimination as there was a long ingrained policy on people with kids getting preferential approval of school holidays. Last time I checked people without kids have just as much rights to holidays over the peak summer period as those with kids!!

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    • thegreatpuddingclubhunt says:

      Oh yes, definitely at work it’s the worst for these types of comments.

      I do find myself sometimes volunteering for things like travel because I think about my colleagues with children and forget about my poor husband! But I’ve never had that type of discrimination though over holidays, that is just not a fair place to work.

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  3. Nara says:

    Agh!! I get this ALL THE TIME. I think it is British people. Seriously. Sometimes I want to smack them in the face. In fact my (very) ex messaged me on fb last night to say hi and proceeded to tell me he thought I’d be married with kids by now. (I am in the process of getting divorced… and IVF!) I think people are just kn*bjockeys.

    Oh and the thing that annoys me even more is when it’s from females. What happened to the sisterhood? Why do you make me feel less of a person just because I don’t have kids? (It’s always the implication that you’ve chosen not to have them because you have decided that fashion or career or drinking is more important.)

    GAH!

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  4. lyra211 says:

    Ugh. What a jerk. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. It’s often the casually cruel comments from strangers that I find hardest to deal with — at least if it’s someone I know I can try to look beyond what they said to who they actually are (it only helps sometimes…), but if it’s a stranger all I’ve got to go on are the words, and the words are terrible. Hope it helps that all these strangers on the internet are indignant on your behalf. 🙂

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  5. babylossmama says:

    I think ANY questions about another person’s reproductive life are rude! This one may be the worst, but I also hate “Do you want children? How many children do you want to have? Are you trying?” and other questions that are really no one’s business but me and my spouse.

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