Getting Nagged? 5 Graceful Rebuttals
Here’s how to deal with those uncomfortable questions this holiday season.
Question #3: “Will you still be working when you’re pregnant?”
Translation: You better stop working now that you’re pregnant.
This question usually comes from women who were previously confronted with this issue and were also forced to make a choice. Instead of an irritated retort like “So what? You have a problem with that?”, treat the asker as a concerned individual who cares for you in your vulnerable child-bearing time.
Do not give the asker an indecisive reply, like, “Do you think I should?” or a miserable one, like, “I wanted to but John and I needed the money”. If you do, you are only giving in to the asker’s pressure who wants you to do what she has also done.
Your answer should be based on what you and your partner have come up to, like, “John and I have decided that I should not stop working. Work is not that stressful for me anyway and I prefer it to staying at home, eating and watching TV. Besides, the doctor says I don’t have a sensitive pregnancy”. This response not only answers the question, but also closes the case. It shows that you have already pondered on the subject and have come to a reasonable decision.
Question #4: “Don’t you have plans of adding more children to your family?”
Translation: You should have another child. One is just so unexciting.
Regardless if you’ve decided to raise just one child or you’re trying to conceive another baby, don’t sound bitter on your reply. Instead of responding, “No, I don’t want more kids” or “I wanted to but I find it hard conceiving”, both of which open up a potentially uncomfortable
debate conversation, make a response that (again) portrays you as a levelheaded person.
Say something like, “Whether I only raise one child or more, I want to give the best. I want our family to be emotionally and financially stable so the children will be provided with enough love and comfort.” or “We’re considering it.” and change the subject.
Question #5: “When will you buy your own house?”
Translation: You should buy your own house already — near us.
This question often comes from your parents or in-laws. This is normally coming from a good place — they want you to put down more permanent roots in the same area (or on the same street, they hope!) But you may not be ready to discuss how much money you and your partner saves and where you wish to live.
If the question comes from a nosy friend, just say “We’re still assessing what we want to do”. If it comes from a family member, try to turn the question around so you know where the asker is coming from. Respond something like, “It sounds like you are excited about us getting our own house so we can stay in this area. Actually we’re working on it and we’re also excited to build our own nest.” or “We prefer the freedom that renting affords us — for now — but we’ll keep you in the loop.”
This way, you’re reflecting back what you think you hear the person is saying. You are also telling the asker that you’ve already made your preference and are really working on its realization. Best of all, it ends the discussion.
Remember, it’s you and your partner’s life and choices. Nobody else’s. Make sure to do what feels right to YOU.