D ear Amy: I make no secret that I’m not a fan of kids. I don’t want to baby-sit. I don’t want kids of my own. I don’t think kids of any age are cute. I definitely don’t want to hold them.
Those last two items are causing me trouble. See, many of my friends and relatives are spawning. Inevitably I wind up looking at pictures of their offspring and/or going to see the newborn critter.
I can usually put on a smile and pretend I’m enjoying myself for a short time, but people often ask two questions I have no idea how to answer.
The first question is some variation of, “Isn’t little (insert name of child) cute?” The second is, “Do you want to hold (insert gender of child)?”
I don’t find their kids cute and I don’t want to hold them. But how do I say that gently? I may not like kids, but I’m not about to say, “Your offspring looks like a cross between Elmer Fudd and Winston Churchill.”
So how do I respond when someone asks, “Isn’t (child’s name) cute?” without lying? And what’s a good excuse I can give for turning down an offer to hold the baby?
— Happily Child-free
However, if the worst happens and you are ambushed and confronted with a baby, here’s how you respond to the cuteness question.
Q: Isn’t baby Sophie cute?
A: I’ve never seen anything like her!
When someone asks if you want to hold a baby, you can say, “No, I don’t think so. I have some idea of where that baby has been.”
I have never had a good relationship with this woman. It’s not like I never tried, but my mother has issues that she takes out on me and my sisters instead of getting help. I’m just so tired of all the abuse. Accepted to college or not, I’m leaving this house.
My question: Is it wrong of me to want to keep this news from her? Is it wrong that I feel the need to move so far away from her to be happy, to have my own life that will cater to me instead of her? Why can’t my mother be happy for me?
— Prospective Grad
— Currently Sober