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Thread: We Don't Have Children Yet, but We Are Still a Family

  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    We Don't Have Children Yet, but We Are Still a Family

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    We Don't Have Children, But We Are Still A Family

    I liked reading this article. I have felt like the odd girl out at EVERY SINGLE event put on by any Battalion or Company that DH has been assigned to (with the exception of the ball). I Love children and I will be a parent in the very near future, but I hate the fact that the conversation starters like "Do you have kids?" or "How many kids do you have?" so often turn into conversation killers when I answer, "Nope. No kids."
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    #2
    Well...I mean yes, and no. DH and I and our dogs are most definitely a family. We may add children to that later, we may not. I don't really think of it as a military issue though. Most people on Earth have a desire for kids. When they have them can vary by area and the culture/microculture. In general though, not wanting kids, or finding your life partner and then wanting to wait an extended time for kids is abnormal. Military or not, in my experience. My family back home started wondering when/if I was pregnant during DH and I's first year of marriage. They just thought it was normal progression to get married, have kids. Also, I think this is becoming less and less of a problem. More people are choosing to be childless or wait longer and enjoy their marriage before embarking on parenthood. It's becoming more understood and accepted, I think.

    I do get that the military events are catered more towards children, but I never go anyway so maybe that's why it doesn't bother me
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    #3
    I only went to one FRG event ever and there were only a few kids so maybe I was lucky? the large majority of the women there were new girlfriends and fiances. I went to a ship picnic with DH once and there were only like 5 kids there because the majority of people on his ship were single dudes. DH was actually kind of one of the odd ones out just for being married But yeah, I mean I understand the article and it has a point because it does seem different somewhat in military communities. But I consider DH & I and the 2 cats to be a family and I don't care if other people think that's not enough
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    #4
    - I can't really fault them for asking, it's just one of those questions that people ask to get to know about you and/or to maybe find things to talk about that you may or may not have in common. I do understand being frustrated when it becomes a conversation killer, though - I've never understood that because I do have kids, but there are so many other things I can talk about that I don't see why someone saying they have no kids would mean I had nothing further to talk to them about
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    #5
    I think part of the problem is embodied in her statement here: "Donít get me wrong; I have lots of friends with kids and I go to their birthday parties and offer to babysit. When my husband invites his single friends over I am happy to cook a big meal and feign interest as they play Call of Duty or watch The Terminator for the thousandth time."

    She's lumping people into the categories as much as they're lumping her! I have kids. I don't invite my adult friends (with or without kids) to their birthday parties or ask them to babysit. If I want to spend time with adults who don't have kids, I invite them over and we do grown-up things like dinner and conversation and board games (yes we're boring) and the kids do their kid things. If DH invites single folks over (I say DH because it just happens that I have exactly zero single acquaintances in this area) we do grown-up things like dinner and conversation and board games and the kids do their kid things. The whole "cramping the single people's style" thing is silly. Single people do things other than Call of Duty and Ahhnold and people with kids do things other than bouncy houses. No need to pigeonhole US either, kwim?

    Anyway, I think people need to learn just to have a good time and call it a day without feeling constrained to these stereotypical categories. I've heard tons and tons of complaints about military events being catered to families with kids- that's probably true. So don't confine yourself (this is more to the author of the article, btw) to military events. There's a whole other social world out there if you want it. Do some community service, join a climbing gym, find a church, join a book club, find people who share your interests and go from there, instead of expecting your husband's workplace to supply you with friends with similar interests. I mean, she said it herself- only 16% of the military community is made up of childless couples. It shouldn't be a huge surprise to encounter mostly people outside that group.


    Aaaaaaand all that aside... I have kids and I get sick of talking about kids with people other than their father or grandparents too. So you're not alone there, OP!
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SingWeJoyous View Post
    I think part of the problem is embodied in her statement here: "Don’t get me wrong; I have lots of friends with kids and I go to their birthday parties and offer to babysit. When my husband invites his single friends over I am happy to cook a big meal and feign interest as they play Call of Duty or watch The Terminator for the thousandth time."

