It can be difficult to decide when to tell people intimate details about your life. The situation will dictate what is appropriate.
So when should you bring it up?
When Youíre Dating
Sooner is always better than later!
How would you feel if you dated someone for a long time before finding out that he or she really, really wants kids? It would be a waste of time for both of you.
It is the same with being child free. You have to be honest about what you want out of life and how you feel about kids.
Whatever you do, NEVER let the other person think you ďmightĒ change your mind ďsomedayĒ if thatís not true. If you know you donít want kids, save yourself the heartache in the long run and come clean about it now.
At work, I donít go around professing my personal opinions about everything all the time. That is inappropriate in the workplace.
But when casual conversation goes in that direction, I do express my opinion. When co-workers ask if I want kids, I am honest about it. Sometimes I elaborate, sometimes I donít. It depends on who is asking, and in what context.
If your career could benefit from not having kids, it canít hurt to make it plain to your boss that you have more time to devote to working extra hours to get ahead because a family in not in your future. People often assume women will have children, and that you might not be willing to work for a promotion if your priority is to take a maternity leave every few years.
Thereís nothing wrong with being explicit about your career goals, and how you see yourself in the future of the company. If your career is important to you, then you should do whatever you can to advance it.
With Your Family
Even if your mother will be devastated that youíre not going to give her grandchildren, donít mislead her. If you donít want kids, tell her so. It is your life, and your choices are yours to make. Making your parents grandparents is never a good reason to have kids.
Itís usually best if each partner explains their child free stance to their own family. Iíve found that my in-laws interpreted my desire to be child free as corrupting their sonís future as a father, even though he has never wanted kids. It is important for both families to understand that you and your partner are on the same page about this.
Itís almost inevitable that someone at a family gathering will ask you when youíre going to have children. As with any situation, be honest about your decision to be child free. Itís never good to lie about it. But thereís no need to be antagonistic about it either and start a brawl with your grandmother about procreation over the dinner table. Be honest, state your reasons, and change the subject!