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But Don’t You Want To Start A Family? What To Do When Everyone Wants You To Settle Down

Sexism is over! Why, any one of us women is free and encouraged to pursue the career of our choice in a wide array of fields. We can work hard, rise through the ranks, and then be asked by everyone in our lives when we’re going to settle down, have a kid and go home already.

Be all you can be!

Be all you can be!

 

 

“Why, any one of us women is free and encouraged to pursue the career of our choice in a wide array of fields.”

Pop some bubbly!  You've come a long way, baby!

You’ve come a long way, baby!  Have your cake & eat it too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hold the fucking phone.

Most of us worked hard and spent years to build a career. Some of us are doctors, some of us are executives, some of us managed to turn op-eds and alcoholism into a viable business model. The point is that we all have shit going on.

Do these people really think I want to just throw it all out the window just because the “clock is ticking?” Do they think I want to live my life for someone else just because my body is capable of producing kids? Are we ramping up an army for a war, or what’s the deal here?

Whatever the reason, you know it happens and I know it happens.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not opposed to the idea of women settling down if they choose to. After all, someone needs to raise the next generation of wine aficionados. But it’s a pretty insulting to have men and women berate and question your choice to not do so, as though you’re failing in your only real calling in life. They seem to think that there’s no greater accomplishment than giving birth, which is so special a miracle that it happens 4 times every second around the world.

If you fall into the group of ladies who have chosen to settle down with independence and give birth to careers, then read some of the below categories. You might find an idea or two on how to respond when different people in your life ask you why you haven’t started a family yet.

When Your Boyfriend Asks

Make an honest man out of me!

Make an honest man out of me!

If you’ve been dating a while, especially around the 2-year mark, most serious boyfriends are probably going to start asking about starting a family.

 

After all, the cliché is for us, as women filled with nesting hormones, to begin pestering a guy who is happy with the way things are about rings and babies, so they start getting worried when we don’t. But that, my lovelies, is not always the case, is it?

Things often move too fast for us, too. Sometimes he’s a sweetheart with his heart in the right place, and sometimes he’s a chauvinist who thinks it’s women’s job to give up their job right as they’re hitting 30. In truth, there are many women who like the idea of leaving the workforce for a home life, so I wouldn’t get pissed just because he asked. However, persistent patronizing and pressuring on the matter after I’ve said “no” is where I take issue.

Ask him how he would feel about being a stay at home dad, or about giving up the progress he made in all these years to start over on a different course. Put it in terms he understands, using his life as an example. If he doesn’t get it after that, it might be time to start shopping around.

When your parents ask

She's all yours!  We are absolved.

She’s all yours! We are absolved.

This is probably the most common one. Your mom and dad will start wondering where the grandkids are at, and warn you in that sweet yet condescending way that “you aren’t getting any younger.”

 

You have to tiptoe with these guys—after all, you literally owe them your life. And they may feel a bit insulted to learn that you don’t think child-rearing is all that great, when they’ve spent half their life or more on it.

Everyone’s relationship with their parents is a bit different, but there’s a general thread you can follow as a grow-up child—respect earns respect. If you’re merely not ready now, then tell them. If you aren’t interested in ever raising one, well they’ll find out eventually, so try to talk it out with them. I’m lucky that my mom finds just about anything agreeable after her third glass of chardonnay, and surely if you managed to live with these guys then you’ve found ways of making bad news easier to swallow.

“What about the family legacy?”

“What about our last name?”

“We raised you, you owe us a grandchild!”

These are just a few of the emotional arguments that basically come down to “we want you to, so you should.” These can be by and large ignored, because it’s easy to show them that it’s more selfish than anything. I mean, I’m happy to be born, but I didn’t sign a baby-for-birth contract right after the cord was cut. My handwriting wouldn’t hold up in court anyway.

“You don’t know what you’re missing out on.”

“I thought that too, but now I wouldn’t have lived any other way.”

“We only want you to be happy.”

At least these ones claim to be selfless, but you can ask them if they experienced at least a passing desire for kids during their own deliberations. Just explain that you never felt even a twinge of “what if.” Tell them that instead you feel fears of never achieving your real potential, or of making no impact on the world, or simply having regrets. What they want to hear? Probably not. At least understandable? I think so.

When First Dates Ask

firstdate

Anyone can tell you a first date is mostly an interview where you hope there’ll be no HR intervention. So you ask each other everything under the sun; after all, busy people can’t waste their time on incompatible mates. Still, asking questions about “the future” when the present is still up for debate is more than a little weird and presumptuous.

If your date does ask you “so do you want kids,” regardless of whether he wants a wifey or is just terrible at conversation, you may as well answer him honestly—at this stage it’s no loss. I mean, unless he’s like, super hot, and you want to at least keep him around for a bit. In that case, be vague until you’ve evaluated his assets.

When Friends with Benefits Ask

Ah the good ol’ fuck buddy. It’s simple, exciting and fun, right up until someone falls in love. Guys might not want to admit it, but often enough it is they who want to take the relationship up a notch.

This happened to me once. This guy, let’s call him Jared, kept telling me how he didn’t want me to “get attached.” He had “broken hearts before,” since he was such a Casanova, so it was really a “kindness” he was paying me to get expectations out of the way.  -Always nice to meet a gentleman!

fb

Well, two months into some pretty great screwing a couple times a week, and it turns out the idea of me going out with my friends and possibly meeting guys was “too much” for him to deal with. He wanted commitment right then and there, to sate his jealous insecurities. Even made a play about being “in love,” that he didn’t want to “lose me.”

Don’t get me wrong, I was flattered to apparently be that good of a lay, but I wasn’t looking for an exclusivity clause. He thought he could get me to settle down with him just because I’m a woman and I ought to be dependent on a man. Whether it’s for money, for love, for pleasure or anything else, this is only true if you want it to be true.

So You DO Want to Settle Down?

If you want to settle down, more power to you. I don’t personally think I could give up wine for 9 months, much less choose just one person to share my life with right now (the burden of proof is on Mr. Right), but if you’ve read this and felt yourself wavering, then maybe a family is in the cards for you! Regardless of your stance, don’t let it be defined for you. You can choose to be a stay-at-home mom or a powerful executive who happens to have a kid.

It’s the modern era, and no matter what people will try to tell you, the choice is yours… but here’s a parting thought from the late great Kate:

married hep

 

In vino veritas, bitches…

 ~The Wine Slut

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One response to “But Don’t You Want To Start A Family? What To Do When Everyone Wants You To Settle Down”

  1. hco says:

    You are twisted WS!

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