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Ask Agatha: "Why Doesn't My Family Believe I Don't Want Kids?" And The Best Way To Approach Women


Angelique from Atlanta, GA asks:

Why is it, family feel like they can say anything to you? Yes I’m 36. Yes I’m single. No I don’t want kids. But they don’t believe me. They just dismiss me. I mean I have a master’s degree, a great job, my own home and a healthy savings and yet my mother and my aunts still look at me with pity. And my “barrenness” somehow always becomes the topic of discussion. It’s infuriating. How do I make them stand down once and for all?


Get pregnant?

Listen how do you make any family member stand down on anything? Apparently, when I was a baby I was all hair and eyes and my then 10 year old, highly impressionable uncle who had just seen the Gremlins (it debuted in theaters that year) immediately nicknamed me after the main Gremlin, Mogwai.


That’s my name now.

And to my family that will always be my name.

So I answer to it because nothing I could’ve done over the years would’ve made a bit of difference.

And until you get pregnant, your barrenness will always be a topic of conversation.

So fall into it.

A fundamental fact of our biology is the propagation of the species, so why do you think Aunt Claudia is going to believe you when you tell her you don’t want kids?


Angela. You need more people because I’m at the kitchen table with your mama and ‘em talking shit about you too.

I mean maybe your only defense is to be honest with your family and yourself (but especially yourself). I mean, do you really not want kids—or have you just given up on the idea of kids because you feel like time has run out? Or do you say you don’t want kids because you don’t want to face the idea that it might not happen? So you feel like if you don’t say you want it, not getting it won’t break your heart?


Maybe because my own clocking is ticking so loudly do I find it hard to believe your clock has no batteries.

Honestly, the only time I believe another woman when she says she doesn’t want kids is when she’s very young and what she really means is “I don’t want kids now” or when she already has kids or when she has everything in place to make a home for a child and still doesn’t want one.


So Angela, are you really saying, if you had a significant other to complete the perfect picture of all the things you do have, a career, a house, a savings, that you still wouldn’t want kids? So if you met the right person, you wouldn’t want a child with them?

And don’t just answer “no” to prove your point. Really think about it. Because if the answer isn’t “no” then I’d stop telling your family that you don’t want kids and start telling them the truth. That you do.


And that’s the great thing about being a woman in this society. You get to be soft and pink. You get to be vulnerable and raw without censure. You get to ask for help in order to get the things you want and need. All this time you’re blocking your blessings because you’re too proud to tell the truth—that you want it all—and have you mama and those same aunts fan out to help you get it.  And maybe eventually have a baby.

Yuma from Baltimore, MD asks:

What do you think is the best television series of all time?

There’s no way to answer that and not look like an ass 10 years from now. So I’ll tell you what shows are definitely out of the running instead.

  1. Friends…with the new normal being more diverse casts, Friends is going to look painfully outdated 10 years from now.
  2. Breaking Bad, The Wire, The Sopranos, Lost, The West Wing, Oz, Dexter, House of Cards, Homeland or any other show that took itself too seriously and that required a lot of emotional investment because those series are all one-offs. You watch them once and never again and that doesn’t speak to a show’s longevity.
  3. Scandal, ER, Downton Abbey and any other show following a soap opera formula.
  4. The entire NBC line up past and present. So 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Will & Grace, Seinfeld, The Office, etc. Either because their jokes are too topical as opposed to timeless or their material has been or is riffed on so much that all humor is lost when it’s re-watched.
  5. Everything in black & white because I’m hard pressed now to even watch SD far less black & white. I might as well watch a silent film.

Neal from Philadelphia, PA asks:

What’s the best conversation opener when trying to pick up a girl?

Always go with shared real-time observations (even before you introduce yourself). But try to make it about something more than the weather and make it funny. So if you’re out at a lounge, feel free to make a snarky comment about someone in the vicinity who may be a little too turnt. Have a follow up comment ready because she might not do more than laugh at first. Basically, just speak to her like you’re old friends.


(And make sure you’re as attractive as you can be. So showered and shaved.)

(Bearing in mind that this might just be how to pick me up.)

Agatha is a figment of the collective VSB imagination. Don't @ me.

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Your family doesn't believe that you don't want kids because of their own personal wants/needs. Just look at what Agatha did here (which I think was her point). The sad reality is that, although you may not see it that way, single women and/or women without children in their 30s are invisible. No degrees, no real estate, no professional and/or personal accomplishments will turn us into people worthy of praise and admiration. Unless we have that offspring or that relationship, what we do means absolutely nothing. Harsh, but that truth is liberating. No need to continue wasting your time explaining why you do or do not want children. Just let your family talk about it and say their piece while you smile and nod. When YOU are satisfied with YOUR decisions, the talks (while they do get to you from time to time because duh it gets old) are just that: TALKS. Just conversation fillers to take the spotlight off of them and their issues. Knowing that is enough.