The Dreaded "Baby" Question - What do you say?

First published on www.DINKlife.com - the site for couples without kids, Written by Laura S for DINKlife

If you are a DINK, you can't even count the number of times you've been asked the dreaded question: "So, when are you two going to have a baby?" And while this inquisition may make you want to run away and hide or feign deafness, there is a better way to handle it.

The Dreaded The Dreaded How couples can answer the dreaded question about when we are going to have a baby

At the rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding, my husband's dad stood up and gave a best man's speech. "The Bible says," he began as I hid behind my maid of honor, anticipating what was likely to come next, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"

Boy did my face turn red! And so began a six-year (and counting) game of "Dodge the Dreaded Question." You know the one I'm talking about: "So, when are you two going to have a baby?" The asker usually addressing you with a slight lilt and dragging out the "a" in baby.

As a DINK, you've probably encountered "the dreaded question" numerous times. From your grandmother, your mom, your newly-pregnant BFF, dear Aunt Susie, the frazzled mother of five (whom you've never met) standing behind you in line at Target, and yes, even your in-laws. And like me, when someone asks you "the question," your first instinct is likely one of the following:

  • Run away and hide
  • Come back with a witty (and probably rude) retort
  • Feign deafness
  • Create a diversion (Do they make pocket-sized signal flares?)

However, while all of these options may provide an easy way out of the situation, this probably isn't the best way to handle it. To successfully answer (and sometimes even dodge) the question while keeping your relationships intact and still coming across as the smart, sensitive DINK that you are, you basically have two options:

Tell a little white lie.

Come on, everyone does it from time to time. Sometimes telling a small fib is the best way to get out of a sticky social situation while causing the least amount of offense. For example, your friend asks, "What do think of my new haircut?" And even though it makes her look like a female Justin Bieber, you respond, "It's nice. It totally fits your personality."

This kind of white lie works just as well with the dreaded question, especially when asked by acquaintances, strangers, or nosy Aunt Susie. Here's how it works. The next time someone asks you the dreaded question, and you'd like to gently brush them off, just respond with the following white lie: "Oh, well, we're just waiting until the right time. I think we'll probably start talking about it in the next year or two."

And don't forget to smile. That's what sells it. It doesn't matter to this person what the real answer is; they're likely just trying to make small talk. And doing so by asking inappropriately personal questions. This little white lie will satisfy the inquisitor's desire for information about your personal life while also shifting the attention away from you.

But what happens when the asker of the dreaded question is someone who is close to you, like your mom or your best friend? In this case, your best strategy is option No. 2…

Just be honest.

It's OK to talk to the people close to you about why you have chosen not to have kids right now (or ever). There are various reasons for choosing to delay or avoid having children - from wanting to focus on your careers to helping prevent overpopulation. And the people who love you should respect your decisions, even if those decisions are different from their own.

Having an honest discussion about your choices will help your close friends and family understand the DINK lifestyle and why you've chosen it. And it may just get them to stop asking the dreaded question. Maybe.

How do you respond to the dreaded "baby" question?