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One couple's perfect response to people asking when they're going to have kids.

Choosing to have kids or not have kids is no one else's decision but yours.

One couple's perfect response to people asking when they're going to have kids.

This article originally appeared on 12.19.16


"When are you guys going to start having kids?"

Like many couples, Carrie Jansen and her husband Nic had heard this question a million different ways, a million different times.

The pressure really started to mount when the pair, who've been together for eight years, got married three years ago. While Carrie loves kids (she's an elementary school teacher, after all), she and Nic simply aren't interested in having kids of their own. Now or ever.


Photo via Carrie Jansen, used with permission.

"It's not what I was meant for," explains Carrie in a Facebook message. "It's like, I love flowers, and everyone loves flowers. But that doesn't mean I want to grow my own. I'm perfectly happy admiring other people's gardens."

Carrie wanted to tell her family that they don't plan on having kids but knew if she did, they'd say something like, "Oh you'll change your mind one day!" and that pesky question would keep rearing its ugly head.

Rather than continue to deflect the question over and over, Carrie decided to do something a little bit different.

Since the couple was adding another mouth to feed to the family, they decided to announce it with a series of maternity-style photos, revealing the twist: The new addition was a puppy named Leelu, not a baby.

Photo via Carrie Jensen/Imgur, used with permission.

"My husband and I have been married 3 years and everyone is bugging us about having a baby. Close enough right?" she captioned the photos.

Her pictures went insanely viral, with many of the commenters giving her props for hilariously addressing the dreaded "kids " question.

"If you don't want kids, don't have kids. Seriously. Have fun with each other. I had three kids early and it's all about them now," wrote one user. "I wish people would just mind their business raising a kid ain't easy and cheap," wrote another.

"I got my husband a vasectomy for his birthday this year. Best gift ever," chimed in a third.

Photo via Carrie Jansen, used with permission.

Carrie was overwhelmed and inspired by the viral response. "Having children is definitely a hot topic, and one that is evolving in this generation like so many other social issues," she says. "It's exciting to find others that feel the same way I do."

Carrie is hardly alone in not wanting to have kids — in fact, a record number of women are choosing not to have kids today.

In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey found 47.6% of women between age 15 and 44 had never had children, which is the highest percentage on record. Despite the numbers, however, because we still live in a patriarchally-driven society, women regularly face the expectation that they should be mothers, and they often are judged if they decide not to be.

Whether you want to have one kid, five kids, no kids, or a puppy, the choice should be yours and no one else's.

No one else has the right to put pressure on you to change your body and life in a drastic way. Thankfully, because of women like Carrie — and partners like Nic — who aren't afraid to bring the subject out in the open, the expectations are slowly but surely changing.

Photo via Carrie Jansen, used with permission.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

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The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

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Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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