It can be difficult to navigate other people’s opinions around your choice to be childfree.

People tend to ask personal questions without much thought. Depending on where they’re coming from it may be an opportunity for an interesting conversation in which you can share a new viewpoint with them.

Other times a more conversation-ending response may be appropriate if they are not coming from an open space.

You don’t have to expend energy trying to talk with someone who refuses to actually have a conversation and would rather just share their viewpoint.

I’ve heard a lot of people use humor in these situations. Responding with “I’m allergic” can be a fun way to handle these situations too.

The “When are you going to have kids?” Question

Try the following responses:

  • “That’s not a life path I want to pursue.”
  • “I’m not going to have kids.”
  • “I’m not ready to share my decision on that personal choice.”

Or reply with a question of your own:

  • “How did you decide you wanted kids?”
  • “What were your reasons for wanting kids?”

The “Who will take care of you when you’re older?” Question

Try the following responses:

  • “I will. I can plan for that and not leave it for anyone else to decide.”
  • “This question implies that children are responsible for caring for their parents. That’s not a belief I hold.”

Or reply with a question of your own:

  • “Who will take care of you?”
  • “Is that a fair responsibility to place on kids?”

The “You’ll Change Your Mind” Comment

Try the following responses:

  • “I know myself and I know what I want.”
  • “I’ve put a lot of thought into this decision.”
  • “Please don’t imply that you know me better than I know myself.”
  • “I can appreciate that that may have been your experience, but it will not be mine.”

Or reply with a question of your own:

  • “What makes you think I’ll change my mind?”
  • “Why did you end up changing your mind?”

Other Scenarios

When they share an opinion, assumptions, fear, or projection they have about your childfree life.

Try the following responses:

  • Showing them the implied assumption, fear, or opinion they are projecting onto you (possibly without realizing it)
  • Responding with a question
  • Setting a boundary
  • Walking away

Remember, this person doesn’t know what’s best for you. Only you do. They are acting based on their reality. They may have never realized that being childfree was a choice they had.

Your example as a childfree individual is powerful and you may be opening their mind. How they handle that is on them, no you.

It’s your choice and your life.

It’s not up for debate or unsolicited commentary.