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Surviving the BABY QUESTION over the Holidays

It’s inevitable.

Every time you get together with the family, they start nagging you with the BABY QUESTION. It’s almost like the holidays and harassment go hand in hand for the child free.

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times: “So, when are you two going to have a baby?” Or some variation on a theme, such as “Oh, doesn’t she just look darling with a baby in her arms?” or “What are you two waiting for?”

And when you try to explain yourself, you get the old “Oh, it will be different when it’s yours.”

This year you can take control of your destiny and find the courage to tell Aunt Mabel that you just don’t want to have kids. And this is how you do it.

* First, arm yourself with concrete reasons you have decided to remain child free. Read Dr. Phil’s fabulous article “Should You Have a Baby?” (link above right). Really examine why you don’t want kids, talk it over with your spouse, and be sure you are both on the same page. [UPDATE: Dr. Phil has taken this article off of his website -- I have contacted the show for the information]

* Know the stats. According to a recent study by the US Census Bureau, more than 40 percent of women who are in their childbearing years have no children. Here are some more interesting points from the same report:

Women who live in metropolitan areas and are affluent are more likely to be child free.

More than 47 percent of women who make more than $75,000 a year have no children.

40 percent of those who make less than $20,000 are childless.

More than 50 percent of Asian-American women are childless.

Latinas are the most likely ethnic group to have children.

* DON’T LIE about your feelings. Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to defending your choices in life. Don’t claim conception problems that you don’t really have. And don’t tell them that you are planning to have children “someday” if you’re really not.

* Review some of the witty comebacks Married No Kids visitors have contributed! (link above right) Some of them aren’t so appropriate to say to Grandma, but there are plenty that will lighten the mood, proclaim your child free status, and get you off the hook.

* Above all, be gracious with your response. Your object isn’t to pick a fight with Cousin Esther. It is about being true to yourself and getting respect for your life choices. If the “discussion” starts to escalate, excuse yourself to go for a walk, make a turkey sandwich in the kitchen, change the subject, or suggest a movie. Remember: you can never change other people – you can only control your own reactions.

And one more thing. Now that you’ve found Married No Kids, you know you are not alone. There is great power in that. Use the strength of this group to your advantage!

And post all your horror stories on the Message Board after the holiday!

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