We all have those friends who are married but don’t have kids yet. We may or may not know why they haven’t had kids. It could be their own personal choice, or maybe their infertility issues are prohibiting them from having kids. Either way, you should avoid making comments that may come off as rude or insensitive. We often don’t think twice before making these statements since we just think of them as being casual or funny. But not everyone would find them funny.
Here are a few things you should never say to your friends and what you could do instead.
1. “When are you going to have kids?”
This question might seem normal and harmless but asking this question when you are at a party or a get-together when tonnes of people are watching or listening is not the best idea. Perhaps they don’t feel ready to have kids yet, maybe they don’t want to have kids, or maybe one of them wants to and the other one doesn’t. It could even be that they are not able to have kids due to medical reasons and are trying to look for other means - like adoption or surrogacy. Since every couple may have their own personal struggles about having kids and it is a sensitive topic, it is best to talk about this in private.
2. “You wouldn’t understand. You don’t have kids.”
This line comes off as condescending and like you don’t think they would be interested in talking about kids. But your friend may be more than ready to listen to you talk about everything that is going on in your life - that’s what friends are for after all. They are your close friends for a reason so they want in on your life. They will expect you to listen to them talk about their lives too - even when they have kids one day.
3. “Watching us must be like birth control for you.”
Watching kids misbehave or throw tantrums is not going to cause someone who wants to have kids to suddenly not want to have them. They know that kids are going to have a meltdown once in a while and there is nothing you can do about it. This one thing is not going to stop them from having kids in the future.
4. “You’re so lucky you get to sleep well every night.”
Yes, sleep gets compromised once you have kids but that doesn’t mean you have to say this to your friends. Getting enough sleep isn’t the reason your friends don’t have kids. There is always a deeper reason behind why they don’t have kids.
5. “You don’t know what love is until you have kids.”
After having a kid, you may have found that you love this kid more than anything but this doesn’t mean you should tell others that their love for their own families and friends is any less worthy or significant. But your friend has loads of people to shower their love on - their parents, their spouse, neighbours, their pets and of course, their friends. Remember that before you had kids, you already had people to love and care for.
6. “I wish I had the energy to work out. I use it up in being a mom.”
It is not like you can only dedicate yourself to either working out or being a mother. Exercise is necessary for everyone. Telling your friend that you use your energy solely being a mother makes no sense in that respect. You could instead say that your kid makes you run around and that itself serves as an exercise. Or that you would like to go along for a workout if possible - just as any friend would say.
7. “You’re tired? Try having kids.”
When you are a mother, it is natural for you to feel tired sooner. But when your friend is trying to tell you that s/he is feeling tired of spending so many hours at work, travelling to and fro, and taking care of the household work as well, just listen to them. There is no need to compare and tell them that their struggle is any less than yours. True friends are ones who listen and are there for their friends when they need them.