Dimelo: "How Do I Tell My Family I'm Not Having Kids?"

Dimelo: "How Do I Tell My Family I'm Not Having Kids?"

Dear Pauline,

I've decided I don't want to have children. I know it's not what my family wants to hear and I'm not even sure how to bring it up without a major fight.

I'm 32 and engaged to an incredible man. I can't wait to start planning our wedding!

I know you'll ask me if I've discussed the no niños thing with my husband-to-be, and to answer you in advance, we are in agreement on this topic. We love our familias and our sobrinas and sobrinos...but that's it. We are career-minded, travel domestically and internationally for work quite frequently, and feel content with the decision we have made together.

So can you tell me why we are both scared sh*tless to break the news to our parents? Do I even have to tell them? (Okay, I know I do...help!)


La Tia Feliz

Dear Tia,

Did I ever tell you about the time I had the Mexican Inquisition at a cousin's wedding? Basically I had every Tia that hadn't seen me in ten years giving me the side-eye because I only had one child to chase after and my sister had four. I think I cracked after hearing, "Pauline...una nomas???" because the high note the question ended on was full of implications like me and my ovaries not being as Mexican as my sister's. Having babies is what good Latina girls just DO, AmIRight?

I finally told one Tia to tell the rest that Infertility is a Thing and whaddyaknow--word got out that Pauline was pissed. The rest of the reception was actually pretty awesome.

What annoyed me off the most is that the truth was only good enough because I didn't make the choice to stop at one. And m'ija? We both know you're gonna be in for it at Sunday dinners with la familia if you decide to proclaim your child-free status loud and proud. You and your career-minded man may know exactly what you like and what you want, but we are never successful enough to outgrow family guilt-trips and judgment, are we?

You can play this two ways:

1) Tell your family now, before the wedding reception. People will still talk, mind you, but if you're too busy living your life to focus on cultural pressure and expectations, it's not going to matter much, anyway. It's actually kind of refreshing to stop giving a damn. I highly recommend it.

2) Don't tell them. It's really nobody's decision, anyway. Just nod your head and smile when the baby questions start, then do what you want, anyway. Change the subject, and smile and change it again in thirty seconds when the tias try again. Or you can try responding with an interpretive dance whenever your parents say the word, "baby." It worked for a squirrel on Facebook, and I'm betting you'll be dancing your way out of the hot set in no time.  

Pauline Campos is Latina Magazine's #DIMELO advice columnist. Email her your questions at dimelo@latina.com. Connect with her on her blog, www.aspiringmama.com, sign up for her Tortilla Press newsletter, and follow her on twitter: @pauline_campos.