    She's lumping people into the categories as much as they're lumping her! I have kids. I don't invite my adult friends (with or without kids) to their birthday parties or ask them to babysit. If I want to spend time with adults who don't have kids, I invite them over and we do grown-up things like dinner and conversation and board games (yes we're boring) and the kids do their kid things. If DH invites single folks over (I say DH because it just happens that I have exactly zero single acquaintances in this area) we do grown-up things like dinner and conversation and board games and the kids do their kid things. The whole "cramping the single people's style" thing is silly. Single people do things other than Call of Duty and Ahhnold and people with kids do things other than bouncy houses. No need to pigeonhole US either, kwim?

    Anyway, I think people need to learn just to have a good time and call it a day without feeling constrained to these stereotypical categories. I've heard tons and tons of complaints about military events being catered to families with kids- that's probably true. So don't confine yourself (this is more to the author of the article, btw) to military events. There's a whole other social world out there if you want it. Do some community service, join a climbing gym, find a church, join a book club, find people who share your interests and go from there, instead of expecting your husband's workplace to supply you with friends with similar interests. I mean, she said it herself- only 16% of the military community is made up of childless couples. It shouldn't be a huge surprise to encounter mostly people outside that group.


    Aaaaaaand all that aside... I have kids and I get sick of talking about kids with people other than their father or grandparents too. So you're not alone there, OP!
    and, to the last bolded !!!!!!
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bagelsong View Post
    We Don't Have Children, But We Are Still A Family

    I liked reading this article. I have felt like the odd girl out at EVERY SINGLE event put on by any Battalion or Company that DH has been assigned to (with the exception of the ball). I Love children and I will be a parent in the very near future, but I hate the fact that the conversation starters like "Do you have kids?" or "How many kids do you have?" so often turn into conversation killers when I answer, "Nope. No kids."
    I've found that expressing interest (even if it is a bit faked) in their kids prevents that awkward moment. "No, no kids for DH and I. How old are yours? Oh, so the oldest is about ready to start school. Is he excited?"

    It moves the conversation along, shows that I'm approachable, and lets them see that I am still interested in interacting with them and I'm not some strange, foreign creature just because I don't have kids.

    I don't ever plan on having a family, and yet I can still relate to the kid-folks enough that we can get beyond the small talk stage and make connections.

    I will say that though DH and I don't have kids and won't have them, we are very much a family. People can define their own families however they want, but I do find it very off-putting when I'm asked if we plan on starting a family, or something like that. If you don't think your family started until you had a kid, that's cool. But using that terminology says that you don't think DH and I are a family either, and that's very off-putting. I'm not going to shun them forever or anything like that, but it does start things from a less-than-ideal place.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I've found that expressing interest (even if it is a bit faked) in their kids prevents that awkward moment. "No, no kids for DH and I. How old are yours? Oh, so the oldest is about ready to start school. Is he excited?"

    It moves the conversation along, shows that I'm approachable, and lets them see that I am still interested in interacting with them and I'm not some strange, foreign creature just because I don't have kids.


    I don't ever plan on having a family, and yet I can still relate to the kid-folks enough that we can get beyond the small talk stage and make connections.

    I will say that though DH and I don't have kids and won't have them, we are very much a family. People can define their own families however they want, but I do find it very off-putting when I'm asked if we plan on starting a family, or something like that. If you don't think your family started until you had a kid, that's cool. But using that terminology says that you don't think DH and I are a family either, and that's very off-putting. I'm not going to shun them forever or anything like that, but it does start things from a less-than-ideal place.
    I agree with that. That's a good way to keep things going along. I would do that before I had Anna.


    I was on our ship's FRG in San Diego and me and two other girls were the only ones with kids. All the rest of the wives didn't. Also, our two best and closest friends, who we hung out with every weekend, do not have kids. It never meant anything in our friendship. I actually kind of enjoyed having a lot of people around who didn't have kids. They were also very understanding of what it meant to have kids.

    Maybe I'M the weird one for being a Mom that hangs out with a lot of 'non-moms'. Kids or no kids doesn't mean anything to me. As long as you are a good friend and are understanding that I DO have a child.
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    #10
    I'm okay with not having kids, but I'm kind of come around to wanting them. My biggest problem was when I flat out didn't want children and people would be all "you'll regret not having them!" And it was all I could do not to tell them that judging by the asshole behavior of their children I would regret nothing


    People just asking though was never a big deal. If they weren't pushy about how I needed to have Children too then everything was good. I would talk about their kids then move on.


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