Emily’s family Thanksgiving dinner takes a turn for the worse when her step-siblings make comments about her choice not to have children, leading to Emily’s response that causes tension and a need for an apology. Here is what she had to say:
She Didn’t Want Kids
Meet Emily, a 29-year-old woman who is the black sheep in her family. She’s the only one who’s not married with kids, but that’s by her preference. She loves living alone, doesn’t want kids, and having a partner just isn’t that important to her. Her family has been asking her when she’s going to get a boyfriend and settle down since she was only 19, and the answer has always been “ew, never”.
Her Mom Insisted
Emily was going to skip Thanksgiving, but her mom insisted that she wanted everyone home this year if possible, so she went. It was the usual drill, but the youngest step-brother and his wife were having another kid, so that was the big announcement. This was fine until the end of dinner when one of the step-sister-in-laws asked if Emily was anxious that she’s almost 30 and time is running out to have kids.
She Laughed it Off
Emily laughed and said, “Nah, I’m good.” That led to one of the step-brothers saying that every family needs an old maiden aunt and some other comments she didn’t appreciate. She said, “Let’s move on,” but her mom said, “We’re just worried about you.”
She Crossed a Line
This is where Emily might have crossed the line with her, albeit hilarious, comments. She knew all the family dirt, so she said, “Well, I’m the only person at this table that’s not an alcoholic, a cheater, or constantly broke because I have more kids than I can afford, so I’m not the one to worry about”.
An Abrupt End
And that’s how Emily brought Thanksgiving to a dead halt, and no one said a thing for the rest of dinner. Her texts with her family are still radioactive.
Emily felt like it was probably riding the line, and her mom said it caused a lot of problems among the siblings, but also they kind of started it.
Straight to the Internet
Emily was hurt by her family’s comments and felt like they were judging her for not wanting the same things they did. She decided to reach out to a popular internet forum for advice.
The Internet Responds
One person writes, “I guarantee that nobody is going to be asking her about her choices any more. They like to dish it out, but can’t take it. I always thought this was weird and creepy. Boundary stomping aside, constantly asking someone about marriage/children when they’re not even in a long-term committed relationship is backward and nonsensical to me. Should she be desperately trying to shack up with any random man because of her “biological clock”? Maybe some people don’t bother to worry about children and marriage until they find someone worth planning that with first.”
Another person puts, “Yeah, I try to make it as awkward as possible now. My partner and I have been together for 15 years and medically for me any pregnancy would be high risk and/or deadly. The questions stop real quick with that little tidbit out there.”
A final person comments, “I was child-free by choice, for painful emotional reasons, married in 1980. Living in the Southern US, people often asked if I had children. However, one day I was making the routine work bank deposit at the drive through. The regular teller (50s f) was joined by a new teller, same age. One day new teller asked me, over the drive through loudspeakers if I had children. I was in my late 20s, accustomed to this question. I said No, in a friendly tone. Then she asked “Well, is it because you don’t want them, or because you can’t have them?”
I was appalled and kept totally silent. My reasons were my own & my husband’s private business. But all I could think was, what if I were painfully infertile, or had suffered dreadfully disappointing miscarriages? Been devastated yet another month? And someone asked me on a loudspeaker that could be heard, both outside and inside the bank? It wasn’t my case, but I knew other women who had suffered. The next work day deposit, I received a measured, discreet, but heartfelt apology, which I accepted. The regular teller, whom I had known for some time, evidently laid down the law to her new colleague.”
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